Deployment of 5G mobile networks is at present in its early phases and faces significant obstacles to practical use in smartphone contexts, upon which AR and VR applications add complexity. First, not all 5G networks are equivalent. While deployments in Asia depend on sub-6 GHz radio frequencies, most 5G networks within the US are millimeter-wave (mmWave) networks.
mmWave radio frequencies provide faster data speeds; however, they are inherently line-of-sight, making it possible that users will lose access if they encounter obstructions similar to large buildings when moving. This can restrict the practicality of AR applications in city environments.
5G would enable higher flexibility in use cases. AR is usually used on smartphones or tablets in museums to current additional content for exhibits, or interior design, permitting customers to virtually place furniture in a room to see how it matches. With 5G, the ability to use AR in live, outside environments away from reliable wi-fi signals can affect the types of interactions and integrations that developers can build.