Meta says its metaverse ambitions won’t be possible without better cellular networks

As Facebook announced its rebranding as Meta at its virtual Connect event on October 28th, 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke in New York.

Meta, formerly Facebook, has stated that its grand ambition of building the ultimate “metaverse” will not be possible unless today’s telecoms networks are drastically improved.

As the next big thing in technology, the metaverse is all the rage right now. A virtual world where people can work, shop, and play with their coworkers, friends, and family is what the term refers to.

Meta’s Dan Rabinovitsj, VP of connectivity, told CNBC on Monday that home and cellular networks aren’t yet ready for the metaverse.

With colleagues, “we’re thinking about the next step in innovation,” he said, adding that Meta is also collaborating with cellular partners.

While other industries have seen faster growth, Rabinovitsj asserted that the telecom industry has lagged behind in terms of innovation. “We’ve tried to change the trajectory of innovation as one of the things we’ve tried to change.”

Even though a true metaverse has not yet been created, some early projects underway provide some insight into what it is all about. It has been hailed as the gateway to some of these new metaverse experiences by Meta’s Oculus virtual reality headsets However, high upload and download speeds and low latency are required for the experiences.

Rabinovitsj said, “We need to develop a common language around network performance.” In this next phase of work, “we’re actually big believers in measurement as a foundation.”

It will take a huge leap in connectivity to create a true sense of presence in virtual worlds delivered to smart glasses and virtual reality headsets, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Sunday in a statement.

“This will need to be bigger than any step changes we’ve seen before,” Zuckerberg said, adding that things like wide-scale immersive video streaming will require entirely new networks.

When asked about the speed of 5G rollout, AT&T Executive Vice President David Christopher told CNBC that the industry has been investing “massively.”

In his presentation, he argued that current networks already provide low latency, consistent speeds, and high capacity. He added, “This will only improve over this next decade to support many use cases across many industries, including immersive and metaverse-like experiences.”

To build the Metaverse, “innovation and interoperability across many sectors, with advanced connectivity from 5G as an important element,” is the key to its development.