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Vodafone signals new networking at Ricoh

by Olivia Powell

Vodafone has officially opened the Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

The lounge is an  innovation space that will give businesses in the West Midlands access to digital expertise and an opportunity to experience the latest technologies.

It will contain the latest technology such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed fibre. The opening is part of Vodafone’s creation of 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 experience some of the demonstrations on permanent display, including: a ‘Day in the life of 5G’, which, in collaboration with Ericsson, aims to showcase the impact 5G will have on the sports, automotive and retail industries; a 5G ‘drop goal’ VR experience; and a haptic suit that simulates the feeling of a rugby tackle.

The launch also included talks from relevant professionals: Coventry City Council CEO Martin Reeves spoke about the impact of 5G on businesses and residents, whilst Igor Leprince (chair of WM5G) discussed the potential of 5G on the West Midlands as a whole. There was also a debate on the impact that 5G and other technology will have on the sports industry between former England rugby star James Haskell, Stephen Vaughan (CEO of Wasps Sport) and Scott Petty (CTO at Vodafone).

Anne Sheehan, the director of Vodafone Business UK, commented: “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.”

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