Three non-negotiables for retail connectivity
A focus on retail is important, because there are several factors that perhaps matter more than in more location-tied enterprises.
- First, retailers need flexible and fast setup. Every retail location has a natural lifespan, from a single weekend for a pop-up to a few years in a mall. It’s not the ideal situation to be locked into long-term contracts, nor where you want connectivity constrained by cabling.
- Next, networking that just works. Reliability matters: your customers won’t wait around if a transaction freezes—even five minutes means sales lost forever. Retail connectivity has to be as real-time as a spoken conversation.
- And third, geography-neutral. Wouldn’t it be great if next weekend’s pop-up could connect to your SD-WAN without issues, even at that festival in a rural farmer’s field far from network coverage?
Wireless answers all these use cases. But what kind of wireless?
Secure wireless connections riding public networks
While it might be tempting to go shopping for mobile data hardware (or source it from stock if you are selling tech yourself), there’s a great difference between DIY wireless and what a managed solution can bring.
For example, with a homebrewed setup, you might find “cold spots”: areas where your devices simply can’t connect. Managed solutions—like those from Blue Wireless—make an initial site survey part of the answer, ensuring antenna and router placement serves all your stuff.
And if time is the issue, it shouldn't be. The flexibility of LTE/5G enables your network to be up and running in just a few days, on time for your store opening – no wiring needed, no permits or long-term contracts, no hassle.
And reliability? While it’s 5G wireless, like the phone networks, a managed solution offers guarantees of service availability and speed. And with signal traveling through the air, as opposed to wires, wireless is less prone to physical failures making it ideal for failover services. And that’s backed up by smart hardware: antenna and routers “boost” the public 5G signal from those networks, even if you’re in an out-of-coverage area.
This boosting answers the third challenge: maintaining connectivity in out-of-coverage areas. Blue Wireless installations are delivering for ships 50km from the coastline. Remote mining operations far from population centres. And across chaotic industrial sites where normal 5G would suffer constant blips and drops. So offering wireless connectivity to stores-in-store, pop-ups outside the mall, or EV charging stations along the road in the middle of nowhere is well within the service envelope.
That said, there are some similarities with your phone contract. Blue Wireless LTE/5G contracts are month-to-month, letting you match your wireless capacity to your physical network even if you’re opening and closing hundreds of locations a year. Without cabling, you can bring connectivity to wherever it’s needed—fast. And because it makes use of public networks, it can scale from the largest retail group to the humblest taco truck. (Mmmm, tacos.)
Wireless connectivity fit for the future
But perhaps the greatest benefit is more technical. 5G standards are a well-established technology roadmap agreed on worldwide, meaning the hardware and software—in Blue Wireless’s case, top-rated tools from Cradlepoint and Poynting—won’t leave you in the lurch in five years. When you decide your business needs self-help kiosks, IoT deployments, or smart signage trumpeting your brand via phone alerts, the connectivity infrastructure is ready today. Even if you’re a loooong way from network coverage.
Conclusion: omnichannel, omnipresent, omni-useful
In summary, retail has come a long way from the corner shop—and wireless LTE/5G lets you take full advantage of it with no cables interrupting your customer’s experience. Buildings are moveable feasts; brand values can be projected far beyond the aisles; and experiential marketing enables virtual brand-building, out-of-location events, and national-scale promotions, in a connected customer experience that doesn’t stop at the store exit.
It’s all possible with a managed wireless solution.
Would you like to learn more? Check out our retail solutions or let's talk.