- Ahead of launching a 5G mobile network in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Sprint is opening up an “immersive center” to show off the history and potential of 5G technology at its executive briefing center and headquarters in nearby Overland Park, KS.
- The exhibit uses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and simulated displays to show off how 5G will play out in the real world, including in the fields of entertainment, gaming, energy and smart cities.
- Sprint says it plans to debut its 5G network in May in four markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City. Five more cities — Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, DC — will get 5G in the first half of 2019.
With Verizon poised to launch 5G in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis next month, the hype around the super-fast network is approaching reality. Still, consumers may not know exactly what the technology is or how it will impact their lives, so Sprint’s exhibit should help build more excitement and understanding, similar to efforts like the Smart Columbus Experience Center in Columbus, OH. At the site’s launch Wednesday, Sprint CTO John Saw said the center “shows the vision and passion for the 5G network we’re going to build,” according to the Kansas City Business Journal.
"5G is going to be a different type of G in wireless,” Saw added. “We're going to take the G in wireless and put it where it has never been before in the industry.”
The applications for 5G go well beyond just fast download and data speeds for consumers. The connection will support autonomous vehicles (AVs) connecting to infrastructure, improve smart grid technology and created automated factories. There’s especially hope that 5G will boost midsize cities by giving them the freedom to experiment with smart cities technology, and even rural communities.
Sprint has not released full details of its 5G launch, including how much of its initial cities will have access to the network or how it will make 5G-capable smartphones available to customers. The company has tied its 5G prospects to its proposed merger with T-Mobile, with the two companies saying that their combined efforts will create a more robust network that will not raise prices on consumers.