NEWBURY, UK -- 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:
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 switched on the new Vodafone 5G network in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London. Twelve other towns and cities, including Newbury – the home of Vodafone UK’s technology headquarters – will also see 5G from today with more places going live throughout the year. In addition, Vodafone’s first rural 5G mast on the Isles of Scilly goes live today.
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 Arena 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.”