The company’s ambitions to build a “metaverse” cannot be realized without significant improvements to today’s telecommunications networks, executives at Facebook’s parent company Meta said at the Mobile World Congress (MWC).
Metaverse is a buzzword in the tech industry recently, heralded as the next big thing in technology that could rival the mobile internet.
However, current home and mobile cellular networks are not ready for the Metaverse. That’s what Dan Rabinowitz, vice president of Meta, said at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) technology event.
“We are working closely with our colleagues to think about the next steps in innovation,” he said, adding that Meta is also working with cellular partners.
Still according to him, although the true “metaverse” does not yet exist, some early projects in progress may provide information about what the “metaverse” really is.
Meta, for example, sees its Oculus VR headset as a gateway to a new “metaverse” experience. But getting that experience requires lower network latency and higher transfer speeds.
“If you look closely at the speed of innovation in the telecommunications industry, it’s harder to go faster in this space than in other markets,” Rabinowitz said.
According to Rabinowitz, you need to develop a common language around network performance.
“In fact, we strongly believe that measurement metrics are the foundation for the next phase of the work,” he said.
Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement on Sunday that creating a true virtual world presence for smart glasses and VR headsets requires network connectivity.
“This calls for bigger changes than anything we’ve seen before,” Zuckerberg said.
Furthermore, he added that something like massively immersive video streaming would require a completely different type of network.
In response, Marc Allera, chief executive of British mobile network company BT Consumer, said he expects the Metaverse to put pressure on the current network. Still, he said, the telecommunications industry is investing billions of dollars in new technologies.
“When you stop and think about what you can do with a smartphone today compared to ten years ago, it’s because the industry and network operators have invested a lot of money. But these content companies don’t contribute anything to the network,” he said.