Meta — formerly known as Facebook — is looking to head an industrywide connectivity effort targeted at bolstering the metaverse to reach a billion people globally and host hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade.
On the eve of the MWC Barcelona 2022, Meta highlighted three areas for the 5G and networking industry to work on: network latency reduction, symmetrical bandwidth advancement, and overall network speed acceleration.
“Today, we’re at the start of the next transition as we build for the metaverse,” Meta CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement. “But creating a true sense of presence in virtual worlds delivered to smart glasses and VR headsets will require massive advances in connectivity. Bigger than any of the step changes we’ve seen before. We need to create connectivity infrastructure that can evolve as fast as technology does.”
“The move to the metaverse is an unprecedented opportunity for the connectivity industry,” Meta’s VP of connectivity Dan Rabinovitsj echoed in a blog post. “No single company, or industry, can do this alone. Creating the metaverse will require a global effort.”
Rabinovitsj called out tech companies, mobile operators, service providers, and policymakers to collaborate to achieve network enhancements.
Delivering a metaverse experience will “require innovations in fields like hybrid local and remote real-time rendering, video compression, edge computing, and cross-layer visibility, as well as spectrum advocacy, work on metaverse readiness of future connectivity and cellular standards, network optimizations, improved latency between devices and within radio access networks, and more,” he added.
At MWC, Meta announced plans to partner with Spain’s Telefónica to establish a Metaverse Innovation Hub in Madrid. The Hub will host trials, metaverse-like experience use cases, and device testing to help accelerate metaverse network and device readiness, Rabinovitsj explained.
The two companies also plan to provide access to a 5G laboratory for startups and developers, allowing them to use a metaverse testbed on Meta and Telefónica’s network infrastructure and equipment.