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TIP launches metaverse-ready project group

October 20, 2022

By Colin Mann

TIP (Telecom Infra Project) has established a new project group that addresses one of the central topics in today’s telecommunications industry, metaverse-ready networks. The metaverse aims to transform how people interact by delivering immersive experiences that will require better network performance, for both fixed and mobile networks.

According to TIP – a global community of companies and organisations working together to accelerate the development and deployment of open, disaggregated, and standards-based technology solutions that deliver the high-quality connectivity – for connectivity and technology service providers, as well as the broader industry, the metaverse will create opportunities to deliver new experiences spanning all sectors including education, healthcare, remote work, and more. As these use cases begin to emerge, network performance and functionality needs to evolve. As they evolve over the next decade, future immersive services will require more network capabilities to support greater agility, programmability, performance and reliability.

The TIP Metaverse-Ready Networks Project Group’s (MRN) primary objective is to accelerate the development of solutions and architectures that enhance network readiness to support metaverse experiences. Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Sparkle, T-Mobile and Telefónica will be the initial co-chairs of the Project Group.

Working in close collaboration, the Project Group will aim to align on industry-wide network capabilities, specific APIs and mechanisms required to access end-to-end (E2E) network capabilities supporting immersive applications at scale. The group will define requirements and methods for measuring E2E Quality of Experience (QoE) and provide a prioritisation of future network architectures needed to achieve metaverse readiness.

“This new group will enable operators to address the exciting opportunities that the metaverse is creating in both the consumer and enterprise segments,” stated Alex Harmand, Head of Network Platforms at Telefónica and Co-Chair of the MRN Project Group. “Telefónica is looking forward to collaborating to define  the network capabilities and associated APIs  needed  to enhance metaverse services. The TIP community is the perfect environment for this initiative, as it will allow us to leverage multiple current project groups, such as OpenRAN, Open Optical and Packet Transport, to deliver end-to-end architectures and solutions that we will then test in Telefónica’s and other TIP Community Labs.”

“As one of the major upcoming revolutions in the telco industry, the metaverse has to be built through industry collaboration” added Ron Marquardt, Vice President of Advanced Technologies & Innovation at T-Mobile. “We want to encourage other CSPs, technology makers and content creators to join us in this journey.”

“The metaverse is the next chapter of the Internet,” said Rashan Jibowu, Product Manager at Meta Platforms and Co-Chair of the MRN Project Group. “In the early stages of its development, it’s critical that we work together as an industry to determine what it means for networks to be ‘metaverse-ready’, and what we need to do collectively to get there. We look forward to collaborating with the TIP community to lay this important groundwork and build toward our common goal of bringing the metaverse to life.”

“The telecom industry will act as a key enabler for the metaverse by providing the performing network architectures and services that will support growing bandwidth requests and quality of experience generated by new business models,” commented Fabio Panunzi Capuano, Executive Vice President Business Development at Sparkle and Co-Chair of the MRN Project Group. “The Metaverse-Ready Networks Project Group, as one voice of the industry, has the challenging task to define new connectivity requirements supporting the end-to-end metaverse experience and Sparkle, with its assets and experience, is at the forefront in cooperating to shape the future.”

“The metaverse might be in a nascent state, but it is imperative to start building today the networks needed to realise the promise of a complete convergence of our physical and digital lives,” asserted Ricardo Villarreal, Director of Product Management at Microsoft, Azure for Operators and Co-Chair of the MRN Project Group. “Cross-industry collaboration is the only way to achieve this.”

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