- Vodafone is switching on its 5G network and bringing 5G to more places than any other network.
- 5G live in seven UK cities today; 27 cities in total across Europe. 5G roaming in four countries over the summer.
- Vodafone Business Unlimited plans offer ‘Unlimited data’ and 5G at same price as 4G.
- Vodafone extends ‘Add Ons’ portfolio and announces digital marketplace.
- Vodafone 5G network officially switched on by racing world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Vodafone today switched on its 5G network in seven cities across the UK and announced plans to offer Vodafone Business Unlimited – a series of new plans that give business customers access to ‘Unlimited data’ and 5G at the same price as 4G. Vodafone also becomes the first UK provider to offer 5G roaming in four European countries over the summer.
Customer mobile data usage is already increasing at a rate of 50% year-on-year. This usage is predicted to grow as 5G brings WiFi-like speeds on the go, enabling people and applications to interact, seamlessly, over the mobile network with no ‘lag’ or delay. To enable business customers to take full advantage of 5G, Vodafone Business Unlimited plans include 5G and unlimited data with prices starting at £19.16 per month excl. VAT. The packages include:
- Business Unlimited Lite is perfect for a small business wanting reliable email and internet browsing as well as social media to engage with their customers from just £19.16/month excl. VAT.
- Business Unlimited is ideal for professional services such as an estate agent or marketing consultant wishing to use Google Maps to get around or upload and download larger files, images and video from £21.66/month excl. VAT.
- Business Unlimited Max is the ultimate choice for businesses providing unlimited data and the fastest 5G available plus Vodafone’s best-in-class roaming offer, all from £25.00/month excl. VAT.
Vodafone Business Unlimited is available to Soho and SME customers initially. Vodafone will expand its Business Unlimited portfolio in the coming months to enable businesses of all sizes to benefit from unlimited 5G and 4G.
To complement Business Unlimited, Vodafone’s popular Business ‘Add Ons’ portfolio will become available to its SME customers in addition to Soho businesses. These include a virtual landline proposition One Net Anywhere, four-hour device replacement with Rapid Insurance, Paypal Here, Device Support, Prime Contact and Business Support.
Vodafone will also launch a digital marketplace later in the year. It will enable small businesses to purchase productivity and security apps direct and pay for them via their monthly mobile bill.
Anne Sheehan, Business Director of Vodafone UK, commented: “Our Soho and SME customers tell us they see their data allowance as a data limit. Today, we are removing this constraint. Vodafone Business Unlimited and Business Add-Ons will provide everything businesses need to thrive, including connectivity, data, apps, services and support. It is part of our commitment to be the go-to Digital Partner for UK businesses.”
Formula 1 Five-Time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, officially opened Vodafone’s new 5G network. As a British sporting icon, tech fan, gaming enthusiast, global roamer and someone synonymous with speed, Lewis was the natural choice to switch on the Vodafone 5G network. He will act as a 5G ambassador for Vodafone, helping to bring to life the potential of 5G to be a real game-changer.
The UK is leading the way in adopting 5G, with Vodafone the first operator to name an official switch-on date. Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London will be among the first cities in the world to receive 5G – the new super-fast, highly responsive mobile technology. Birkenhead, Blackpool, Bournemouth, Guildford, Newbury, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Warrington and Wolverhampton will follow later this year.
5G will help support the adoption of many new technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics, connected cities and self-driving cars with many industries – from automotive to financial services, entertainment and media to health – set to benefit.
There is growing anticipation for 5G within the business community. 60% of start-ups believe that 5G will help them compete against more established rivals. A recent Vodafone report reveals that more than half (56%) expect it to change the way they operate their business while 54% are more excited by 5G than any other new enterprise technology. A fifth (20%) think that 5G represents the single biggest opportunity of all current and developing technologies.
Today’s switch on was marked with the UK’s first haptic transfer over 5G highlighting its transformational potential. Two players from Wasps rugby team were able to run a training session despite being more than 100 miles apart. The impact of a rugby tackle made by Will Rowlands at the Ricoh stadium in Coventry was transferred via 5G to teammate Juan de Jongh on stage in London. Juan, in a specially developed haptic Tesla suit, was able to feel the force of the tackle in real time thanks to Vodafone’s high speed and super low latency 5G. Vodafone Business recently announced a new sponsorship and technology deal with Wasps rugby and netball teams.
Anne Sheehan added: “5G is a game-changer for the economy and UK businesses. We are committed to helping our customers take advantage of this technology by making it widely available in the UK and through roaming. We want to help UK businesses become global leaders and 5G will play an important role in achieving that aim.”
The Vodafone Reinvent conference also featured a technology showcase – for more details, see Note to Editors.
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 with up to fifty employees
Note to Editors:
Details on pricing for Business Unlimited*:
*All prices exclude VAT. Insurance and Device Support only available with handset plans, not available with SIM Only.
25GB Roaming fair usage policy on Unlimited plans. No more data outside of bundle on Red plans. Unlimited data: available on Unlimited Lite Plan (max download/upload speed of 2Mps), Unlimited Plan (max download/upload speeds of 10Mps) & Unlimited Max Plan. Coverage can vary by a number of factors. Terms at www.vodafone.co.uk/terms
A range of demos highlighted potential uses of 5G and IoT. They include:
- The virtual reality fan experience: brought to life how 5G will transform sport and allow fans to get closer to the action. Fans will be able to connect, interact and engage with their favourite sports stars or teams like never before.
- Revolutionising the utilities sector: a Narrow Band IoT solution provides a more accurate way of identifying and preventing leaks, helping water companies meet important regulatory and environmental standards.
- Smart training for healthcare professionals: leveraging immersive virtual reality training technology, powered by Vodafone connectivity, healthcare professionals can become better prepared for high-risk, life or death situations.
- Vertical farming for future food production: LettUs Grow show-cased its aeroponic technology and farm management software for indoor and vertical farms. Its products and services deliver higher crop yields and reduce environmental impact as they use 95% less water than traditional agriculture methods.
- Connected coffee machine: powered by Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the connected coffee machine lets users know at a glance if stocks are running low. It also indicates if there is a problem that needs fixing, and how much energy it is using.
- Improving the quality of wine with IoT: Vodafone has worked with Spanish wine producer Bodegas Emilio Moro to create a connected vineyard. Combining Narrow Band Internet of Things technology with satellite imagery and climatic sensor stations, the vineyard can manage its crops more effectively, while preserving winemaking traditions.