5G and the metaverse

MAY 01, 2022

The metaverse is a concept that has been around for decades and to many sounds like science fiction: a parallel, virtual universe in which we live our lives as if in a video game. However, recent advances in technology mean that this fiction is becoming a reality. Countless technological components that will make up the metaverse already exist today, and society is increasingly preconditioned to virtual and augmented experiences.

The creation of a parallel digital world opens the doors for organizations to create new experiences for businesses and consumers, and we can expect companies to provide virtual content and services from education to entertainment, medicine to fashion. The possibilities go on as network technologies continuously grow stronger, telecommunication providers offer more tailored offerings, and connectivity becomes interwoven in enterprise operations at all levels.

Telecommunication Providers as the Enablers of the Metaverse


The convergence of technological maturity and society’s readiness to accept digital alternatives have accelerated in recent years. Virtual meetings have become commonplace and cryptocurrencies are increasingly available and accepted. This, along with the advancement of 5G network technology, has resulted in a burgeoning market for digital experiences -- for consumers and businesses.

Now, the opportunity is most stark for telecom providers building technology that will serve as the backbone for all-digital worlds like the metaverse. First among these technologies is 5G. Edge computing, network slicing and enterprise ecosystems all impact telecom providers, but 5G, with its mobility, superior speed, and throughput benefits, is what will drive the metaverse. As the creators and providers of 5G, and thus the enablers of the metaverse, telecommunication providers will play a mission-critical role in helping enterprises succeed in these new, virtual environments.

While some companies might be early movers as the race to build the dominating platform plays out today, the metaverse opportunity is still developing, and telecommunication providers should, if they haven’t already, think about where in the services spectrum they would like to position themselves.

New Demands in the Metaverse

Today’s digital economy allows for innovative and imaginative demands to advance digital customer experiences. To start, this new era of transformation has created a demand for 5G expansions and integrations throughout enterprise business models. As the metaverse market expands, more opportunities will appear as enterprises explore exciting potentials in new verticals from entertainment to real estate.

5G will also play an essential role in creating and maintaining an excellent customer experience in both the digital and real world. Simultaneously, it will entice customers to expect an efficient yet seamless journey, including ultra-fast connectivity. Enterprises will only be truly successful in the metaverse once they can provide a game-changing customer experience with the fastest possible connection speeds and low latency. Lag time and disconnects will be a quick path to unhappy customers and entirely unacceptable to metaverse participants.

At the end of the day, 5G will be to the metaverse what 4G was for social media and the rise of mobile apps. Simply put, the metaverse -- and therefore enterprises’ digital strategies -- can’t reach its full potential without 5G.

Photo credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock

Ken Kennedy is COO and president of revenue management and digital monetization at CSG

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