To support retailers’ growing need to deliver much better bricks-and-clicks strategies, shopping centre owner into is to roll out high quality 4G networks in partnership with Wireless Infrastructure Group (WIG) across 10 of its shopping centres.
The 4G experience complements existing free wifi already found in all intu centres. The 10 intu shopping centres adding 4G are: intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside, intu Metrocentre, intu Braehead and intu Merry Hill, plus prime centres intu Derby, intu Eldon Square, intu Watford, intu Victoria Centre and intu Uxbridge.
intu is employing a distributed antenna system (DAS), owned and managed by WIG, to provide state-of-the-art 4G coverage and capacity. The systems will give customers a consistently high quality signal and superfast mobile internet connection throughout the malls plus food courts as well as, importantly, deep into the anchor stores. The means mobile users will get the best possible call, text and internet experience.
Scott Coates, WIG chief executive, explains: “We know shoppers want to stay connected with friends and family, especially when separated within a shopping centre, and to access retailers’ websites. Delivering this level of consistent 4G coverage in a busy shopping centre venue requires investment in dedicated small cell infrastructure. Our partnership with intu has enabled the largest shopping centre roll out of 4G in the UK and comes as part of our commitment to invest £100m in small cell networks over the next three years.”
The small cell networks deployed by WIG are capable of supporting the licensed frequencies of all the UK mobile network operators, providing significant improvements to wireless utility in the areas they are deployed.
Trevor Pereira, commercial & digital director of intu, adds: “With half the UK population visiting an intu branded shopping centre each year, and over a million customers a day, providing continuous and consistent 4G mobile connections is crucial.”
Customers also benefit from the UK’s largest shopping centre roll out of free-to-use, secure, phone chargers with capacity to handle one million mobile phones per year.