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Meadowhall takes control of wireless airspace

Antony Savvas

Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield has enlisted 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 the different wireless networks being used by retail tenants and visitors do not interfere with each other.

The move is also designed to ensure tenants who offer paid-for wireless access can maximise their revenue, said Meadowhall.

Bluetooth short-range wireless connections on mobile phones and other devices can interfere with connections through wireless Lan or WiFi networks, for instance, and different wireless Lan configurations can cause problems for each other when operated in confined spaces.

British Land, which owns the shopping centre, said it had appointed Red-M to make sure that "ad-hoc wireless expansion does not impact on the shopping centre's air space".

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

Mark Higgins, British Land's 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".

He added, "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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