The metaverse is the future of the internet. Major corporations such as Meta, Roblox and Niantic are investing in and developing the metaverse. However, as the metaverse grows, the challenge becomes creating metaverse-ready networks. Current network infrastructures must evolve to accommodate the upcoming metaverse platforms.
“Over the next decade, we hope the metaverse will reach a billion people around the world, host hundreds of billions of dollars of digital commerce, and support millions of jobs for creators and developers,” says Dan Rabinovitsj, Vice President of Meta in a Tech@Facebook article. “This opportunity calls for vast enhancements in capacity and fundamental shifts in how networks are architected and deployed, as well as industry-wide collaboration — from tech companies to mobile operators, service providers, policymakers, and more — to prepare for the metaverse.”
Metaverse-Ready Networks: What does Meta need to do?
The metaverse allows persons from across the globe to interact within realistic VR environments. However, delivering such experiences requires innovations in real-time rendering, edge computing and video compression, among other technologies. Likewise, latency between devices must improve to reach metaverse standards.
With the help of industry partners, Meta hopes to build prototypes over the next few years to “fully understand and innovate on this complex interplay of systems.”
Current latency-sensitive applications must fall within the range of 75-150 ms for roundtrip time latency. Conversely, future metaverse applications will require roundtrip time latency ranging from single to low double digits to allow graphics rendering to respond to where the user’s eyes are focusing.
Meta believes remote rendering over edge cloud and locale and remote hybrid rendering will play a significant role in the coming years. However, this will require rebuilding fixed and mobile networks. Meta is heavily invested in the metaverse, and Zuckerberg spoke on the company’s metaverse in a recent interview. Horizon Worlds, Meta’s metaverse platform, hit 300k users in the same vein. Likewise, Zuckerberg revealed some of the company’s current AI projects in a Livestream.
Rebuilding from the ground up
According to Meta, the next generation of metaverse-ready networks will require cross-layer and cross-domain optimizations. This will allow them to offer ultra-low and uniform latency connectivity.
“There are no silver bullets when it comes to the connectivity challenges raised by the industry-wide push toward the metaverse.”, Rabinovitsj says, “Overcoming these challenges will take a global effort that no single company, or even industry, is capable of sustaining on its own. But the lesson of the mobile era, which brought fast, reliable internet to billions of people, shows how powerful the connectivity industry can be when it works together to serve the world.”