By Chrisaman Sood, Product Manager,
Optiva • February 28, 2023
Chris is a wanderer by heart and technology geek. He has 20 years of experience in telecom, including Solution Architecture, Customer Engagement, and Product Management. He has three patents and is exploring blockchain as a technology to solve real-world problems. In his free time, he is a hardcore artist pursuing professional photography, creating digital NFTs, playing acoustic guitar, and learning traditional flute. Chris helps drive the customer experience journey for Optiva products.
Imagine a police officer is summoned to a crime scene 200 miles from their location. They log onto their smart XR goggles and search for the nearest available drone robot. They secure control access and are on the scene virtually, able to report back high-resolution images.
This futuristic scenario may soon become a reality. Thanks to the advances of 5G and 6G technology, the development of smart cities and the emergence of mixed reality are advancing. Mixed reality will enable digital overlays over real-world objects and, in many ways, help us to make our planet a better place.
In our previous blog, we discussed why 5G is critical for the success of the metaverse. 5G and metaverse offer telecom operators opportunities they cannot afford to miss. They will be able to reap the rewards of providing a faster next-generation network for new opportunities in mobile connectivity, telecommunication, and IoT.
The openness of the network and vast bandwidths of 5G will allow telcos to provide more value to their users in terms of entertainment and lifestyle experiences. For example, many AR/VR companies are partnering with telcos to offer immersive experiences to their customers. These immersive experiences will have a lasting impact on how we perceive the world and its possibilities. Similarly, many enterprises are partnering with telecom operators to improve customer experiences, save money, and reduce risks to human life.
Here are a few metaverse use cases types where telcos can play a pivotal role.
- Bundled Smart glass subscription: While many telcos provide handset bundles and contracts, in the next evolution cycle, they will partner with AR, VR, and XR device manufacturers to provide a bundled offering of 5G subscriptions. This will give consumers a point of sale for manufacturers. The mass entry of metaverse users is likely to get enrolled and enter through this channel. For example, EE has partnered with Nreal to provide one such channel and experience.
- Metaverse exclusive content: In the last evolution cycle, OTT players partnered with content providers and captured a big chunk of the media and entertainment industries. In the next evolution of the media and entertainment industries, telcos have an opportunity to partner with content providers and provide exclusive metaverse experiences to their consumers. For example, Fortnite’s Travis Scott concert was a stunning spectacle where 45.8 million people watched the tour. This is just the beginning of how the metaverse will shape concerts and vice versa. It is a new revenue stream for artists and content providers. Check out the Abba Voyage concert for another example that will amaze concertgoers.
- Enterprise experience solutions: Enterprises can benefit from the metaverse by leveraging immersive technologies to create unique customer experiences. For example, IKEA has recently partnered with STRIVR to offer an interactive virtual reality experience that lets a customer explore a virtual IKEA space and view furniture in their home before purchasing it. This type of immersive experience will allow consumers to get more information about products without having to visit a physical store. With AR technology, enterprises can also create custom experiences for different audiences.
- Futuristic education: The education system has transformed over the years — from blackboards to digital boards, and virtual instruction and the pandemic and lockdowns accelerated this. In the next evolution, education will take place via the metaverse. You will be able to live the story of “Alice in Wonderland” or get a glimpse of human organs without dissecting them for your medical degree. The education sector is heading for a dramatic shift, and telecom operators can be at the forefront of this change. Athenaverse is one such step towards education in the metaverse.
- Enhanced skill development: AR, XR, and metaverse can greatly benefit complex skill development programs. For example, the process of getting driving lessons and a license in the UK typically takes 8-9 months. In the metaverse, the whole process can be transformed into a virtual experience. Drivers can learn to maneuver a vehicle in the virtual world in a low-latency environment for a real-life, immersive experience. It would reduce the cost of learning, expenses, risks, and carbon footprint. In industrial use cases, XR skill development and surveillance are already in place and used by over 100 companies, from BMW to P&G through Holo Light, proving that the metaverse will pioneer the next phase of the Industrial Revolution.
- Next-gen remote work: With the recent shift to remote work, enterprises need better collaboration and productivity tools. Telcos can partner with companies like vspatial to provide meta-work solutions to help improve collaboration and productivity. vspatial is changing the landscape of remote work, and operators can be at the forefront of this movement.
- Intelligent and efficient cities: The story of a police officer using a smart glass is the next phase of evolution for smarter cities. It is an excellent example of how emergency use cases will have priority network slices and, with low latency control, how virtual presence can be enabled. Dubai’s Dewa project is moving in a similar direction, where its government is taking its services to the metaverse.
- Metaverse platform: At the foundation of metaverse use cases will be 5G connectivity and its ability to bring new solutions to life. It will require telecom operators to rise above the role of connectivity provider to be a metaverse use case orchestrator that simplifies and brings together the journeys of consumers, partners, and enterprises. Operators can also become metaverse platform providers. SK Telecom’s Ifland is one example where the operator is a metaverse platform provider.
Metaverse isn’t simply about gaming or AR and VR experiences. It is about a new economy that has the potential to provide millions of virtual jobs, generate billions in revenue, create new experiences, enable creativity, and reduce our carbon footprint for a healthier planet. The telecom industry is uniquely positioned to design and shape the value chain of the metaverse world.
In our next metaverse blog series, we will explore how and what telcos should plan to upgrade their BSS monetization systems and ecosystem to provide excellent onboarding to partners and a win-win monetization strategy for the metaverse ecosystem.
The only way to ensure success as a telco is to follow Drucker’s famous quote: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Have feedback or questions for the author? Contact Chrisaman Sood, Product Manager, Optiva
Want to know more about Optiva’s 5G-ready proven BSS that powers brands globally? Request a presentation.
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