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Singtel eyes retailers with enterprise 5G offerings

Singtel teams up with Apple’s enterprise solution partners to drive 5G adoption among retailers with industry-specific offerings aimed at improving retail operations and customer experience

Singtel is working with Apple’s enterprise solution partners to deliver a slew of 5G-enabled offerings for retailers that take advantage of its Paragon multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform.

The offerings will leverage the capabilities of Apple’s iPhone and iPad to help retailers streamline backend operations, such as inventory management, and improve customer experience through technologies such as augmented reality (AR).

During a demonstration at Singtel’s smart retail showcase, Zuhlke, a Swiss technology service provider, showed how an iPhone equipped with barcode scanning software from Scandit, a data capture specialist, can be used to conduct stocktaking in a manner as efficient as using an radio frequency identification (RFID) scanner.

The same device can also be used by consumers to scan items on a retail shelf, with the availability of specific items displayed on the screen using AR.

Another application involves the use of the iPhone 14 Pro’s Lidar (light detection and ranging) 3D scanning capabilities to map the layout of a physical store and create a digital twin of the store.

Developed by Dabton, a Singapore technology service provider, and Matterport, which specialises in spatial and digital twin technology, the application leverages Apple technologies such as CoreML for machine learning and ARKit, enabling retailers to provide an immersive experience for consumers akin to shopping in a physical store.

Dennis Wong, Singtel’s vice-president of enterprise 5G and platforms, noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has motivated retailers to become more innovative in engaging with customers, both online and through physical in-store experiences, driving retail enterprises to seek technology solutions to remain relevant and profitable.

“Retailers also continue to face common issues like figuring out how to attract customers with unique and personalised shopping experiences, increase customer engagement and retention, and improve productivity in a tight labour market, among others.

“With this showcase, enterprises can leverage Singtel’s high-speed connectivity and ultra-low latency 5G network and MEC solutions like Paragon, Apple products and partner technologies to explore innovative solutions that they can apply in their physical or online stores to help them differentiate themselves from the competition and grow their business in a digital economy,” he added.

Computer Weekly understands that Singtel’s new retail offerings are aimed at larger retailers who will be able to sign up for bundles comprising Apple hardware, applications, connectivity and implementation services for a monthly fee. A systems integrator could also be roped in to support retailers with more complex requirements.

Separately, Singtel announced that it will be giving consumers an opportunity to experience a 5G-enabled musical performance, livestreamed from a train cabin on the North-South line on Singapore’s mass rapid transit (MRT) system.

To be held on 23 February 2023, the performance will feature local band, Sobs, performing popular indie rock songs which will be transmitted over Singtel’s social media platforms from 17 metres underground via Singtel’s 5G network.

The event is part of a larger six-week campaign involving content across various MRT lines and Singtel’s social media channels to drive awareness of Singtel 5G’s capabilities and benefits to consumers.

Read more about 5G in APAC

  • The number of 5G connections in APAC will grow to more than 400 million by 2025, but a usage gap due to the lack of digital skills and affordability will still exist.
  • India’s spectrum auction marks the start of larger scale deployments of 5G in the subcontinent, but telcos will need to find a way to address high infrastructure costs and monetise their investments.
  • 5G adoption in Australia is taking place in the industrial arena and other sectors, but telcos will need to transform themselves and overcome cost challenges to drive wider adoption.
  • Singapore’s public sector organisations are testing the use of 5G connectivity to remotely operate an autonomous vehicle for road-sweeping, among other use cases.

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