How will the metaverse be developed, delivered to customers and used? Two giants in the field are going to work together to answer those questions and develop solutions.

Saying that the metaverse will become the next evolution of the internet over the next decade, Verizon announced Thursday (March 3) that it will collaborate with Meta to explore both the uses cases of the metaverse and the infrastructure that will enable them.

“Over the next decade, the metaverse will create virtual spaces that are more immersive and realistic than ever before, providing people with new ways to connect across work, home and play,” Rima Qureshi, EVP and chief strategy officer at Verizon, said during Verizon’s Investor Day 2022 event.

Developing the Required Technologies 

To better understand what’s required to deliver those connections, the new partnership will study Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network and mobile edge computer (MEC) capabilities together with Meta’s technologies.

Days before the announcement, on Feb. 27, Dan Rabinovitsj, vice president, Meta Connectivity, wrote on a Meta blog that the move to the metaverse is an unprecedented opportunity for the connectivity industry and that making the metaverse a reality will require significant improvements in networks.

“No single company, or industry, can do this alone,” Rabinovitsj wrote. “Creating the metaverse will require a global effort and we invite partners to collaborate with us on this new journey.”

Evaluating 5G Network Capabilities 

With MEC infrastructure, technology is placed closer to the end user so that data can be processed and stored there, rather than at a distant data center. This makes for faster processing and increased bandwidth.

In the context of the metaverse applications, MEC can provide intensive extended reality (XR) cloud rendering and low-latency streaming. Qureshi said the immersive experiences of the metaverse require high-resolution graphics, spatial audio and immediate responsiveness, and Verizon and Meta will develop them.

“Our efforts will enable both companies to measure the impact of edge computing on key application performance metrics and evaluate where our network capabilities can enable more powerful metaverse-optimized applications,” Qureshi said.

Exploring Use Cases for Work and Consumer Experiences 

Using 5G fixed and mobile connectivity, those applications will be delivered to screens at home, at work and on the go.

Rabinovitsj wrote on the Meta blog, “Over the next decade, we hope the metaverse will reach a billion people around the world, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support millions of jobs for creators and developers.”

In addition to developing the infrastructure, Verizon and Meta are also exploring a range of metaverse opportunities from the future of hybrid work and collaboration to metaverse-related consumer experiences.

“With complementary capabilities, Meta and Verizon are building the foundation of the metaverse,” Qureshi said.

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