Making the metaverse useful

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Although the metaverse has been engulfed by a wave of scepticism, there are some compelling consumer and enterprise use cases for interoperable virtual environments rendered in 3D. Over time, these use cases will drive demand for connectivity and other telco capabilities.


Format: PDF filePages: 54 pagesAuthor: David PringlePublication Date: June 2023

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Table of Figures
  • Introduction
    • The metaverse: A double edged sword
    • Generative AI: Friend or foe?
    • The advantages of interoperability
  • Practical consumer applications
    • The role of telcos
    • Virtual reality: To be deployed judiciously
  • Use cases for live virtual environments
    • Training for activities and tasks
    • Education
    • Designing/managing a building
    • Speciality shopping
    • Virtual tourism
    • Live events
  • The movers and shakers
    • Meta’s strategic pivot towards mixed reality
    • Roblox: User-generated 3D
    • Microsoft prepares for a new computing platform
    • Nvidia: Riding the automotive transition
    • Apple intervenes
    • Google: Making maps more immersive
    • Siemens: Manufacturing in the metaverse
  • China seeks to build on the IoT
  • Conclusions

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: Practical use cases for virtual worlds and their likely timeframes
  • Figure 2: Revenue opportunities for telcos in supporting key use cases
  • Figure 3: Median throughput speeds in developed markets
  • Figure 4: Fortnite shows that metaverses do not necessarily need VR
  • Figure 5: 8K 360-degree cameras are small enough to be widely used
  • Figure 6: The key enabling technologies for a practical metaverse
  • Figure 7: The user base for SK Telecom’s ifland is growing gradually
  • Figure 8: SK Telecom’s ifland home is designed for socialising
  • Figure 9: Practical use cases for the metaverse and their likely timeframes
  • Figure 10: A journalist goes for a virtual cycle ride with Zwift’s CEO
  • Figure 11: Training and education in three dimensions
  • Figure 12: Virtually designing and managing buildings and other assets
  • Figure 13: Melding online shopping with in-person shopping
  • Figure 14: Images from a pre-recorded tour of a hotel resort in the UK
  • Figure 15: How virtual tourism could be made to work
  • Figure 16: The pros and cons of attending live events virtually
  • Figure 17: Apple’s Vision Pro headset is promising a courtside seat
  • Figure 18: The headset tech Meta is using to create mixed reality
  • Figure 19: Google is rolling out immersive 3D maps of tourist hotspots
  • Figure 20: China Mobile’s IoT business is growing rapidly
  • Figure 21: China Mobile and China Telecom are adding a lot of compute capacity
  • Figure 22: China Mobile’s MIGU content unit is dabbling in the metaverse
  • Figure 23: China Mobile Hong Kong’s MyLink app enters the metaverse


Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 3D, 360-degree, AI, Apple, AR, Bell Labs, BT, ChatGPT, China Mobile, digital twins, Google, Nvidia, Omniverse Cloud, Roblox, Siemens, SK Telecom, Meta, metaverse, virtual reality, VR, Vision Pro, Wi-Fi, Zwift