AT&T touts 5G in new commercial

AT&T
5G figures prominently in one of AT&T's latest ads.

The standards for 5G are still being hammered out, but that isn’t stopping AT&T from advertising what it plans to make possible in a 5G world. Its new commercial demonstrates use cases with a kid walking around wearing augmented reality (AR) goggles and experiencing a world of drones, self-driving cars and super-cool-looking dinosaurs.

The “Kid AR” advertisement is part of a series the company is running during the Masters golf tournament, which starts today in Augusta, Georgia. Another ad features professional golfer and AT&T-sponsored athlete Jordan Spieth paying tribute to veterans. In the ad called “Rise Up,” Spieth is paired with Saul Martinez, an inspirational veteran who lost both of his legs in combat.

AT&T is debuting a total of five new ads from its “Power of &” campaign during the Masters broadcast on ESPN and CBS. AT&T is one of three global sponsors of the Masters and the company typically uses it as a vehicle to launch new commercials and campaigns.  

Other ads focus on how AT&T’s smart solutions meet the needs of businesses that are seeking agility in three areas: Operational efficiency, an empowered workforce and highly secure networking. The three 30-second spots highlighted the way AT&T is transforming both itself as well as the industry and the experiences it can deliver.  

Rival Verizon has promised to be first with 5G services in the United States and has said fixed wireless will be the first use case for 5G technology. But AT&T is active in 5G trials in multiple cities and AT&T Lab locations. Earlier this year, it identified Austin, Texas, and Indianapolis as its first “5G Evolution Markets” where it plans to deliver peak theoretical wireless speeds of 400 Mbps or higher this year.  

A lot of AT&T’s work is tied to its AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo platform, which it sees as the third generation of modern networking. It involves 5G, but also elements like big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity and software-defined networking.

After the 3GPP agreed to accelerate some elements in the 5G new radio timeline last month, AT&T said it will be able to launch standards-based mobile 5G services to consumers starting as early as late 2018—a year ahead of the previously anticipated timeframe.  

RELATED: AT&T cites FCC's decision in Straight Path matter in bid to get FiberTower licenses transferred

Like other operators, AT&T is banking on using high-band spectrum on the road to 5G. It's currently in the process of acquiring some 24 and 39 GHz licenses through the purchase of FiberTower assets, including licenses that are the subject of a pending remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.

But the transfer for FiberTower’s licenses is currently the subject of an FCC proceeding, and the Competitive Carriers Association, for one, is urging the FCC to auction FiberTower’s 650 licenses that previously were terminated to allow other carriers—as well as AT&T—the opportunity to bid on the licenses and use the spectrum for 5G.