Verizon has launched a 5G laboratory and production studio in London – the company’s first 5G-enabled facility outside the US – in an attempt to drive growth in the creative community’s use of the technology.
The Lab, which will support Verizon’s international business and media customers, is based at Verizon’s MidCity Place office in London. It offers a live 5G-enabled environment where businesses or academics can develop and test 5G apps and experiences.
A number of brands have developed bespoke 5G-powered experiences in the past year, such as EE’s augmented-reality dress on the Baftas red carpet earlier this month and O2’s live ad filmed simultaneously across multiple venues during last year’s Rugby World Cup.
However, these activations are a far cry from the more ambitious use cases offered by 5G, such as powering a network of self-driving cars or Internet of Things devices that use artificial intelligence. 5G is a much faster network than 4G in terms of bandwidth and speed, but also promises very low latency (the time it takes a device to connect and start streaming data).
The London Lab, alongside a separate production studio within the same facility, showcases a mobile command centre, an augmented shopping experience and smart retail shelving, intelligent asset management and AR-enabled workspace reimagining. Both the lab and production studio are 5G-enabled.
Verizon operates 5G Labs in New York, Washington DC, Cambridge (Massachusetts), San Jose and Los Angeles. The company has also opened a 5G First Responder Lab in Washington DC and a 5G esports training facility in Los Angeles.
Guru Gowrappan, chief executive of Verizon Media, said: "Our 5G studio, powered by RYOT’s platform, in Los Angeles was the world’s first 5G production studio when it opened last year, and now we are opening a new studio in London, offering all the same incredible next-generation content production facilities and platform.
"The new London studio represents our continued commitment to give our consumers access to premium next-generation experiential content across our global ecosystem of brands. As we move from a 2D world into a world that includes 3D content, Verizon Media is providing our publishers and advertisers access to a cutting-edge technology platform, giving them the ability to experiment with 5G and providing the means to distribute them at scale."