Virtual and augmented reality headset sales are improving after a rocky 2017, but HTC says that VR and AR will really take off when 5G networks become available. Unfortunately, both the Vive headset maker and independent analysts are predicting that the convergence between 5G and VR/AR won’t happen in any meaningful way until 2020.

Speaking at the Dubai launch of HTC’s Vive Pro virtual reality headset, the company’s VP of product and strategy, Raymond Pao, expressed optimism about 5G’s coming impact on both VR and AR. Mirroring comments made by 5G chipset developer Qualcomm, Pao told Gulf News that “VR and AR could be the perfect fit for 5G,” noting that “there are limitations for current devices, but with a better communication protocol, we can move more computing power to the cloud … that way, we can make the device lighter. We can avoid the cable and cloud connection.” As the logic goes, consumers will flock to lighter, tetherless headsets.

The major holdup will be the actual availability of 5G networks, potentially on both the transmitting and receiving sides of VR experiences. While the report mentions that HTC expects the 5G-VR convergence to boost sales around 5G’s “2020” launch date, actual 5G launch dates vary: Multiple carriers across the globe have announced plans to launch 5G networks in 2019, and in some cases U.S. carriers are even targeting the second half of 2018.

Sadly, a Forrester research report shared with VentureBeat throws cold water on an earlier 5G-VR convergence. Despite expressing general skepticism about the current state of VR, the report…