Vodafone’s Future Ready 2018 conference
Today was a big day at Vodafone – we made the first live holographic call using 5G at our Future Ready conference in Newbury. Not only that – we launched Techstarter, a new digital innovation £300K award to support socially-driven tech ventures, as well as new initiatives to help students, digital entrepreneurs and our own frontline staff build their digital skills. Find out more below!
Vodafone UK’S first holographic call over 5G:
Yes, you read that right. As part of its 5G trials, Vodafone have conducted the UK’s first live holographic call, marking a significant milestone in UK communications. Using 5G, the call connected our Manchester Hub with our headquarters in Newbury.
It took place in front of a live audience and featured England and Manchester City Women’s Football Captain, Steph Houghton. Steph appeared as a live hologram in Newbury and gave some footballing tips to Iris, a 12-year-old Manchester City and Lionesses fan.
The exchange demonstrated the exciting possibilities that new technology could bring to sport, including remote coaching and training, as well as the opportunity to bring sports fans closer to their idols.
Equipping university students with digital skills: Vodafone Digital Degree
The Vodafone Digital Degree was created to develop digital talent at university level. Vodafone have taken on 16 digital degree apprentices who will be attending the University of Birmingham full-time, studying ‘BSc Computer Science with Digital Technology Partnership’.
They will also receive a salary across the 4-year programme. During their four-year study period, they will complete a 10-week summer placement in their first year and a 12-month industrial placement in their third year.
But what happens when they graduate in 2022? Well they are all guaranteed a role in one of the Vodafone’s digital teams!
Mentoring digital entrepreneurs: Bright Sparks:
The programme focuses on mentoring digital start-ups. Oxford University Innovation have selected 10 digital start-ups to be in the Bright Sparks programme based on their stage of development, enthusiasm of the project and areas of expertise.
Vodafone employees who are selected as mentors will work closely with the start-ups to provide support and expertise areas like strategy and digital marketing.
Helping Vodafone frontline employees re-train as coders: Code Ready:
Code Ready is a new digital skills programme for employees in our retail stores and contact centres who are interested in a digital career. Partnering with Makers, London’s leading software development programme, we’re offering our frontline employees the opportunity to learn to code.
This programme will be fully funded, meaning our employees won’t have to pay to learn the skills that can help shape their digital careers. By the end of the course, the employees will have learnt everything they need to know to become a developer and secure a new job with Vodafone. We’re starting with a pilot, and in 2019 we plan to have an intake of 20-30 employees from our Manchester office.