Pokemon gets Verizon, DT, EE, Softbank, & France

What could be more important to the Internet than Pokemon? Last year, DT & Niantic did a demonstration of an alpha version.

DT, SK, & Verizon are actually building (limited) Edge networks, designed to bring latency down to 15-25 ms. That’s great for multiplayer Pokemon and ok for some flavors of Augmented Reality.

Virtual Reality may be more of a challenge. Some people get headaches down to 10 ms, which none of the major telcos except to offer widely for years.

Here’s the word from Niantic:

 Introducing the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance: Bringing the Mobile Industry Together Towards the 5G Future of Consumer AR

September 1, 2020Introducing the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance: Bringing the Mobile Industry Together Towards the 5G Future of Consumer AR

Launch Members Include Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank Corp., TELUS and Verizon.

At Niantic, we’re building a planet-scale augmented reality (AR) platform to enable experiences across mobile devices and AR wearables that will give people entirely new ways to interact with the world and the people around them. Creating the best AR experiences requires bridging content with high-performance devices and networks. We’re not going to do this alone, so today we’re introducing the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance that brings together mobile ecosystem leaders who are working together to define and push the state of AR experiences on 5G forward.

The Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance will make available exclusive 5G-ready AR content, and demonstrate consumer AR experiences that set the standard for what innovation means in a 5G world. The first global members of the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance include Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank Corp., TELUS and Verizon.

With the Niantic Real-World Platform, we’re working to make AR experiences mirror the real world, and be shared by tens of millions of Niantic explorers around the world. The Planet-Scale AR Alliance aims to also accelerate this work, and the AR industry as a whole in its next stage of growth. Our advances in AR engineering have made platform features such as synchronous multiplayer and reality blending possible, and many more in the works.

Working closely with our mobile ecosystem partners gives us an opportunity to combine these innovations together with 5G capabilities like ultra-reliable low latency, enhanced mobile broadband, network slicing, and edge computing. Together, we’re building towards a shared goal of creating amazing real-world AR experiences that demonstrate the possibilities of 5G, and that work is well underway. This includes persistence of AR content in the real-world that can be experienced by others dynamically.

Industry collaboration is an important driver of consumer AR for the devices and networks of today–and those of tomorrow. We believe working together with a broad group of partners is the best way to develop and promote the adoption of consumer AR, while continuing to amaze Niantic explorers with great experiences. We’re excited to work with our launch members and progress future innovations together.

The Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance welcomes wireless carriers, device manufacturers, and other mobile ecosystem companies from across the smartphone and AR wearables industry to join. For more information, visit https://5g.nianticlabs.com.

Here’s what our partners had to say:

Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom: “Deutsche Telekom and Niantic Inc. combined their innovation power to showcase the world’s first mobile edge mixed reality multi-gamer experience in 2019. We are very excited now to build on that partnership in the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance to push AR forward and create more immersive, exciting, and entertaining 5G and edge-enabled gameplay experiences at planet-scale.”

Sharon Meadows, Director of Propositions, Consumer, EE: “As the UK’s no.1 5G network and the UK’s best network for seven years running, having the ability to provide compelling AR content that unleashes the power of what 5G has to offer – will help us to evolve our best in class offering. With Planet-Scale AR, we will work with Niantic to drive and showcase 5G AR innovation, and look forward to bringing exclusive world class AR experiences to our EE 5G customers.”

Jil Go, Vice President for Portfolio and Partner Management, Content Business Group at Globe Telecom: “When we launched our partnership with Niantic in 2016 around Pokémon GO, we saw the enthusiastic response of the Philippine market to AR games, supporting it with inclusion in our data promos and on-ground executions, such as the first ever Pokémon GO Fest in the country. We are committed to enable the digital lifestyle for Filipinos, and as such are very excited to level up our partnership with Niantic via Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, powered by the groundbreaking Real World Platform. As the first to launch 5G technology in Southeast Asia, we are looking forward to working with Niantic in creating a seamless experience for current and future players of the game, best experienced with our mobile plans, among other exciting opportunities.”

Serge Laroye, VP, Orange Content and President of OCS, Orange: “Mobile gaming is really at the forefront of driving innovation for the entertainment industry. What we’ll develop with Niantic won’t just raise the bar in terms of new and immersive augmented reality gameplay experiences for our customers but it will also showcase the benefits that 5G, low latency and edge computing can deliver to businesses, which can easily be applied to other industries beyond mobile gaming.”

Jeon Jin-soo, Vice President and Head of 5GX Service Business Division of SK Telecom: “SK Telecom is pleased to take part in building a global AR ecosystem through this collaboration with Niantic. SK Telecom has been leading 5G-based AR services in the Korean market based on world-class AR technologies accumulated over several years. This partnership with Niantic will allow users throughout the world to experience innovative AR services that go between reality and virtual reality.”

Keiichi Makizono, SVP & CIO, SoftBank Corp.: “By joining the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance, SoftBank aims to provide sophisticated AR experiences that utilize the 5G services we launched earlier this year. It builds on the partnership work between both companies across the current Niantic games portfolio, and many live events, leveraging our robust network. We look forward to working closely with Niantic in this new capacity in service of our customers.”

James Rooke, VP of Wireless Product Marketing and Value Creation at TELUS: “TELUS is excited to be working with Niantic to support the development of cutting-edge augmented reality technology as a part of the new Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance. Our award-winning wireless network is built to bridge digital divides and drive innovation. As we move into a 5G world, our 5G network is poised to bring amazing speeds, responsiveness, reliability and capacity, and Niantic, with their commitment to innovation in AR, will help us deliver a superior experience on Canada’s fastest wireless network.”

Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer for Verizon: “Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband Network will change the way we live, work and play. With ultra-fast network speeds and minimal latencies, 5G will completely change the gaming industry and bring never before seen capabilities to AR gaming. Our work with the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance, combined with the Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband Network, makes the future of gaming a reality.”

Improvements welcome