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Here's what 5G will add to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Verizon's bringing a "5G portal" to the annual event.

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Verizon's 5G network is being tapped for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Angela Lang/CNET

Verizon is throwing its 5G network into Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday. It'll make the annual event an "augmented reality and hologram experience," Verizon announced last week.

5G, already available in some parts of the US by VerizonAT&TSprint and T-Mobile, is being tapped by smartphones to provide faster speeds and more capacity, as well as AR/VR experiences.

For the Thanksgiving parade, Verizon is partnering with NBC Universal to bring a 360-degree "5G portal experience" where people can stand in Bryant Park and have the same view of the parade as those in the Herald Square grandstands. Viewers will be able to control what they're looking at.

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"We're able to demonstrate how the power of Verizon 5G will help to reimagine one of the biggest cultural moments of the year," said John Nitti, Verizon chief media officer. "Our 5G Portal will put viewers at the center of the action and allow them to be part of the parade like never before."

The online livestream will also involve "virtual balloons" with fun facts, and holographic special celebrity appearances thanks to augmented reality. 

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade will stream live on YouTube from 8:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 26. The 360-degree livestream will also be available on Xbox, NBC's website and Verizon Media.

Verizon last week announced the expansuion  expansion of its 5G network to Boston, Houston and Sioux Falls in addition to already being live in Dallas, Omaha, Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, Washington, DC, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Providence. According to its new 5G maps, it's also coming soon in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Charlotte, Little Rock, Cleveland, Memphis, Columbus, Salt Lake City, Des Moines and San Diego. Verizon had previously promised to turn on 5G in 30 cities in 2019.

Originally published Nov. 18.
Update, Nov. 26: Adds detail on Verizon's 5G network.