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Telefonica Metaverse Day Overview

On September 29, Telefonica, one of the world’s largest telecom companies, held its first Metaverse Day. The company shared its innovations, strategy and partnerships around metaverse and Web3.

Chema Alonso, Chief Digital Officer of Telefónica,and Yaiza Rubio, Chief Metaverse Officer, at the Telefonica Metaverse Day
Chema Alonso, Chief Digital Officer of Telefónica,and Yaiza Rubio, Chief Metaverse Officer, at the Telefonica Metaverse Day. Source: Telefonica

The event had an offline format held at the Telefonica District auditorium with The Playground demo area, and an online streaming format which could be accessed through the event’s website or in AltSpaceVR – a multi-user virtual environment for immersive experience.

First up was Chema Alonso, Chief Digital Officer of Telefonica. Here are some major points of his speech:

  • The Internet is going through a “re-evolution” thanks to technologies like the blockchain, AR/VR/XR, 5G, Wifi 6 and edge computing. Telefonica is ready to transform itself but no longer only with a vision of telecommunications company .
  • Tokens will change the paradigm of buying, selling and exchanging goods and this process is unstoppable. Telefonica recently made a strategic investment in the Bit2Me exchanger, which has enabled the Bit2Me commerce payment method in Telefonica’s store. This method allows the use of cryptocurrencies to carry out certain transactions.
  • Telefonica also has a Movistar Token project that is aimed at rewarding customers for becoming more digital.
  • There is also the Telefonica NFT marketplace – a new platform for the creating and selling digital art.
  • Telefonica is committed to innovations through investing in start-ups via Wayra. Wayra connects Telefonica and technological disruptors around the world to help scale them up and establish long-term partnerships.

Irene Bernal, Director of Connectivity Innovation at Telefonica, continued by showing examples of metaverse experiences and outlined the check list for a telecom company to become “metaverse ready”: low latency technologies, edge computing and a programmable network. But at the moment the metaverse is challenged by immense data traffic, reduced latency and more powerful bandwidth.

Yaiza Rubio, Chief Metaverse Officer at Telefonica, added that “the metaverse proposes a new form of relationship that is much more humane“: it offers unprecedented possibilities for online training, meeting new people from all over the world and other living experiences. And this is what Telefonica as a company has been doing – offering experiences that connect people’s lives. That's why Telefonica has joined the “Metaverse Standards Forum” as a representative of the telecom industry. It is a forum for discussion and coordination in order to establish common standards for various organisations and companies that create products and services related to the metaverse. Later on Yaiza Rubio announced the acquisition of Imascono, a company specialising in the development of experiences for the metaverse, and the recent developments in the partnership with Microsoft.

Daniel Hernandez, VP Devices & Consumer IoT at Telefonica, talked about the partnership with Qualcomm to build the future of XR and the metaverse together. Along came the announcements of partnerships with Unity for metaverse experiences and Niantic for VR experiences.

The last to take the stage was Aitor Goyenechea, Director of Advertising, Brand and Sponsorships at Movistar Spain, who talked about Movistar creating new experiences by integrating physical and digital worlds, like the app “Movistar Immersive Experience” that they created in collaboration with the artist Okuda San Miguel for the Meta Quest2 glasses.

Okuda San Miguel’s work for Movistar
Okuda San Miguel’s work for Movistar. Source: Movistar

After the speeches guests could test The Playground with various demos: those related to the network revolution, demos of metaverse calls or holographic calls, AR and VR, 3D holograms and hyperrealistic avatars or demos related to Web3.

Well, the event was a success: lots of partnerships and plans announced. But the main point seems to be that a first-tier telecom company has accepted the inevitable: crypto and metaverse are here to stay and that they should ride the wave. Of course, Telefonica is not the first company to carry out a metaverse-related event: for instance, Meta held a one-day virtual event beginning of October with speakers like Mark Zuckerberg and John Carmack. But the Telefonica Metaverse Day is an important one for the telecom industry and the Spanish-speaking world. We will continue to observe.

#Telefonica #Metaverse #Web3