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UK to have first 5G-enabled shopping centre

Sadiyah Ismailjee
27 February 2020

The Square shopping centre in Camberley will become the first fully 5G-enabled retail destination in the UK. The new wireless technology will be available to the shopping centre based on a partnership between Surrey Heath Borough Council and Huawei.

The wireless technology will be powered by the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre. The project will be a testing ground for future tech initiatives in the retail industry. In addition, the use of wireless technology in a retail space will transform the physical retail experience, allowing this sector to progress and compete with the ever growing online shopping market.

Rahim Tafazolli, Director and Founder of the 5G Innovation Centre at the University of Surrey, said: “By providing the cutting-edge technology for the UK’s first fully 5G-enabled shopping centre, we will give Camberley’s retailers a head-start in the race to transform retail for the future. 5G is not just faster phone technology – it opens up a completely new world of ultra-reliable, always-on ways of transforming a connected world of retail."

Jerry Wang, CEO of Huawei UK, added: “5G will open the door for virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and tailored in-store signage and entertainment experiences. It will also allow greater control over how stock levels and the supply chain is managed, improve customer insights and in-store experience for customers when they are shopping.”

The Square is a 460,000 sq ft shopping centre located in Camberley. The retail destination is home to 110 high-street retail brands including River Island, House of Fraser and Next. The shopping centre also attracts over 8 million visitors a year.

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