British Land has appointed Red-M Group to develop a wireless operating policy for Meadowhall Centre in Sheffield, one of the UK’s largest and most successful shopping centres.
British Land is one of the first property owners in the country to recognise that wireless technology requires active management if it is to be an asset rather than a liability. With 1.4m sq ft of retail space, 270 tenants and more than 25 million visitors a year, Meadowhall is a dynamic, busy community that would be negatively affected by ad-hoc wireless expansion.
Mark Higgins, British Land’s Head of Retail Technology and Head of I.T. at Meadowhall, 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’ve commissioned Red-M Group to help us harness wireless technology so that our retailers and shoppers can thrive in a modern business environment,” Higgins said. “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. Offering wireless services to customers who, in turn, benefit from an enhanced shopping experience could generate new revenues. Retailers also benefit from wireless technologies through improved, more efficient operations and increased systems flexibility.”
Taking control of Wi-Fi traffic in its airspace allows British Land to minimise the disruption and interference that ad-hoc expansion of wireless infrastructure would cause. All radio systems can interfere with each other, even those in different frequency bands and, where bands are shared, managing the technology will provide recourse in case of interference.
Andrew Barker, Chief Marketing Officer of Red-M Group, said that all public environments should treat wireless technology as the fourth utility along with water, electricity and gas. “Modern ‘always-on’ consumers want mobile access wherever they go, which is why wireless is such a fast growing technology. In the retail environment we have wireless security cameras, location-based marketing, personalised mobile TV, broadband and machine-to-machine communications. With all this wireless activity going on in the air around us, airspace has become a valuable asset that needs to be managed.”
After conducting a wireless audit, Red-M Group will design a spectrum management policy to accommodate requests from retailers and service providers for the installation of wireless systems within Meadowhall. A clear policy to control and manage the use of the wireless spectrum in the shopping centre’s airspace is essential to prevent interference between wireless users and to meet regulatory requirements.
About British Land
British Land is a property investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange, investing in prime, modern properties. The company’s portfolio is valued at £12.5 billion: the majority is directly owned and managed; the balance is held in joint ventures and partnerships. Visit www.britishland.com.
About Red-M Group Ltd
Red-M designs, delivers and manages multi-spectrum wireless infrastructures in challenging environments, for mission-critical applications. The company’s portfolio of services, delivered using a structured approach known as Total Airspace Management (TAM), is underpinned by unique software tools specialist wireless knowledge. Red-M’s TAM approach has been applied for major enterprises, network operators and the public sector. The Red-M Group was created by the merger of Red-M (Communications) Ltd and CDS Ltd, founded in 1999 and 1995 respectively.