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Vodafone: 5G Set to Revolutionise the Sports Industry

- Research suggests fan experience, club operations and player performance will benefit

COVENTRY, England, Oct. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --Research launched today by Vodafone, reveals that more than three quarters of business leaders from sports organisations see improving fan engagement – and delivering new and innovative fan experiences - as key to future success. The research suggests that 5G, more than any other technology, will drive change and enable such experiences.

Former England Rugby player James Haskell takes a Virtual Reality drop kick at the opening of the Vodafone Business Lounge, Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

The research - released at the official opening of the Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena, home of Wasps Rugby and Netball Club's in Coventry - sought the views of business decision-makers in the sports sector across the UK. Over three quarters (76 per cent) confirm their organisation will use 5G as a platform for innovation, with 74 per cent believing it will underpin efforts to meet rising fan expectations.

It went on to reveal that 76 per cent believe 5G will have a bigger impact on fan experiences than 4G. The same proportion suggest 5G will enable them to improve fan engagement with applications such as live-streaming video, mixed reality experiences and real-time access to information reinventing the fan experience both for those at the event or watching elsewhere.

Anne Sheehan, Director, Vodafone Business UK, said: "Sport is an area where 5G technology will have a huge impact. It has the potential to transform the fan experience; change the way sports organisations operate, open up new revenue opportunities; and help athletes improve their fitness and training programmes. Our holographic call with Steph Houghton last year was a great example of how technology can be used to bring fans closer to the action and give them experiences that were previously out of reach."

Alongside fan experiences, sports leaders highlight innovation (30 per cent), player performance (30 per cent) and talent (27 per cent) as their key concerns. However, while 78 per cent believe the sports sector drives incredible innovation, 70 per cent believe it is behind other industry sectors in adopting new technology.

Anne added: "It is hugely encouraging that a remarkable 80 per cent of sports organisations believe 5G will underpin how they run their companies. We want to help organisations understand the potential of 5G and benefit from its speed, responsiveness and reliability. We think this technology is a game-changer for businesses, the economy and the UK as a whole."

The Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry is an innovation space to give businesses in the West Midlands access to digital expertise and an opportunity to experience the latest technologies such as 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and high-speed fibre. This news is part of Vodafone's ongoing commitment to creating technology centres across the UK – including the recently opened Digital Innovation Hub in MediaCityUK, Salford – and its multi-billion network investment in 5G.

For further resources and information on 5G, please visit: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/business/5g

About the research

The survey was conducted by independent consultancy Censuswide on behalf of Vodafone. 250 sports sector business decision-makers in the UK were surveyed in September 2019.

About the Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Vodafone Business Lounge at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry - an innovation space to give businesses in the West Midlands access to digital expertise and an opportunity to experience the latest game-changing technologies. 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.

About Vodafone

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line, broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT). We employ around 11,000 people across the UK, and operate more than 400 retail stores nationwide.

Having made the UK's first mobile phone call and sent the first text, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK's first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. Today we serve over 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%. Our customers voted us the UK's Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, we are rolling out full fibre broadband across 10 cities in partnership with CityFibre, reaching one million homes and business by 2021.

Our ReConnect programme is supporting women and men back into work after a career break, our IoT technology is working to create a low-carbon society and our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families across the UK to navigate the online world safely. For two years running, we have been named a Top 100 Employer by Stonewall.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world's largest telecommunications companies, with mobile operations in 24 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 43 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk

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