Is augmented reality a game changer for mobile networks?

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Consumers and employees are beginning to adopt wearable devices that can live stream video to image recognition systems and expert advisors. Over time, these devices will place new demands on cellular networks.


Format: PDF filePages: 37 pagesAuthor: David PringlePublication Date: December 2023

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Major implications for telcos’ uplinks
  • Introduction
  • New kinds of wearable devices
    • Connected glasses without a display
    • Connected glasses with displays
    • Body cameras
    • Wearable displays
    • Ear buds with a built-in microphone
    • Glasses with a built-in speaker and microphone
    • Smart watches
  • AR and live streaming use cases
    • Enhancing the safety of public-facing staff
    • Providing support to staff in the field
    • Identifying or classifying people
    • Live streaming for training/education
    • Information about your surroundings
    • Customised in-person shopping
    • Outdoor gaming
    • See what I see communications
    • Filming activities
    • Live streaming to social media
  • Conclusion
    • Implications for telcos
    • Recommendations
  • Index

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Key use cases for wearable devices and their likely connectivity requirements
  • Figure 2: AR and AI will have a symbiotic relationship
  • Figure 3: Wearable devices that could stimulate further growth in cellular traffic
  • Figure 4: Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses include a camera, microphones and speakers
  • Figure 5: AR headsets enable remote experts to guide the wearer through a task
  • Figure 6: The Axon Body 4 camera is supported by a live streaming service
  • Figure 7: Wearable personal assistants are becoming increasingly feasible
  • Figure 8: The XReal Air 2 can project a large display in the wearer’s field of view
  • Figure 9: Amazon’s Echo Buds 2 have six microphones to support interaction
  • Figure 10: Solo’s AirGo3 smart glasses focus on enabling audio interactions
  • Figure 11: 5G connected helmet with cameras and sensors for firefighters
  • Figure 12: AR information imposed on the windscreen of a vehicle
  • Figure 13: Estimates of AR/live streaming’s impact on uplink traffic (mobile and fixed)
  • Figure 14: How Ericsson’s and STL’s assumptions compare


Technologies and industry terms referenced include: AI, Ai Pin, AirGo3, Amazon, Apple, AR, AT&T, Augmented Reality, Axon, Bluetooth, Body camera, ChatGPT, Cosmote, ear buds, Ericsson, Facebook, Google Lens, headsets, Humane, live streaming, Meta, Microsoft, mLED, OpenAI, Qualcomm, Ray-Ban Meta, smart glasses, Snapchat, Solos, T-Mobile, Vuzix, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 7, ZTE