There has been much hype around 5G, but developers haven’t delivered many products that use it to its full potential, T-Mobile said when rolling out some new programs designed to accelerate innovation.
The carrier has announced a new developer platform, an innovation center, investments in two companies, and partnerships with Disney and Red Bull that will use current 5G-powered tools to create entertainment and sports coverage for their fans.
“Building on 5G should be easy, it should be accessible to all developers, but it’s not,” Neville Ray, president of technology at T-Mobile, said March 23 during an online event T-Mobile dubbed “5G Forward.”
Exploring Applications for 5G Connectivity
A competitor, Verizon, is also working on applications for the new capabilities enabled by 5G connectivity with faster processing and increased bandwidth. For example, Verizon announced March 3 that it will collaborate with Meta to explore both the use cases of the metaverse and the 5G infrastructure that will enable them.
Read more: Verizon, Meta Partner to Explore 5G-Enabled Metaverse Opportunities
During the 5G Forward event, T-Mobile executives announced steps the company is taking to promote innovations that employ 5G.
T-Mobile’s new developer platform, which is called DevEdge, enables developers to connect any number of devices to the T-Mobile network, access resources to reduce time to market, leverage application programming interfaces (APIs) and OpenSource projects to get insights into device performance and collaborate with other developers and network experts.
“We designed DevEdge to level the playing field, to give innovators of all sizes a platform for wireless innovation, from solopreneurs to enterprises, to help them accelerate time to market, optimize user experience and connect with experts,” said Rob Roy, senior vice president of emerging business innovation at T-Mobile.
Supporting the Latest Batch of Startups
Another resource, the new facility named the Tech Experience 5G Hub, is located just outside Seattle, near T-Mobile’s National Technology Lab. Among its offerings are the complete range of 5G spectrum — low, mid and high bands — and an indoor drone zone for test flights. The facility will enable partners to access new 5G capabilities and work alongside T-Mobile engineers.
“At T-Mobile, we know that progress flourishes when people come together to share ideas and trade insights,” said Erin Raney, senior director of systems architecture at T-Mobile.
The investments in two companies announced during the event were made by T-Mobile Ventures, the company’s 5G-focused fund. It invested in software-defined telecom network builder SignalWire and Kubernetes enterprise management platform Spectro Cloud. Together with the fund, T-Mobile also supports startups through the 5G Open Innovation Lab.
“Right now, the latest batch of startups to join the 5G Open Innovation Lab is working on exciting new 5G solutions like mixed reality for frontline workers, smart factory automation, robotics and more,” said John Saw, executive vice president of advanced and emerging technologies at T-Mobile.
Deploying 5G-Powered Drones and Cameras
The two new partnerships announced during 5G Forward focus on applications in entertainment and sports coverage. With Disney, T-Mobile will work to develop advanced storytelling capabilities using 5G as well as more efficient ways to capture, produce and distribute content from studios and remote locations.
Similarly, T-Mobile’s newly expanded partnership with Red Bull will use 5G-powered drones and cameras for live-action sports coverage. For example, it will use cameras mounted to athlete’s helmets and drones to provide sports viewers with unique perspectives.
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