Meadowhall takes control of its wireless airspace


Meadowhall takes control of its wireless airspace

Antony Savvas

Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield has brought in wireless specialist Red-M to develop a wireless data operating policy to control the access and management of its airspace.

Meadowhall, one of the UK’s biggest shopping centres, says it wants to make sure that the different wireless networks being used by retail tenants and visitors do not interfere with each other.

The move is also designed to help tenants who offer paid-for wireless access to maximise their revenue.

Bluetooth short-range wireless connections on mobile phones and other devices can interfere with connections going over wireless Lan or “WiFi” networks, and different wireless Lan configurations can cause problems for each other in confined spaces.

British Land, which owns the shopping centre, has appointed Red-M to ensure that “ad-hoc wireless expansion doesn’t impact on the shopping centre’s airspace”.

Red-M sells solutions that can control and manage the wireless spectrum channels that users can use. It can also block unauthorised wireless access points.

Mark Higgins, British Land head of retail technology and head of IT, said the company’s first responsibility was to “ensure the health and safety of its retailers and shoppers, and ensure that Meadowhall adheres to wireless-related legislation.

“We want to protect the technology investment that retailers and ourselves have already made at Meadowhall, and maximise the opportunity to use wireless technologies for competitive advantage.

"Retailers also benefit from wireless technologies through improved, more efficient operations and increased systems flexibility.”

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