As is true in almost every other part of the retail-focused telecom business, service providers are exploring roles in the artificial reality or virtual reality area that extend beyond mere connectivity, and move either up the stack or across the value chain.
“Telcos have a key role in enabling VRAR services as providers of broadband and mobile network services, but we see them beginning to explore revenue opportunities in VRAR that are beyond 5G data and connectivity, with some leading players entering key segments of the VRAR supply chain in the past two years,” says Ozgur Aytar, GlobalData director of research.
“Take Verizon, for example, that has made acquisitions in VRAR content platforms, while SK Telecom is building its own, or, AT&T that is investing to develop compelling VR experiences and AR apps and Orange is taking steps to increase its participation across the board in devices, platforms, services and original content,” he says.
Though it might be easy to focus on the need for “more bandwidth,” in the case of VR and AR, it might be latency which is the more-important requirement. That, in turn, is underpinning thinking about the role of edge computing in reducing latency, and the related role of 5G in slicing access latency to single-digit milliseconds, the threshold of human perception being about 50 milliseconds.