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SK Telecom and NTT DoCoMo sign metaverse pact

Metaverse VR

South Korean operator SK Telecom and Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo will work together to produce metaverse stuff.

The two operators have announced they are friends and plan to work together on various projects, firstly on metaverse content and technology. We’re told SKT has been operating its metaverse service ‘ifland’ since July last year, while NTT DOCOMO launched its metaverse service in March 2022.

Apparently the list of metaversy things the firms are working on includes co-creation of K-pop and J-pop content, jointly securing IP of popular games and animations in Korea and Japan, and investing in metaverse-related content providers or mixed reality-related device makers. They will also share service and technology in the short term, and look at connecting their services and implementing joint marketing later on.

More tangibly what this means to start with is that NTT DoCoMo customers will be able to enjoy ‘volumetric concerts’ of K-pop artists provided by ifland, and ifland users will be able to take a virtual tour of major cities of Japan via NTT DoCoMo’s own metaverse service.

“The MOU has a significant meaning as it is a cooperation between the representative mobile operators of Korea and Japan,” said Ryu Young-sang, President & CEO of SKT. “By working together with NTT DoCoMo in the area of future ICT, we will generate tangible results that drive global ICT innovation.”

Motoyuki Ii, President & CEO of NTT DoCoMo added: “By combining our technological capabilities and the know-how we have cultivated across years of experience, we hope to create new services that will allow customers around the world to experience new forms of excitement. We look forward to working with SK Telecom to develop the businesses of both companies.”

It’s often waved through by this point, but it sometimes seems that the metaverse is a strange thing for the mobile operators to glob onto. While there’s the obvious prestige that comes with being attached to the biggest tech buzzword of the age, it’s still not really been explained how firms that offer primarily mobile connectivity will have a key role to play, running on the assumption that the metaverse – whatever it ends up looking like specifically – will have to involve wearing a VR helmet and looking at a virtual world instead of the real one.

In other words, surely the metaverse is a thing for the home, and subsequently powered by wifi as opposed to 5G or even 6G – unless we are to imagine people will soon be walking along the street with VR headsets on enjoying these metaverse environments, blind to whatever is coming their way in the real world, until they inevitably end up falling in a bin or being hit by a bus.

 

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