Anyone who has been in a block of wireless brick and mortar or technical conference in recent years has surely seen banners, posters and videos promoting 5G high speed wireless services along the way.
The last time I can remember that a technique that was so hyped before it was released or usually adopted was 3D TV. Well, we know how it turned out.
Will 5G share the same fate? Yes and no.
Our wireless speeds will surely be faster, and the faster speeds will result in lower latency, helping to develop and robust IoT (Internet of Things), games and AR cloud computing.  But while 5G will almost certainly make life better for wireless consumers and companies relying on cloud applications, the industry's full frontal marketing attack to promote 5G, as well as the 3D TV campaigns before it, seems to be inaccurate. If we talk about technical events like CES and the like, then it is 5G campaigns that are expected. But 5G end-user storage cities fall mostly on deaf ears and do not drum up the type of excitement that such heavy-duty advertising can have for other products and services.
Why? Well, it is one thing to promote such a service to businesses and startups, but consumers want the fastest and most accessible product. There is no need to consider this.
Remember the excitement around 3G? How about 4G? The parties on the streets were epic, and the social media about each was hilarious and inventive ̵1; yes no, it was obviously not. Unfortunately, consumers do not care what new letter you hit on a (invisible to them) product, as long as it works. So when you add an "X" to an iPhone, it can help consumers differentiate the new iPhone from the previous one and add 5G for wireless services aren't exciting or meaningful to most non-IT focused consumers.
I suspect the real meaning of all this marketing is quite practical. Although there may be some expecting consumers to be deceived about all promises around 5G, these wireless companies are much more likely to promote the service so much because of the increased prices they will be able to charge. All these blue sky marketing is a polite warning: Prepare your bank accounts for a little more pain.
The higher prices will help pay for billions in the expansion of new 5G networks and new 5G smartphone components, while keeping profit margins healthy. According to some estimates, the pure cost of producing many of these new 5G phones can increase up to 20% to the total manufacturing cost.
But unlike the hype that surrounded 3D TVs, a product needed a few or desired wireless service has become a useful foundation for our daily lives.
So when the big companies force a wholesale transfer, most people have no choice but to pay whatever (probably higher) price the new phones and service packages bring. And consumers won't be able to opt out by just saying "5G is not for me", as they did with 3D TV.
For wireless companies, this strategy is completely logical from a business perspective. But the relentless 5G campaigns and the high promises contained them (despite the extremely limited 5G coverage over the coming years) becoming awkward. Some reports estimate that Apple's iPhones will not be 5G enabled until sometime in 2020 or later.
And the constant 5G hoopla lobster becomes even more difficult when the definition of 5G is muddied by the companies selling it. Sprint recently claims AT & T to notice its latest service "5GE", "5G E" and "5G Evolution" as true 5G.
"The importance of AT & T's deception cannot be exaggerated", read Sprint's legal complaint. "By making the false claim that it offers a 5G wireless network where it only offers a 4G LTE Advanced network, AT&T is trying to secure an unfair advantage on the saturated wireless market."
By calling AT & T to refer to something it is not really 5G as "5G", Sprint tries to stop consumer confusion before it starts. But it's already too late.
There are already many stories published by common outlets explaining why AT & T's 5GE is not 5G. At the same time, the term 5G has already become a new new corridor in a long and confusing maze of buzzwords and letters.
What does this mean for AR and promises of 5G around it? In the short term, not much. Although 5G was publicly available and cheap, we are still not equipped with the type of portable ARs that would benefit from such networks.
Currently, the Enterprise AR is likely where the best examples of 5G will show off what is possible. Based on the Magic Leap program chart, published around this time last year, the company will soon start rolling out business solutions, which seems to be the perfect opportunity to show the power of its (real version of) 5G relationship with AT&T.
Although we still have a consumer AR holding pattern that can take advantage of 5G, all signals indicate that our ubiquitous, 5G durable AR future is just around the corner.
The next reality: 5G means higher wireless bills, but do not expect drastic improvements in AR mobility, as rollout will be extremely slow in most
This post was created as part of our Future of AR series. View the entire series.