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Blog Post

Is 5G the Key to the Metaverse?

By Chrisaman Sood, Product Manager, Optiva • October 12, 2022

Chris is a wanderer by heart and a geek with technology. 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.

5G wireless technology is set to have a big impact on the world. In fact, it will probably change the way we live, work and play forever. This is because 5G offers an almost inconceivable connection speed faster than 4G and quicker than anything we’ve ever seen. But what does all this mean for the metaverse?

Metaverse is termed the next evolution of the internet. Big tech companies like Meta are investing billions of dollars in developing and being pioneers in this evolution. This blog will review a brief history of internet evolution and explore why 5G will be the success behind its next phase — the metaverse.

This is part one of a series. Stay tuned for the following article, where we will examine metaverse use cases where customers and enterprises alike benefit.

Internet And Telecom Evolution

Back in the days of Web 1.0, information was stored in centralized servers and indexed with hyperlinks. You needed a dial-up modem to connect to the world of the internet. The evolution of 1G complemented Web 1.0 for basic services of the internet.

The second phase of the internet started with the advent of social media, where a user can read and consume information and contribute and engage with it. Uploading profile pictures, sharing thoughts over blogs and commenting and liking posts are what led to the evolution of Web 2.0. There was a need for better network infrastructure as part of this evolution, which led to 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

We are now witnessing the advanced phase of evolution of the internet, which is Web 3.0. The evolution of online content and digital identity is moving away from centralized control and developing user-directed and self-owned content. In this phase, the engagement and interaction of users are moving from 2D to 3D→ This is the beginning of the metaverse.

Building Blocks Of Metaverse

The metaverse is being developed at the intersection of advanced technologies that play a major role in creating a true virtual reality experience. These include:

  • Blockchain: a distributed database that allows for secure, transparent and tamper-proof transactions.

  • 5G: the next generation of mobile networks that will provide ultra-fast data speeds and low latency will be the base of the metaverse or the next phase of the internet.

  • Edge computing: complementary to 5G, it provides the ability to process data closer to where it is being generated.

  • AI: artificial intelligence is a key technology used to create realistic virtual environments.

  • AR: augmented reality that can be used to superimpose digital content onto the real world and connect the two.

  • VR: virtual reality that can be used to create immersive experiences.

All of these technologies are coming together to create the metaverse, a virtual world that is connected and interactive. The metaverse will be a place where people can connect with each other and digital content in ways that were not possible before.

Why Is 5G So Critical For The Metaverse?

The metaverse will be used to create a host of new use cases. In fact, together, the metaverse and 5G will hugely impact how we work and live. With metaverse, organizations will be able to create more sophisticated, interactive and immersive digital experiences.

They’ll also be able to do this for far larger audiences. This is because 5G technology will be able to support high-speed connections for millions of people at once. It will be especially beneficial for industries such as the healthcare sector, which relies on the internet for patient monitoring and healthcare delivery. For example, 5G will enable remote patient monitoring in a way that has never been possible before.

Web 1.0 would not have been possible if there was no 1G network to dial-up and connect to. Likewise, web 2.0 would not have been possible without the evolution of 3G and 4G networks. For example, imagine a world where it would take two minutes to upload your profile picture on Facebook, 10 seconds to like a comment and 10 hours to download a two-hour movie. Netflix would not have happened. Instagram wouldn’t be here. YouTube would be dead.

Similarly, the metaverse is not possible without a strong foundation of 5G networks. A virtual conference, where people speak over each other due to a delay, would look more like a news debate. A split-second delay in a metaverse game could mean the loss of the tournament. High-speed, low-latency wireless connectivity is essential for the metaverse, VR and AR experiences to feel realistic. The fifth generation of mobile networks, 5G, brings this connectivity closer to becoming a reality.

A New World In Creation: THE METAVERSE

It began as fantasy and entertainment. Metaverse, the term, was first coined in the 1983 science fiction movie “Snow Crash.” In 1992, the movie “Surrogates” with Bruce Willis portrayed a conceptualized world, where human interactions took place instead between surrogate robots. The 2018 movie “Ready Player One,” directed by Steven Speilberg, describes a metaverse concept through a futuristic world of virtual and physical segregation in the virtual gaming domain. Second Life, the gaming platform, also attempted the metaverse. However, asset manipulation was dominant without the necessary technology, such as blockchain and NFTs. And without fast connectivity, its reach and experiences were limited.

Connectivity In The Metaverse

The key to creating a successful metaverse experience is a strong 5G network with a proper mix of edge and cloud compute. Once achieved, the next logical step is to monetize the experiences. The role of monetization software, like BSS, will become critical in the evolution of the internet as it will involve complex rating and billing and smart pricing of virtual experiences. The role of CSPs will also evolve from a simple connectivity provider to an experience and app provider.

Watch for our next blog to learn how CSPs can play a role in the metaverse and generate new revenue streams — bundling a virtual experience of your favorite book coming to life out of your cellphone or AR glasses that take you deep into the metaverse. The opportunities are endless and waiting to be monetized.

Want to know more about Optiva’s 5G-ready proven BSS that powers brands globally? Request a presentation.

Have feedback or questions for the author? Contact

Chrisaman Sood

Product Manager, Optiva

Discover and read more → Monetizing 5G With Blockchain


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