Retail is undergoing a massive evolution, the speed and scope of which we have never seen before. Traditional and non-traditional competition is causing a complete reevaluation of the business model. Consumers armed with smartphones have more information and demand everything from best pricing to immediate product availability. Retailers are moving to smaller format stores, embracing omni-channel, reducing costs and investing heavily in technology.
Recently, we have seen virtually every major retailer undertake or re-evaluate a next generation wireless initiative. Why? The role of the wireless network is quickly shifting from application-specific enabler to critical core infrastructure that will support virtually all technologies.
During the evaluation phase of a wireless initiative, requirements may change many times as the many stakeholders and applications evolve. The in-store wireless network will most often drive a need for increased network bandwidth and a complete reevaluation of the WAN. In the planning process, it is worthwhile to consider the key drivers of wireless networks, the benefits of these systems, and how they are revolutionizing retail operations. With this in mind, retailers can ensure initial planning and deployment to support the demand for wireless today as well as better prepare for upgrade and expansion as new technologies are added over time.