AT&T must wait until June 12 to learn whether Judge Richard Leon will bless its $85 billion dollar deal with Time Warner, but the two companies are clearly hoping for the best.
On June 2 and June 3, AT&T staged a major conference at Time Warner's Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. The AT&T Shape conference included presentations on edge technologies, artificial intelligence and immersive entertainment, as well as a film award ceremony and a 5G demonstration.
The 5G-enabled virtual reality demonstration allowed up to three different participants in different places to experience a concert together at the same time, according to Melissa Arnoldi, AT&T's president of technology and operations.
AT&T created the 5G demonstration with help from partners Intel and Ericsson, the same partners that worked with the carrier in its first 5G tests at a carwash in Austin, Texas. (The employees at the carwash remember a rooftop device and say it has been gone for months now.)
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Arnoldi also took the stage together on June 3. Their presentation, entitled Immersive Media and 5G, focused on ways in which data and investments in 5G networks will transform to meet the growing demand for content and new, immersive entertainment experiences.
Arnoldi said in a blog post that the ability to demonstrate 5G was the culmination of two years of testing. In addition to the Austin test, AT&T has tested 5G in Waco, Texas; South Bend, Indiana; and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
"We had a lot of questions when we started," said Arnoldi. "And we’re confident we have all the answers we need to deploy a mobile 5G network that works for people all over the country."
AT&T has said it will launch a mobile 5G network in 12 U.S. cities this year. Two of those cities will be Atlanta and Dallas, both major headquarters for AT&T, and another will be Waco, where the carrier is connecting Wi-Fi devices to a 5G network at a tourist attraction called Magnolia at the Silos. The other 9 cities have not yet been named.
AT&T said it will be the first U.S. operator to offer mobile 5G service. Consumers who want to experience AT&T's mobile 5G network in the 12 cities will be able to purchase a device that will connect to the AT&T 5G network and to end user mobile devices, according to AT&T. Arnoldi describes the device as the "on-ramp" to AT&T's 5G highway.