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Walmart and Verizon may turn stores into 5G hubs

2020-03-02 17:33 by
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Walmart Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are in discussions to outfit the retailer's stores with antennas and other equipment to create 5G wireless service, a high-profile test of the next-generation networks.

The rollout of 5G services at select Walmart stores would mean faster wireless connectivity for store operations, as well as people living in the surroundings.

The faster wireless data would help Walmart launch digital health services that it only recently started exploring, such as video chats with doctors and real-time medical data. It could also share your medical data with the clinic to auto-register when you arrive at the store and tell staff to restock any products you pick up during your stay.

This isn't guaranteed to take place, although both sides have an incentive to put 5G in stores. For Walmart, this could turn its stores into medical hubs for communities where dedicated clinics (not to mention wired internet providers) are rare. There are 4,700 Walmart stores in the United States, and if the deal is signed, eventually these would be able to attract customers looking for medical treatment along with groceries and clothes.

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