Within the headquarters of our Swiss operator, Sunrise, a retail store has become the latest setting to showcase our private 5G Standalone (SA) innovation by transforming into a checkout-free, ‘Grab and Go’ shopping experience. 

The hybrid Mobile Private Network (MPN) delivers the store of the future by leveraging network slicing, local edge computing, and an AI-based computer vision application.

Video feeds of the store are captured by 5G SA cameras which use a private slice of our 5G public network to transmit the livestream footage to a local edge server with ultra-reliable low latency. Meanwhile, an AI-enabled computer vision programme analyses the footage in real-time to identify products picked up from the store shelf. The result: customers experience a hassle-free shopping trip without physical check-out or billing, as their virtual shopping basket is automatically updated as they shop.

By using 5G technology for this hybrid MPN pilot, we have been able to successfully test how setting up a cashier-less retail store could be made easier and more flexible. Wireless data transmission removes the need for physical data links to camera and sensor equipment.

With this proof-of-concept, we’re also showcasing how our 5G SA network slicing has the capacity to handle high volumes of data in real-time and with minimal latency. Through network slicing, we make use of our existing public infrastructure to reduce costs for enterprises deploying an MPN, reserving a portion of the network for their specific use and applications – at optimal performance. It could be compared to a dedicated lane on a very busy highway that will be used for a specific case.

How our mobile innovation trials are transforming digital operations across industries

Our Grab and Go shop’s proof of concept highlights how MPNs enable digital transformation, making operations more efficient and intelligent with the use of data, all while improving the customer experience.

Our learnings from this trial in Zurich build on the valuable experience gained in other pilots, including our work with our Belgian operator, Telenet, and their 5G drone pilot in the Port of Antwerp earlier this year. In that trial, our Belgian team used drones combined with 5G, cloud, edge computing and AI technology to make major improvements to safety and efficiency in the global shipping industry.

We’re continuing to build on our MPN offerings with a focus on technologies that have the potential to transform enterprises across all industry sectors.

Pushing innovative solutions off the drawing board and into the real world gives us a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs and how we can support them. With these insights, we’re leveraging the full capabilities of our 5G network and keeping cloud and edge computing technology at the heart of our strategy.