Verizon is trying to help a number of businesses in Hoboken, New Jersey, by providing them with 5G hotspots and compatible devices that will enable them to take advantage of 5G-enabled business benefits such as digital inventory, immersive shopping experiences, and augmented reality (AR) product previews.
Verizon has partnered with TechUnited:NJ – an organization set up to help empower entrepreneurs and innovators in the New Jersey area – to create the “5G Impact Challenge”, which aims to provide a number of small businesses with new ways to use 5G technology, from solving operational pain points to improving the shopping experience for customers.
"In times like these, the world leans on technology to help us stay connected,” said TJ Fox, president of business markets at Verizon. “This is especially true for our local communities and retail shops, which is why Verizon has joined in this effort to show small businesses how 5G connectivity can open the door to new and immersive solutions as a way to interact with customers."
TechUnited worked with Verizon to select five small businesses within Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband mobility service footprint.
“Without the help of technology, we wouldn’t still be in business today,” said Dominic Yun, owner of SOHO Flower & Garden. “Prior to COVID, we had a website but didn’t do online sales. Thankfully, we were able to quickly shift to online orders which helped us stay afloat. Now we’re doing in store sales again, but we still need to monitor how many people are in the store at a time. We’re thankful Verizon and TechUnited are listening to our challenges and helping us figure out how we can use 5G to solve them.”
5G Impact Challenge
The companies selected for the “5G Impact Challenge” received Inseego MiFi M2100 5G hotspots and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G phones, as well as access to Verizon’s suite of small business services.
“By offering our customers 5G guest WiFi, we’re hoping they’ll sit and work remotely and be able to entertain themselves and their kids by easily streaming video content and games,” said Jess Dyer, owner of Joey No Nuts. “Verizon and TechUnited have been a huge help in speeding up transactions, connecting us with other small businesses in the area, and helping us find new ways to engage and attract customers.”
One of the most innovative 5G use cases in the scheme involved giving visitors to SOHO Flower & Garden the opportunity to view flowers in an augmented reality environment, so they could see how they were going to look before deciding to purchase them.
“Imagine holding a bouquet of flowers in your hands using augmented reality before you order it or walking by a real estate store window and virtually stepping into the home right there on your phone,” said Nicki Palmer, chief product officer at Verizon. “5G’s massive bandwidth, super-fast speeds and low latency are providing these businesses with greater connectivity and 5G guest WiFi today. We’re so excited to help them bounce back by using the power of 5G to create new transformational experiences that can increase customer engagement while allowing them to stay safe and practice social distancing.”
According to Verizon’s Small Business Recovery survey, more than half of small businesses are worried about staying afloat financially following the coronavirus pandemic, and the hope is that 5G could help.
“I’m so proud to have TechUnited team up with Verizon to provide technology-based solutions at such a critical time for small businesses,” said Aaron Price, CEO of TechUnited. “As technology continues to evolve to help those that have been devastated by the pandemic, small businesses should know that they can count on TechUnited and Verizon to bring them solutions to rebuild and grow.”
Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is currently available in parts of 55 cities, including Hoboken, NJ.