News | 14 Nov 2022

Small businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire now able to unleash the full potential of Vodafone’s 5G

Firms such as a satellite company are already investigating how to use Vodafone's 5G Mobile Private Network in Coventry.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Warwickshire are now able to unlock the benefits of 5G for their businesses after Vodafone installed the technology at the uxplore SME digital support hub at Coventry University. 

Uxplore – a part ERDF funded project – is led by Coventry University, in partnership with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub,Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. Vodafone’s 5G is now giving SMEs from across the region the opportunity to explore the technology to the full, boost their digital connectivity know-how and trial new ideas that could revolutionize the digital society of the future.

In addition, Vodafone has installed a dedicated 5G Mobile Private Network (MPN).  This is an isolated wireless data network dedicated to the customer and offers customers a secure, private network, that is inaccessible by the public, on which to test innovative services.

MPNs tend to be used by large industries in areas such as manufacturing, healthcare, and energy to create dedicated networks that are faster, more stable, and more secure. But a MPN can be used in any environment that has advanced 5G use case requirements, including areas such as smart cities to power intelligent transport systems, autonomous vehicles and robotics. The installation of a 5G MPN at uxplore will ensure the SME businesses using the centre will enjoy uninterrupted 5G so that they can explore its speeds and capacity benefits to the full.

At the recent launch of the hub, Marius Dorobantu, Director of Eterra Space Systems Limited, a satellite communications company based in Coventry, said: “We are preparing to work on a demonstrator of a satellite and, for it to work, we need a base station for the satellite to communicate with. Our plan is to test the base station using the 5G private network system at uxplore and test functionality that way.”

Andrew Stevens, Vodafone’s UK Head of Small Business, explained: “Technology has long been seen as playing an important role in ensuring small businesses remain competitive. However, with a large number not having IT expertise, it can prove difficult for SMEs to keep ahead of the game. Uxplore is using our technology to showcase the benefits that 5G can bring. We’re delighted that Vodafone’s 5G can play a part in supporting SMEs across Warwickshire and look forward to understanding how the technology is supporting the businesses discovering it.”  

Deepak Farmah, Head of Industrial Innovation at Coventry University, says he is delighted to support local businesses adapting their services to harness digital connectivity. “The digital hub is the prime location for innovation, where you can explore how 5G connectivity will benefit your business and use our space to plan and prepare for the inevitable digital future.” 

5G: Everything you need to know

If you have questions about 5G, then our regularly updated guide has the answers.

Uxplore is just the latest demonstration of Vodafone’s commitment to supporting SMEs in the UK. The company has also developed V-Hub, which offers free expert guidance, knowledge, and a constantly evolving range of tools and training alongside free one-to-one advice with an adviser; and business connected in partnership with Enterprise Nation, Cisco, and Samsung, which is helping 150,000 SMEs adopt technology, boost digital skills, and stay safe online.

A recent report by Vodafone found that SMEs shouldn’t be treated as a homogenous group by large businesses since they are as vibrant, diverse, and complex as many of the challenges they face. The SMEs Like Me report also highlighted the importance of SMEs seeking advice and support in order to stay afloat.

Learn more, including how to book a slot to use the 5G MPN at uxplore and to speak to an advisor.

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