Vodafone today officially opened the Vodafone Business Lounge at Ricoh Arena – an innovation space to give businesses in the West Midlands access to digital expertise and an opportunity to experience the latest game-changing technologies.
The Vodafone Business Lounge will provide an opportunity for businesses to collaborate and innovate and to experience technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed fibre. The news is part of Vodafone’s commitment to creating technology centres across the UK, including the recently opened Digital Innovation Hub in MediaCityUK, Salford, as well as its multi-billion network investment in 5G.
At the launch, guests were able to try some of the demos on permanent display at the Vodafone Business Lounge, including: a ‘Day in the life of 5G’ showcasing the impact 5G will have on the sports, retail and automotive industries, in collaboration with Ericsson; a 5G ‘drop goal’ VR experience; and a haptic suit that simulates the feeling of a rugby tackle.
Coventry City Council CEO Martin Reeves spoke about the impact of 5G on Coventry businesses and residents, whilst Igor Leprince (chair of WM5G) discussed the potential of 5G on the West Midlands as a whole. Former England rugby star James Haskell, Stephen Vaughan (CEO of Wasps Sport) and Scott Petty (CTO at Vodafone) debated the impact technology, and specifically 5G, will have on the sports industry.
Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business UK, said: “Our customers can already access the Vodafone 5G network in 15 towns and cities across the UK – including Birmingham and Wolverhampton – and at key business hot-spots across the West Midlands like Birmingham Airport and the NEC. The Vodafone Business Lounge will enable West Midlands businesses to experience the game-changing potential of 5G and foster innovation and partnerships. With 5G, we can help turn their vision into reality.”
Councillor Richard Brown, a Digital Champion at Coventry City Council, said: “Technological advances are bringing so many benefits for businesses and consumers and we’re delighted Vodafone continues to invest in Coventry to enable the city to be at the forefront of these exciting times. We want this region to be a technology hub; and we hope such investment will have a significant impact on the local economy and attract businesses and jobs to the area.”
Former Wasps and England star James Haskell commented: “Technology has played a key role in both the sporting and business aspects of my life. The Vodafone Business Lounge is a great opportunity for local organisations to try new technologies. I’m particularly excited to see how 5G can enable the creation of new and compelling experiences for fans.”
Stephen Vaughan, Chief Executive (Sports) at Wasps Group, said: “Unveiling the Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena reinforces the exciting digital journey that we are on with Vodafone. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of visitor experience at the arena with 5G game-changing technology.”
Research launched today by Vodafone highlights the impact 5G will have on the world of sport. More than three quarters of business leaders from sports organisations said improving fan engagement – and delivering new and innovative fan experiences – will be key to future success; and that 5G, more than any other technology, will drive change and enable such experiences.