Mobile + Web3
What was the biggest buzz this year at Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile tech trade show? According to CNBC, it wasn’t the switch to 5G or the latest iPhone release. It was – you guessed it – the metaverse. And, with a lot of telecom companies just starting to dip their toes into Web3 and the concepts of augmented reality or extended reality, things were definitely interesting.
We’re at a critical point in the development of the metaverse. Decentraland and other metaverse spaces are thriving and developing more each day. Companies like TerraZero are building and hosting full conferences, concerts, expos, games, and more. And yet, the concept of the metaverse and what it will develop into is still nebulous to a lot of individuals and companies.
This became very obvious at MWC. Essentially, many mobile tech companies are seeing the writing on the wall and want to be a part of the next evolution of the digital world. But, without a strong grasp on what that looks like, as CNBC put it, “things got weird.”
SK Telecom, a South Korean company, advertised a “4D metaverse ride” at their booth, but the actual ride seemed to only be a variation of the same kinds of VR “rides” that other companies have been delivering for a few years. Similarly, HTC, Qualcomm, and other companies focused on the VR aspect of their “metaverse” offerings.
Essentially, telecom companies are enthusiastic for the future of the metaverse, but they’re still trying to figure out what that future looks like – and how they fit in it. As Telefonica’s chief digital officer, Chema Alonso, said during the show, “We are thinking about [what] should be the role of a telco like Telefonica in this new evolution.”
Whatever that role may be, we know it’s going to be a big one. In fact, CMS Wire quoted Huawei Carrier officials forecasting that the metaverse “will generate $1.5 trillion in GDP by 2030, which is roughly equivalent to the current 5G market.”
With projections like that, it’s no wonder that telecom companies are jumping at the chance to be involved in metaverse marketing and technology in its early stages. And, while we may be seeing some strange offerings at trade shows, this early buy-in is fantastic news for metaverse denizens and companies interested in exploring the future of Web3. With telecom companies on board, we’ll continue to see expanding user experience opportunities and use cases for metaverse deployments. From conferences and concerts to metaverse rides and games, the future is now for the metaverse.