Metaverse represents a major new market for telcos with early estimates of the overall size of the metaverse opportunity to be around $13 trillion by 2030, according to a report by Arthur D. Little (ADL).
Ericsson for example estimates the opportunity presented by 5G fixed wireless access at $5 billion in 2022, growing to $21 billion in 2025 and $53 billion by 2030.
Three related forces drive the imperative for telcos to be proactive in their metaverse strategies and tactics. First, the demand is likely to be too large to ignore. Second, the risk of failure or non-participation could be existential. Third, consumer behaviour, particularly from Gen Z, shows that demand for metaverse products is already well into the mainstream.
Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner, Arthur D. Little, Middle East, commented: “As highlighted in the report, the metaverse will add tremendous value to all and this should allow telcos to share a part of the benefit, as increased revenue which can be spent on network infrastructure and addressing the challenge of ultra-low-latency requirements. A good connectivity will enable healthcare and education providers to deliver services to disadvantaged and remote communities – and at an overall lower cost – democratising access and care for citizens worldwide.”
Kuruvilla added: “Going forward, the per cent increase in adoption of digital services/metaverse will be higher with the lower income population ADL estimates the total addressable market will grow at a 33 per cent CAGR from 2022–2025 (excluding infrastructure and enabling technologies).”
Albert Meige, Director of Blue Shift at Arthur D. Little, said: “The metaverse provides a vision for the transition to a more connected, immersive and tech-driven world. It could also be a crucial accelerator in the search for tools that support the individual lifestyle of the next generation of consumers. It is increasingly clear that speeding up infrastructure enhancements to meet demand is not only essential but urgent, and the telecommunications sector is at the heart of this challenge.”
ADL Viewpoint explores the multifold benefits for telcos, from leveraging infrastructure to building new business models to capturing downstream value through active participation in the metaverse as a “single point of service.”