- AT&T, Ericsson, Intel and Warner Bros. have collaborated on a mixed-reality "Batman" experience that demonstrates the power of high-speed 5G mobile networks. The companies are demonstrating the technology at MWC19 Barcelona with an experience that uses augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), per an announcement.
- Justin Herz, executive vice president of digital product, platform and strategy at Warner Bros., said the movie studio is looking at ways that 5G can bring location-based entertainment to fans. Unlike VR experiences that are tethered to a cable, the demonstration shows how lightweight devices will work with 5G.
- The demonstration runs on a 5G network powered by Ericsson's radio base stations and Intel's Xeon processors and 5G mobile trial platform, per the announcement.
Warner Bros., which is owned by AT&T, is among the brands that are gearing up for the rollout of high-speed 5G networks later this year. The quicker and more powerful connections will mean that high-definition movies can be downloaded in seconds and richer content like AR/VR experiences will be more obtainable. Removing download delays is likely to help ad viewability and could prevent smartphone users from installing ad blockers. 5G technology will help to connect billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and support driverless cars and drone networks.
5G is currently available in a handful of U.S. cities from different carriers. AT&T offers service in more than a dozen cities. AT&T recently stirred controversy by labeling a service that is based on 4G technology "5G Evolution," although true 5G connectivity requires a 5G phone. Verizon offers 5G in Sacramento, Calif., Los Angeles, Houston and Indianapolis, and has plans for a broader rollout this year. Sprint and T-Mobile, which are seeking government approval to merge, also plan to offer 5G service this year.
Samsung's first 5G smartphone, the Galaxy S10 5G, will be available to Verizon customers in Q2 2019 and to other carriers later in the summer. Apple isn't likely to release a 5G iPhone until next year, but the limited availability of 5G connectivity until then likely means that the tech giant won't fall too far behind its biggest rival.