Making the Metaverse a Reality

Communication service providers must find their place in the metaverse ecosystem and seize the opportunities.

5G is already providing the basis for metaverse connectivity; nevertheless, to attain the full potential of the metaverse, a networking journey that spans the next ten years is required. If the networks of the next decade are going to be able to satisfy the growing requirements of the metaverse, then they will need to provide optimal connectivity as well as vast capacity and scale. As the metaverse spreads across all industries, it will also be supported by private, specialized wireless networks.

It is expected that by the year 2025, powerful new 5G-advanced networks will come into existence. These networks will provide the foundation for authentic XR experiences, which will ultimately result in the convergence of the digital and physical worlds as well as the augmentation of people. Nokia Bell Labs’ research estimates that by 2027, XR mobile traffic will supersede the traffic created by smartphone video. The traffic that dominates the network will not be driven by smartphones. It will be dominated by the immersive, extended reality of the metaverse. However, the full potential of the metaverse won't be realized until the 6G era, which is expected to begin around the year 2030.

What does the metaverse mean for CSPs?

The most obvious opportunity is connectivity. Communication service providers (CSPs) can translate their expertise in providing networks and connecting real-world assets into a metaverse opportunity. First, the metaverse enables CSPs to accelerate 5G adoption and monetize their investments. 5G and 5G-advanced mobility, speed, and throughput capabilities, combined with cutting-edge technologies and established customer trust, can give CSPs an advantage in bringing new metaverse solutions to life. CSPs can use emerging technologies such as 5G, edge cloud, analytics, and AI to transition from simple bandwidth providers to metaverse co-creators. Taking advantage of CSPs' presence at the network's edge can give them a leg up on the competition. Edge capabilities are crucial for the wide-scale deployment of metaverse use cases because of the exponential rise in data that will need to be processed as near the user device as possible. CSPs should make use of their extensive edge presence, which they have built up through their nationwide mobile networks, to process metaverse data workloads.

CSPs also have important capabilities to bring to an enterprise digitization solution due to their expertise in network management and operation, but they will almost certainly need to rely on strong industry partners to integrate these capabilities into end-to-end solutions. They can do more than just provide connectivity by forming alliances, by taking on roles beyond simply providing connectivity, and by working with specialized partners with industrial domain expertise. They must find their place in the metaverse ecosystem and seize the opportunities to position themselves as co-creators of the metaverse rather than just participants. This will enable them to provide new solutions for businesses and industries.

Innovating and building the metaverse together

The establishment of a robust, best-of-breed ecosystem is necessary for the growth of the metaverse.  We are going to require a significant number of innovations and technological advancements. We will require far more processing power as well as networks that are much faster and more adaptable. We will require artificial intelligence that is even more potent, semiconductors that are more advanced, and extended reality technology that is even further along.

A great number of other developments are currently in the works. IoT now connects more than 13 billion devices, and that number is expected to increase to more than 29 billion over the course of this decade. In addition, when 5G and integrated space-air-ground networks become widely available, high-connectivity and low-latency networks will be accessible in any region of the world. Massive progress is being made in technologies such as AR and VR glasses, edge computing, cloud computing, distributed ledger technology (blockchain), and AI, which will eventually make it possible for us to construct, explore, and cultivate the metaverse, bringing us one step closer to making the metaverse a reality.


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