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Five challenges 5G can solve for your SME


54% of SME leaders are more excited by 5G than any other new enterprise technology – as found in a recent Vodafone study.[1] And those expectations are a lot to live up to.

After all, smaller businesses account for more than 99% of all UK private sector business, as well as contributing £2.2 trillion to the UK economy — that’s a monumental 52% of the private sector’s turnover.[2]

But why are Britain’s small businesses so excited about 5G?

When it comes to SMEs, there are particular challenges that are unique or felt particularly keenly, which can at times seem unbeatable. 5G has the potential to minimise some of the challenges faced by small and medium sized businesses, evening the playing field more than ever before.

We’ve rounded up five of the biggest challenges faced by SMEs to show you how having the power of 5G on your side can help you battle through to better business processes, fight for frictionless remote working and champion your employees.

Ready? Let’s go…


  1. Your SME challenge: Stretched IT resources

    Under-resourced IT affects many SMEs,[3] with cost being the main barrier to the adoption of new technology in most cases.[4] Not being able to keep systems up-to-date, network downtime and server failures (to name a few) can cause real headaches – resulting in lost profit and wasted hours.

    Our 5G solution: 5G supports cloud-based solutions

    Cloud storage can help your business by providing secure, instant access to your data wherever you are, from any device. This can give you seamless control over your systems or apps, making them easier to manage.

    And, crucially, access to 5G means accelerated access to cloud computing. The lower lag time (or latency) of 5G creates a smoother and more efficient IT infrastructure.

  2. Your SME challenge: Limited budgets to spend on improvements

    Emerging technology can have expensive set-up and training costs. As SMEs don’t often have mountains of budget to spare, each investment needs to really count.

    Our 5G solution: Make more efficiencies in your business

    By enabling efficiencies through 5G you can allocate saved budget and resource to other important areas, such as marketing or new business.

    For example, with blink-of-an-eye downloads, you’ll be able to get files and keep working without interruption, share entire media-rich projects on your phone, or stream video without buffering. All of these time-savers add up, boosting employee efficiency and productivity.

  3. Your SME challenge: Fluid collaboration

    An unreliable network can spell disaster for a small business in need of all hands on deck during tight turnarounds. The pressure is on to win pitches, and you need to collaborate seamlessly.

    Our 5G solution: Real-time, quality connections

    Connectivity has been key to start-ups’ success, with 68% crediting connectivity technology with their growth to date – and 71% admitting they can’t afford for it to fail.[5]

    Connectivity has been key to start-ups’ success, with 68% crediting connectivity technology with their growth to date – and 71% admitting they can’t afford for it to fail.

    Go Beyond, Vodafone, 2019

    And with fewer staff wearing more hats, it’s likely that employees will need to work remotely for significant amounts of time. Faster, more reliable 5G connectivity enables employees to seamlessly and securely work from the cloud or connect to their network, wherever they are, so they are always on the same page as other colleagues in the office.

  4. Your SME challenge: Competing on customer experience

    60% believe that 5G can help smaller, younger businesses to close the gap on more established rivals.[6] And more specifically, three quarters (76%) agree that better connectivity gives businesses an advantage over the competition, and that it’s strategically important to their organisation (71%).

    Our 5G solution: Use 5G to retain and gain new customers

    5G allows you to multitask a lot more effectively to keep up with varied customer demands. Low lag times (latency) translate to doing business without disruption, allowing you to communicate in real-time with your customers and react to requests instantly.

    And with 5G you can use data without slowing your download speed; have clearer calls with less background noise; and enjoy slicker, sharper video conferencing without buffering.

  5. Your SME challenge: Limited bandwidth

    Businesses today need to work with ever-increasing volumes of data at faster speeds. Half of SME leaders believe that their current network solutions are a bottleneck for the business and 63% wish their solution was smarter and could be upgraded more quickly.[7]

    Our 5G solution: Increased bandwidth

    The 5G network has the high capacity and low latency to connect more devices across operations – fuelling greater automation and innovation.

    For smaller businesses, where flexibility is key to their processes, 5G is a gamechanger. For example, you can connect up to 64 devices on 5G, with speeds up to 1Gbps with GigaCube. GigaCube also acts as a wireless router that turns the 5G mobile network into high speed Wi-Fi. It requires no wires, installation or complicated setup – perfect for conferences, business fairs and pop-up festivals.

    And with 5G you can use data without slowing your download speed; have clearer calls with less background noise; and enjoy slicker, sharper video conferencing without buffering.


Realising potential

At the Vodafone Digital Innovation Hub in Salford, start-ups can gain access to 5G, and technologies like IoT or high-speed fibre. See for yourself how Vodafone is empowering small businesses with the technologies and expertise to help turn their ideas into reality.

Here at Vodafone, we want all businesses to benefit from 5G technology, including entrepreneurial small businesses like yours. Push your business further, and discover more about the benefits of 5G for your SME or start-up.

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  1. Go Beyond, Vodafone, 2019,
  2. National Statistics, Business Population estimates for the UK and Regions 2019, 2019,
  3. Unleashed Software, Looking Ahead: Four Key Challenges For SMEs In 2018,
  4. The Telegraph, What’s occupying British SMEs?, 2019,
  5. Go Beyond, Vodafone, 2019,
  6. Go Beyond, Vodafone, 2019,
  7. Go Beyond, Vodafone, 2019,

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