Metaverse is a new age enterprise in a virtual world, powered by virtual reality, augmented reality and blockchain technologies, where people can play, work and shop across different platforms using digital tools and augmented reality (AR) headsets
Saying it will enter into “deeper” partnerships with content providers and over-the-top players to enable more use cases, India’s second-largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel is preparing to take advantage of the metaverse opportunity with its upcoming 5G network.
“5G will enable the metaverse, which requires a lot of data. Metaverse needs much higher speeds and should be closer to the edge content. Telecommunications companies will play a big role. It could be used for sporting events, games or even business meetings”, said Randeep Sekhon, chief technology officer at Bharti Airtel.
Sekhon said that metaverse as a concept will not succeed without “deeper” partnerships with telecom operators. “In some areas, content needs to be hosted on our data centers in addition to the high-speed connection that our 5G will bring. So it will not be a success without partnerships”.
The initial phase of 5G services will see some “metaverse” use cases, especially in the B2C or consumer area, Sekhon said, adding that there will also be strong use cases in the business area in the future.
“Everyone is building it, be it Facebook or Microsoft. What we are demonstrating today is probably an early version and it will get better. The ecosystem is still building”.
“The moment we go into immersive and interactive use cases, we need an edge data center. There are data centers that are centralized. The heavy content that needs to respond quickly will be on edge. Metaverse will take a lot of processing. It will be done on the edge and not on consumer devices. It is the only domain where telecommunications companies will have to play because no one else can build as many edge data centers as we already have”, Sekhon further explained.
Airtel recreated the in-stadium experience of Kapil Dev’s famous 175 not out vs Zimbabwe during the 1983 Cricket World Cup using immersive video technologies over its high-speed 5G test network. A special 175 replayed video, in 4K mode, brought to life important moments from the match that had no video footage due to an attack by TV technicians.
Airtel conducted the demonstration at its Network Experience Center in Manesar (Gurugram) using Ericsson 5G Radio in NSA mode over 3500 MHz band test spectrum.
Metaverse is a new age enterprise in a virtual world, powered by virtual reality, augmented reality and blockchain technologies, where people can play, work and shop across different platforms using digital tools and augmented reality (AR) headsets. In particular, the gaming ecosystem is set to win by metaverse push.
The meta-verse is considered in future iterations of the Internet.
Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea are also preparing to join the metaverse cart. Jio Platforms (JPL) is preparing for its own metaverse and Web 3.0 game and recently invested $ 15 million in Silicon Valley-based deep tech startup Two Platforms Inc. for a shareholding of 25 per cent.
In the first quarter of 2022, Vodafone Idea had teamed up with UK technology company Mobile Streams Plc to launch gaming, eSports and metaverse services.
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