Compared with the Internet, how big is the imagination space of the operator’s “Metaverse”?

Operators take the lead in entering the market, what will happen to the “Metaverse”?

In the past 2021, the Metaverse has successfully stood out.

Overseas, Roblox was listed on the New York Stock Exchange and became the “first stock of the Metaverse”; in October last year, the social media site Facebook announced that the company was renamed Meta; even in the past few days, Microsoft also sold $95 per share, totaling 68.7 billion Big dollar acquisitions of iconic franchises including Activision Blizzard and King Studios are trying to pry open the gates of the Metaverse.

Compared with the Internet, how big is the imagination space of the operator's "Metaverse"?

In China, a series of Internet giants such as Ali, Tencent, Byte and Baidu have also entered the game. According to Gamma data, in 2021, in the game field, which is regarded as the first place in the Metaverse, there will be 209 domestic investments, with a total amount of about 25.88 billion yuan.

Under such enthusiasm, several major operators represented by China Mobile did not hold back. Just like the high-profile announcement of “5G” news to challenge WeChat, they also threw themselves into the arms of the Metaverse.

What’s going on behind this?

Unleashing the imagination, the three major operators enter the venue

2021, as the first year of the Metaverse, has laid a certain foundation for this relatively obscure technological concept, both theoretically and industrially.

Matthew Ball, one of the earliest researchers of the Metaverse, said that the landing of the Metaverse requires at least eight elements to support: equipment such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), ultra-high-speed network, powerful computing power, large-scale virtual platform, information Shared tools and standards, secure and efficient payment methods, new content and services, and web users.

These eight elements, under the cultivation of the Internet and smart hardware in recent years, have matured the technology. As the possibility of the Metaverse landing increases day by day, the hidden imagination behind it is gradually released.

As a semi-finished version of the Metaverse game, “Star Citizen” has already received more than 350 million US dollars in crowdfunding revenue during the development stage; at the end of 2021, the world show once set a record of seven daily limit in 17 days due to the concept of “Rainbow Universe”; Influenced by the “Metaverse Concept” product “Master Brewmaster”, Zhongqingbao’s share price rose by more than 302% in 4 months due to the product.

On the other hand, the Internet economy is also calling for a new increment.

As of June 2021, the number of netizens in my country has reached 1.011 billion, and the Internet penetration rate has reached 71.6%. However, the growth of China’s mobile Internet population and the growth of per capita online time are close to stagnation. Especially in the past 2021, the platform economy has entered a mature stage of development, and the effect of traffic dividends and business model dividends has weakened.

In this context, the Metaverse that can theoretically link the world can be regarded as a new direction of development, and it is hoped that it will become a “shortcut” for many industries to tap new incremental space.

In addition, the concept of the Metaverse also involves 5G, VR, games, social networking, content, consumption and other fields. At the same time, as the hottest and trendiest topic nowadays, connecting the Metaverse is almost linked to connecting young people. equal sign.

Therefore, whether it is from the perspective of profitability, traffic or looking for increments, it is a logical result for operators to run and enter the market.

Compared with the Internet, how big is the imagination space of the operator's "Metaverse"?

Therefore, in the past few months, the three major operators have made frequent moves:

On October 19, 2021, Liu Liehong, chairman of China Unicom, said at the 2021 World VR Industry Conference that China Unicom will promote the accelerated development of the VR industry.

On November 12, the China Telecom 5G Innovation Application Cooperation Forum was held in Guangzhou. With the theme of “Pangu opening up the world, innovating and expanding the future”, the forum focused on the strategic layout of the new country’s Metaverse, positioned as a new infrastructure builder in the Metaverse, based on innovative application achievements, and launched the “Pangu Plan” in 2022.

At the 2021 China Mobile Global Partner Conference, China Mobile Migu shared the MIGU evolution roadmap of Metaverse. Relying on the computing power network, through games, social networking, virtual idols and other carriers, it quickly entered the Metaverse track.

The actions of the three have released an obvious message from all aspects: this time, I am serious.

“Pioneering” the Metaverse, computing power has become the “killer” of operators

Then, the problem also follows.

Compared with the three major operators, Internet companies with earlier deployment, faster landing, and greater influence have always had unique advantages in the exploration of the Metaverse. This advantage can be refined by users, technology or funds.

Taking Tencent as an example, as of the end of the third quarter of 2021, Tencent’s WeChat and WeChat had a total of about 1.26 billion monthly active accounts, plus QQ’s nearly 574 million active accounts, the total number of users exceeded 1.8 billion.

The huge number of users is directly reflected in revenue. According to the public financial reports of major game companies around the world in 2020, Tencent also ranks first in the world with a total revenue of US$23.924 billion. With sufficient funds, Tencent’s business map has expanded rapidly, so before the Metaverse has set off a huge wave, Tencent has made a layout in the Metaverse-related business.

For example, in 2019, Tencent entered into a joint venture with Roblox, an American game company that had not yet become the “first share in the Metaverse”; and then continued to invest in Epic, an American game development and sales platform.

