DALLAS and NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – AT&T and Badger Technologies today announced they will work together to accelerate automation within retail environments by using autonomous robots with 5G wireless networking capabilities.
Badger Technologies, a product division of Jabil, develops robots that empower retailers to improve their operational efficiencies and customer experiences by identifying out-of-stock, mispriced, or misplaced inventory items, as well as identify store hazards. The company said that these “advanced mobile data collection systems can fill major gaps in the collection and sharing of vital in-store data and images, but also can tax a store’s existing Wi-Fi network.”
Low latency, high throughput
As part of the agreement, the AT&T Foundry is testing 5G connectivity with Badger’s robots in a multi-access computing (MEC) environment, with the goal of demonstrating how 5G using millimeter wave spectrum and edge computing could provide Badger and its retail customers with lower latency and high throughput required to process and share the vast amounts of data while also running concurrently with other in-store network applications.
“5G is an important next step to helping ensure shared visibility across critical inventory, POS and operational systems,” said Tim Rowland, CEO of Badger Technologies. “Working with AT&T enables us to better support our retail customers by delivering information faster to increase store efficiencies, improve customer service and boost profits.”
The MEC solutions could also help Badger increase its hyper-local data processing by providing a more private network connection than typically provided with in-store Wi-Fi, AT&T said. “In-building cellular solutions, including 5G and edge computing, are critical drivers of digital transformation for retailers,” said Mo Katibeh, Chief Marketing Officer, AT&T Business. “These technologies will eventually equip robots with both the compute power and lower latency needed to increase revenue, improve the in-store experience, and elevate employees to better assist customers. Badger Technologies’ robots can help retailers make sure they have products in stock and in the right place, increasing customer satisfaction. That leads to increased revenue. That’s the power of data.”
At the end of June 2019, AT&T announced it was deploying 5G connectivity to its 20th city, Las Vegas. Additional cities with mobile 5G service from AT&T include Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, Calif.