Non-existent or patchy cellular network coverage in commercial and retail centres means much more than sulky teenagers not being able to communicate. The consequences of ‘Not-spots’ in a shopping-centre are far reaching.
Last year, we announced that we had joined forces with Nextivity to alleviate dead zone problems in retail by using Cel-Fi signal boosters to harness the power of near field communications and web-triggering applications.
This new collaboration will alleviate all dead spot, low data throughput, dropped call challenges, and the lost revenue opportunities and operational inefficiencies experienced as a result. Pan RF will integrate Cel-Fi boosters as part of its growing portfolio of in-building coverage solutions.
The retail and grocery sectors are undergoing a seismic change as a result of the digitisation of shopping and the dramatic shift in consumer purchasing behaviour patterns. Store owners are under constant pressure to preserve profit margins, retain their market share and keep the short attention span of tech-savvy shoppers through the deployment of engaging applications to encourage point of decision (PoD) purchasing. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is by providing a reliable mobile coverage infrastructure.
“Delivering high speed coverage networks expected in retail environments has always been challenging due to design architectures, basement locations and the materials used. Glass and metals, which are prevalent in fitouts, are the ultimate mobile signal blockers.” Says Colin Abrey, VP Channel Sales, EMEA. “The only way around the problem is to take the outdoor signal indoors using cellular enhancers like the Cel-Fi product range.”
The use of signal booster technology to resolve poor coverage problems has historically been severely hampered by the MNOs and the regulation, which made their deployment both expensive and complex. A recent relaxation in laws governing their usage, however, means retailers can take full advantage of signal booster systems to improve mobile coverage, so long as the system they use is fully compliant with Ofcom’s repeater licence exempt specification. Cel-Fi by Nextivity is the only product range in the UK that fully satisfies the full list of requirements, therefore legal to use on all 3G and 4G mobile networks.
“70% of instore purchases are made at the point of decision,” explains Ross Hulley, Managing Director of Pan RF. “By providing seamless connectivity, not only can shoppers interact with technologies like lift and learn or QR codes, thereby encouraging longer dwell times instore and higher spending rates as a result, retailers themselves can benefit from applications such as targeted advertising messages based on location based services, thus increasing brand loyalty and maintaining the bottom line.”
Building connectivity to boost the customer experience
Pan RF is passionate about solving and tailoring wireless solutions to enable full coverage in large buildings.
In an ideal world, our customers contact us pre-build and in the design stages, so that together we can build the most effective and connected system available. That said, there are shopping centres dotted across the country that need upgrading and Pan RF is ready to connect, when they are.