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Verizon and Apple announce 5G Fleet Swap program, private indoor 5G networks

Verizon and Apple have teamed up to spur enterprise 5G and iPhone 12 adoption with a new phone trade-in program and private, indoor 5G networks.


Apple and Verizon Business today announced 5G Fleet Swap, a new program to help businesses roll out the  iPhone 12 to their employees. In addition, Verizon announced that General Motors and Honeywell will install the company’s 5G Ultra Wideband (UWB) service inside their corporate offices.

“If the past few months have taught us anything, it’s that the acceleration to digital will only get faster and our customers must seize this moment to scale quickly, and General Motors and Honeywell are two industry-leading companies that are first movers in this area,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business in a published statement. “We’ve opened the door to the 5G era and have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to completely reimagine the future of enterprise. Foundational to this is the power of Verizon’s 5G network coupled with our expanding portfolio of enterprise cloud applications and devices, including the powerful, new iPhone 12 lineup.” 

“No matter where you are on your digital transformation journey, the ability to put the power of 5G Ultra Wideband in all of your employees’ hands right now with a powerful iPhone 12 model, the best smartphone for business, is not just an investment for growth, it’s what will set a business’s future trajectory as technology continues to advance,” added Erwin.

SEE: 5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet (free TechRepublic PDF)

Under the 5G Fleet Swap program companies can trade in their entire fleet of smartphones (from any carrier) for 5G iPhone 12s with no upfront hardware cost and either a low monthly cost or no monthly cost for the iPhone 12 mini . Customers would essentially lease the phones Apple Financial Services and pay Verizon for service.

According to a Verizon, businesses can lease the “iPhone 12 mini 64GB for 30 months at $0/month with a trade-in of an iPhone 7 or newer, or select Android devices.” Verizon also provided other program details, including an activation/upgrade fee per line of up to $40 and that program participation is “subject to Major Acct Agm” and “calling plan & credit approval.” Businesses may also be subject to sales tax depending state in which they are located and face an early termination fee of up to $650.

“At Apple, we’re so excited about the convergence of the cloud, 5G and mobile. The possibilities for mobile transformation in business are extraordinary,” said Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of Markets, Apps and Services. “The iPhone 12 lineup is the best for business, with an all-new design, advanced 5G experience, industry-leading security and A14 Bionic, the fastest chip ever in a smartphone,” Prescott added in a statement.


Apple iPhone 12

Image: Apple

Beyond the iPhone 12’s hardware, Prescott also touted Apple’s app ecosystem. “Of course apps is where the power of iPhone and the speed of the network come to life for your business,” said Prescott. “Backed by a robust developer echo system iPhone brings you hundreds of thousands of business apps. And, we continue to work with developers to improve the 5G app ecosystem, so you can take advantage of 5G today and tomorrow.”

During the event, videos were played highlighting apps designed to take advantage of 5G and the iPhone’s hardware.

First was JigSpace, an app that uses Apple’s ARKit and the iPhone 12 Pro’s built-in LiDAR scanner to display highly-detailed 3D AR models called ‘Jigs’. These Jigs contain a lot “high-fidelity” data, and bringing all that information down to a phone in real time can be a challenge.

“Before 5G, you were waiting for Jigs to stream down to your device.” said Zac Duff, co-founder and CEO of JigSpace. “Now we can send so much more information incredibly fast. The whole design is about having that knowledge accessible when you need it. It’s like having an expert in your pocket.”

SEE: Cheat sheet: Apple’s ARKit (free TechRepublic PDF)

Second was OsiriX HD a medical imaging viewer that lets doctors and clinicians view DICOM images on their mobile devices. Using Verizon’s 5G network, OsiriX can stream high-resolution radiology images or MRI/CT scans totaling gigabytes of data down to iPhone 12s.

“Transfers that used to take several minutes will take only a few seconds,” said Joris Heugerger, co-founder and CTO of OsiriX.

“A medical doctor wants to work fast,” added Dr. Antoine Rosset, co-founder and CEO of OsiriX. “They don’t have time to lose, so the user experience is very important, so that they can quickly access the images.”

Lastly, IBM showed how the company’s Maximo Visual Inspection app could be used with Core ML models and the Neural Engine on the iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic chip in conjunction with a private Verizon 5G UWB network to detect production defects inside a manufacturing facility in real time.

“This is where 5G begins to change the whole dimension, the whole landscape, because you’re able to leverage 5G and really the volumes of data it’s able to provide to support scenarios that were previously really not even possible,” said Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D, general manager AI Applications at IBM.

SEE:  Industry 4.0: 5 ways in which private 5G will drive the next manufacturing revolution  (TechRepublic)

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