AT&T & Samsung Unveil 5G Innovation Zone For US Manufacturing

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AT&T Business and Samsung said that they would unveil a 5G Innovation Zone in 2019. That promise is now reality, as the 5G Innovation Zone has opened in Austin, Texas.

The 5G Innovation Zone is designed to show how 5G will impact the manufacturing industry moving forward into the future, as wireless technology becomes faster and more efficient than before. The goal is to make factories smarter along with the manufacturing process.

To showcase what 5G can do, Samsung is using its 5G Innovation Zone at its Samsung Austin Semiconductor factory to test out applications such as Health and Environmental Sensors, Industrial IoT and Robotics, and Mixed Reality for employee training. Health and environmental sensors could be critical in the event that a person sustains an on-the-job injury.

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Health sensors could quickly supply health information regarding blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature so as to improve medical response time. The result of 5G's effectiveness here is that lives could be spared. When it comes to human life and injuries, timing is everything.

Next, industrial IoT (internet-of-things) and robotics could be used to monitor factory conditions and alert employees and personnel in the event that a gas leak occurs for example. IoT sensors, 5G, and 4K live video would all work together to monitor conditions and increase response time should something go wrong.

Finally, the 5G Innovation Zone could aid in Mixed Reality for employee training. Mixed Reality (MR) combines virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to train employees for the job as well as how to train them in the event of emergencies that mandate fast responses.

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Augmented Reality glasses could provide employees with quick access to directions by which to make repairs in the factory. Additionally, AR would provide equipment diagnostics, again referring back to real-time monitoring conditions that are important to the safety of the job as a whole.

AT&T and Samsung in partnership over 5G wireless isn't surprising. In September, AT&T named Samsung as one of its 5G network equipment suppliers alongside Ericsson and Nokia for deployment here in the US, a move that helps the South Korean juggernaut break into the 5G market here in America. In the same month, Samsung announced it would supply the 5G networking equipment and utilize AT&T's fast 5G speeds to open its 5G Innovation Zone in Texas.

Back at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui in December, AT&T spoke alongside Verizon and discussed use cases for 5G, such as retail, manufacturing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the services industry. AT&T was the first to unveil 5G wireless, though the carrier first rolled it out as "puck" devices such as the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G mobile hotspot in the absence of 5G-enabled smartphones.

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AT&T and Verizon have been battling it out for the fastest mobile network for years according to PCMag, but the site has now declared AT&T its "fastest mobile network" for 2019 after Verizon's 5-year winning streak. Though AT&T did upgrade its 4G LTE network and call it "5G Evolution" for a time, it was nothing more than a marketing ploy.

And yet, its 4G upgrades are what propelled it to the top of PCMag's mobile contest. AT&T has been said to achieve 1.5-2Gbps download speeds in cities such as Atlanta recently, confirming its new mobile network crown.

Samsung and AT&T Business have not only created a 5G Innovation Zone but have also partnered to bring 5G to business employees. Samsung's latest Galaxy S10 5G model is only available for businesses at Ma Bell currently, carrying with it a $999 price tag. In contrast, Verizon had exclusivity over the Galaxy S10 5G model for weeks and is asking $1,299.99 for Samsung's first 5G smartphone.

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You can see more about the 5G Innovation Zone by checking out the YouTube video below.

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Staff News Writer

Deidre Richardson is a tech lover whose insatiable desire for all things tech has kept her in tech journalism some eight years now. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned BA degrees in both History and Music. Since graduating from Carolina in 2006, Richardson obtained a Master of Divinity degree and spent four years in postgraduate seminary studies. She's written five books since 2017 and all of them are available at Amazon. You can connect with Deidre Richardson on Facebook.

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