A Verizon documentary debuted this week that goals to point out the potential of its next-generation community, with a take a look at corporations creating revolutionary functions enabled by 5G.

The movie, titled Pace of Thought, is on the market on Amazon Prime and Peacock streaming providers, in addition to Verizon Fios on demand. Directed by Emmy award-winning documentary film-maker Mila Aung-Thwin, the movie was “produced in partnership with Verizon,” in accordance with the provider. Verizon EVP Chief Advertising Officer Diego Scotti and SVP Chief Artistic Officer Andrew McKechnie are government producers. At slightly below an hour lengthy, it’s a high-quality manufacturing – not your common YouTube video. 

Disclaimer: This isn’t a movie overview.

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That mentioned, in an unscientific ballot of this reporter’s vital different (who, granted, routinely hears the phrase “5G” in all probability greater than he’d like) the takeaway was this: 5G has extra advantages than simply having the ability to obtain one thing actually quick on my cellphone.

That speaks to the primary aim of the documentary: to assist in giving the overall shopper a greater understanding of 5G’s potential, past quicker speeds and movies on a smartphone, in accordance with Verizon VP of Product Innovation Sanyogita Shamsunder.

Within the early days it was about educating the ecosystem about what 5G can do; in the present day it’s about customers.

“As a result of in any other case, radio waves are one thing that you would be able to’t see,” she mentioned. “This was a strategy to form of present how highly effective it may be with all the different applied sciences round us which are maturing and are prepared for that kind of connectivity 5G brings.”

Applied sciences and corporations featured within the movie alongside 5G embrace: an augmented reality-enabled masks that sooner or later might assist firefighters navigate smokey environments (Qwake Applied sciences); tailor-made AR experiences that assist college students in underserved communities study concerning the historical past of civil rights via immersive studying reasonably than textbooks (Movers and Shakers); and a take a look at program within the metropolis of Sacramento with 5G-connected cameras for pedestrian and site visitors security.  

One other spotlight is medical robotics firm Corindus, which used 5G to finish a robotic-assisted take a look at coronary heart process in San Francisco from a management station in Boston. Whereas a distant process might already happen pretty simply proper now, the aim is to achieve areas which have restricted or no on-site choices for individuals who have had a coronary heart assault or stroke.

A special problem for Verizon’s 5G

Verizon began early on 5G however availability of its Extremely Wideband 5G service remains to be extraordinarily restricted. Working in new frequency bands comes with new challenges, each for community and providers. 

When 4G was coming on-line, the smartphone idea was nonetheless pretty new and the primary problem on the time was constructing handsets able to supporting so many new functions, in accordance with Shamsunder (she oversaw the launch of Verizon’s first LTE smartphone). Community-wise 3G had already offered the trade with many instruments for constructing out low-band networks.

“General [4G] was a comparatively well-understood kind of expertise,” Shamsunder mentioned, however ushered in beforehand unthought of shopper makes use of, like Uber. 

Issues are completely different with regards to 5G.

For 5G, Verizon particularly began its rollout utilizing new and really excessive millimeter wave (mmWave) bands – 28 GHz up to now, but additionally 39 GHz. With increased frequencies comes “extra real-estate,” as Shamsunder put it, or bandwidth – together with pretty well-known propagation limitations.

“That was the brand new problem for 5G, no less than for the Verizon model of 5G,” she famous, which the provider began engaged on 5 years in the past.

rivals like T-Cellular and AT&T which have rolled out nationwide 5G utilizing low-band 600 MHz and 850 MHz respectively, “there’s actually no problem.”

“It’s physics,” she mentioned. “You must go to excessive frequencies to get the excessive bandwidth, low frequencies with 5G will look similar to 4G.”

The documentary’s debut occurred to come back at some point after executives at T-Cellular mentioned they plan to lead the 5G era – as Verizon did in 4G – whereas Verizon and AT&T attempt to play catch-up.

T-Cellular already claims nationwide 5G protection with its low-band 600 MHz spectrum, and is shortly deploying key mid-band 2.5 GHz spectrum. Whereas T-Cellular commonly bashes Verizon for its mmWave strategy and restricted rollout, T-Cellular has its personal mmWave spectrum it plans to ultimately layer on high for 5G.

Verizon’s promised nationwide protection this yr, utilizing dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) expertise to share current LTE spectrum sources for its personal low-band 5G because it waits to amass extra mid-band spectrum. 

RELATED: Verizon’s DSS launch remains mystery, but 5G iPhone looms large

To the purpose of Verizon educating customers via the documentary, the provider needs, and certain wants, to get the phrase out about what 5G and high-band spectrum can do (though there may be really minimal give attention to the mmWave issue within the movie).

Latest survey information from NPD’s Related Intelligence found that whereas 9 out of 10 customers had been conscious of 5G networks, solely 18% had heard of and perceive the distinction between the various kinds of spectrum bands carriers are utilizing.

To make sure, Verizon’s greater than 90 million shopper wi-fi prospects symbolize an enormous base for 5G. Shamsunder cited 5G shopper alternatives like AR, 360-video, and high-quality stay streaming.

“However what 5G does is it additionally opens up enterprise alternatives, particularly when mixed with cellular edge compute,” she mentioned, which is a spotlight in Pace of Thought. That’s due to the distributed structure in 5G networks, enabling information processing nearer to the sting for extra velocity and lower-latency wanted for functions, like for instance, the minimally invasive distant coronary heart process.  

Working with the ecosystem additionally is vital, and Verizon has quite a few partnerships, together with AWS for cellular edge compute.

“Clearly we are able to’t construct all the pieces,” Shamsunder mentioned.

What she’s most enthusiastic about presently is high-quality AR from a cellphone or via a VR headset. “Functions which are very real looking and content material that may be very high quality and excessive constancy.” 

RELATED: Verizon executive says 5G edge computing zones will be a game changer

AR content material in the present day is restricted by components like what could be rendered on the machine and the way a lot storage, and decrease bandwidth on the community limits what high quality is on the market – with 5G issues will begin to look completely different, she mentioned.

“In a number of years I’m anticipating to have interfaces that I don’t essentially have to make use of a cellphone interface, however there will likely be AR glasses that can change how we work together with the world,” she mentioned.

Extra near-term and for enterprise, she pointed to cameras, video, and pc and machine imaginative and prescient. For instance, 5G can be utilized for higher safety, managing stock on retailer cabinets or detecting impurities in manufacturing.

Because the movie goals to painting the potential of 5G, for Shamsunder one of many challenges is choosing and selecting which of the various 5G alternatives to go after.

So, whereas the documentary won’t make a shopper run out and purchase a 5G smartphone (unscientific ballot response was a convincing “No”), that isn’t actually the intention. 

As an alternative it introduces 5G via the eyes of builders developing with inventive concepts and options that may in the end assist society. That might be a great factor as carriers additionally hold their eyes out for paths that would result in returns on their huge 5G community investments.

Try a trailer here.