Airtel is entering the metaverse with 5G: What we know
Bharti Airtel, India's second-largest telecom operator, is preparing to lead metaverse in India with its 5G network. The telecom giant will leverage the partnerships with content providers and over-the-top (OTT) players to enable use cases.
“5G will be enabling the metaverse, which requires a lot of data. Metaverse will need much higher speeds and needs to be closer to the edge content. Telcos will play a major role,” Randeep Sekhon, chief technology officer at Bharti Airtel, told Economic Times.
He said metaverse as a concept won't succeed without “deeper” partnerships with telecom operators.
Airtel, on March 25, showed a demo of its high-speed 5G network at its Network Experience Centre in Manesar, near Gurugram. A meta avatar of legendary cricketer Kapil Dev and some stunning moments from the 1983 World Cup match were shown during the live demo. Kapil Dev was also present at the event.
Metaverse is a new-age virtual world built on virtual reality, augmented reality and blockchain technologies. Users can play, work, shop and perform different activities using digital tools and AR headsets. The content, entertainment and gaming ecosystem is set to gain a lot from the metaverse transformation.
Metaverse became a buzzword after social media giant Facebook changed its name to Meta last year. According to its Chairman Mark Zuckerberg, “mankind will migrate into the Metaverse in the future”. Zuckerberg's company is investing a huge amount of money and resources to create an immersive virtual environment.
Apart from Meta, other tech giants are also trying to tap onto the opportunities in metaverse. At the recently concluded Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona, metaverse was the keyword.
South Korean telecom operator SK Telecom created a 4D metaverse ride of the space for the visitors while HTC offered the users to experience a virtual walk-around of a museum. Telefonica, Spain's leading telecom operator, has even appointed a ‘Chief Metaverse Cfficer'.
The emergence of the metaverse ecosystem will push data usage by 20 times across the globe in the next 10 years, according to a recent Credit Suisse report. The report predicts even at the modest metaverse usage the current data consumption will grow 20 times in the next decade with a 37 percent CAGR.