Vodafone looks to woo business as it switches on 5G network
Vodafone today switched on its 5G network in seven cities across the UK, rolling out a new range of plans in a bid to attract business customers.
Vodafone is the second mobile provider to roll out the high-speed network in the UK, following EE’s launch at the end of May.
Read more: Vodafone taps up Onecom for partner deal
But Vodafone has unveiled a string of business-focused plans as it looks to stake its claim as a leader in the corporate market.
Under the firm’s new business unlimited plans, customers will be able to access unlimited data and 5G for the same price as 4G.
The new schemes will initially be available to small and medium-sized business customers only, but the firm plans to expand the portfolio to larger organisations in the coming months.
Speaking at a launch event in London, Vodafone UK business director Anne Sheehan said: “5G is absolutely game-changing for businesses. We’re going to do absolutely everything we can to help businesses get their hands on 5G.”
“We’re reinventing ourselves to become their go-to digital partner,” she added.
Earlier this year Vodafone revealed it would go ahead with plans to use equipment made by controversial Chinese tech firm Huawei in non-core parts of its network.
The US has moved to ban Huawei, but it is not yet clear whether the government will place restrictions on the Chinese firm.
However, both Vodafone and EE have ditched Huawei smartphones from their 5G launches.
Vodafone also unveiled new plans for consumers and said it will become the first provider to offer 5G roaming in four European cities this summer.
The launch comes at a challenging time for the FTSE 100 firm, which has slashed its dividend due to hefty costs linked to 5G investment.
Telecoms analyst Paolo Pescatore said: “This should appease investors, but the consumer business model for 5G is still unproven and further investment is needed to rollout costly 5G networks.”
Read more: EE and Vodafone ditch Huawei devices from summer 5G rollout
Vodafone customers with 5G-enabled phones will now be able to access the network in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool.
Three is set to be the next provider to switch on 5G, with the launch expected to take place in August.