A hospitable metaverse requires the basic building blocks of virtual life

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Meta’s stated mission is to seamlessly connect heterogeneous environments such as work, social media and gaming to allow people to live and work effectively in virtual spaces.

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This will clearly have a significant and continuing impact on our network. We are not just talking about the need to be constantly connected without any disturbances; We are talking about fully immersive content streaming, in 4K and 8K, with low latency and minimal lag.

We’ll need to be able to move from experience to experience without being distracted by reboots, operating system or application loading times, network congestion, or anything else that suggests we’re not in a seamless virtual environment.

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Accomplishing all this makes virtual life as challenging as going to Mars.

Still, it is possible to make travel to our new virtual world friction-free. We just need to make sure that we are installing the basic building blocks needed for virtual life.

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Starting today, we have the opportunity to make the metaverse livable and hospitable, a place where our virtual selves can thrive, not just survive.

bandwidth is key

We will need a lot of bandwidth to do this work on a large scale. Just as water is a building block of life, without bandwidth there is no way for the metaverse to function. We need high-performance connectivity capable of supporting the diverse demands of bandwidth-hungry applications in the metaverse.

This bandwidth must also be widespread and affordable, in order to better support our under-served and under-connected communities. Virtual world visions often focus on equal opportunities for all to create and explore. For this to happen inside the metaverse, we first need to ensure a level playing field of connectivity in the real world.

Low latency is just as important as air

Bandwidth is one thing, but if it embodies we’re teeming with many seconds to respond – or worse – then MetaLife is suddenly annoying and obsolete. We already get frustrated when streaming live sports or gaming online, and that will only happen if we’re trying to completely immerse ourselves in a virtual world.

Technologies such as edge computing – which can reduce network latency and improve reliability – will become increasingly important in networks that require real-time feedback.

Virtual Hardware: The Infrastructure of the Metaverse

We’ve all been there: Hardware breaks, and we need to fix it. In that time, we should be able to survive without any of the functions being driven by that piece of hardware. But it can’t be in the metaverse – or at least it shouldn’t, because we should have used virtualized functions, which is what the metaverse requires.

Deploying infrastructure functions using virtual machine and container concepts, where they, such as apps, can be deployed at scale across networks and in real time, will be critical. Classic network functions such as routing and switching will need to be fully virtualized. They need to be easily updated, upgraded, patched and deployed.

Software Intelligence: Mayor of the Metaverse

We need the Metaverse to be software-defined to enable it to function quickly and seamlessly. It is the equivalent of a local government or council capable of repairing our roads, removing garbage and controlling traffic flow in real time. This usually happens today in real life without us knowing, until it stops working and we wonder what happened.

Automation and AI, powered by programmable software capabilities, hold the key to helping accelerate the delivery of network rollouts, making them more accessible and customizable.

An adaptive virtual programmable network would be able to identify a fault and correct itself, without the need for a physical truck-roll. It can draw resources – compute, storage, bandwidth – from low-use areas to ramp up other parts of the metaverse given the increased activity, and automatically return when needed.

Over the next several years, we’ll hear a lot of talk about the metaverse, but no innovation in use cases will happen without the necessary network innovations. An adaptive network that provides software-controlled, high-capacity, low-latency connectivity will be even more important for the foundation for the metaverse of the future than the cloud apps of today.

The building blocks are already in place for the artist formerly known as Facebook to create a hospitable metaverse, and as those technologies continue to evolve – the metaverse emergence spurred the expected boom in innovation among tech developers. Want to capitalize on – there will be more world in meta-building tools to work with.

Simply put, creating a virtual universe is not easy, but it is certainly something that we can bring closer to reality through appropriate network infrastructure investments and innovation.

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