While the world is actively progressing towards the metaverse, experts feel the scenario might not be appropriate enough to support the needs of the technology.
Recently, Huawei, a Chinese telecom giant, opined that the current infrastructure of the telecom industry is not enough to cope with the needs of the metaverse. However, 5G and 6G networks might be able to do so.
The comments mentioned above came from Abhinav Purohit, Huawei’s chief expert in business and strategy consulting in the middle east region. Purohit’s views were published in a three-part blog series dated December 20. The blog focuses on the metaverse sector’s potential and if the telecom companies fit into the scene.
While describing the metaverse and its actualization, Purohit highlighted that a “metaverse is a collective virtual shared space” that will “allow geographically distant participants to enjoy realistic, spatially-aware experiences that seamlessly blend virtual content in a user’s physical world.”
Further, he said that an open metaverse is closely related to the Web3 movement as inbuilt economies would be enabled by “digital currencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).” However, optimizing technical amenities would be required to bring such a vision to reality.
Some of these requirements are download speeds, streaming quality, mobile devices, metaverse hardware, and various other things. All of these require rapid improvements to ensure smooth operations of the virtual space.
He added that delivering a fully polished, immersive experience requires superior technical advancements. Purohit said:
“Delivering such an experience will require innovations in fields like hybrid local and remote real-time rendering, video compression, edge computing, and cross-layer visibility.”
Identifying the central issues holding back metaverse networks, Purohit pointed out latency (responsiveness of a network), symmetric bandwidth (the speed at which data transfers), and quality of experience (network throughput).
He also said that specific changes would be required to be made to the cellular standards, network optimizations, and improved latency between devices and mobile networks.
Purohit concludes that large-scale adoption of “5G networks will dramatically improve bandwidth while reducing network contention and latency, while 6G will increase speeds by yet another order of magnitude.”
In October this year, Todayq News reported Ericsson’s survey that predicted users of 5G are more interested in immersive technology than their 4G counterparts. Compared to 4G users, 5G users spend an hour more per week on platforms and services related to the metaverse. The use of the metaverse is anticipated to increase in line with the estimated reach of 5G technology, which is expected to reach 510 million customers this year.
Reportedly, 5G can hit speeds of 1,000 Megabytes per second (MBps) in context compared to a fixed wireless broadband scenario. The recorded rate is much higher than the national average speed in the U.S. of 119.03 MBps, as cited by the high-speed internet data.
Irrespective of the metaverse factor, there is a substantial push to get 5G fully operational globally. As per data from the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA), 501 operators in 153 countries have shown interest in investing in 5G as of August 2022.
Out of the 501 operators mentioned, GSA’s data shows that 222 have already launched 5G mobile services in 89 countries and territories. So although 5G hasn’t been completely rolled out and adopted as the mobile standard, it remains to be seen if a fully scaled metaverse can be supported.
Earlier this year, another study considered various factors required for metaverse adoption and operation. The factors considered were broadband speeds, internet prices, the number of blockchain financial startups, and the cost of high-technology esports.
Keeping all metrics in the picture, the Netherlands was ranked as the most metaverse-friendly country scoring a 7.74 on a scale of 10, followed by Switzerland with a score of 7.61.