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Ericsson and EE team up for Green Planet 5G showcase

Green Planet AR Experience

Kit vendor Ericson and UK MNO EE have put together The Green Planet AR Experience, which seems to be designed to show off edge computing 5G capabilities.

The Green Planet promises to ‘take guests on an immersive journey into the secret kingdom of plants.’ A 5G private network and edge computing infrastructure will power the augmented reality graphics at an installation in Central London.

Some of the funding seems to come from the DCMS – in January last year it announce it had rustled up £28 million to contribute to some test projects focusing on consumer applications of 5G, one of which was listed as an AR app accompanying BBC Natural History series The Green Planet.

Visitors will travel through six ‘digitally enhanced worlds’ – such as rainforests, freshwater and saltwater worlds, deserts, etc, and it sounds like Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones will be handed out in order for them to experience the AR set up.

The experience will open to the public at 55 Regent Street on February 11 2022, and is apparently designed to showcase ‘the low latency, high reliability and high bandwidth capabilities of 5G Standalone in the UK.’

“I am thrilled to combine Ericsson’s technology leadership with EE’s drive for innovation to deliver The Green Planet AR Experience,” said Katherine Ainley, CEO, Ericsson UK and Ireland. “It shows how 5G, and especially 5G Standalone, can be used to create new immersive experiences for consumers that can help to transform our society and build a better understanding of our planet. It is an excellent demonstration of how technology can be used as a platform for a more connected and sustainable future.”

Greg McCall, MD of Networks, BT Group, added: “This pioneering project demonstrates the amazing new experiences the latest innovation in network technology can create. Using the capability of Edge Computing and a Standalone 5G network developed in partnership with Ericsson, we’re able to inspire greater responsibility towards our planet at a time it’s never been more important. The Green Planet AR Experience powered by EE 5G is an important stage of our Standalone and Edge Compute journeys, as EE continues to deliver industry-leading innovation to power the best experiences.”

Despite the great pains the firms seem to be taking here to tie it to some sort of environmentalist message, it all feels like basically another example of the telco industry trying to present a fun, consumer friendly case for upgrading to a 5G contract.

Which is fair enough – though the fact the Green Planet experience will apparently be facilitated by handing out 5G smartphones for the duration feels a bit of a funny way of doing this – you don’t leave a museum and think ‘I must pick up one of those audio tour guide headsets for myself.’

Still, they can’t be expected to just reel off 5G connection speed statistics in their marketing and expect it to get very far. Perhaps the idea is ‘look what you could be doing with your weekends if you owned one of these phones’, which again is fair enough – but walking around a building and looking at AR plants through a screen is all a bit removed from anything current 5G customers are using their phones for day to day.


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