Start your engines! 5G races into the connected home

It wasn’t too long ago – just one or two years even – that even Ericsson and Verizon weren’t exactly sure what a 5G network would look like.

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#5G #Indy500 #VR

Today, along with Intel, 5G came “out of the lab and into the home,” in the words of Ericsson’s Glenn Laxdal, as the three partners showed off a 5G-connected home in Speedway, Indiana, near the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Gaming, VR and two-way communication

On Thursday, Sanyogita Shamsunder, Verizon's Executive Director of 5G ecosystem, along with Laxdal and John Macchione from Ericsson, gave a tour of the home on Facebook Live. Macchione showed viewers a Skype connection with no upstream connection constraints and gaming with extreme low latency, a huge advantage for gamers competing online. Mark Elston from Intel showed a virtual reality 360-degree spherical video stream from the speedway running at 4K and the tour finished with a glimpse of the next revolution in video quality – 8K). The team talked about how this combination of activity over a standard home broadband connection today would not be possible, but will be no problem for 5G networks.

While mobile and IoT applications will be central to 5G, fixed wireless is also a key early use case, and Verizon is running trials in 11 cities in the US.  Laxdal said that the connection to the Speedway, Indiana home reached 1.7 Gbps, with the signal coming from a 5G radio on a telephone pole outside the home.

What are the possibilities of 5G?

The whole tour was really cool, but, as Macchione pointed out, the real magic of 5G is in the possibilities.  No one knew for certain how people would use LTE networks – would it just be good for faster e-mail? Instead, it led to revolutionary applications. So it will be fascinating to see how people make use of such high bandwidth and low latency.

You can watch the whole demo below.  In it, Shamsunder, Laxdal and Macchione address viewer questions on use cases and lessons learned from the testing, with answers ranging from how to bring latency down by orders of magnitude to lessons learned from putting 5G radios on nearby telephone poles:

What are the possibilities of 5G?
Virtual reality racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

You can read more about this 5G connected home in our press release. You can also explore another demo straight from the track – a 5G-connected race car, plus how 5G will revolutionize the fan experience – in this blog post. Or you can check out the video below:

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