Tech News: The reason why Walmart wants Verizon's 5G service in its stores is very timely

We are so far ahead in the 5G game that it is impossible to imagine all the new technologies and industries that will be created thanks to the higher data rates and lower latency that will emerge wirelessly in the next generation. Driverless vehicles appear to be on that list, but who knows what the future will bring. Today, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Verizon, the country’s largest mobile operator, is talking to Walmart, the country’s largest retailer, to provide 5G service in select Walmart stores.

The plan invites Verizon to equip a number of Walmart stores with 5G antennas this year to help connect open clinics in those locations. In addition, Verizon’s 5G signal would help in-store shoppers gain access to the next generation of wireless connectivity and could also provide 5G service to the communities served by those stores. It is all part of Walmart’s attempt to turn its 4,700 American locations into centers where people can seek health care, medical treatment and more.

Verizon’s mmWave 5G signals offer the low latency needed for this plan to work

Verizon insists on using the mmWave spectrum to build its 5G network. This has advantages and disadvantages compared to the way T-Mobile builds its network. The latter used its 600MHz low band spectrum, several mmWave properties and adds the 2.5 GHz mid band waves it receives from Sprint in the merger. As the low-band spectrum travels beyond mmWave and penetrates structures more easily, T-Mobile was able to launch the first new generation network from coast to coast in the states. With the combination of low, medium and ultra-high band signals, T-Mobile will be able to better serve American Americans with 5G.

The disadvantage of T-Mobile is that mmWave provides the fastest 5G signals and can handle a larger capacity than the low band spectrum. It also has a lower latency. Since these signals don’t travel that far or the structures don’t penetrate well, Verizon needs some time to cover the entire country with its 5G signals. Verizon appears to be interested in an auction of the C band’s mid-band spectrum that the FCC plans to hold before the end of this year, so that Big Red may have plans to speed things up.

If all goes well, Walmart Verizon includes 5G connectivity in all stores where it plans to host health clinics; two stores in Georgia added health clinics last year and this appears to be the first pair to be connected to Verizon’s 5G signals. Verizon’s 5G service can speed up communication with the patient’s doctor through video streams via a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet. It can also help the clinic quickly receive important medical documentation about a patient from the clinic, including doctor’s notes, radiographs, MRIs and CT scans.

According daily report, Walmart buyers would install an app on their phone that would contain their medical information. When each customer arrives at the local store, the application registers them at the clinic. After the consultation, the buyer took orders ordered from the Walmart pharmacy and also bought groceries and other items. The 5G network can also send data for store alert management, if the items in the customer’s shopping cart need to be re-stocked or re-ordered from the supplier. While part of this can be treated with 4G LTE signals, the low latency with mmWave 5G signals would allow a doctor in an outside office to see the results of a patient being tested at a Walmart clinic in real time. These tests may include an electrocardiogram (ECG) that looks for abnormal heart rhythms.

Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon told investors at a meeting in February that “health services seem to be a great opportunity for him.” He also said that Walmart could offer cheap health care “in communities where health care is insufficient and out of reach for many.” This is certainly an important topic, with the presidential election eight months from now. At worst, you have an incumbent who wants to dismantle the plan that most American consumers today use to pay for healthcare, and you have a pioneer for the counterpart whose Medicaid mantra is for everyone. And with the corona virus that is sure to spread in the U.S., Walmart may have a reason to accelerate its plans.