Another example is NetEase. First, Ding Lei, the head of the company, stated that he was “ready to enter the Metaverse”, and registered trademarks such as “NetEase Metaverse”, “Leihuo Metaverse” and “Fuxi Metaverse”. Second, he invested in “Virtual Human” ecological companies. World Culture, in 2021 alone, NetEase will make as many as 5 investments related to virtual humans. In the past few years, it has also invested in a number of 9 companies related to VR technology.

In this contrast, why do the three major operators have the confidence to run and enter, and what advantages does it have?

The answer may be in computing power.

In fact, computing power appears to be at the heart of future Metaverse battles. Take the most classic movie “Ready Player One” reflecting the Metaverse as an example. In the scene depicted in this movie, whether it is a civilian or a rich entrepreneur, it can be said that the whole people have achieved “Oasis Travel”.

Compared with the Internet, how big is the imagination space of the operator's "Metaverse"?

Under the background that the population will only increase in the future, users in the “Oasis” can perform a series of complex activities such as dancing, fighting, and racing without lag, no delay, and high image quality. There are still great difficulties in the scene, which requires a very large and complex computing power network.

These things are not something that Internet companies can easily solve, but for operators, they have inherent advantages and gradually become an important reliance for them to enter the Metaverse.

Take China Mobile as an example. At present, it has built the world’s largest 5G network with more than 700,000 5G base stations. In the past three years, it has invested 100 billion yuan to deploy N+31+X resource pools, data center construction, etc., and the mobile cloud has been launched 13 1 central node, 16 provincial nodes, and 300+ edge nodes to achieve 100% coverage of cloud services.

Not only that, it can be seen from the “China Mobile Computing Network White Paper” led by China Mobile in November 2021 that computing power is still the focus of their future work.

In China, the business and infrastructure builders of the three major operators are very similar. China Mobile is like this, and so is China Telecom and China Unicom.

For example, Telecom, its listed company Xinguomai has a very clear development goal, saying that the future will be divided into two stages to achieve development goals: In the recent years, based on the real world, a series of large and small virtual worlds will be combined. In the process, the platform and cloud network basic capabilities will be provided to serve various virtual world formats. In the second stage after years of development, a super virtual world will gradually be formed. New Guomai will rely on the state-owned identity and business technology foundation to strive to become a virtual world. The “national team and main force” provided by the world base.

According to the arrangement of public information, it is not difficult to see that they use computing power as the starting point and the idea of ​​entering the Metaverse with the advantages of infrastructure is surprisingly consistent:

The first step is to build a new type of information infrastructure that integrates network, cloud, data, intelligence, security, edge, terminal, chain and other elements with computing power as the center and network as the foundation; the second step is to promote computing power to become a The same social-level service of “one-point access, instant use”; the third step is to finally achieve a state of “ubiquitous network, ubiquitous computing power, and ubiquitous intelligence”.

In this way, using the network to cut in and watering with computing power, operators are also actively exploring the application landing scenarios of the Metaverse with what they are good at. It is precisely because of this that their exploration progress is not far behind Internet companies.

Difficulties remain. Can the three major operators evolve a new order in 2022?

So, as the time line enters 2022, will the “Metaverse tree” cultivated by operators be a “paper plan” in the future, or will it bear fruit?

Deep Eye Finance believes that although operators are not far behind in the exploration of the Metaverse, their path to the Metaverse in 2022 may not be smooth.

First of all, in terms of technology, the “2020-2021 Metaverse Development Research Report” released by the New Media Research Center of Tsinghua University pointed out that the commercialization of the large-scale “Metaverse” is still very far away. Even Zuckerberg commented that “the investment will not be profitable at any time in the near future”.

In the words of science fiction writer Chen Qiufan: At present, there is no one company or one technology that can cover all the things that the “Metaverse” needs to achieve, because it involves a lot of infrastructure, not a single platform, nor a single application.

Therefore, for operators at this stage, whether it is on the hardware devices that involve experience such as VR/AR, or a series of infrastructures such as display technology, network transmission, cloud storage services, etc., they want to make the Metaverse achieve “closer to reality”. The virtual world effect of the world”, is still a long way to go in technology alone.

In other words, the follow-up of the three major operators does not depend on themselves, but on the progress of other players in the industry.

Secondly, since it has not been listed, Migu’s financial status has not been disclosed. However, if we take Xinguomai, a subsidiary of China Telecom, which has a similar main business, as a reference, according to the financial report, Xinguomai has been in the market for several consecutive quarters since the beginning of this year. loss status.

However, as the first entry into the Metaverse in the future, the research and development of AR and VR devices alone will require a lot of capital investment, not to mention the research and development of other digital products such as wearable devices and diffractive waveguide lenses. In this context, even if there are “platforms” of China Mobile and China Telecom, operators who want to achieve a technological transition have to bear a lot of cost pressure.

Finally, although the focus of the three major operators has always been on the infrastructure of the Metaverse, after subdividing their actions, it can be found that the operators’ exploration of the Metaverse has gradually penetrated into various industries, with China Mobile Migu as the For example, the company has initially involved many fields related to the Metaverse, such as social networking, games, movies, music, and virtual humans.

Although it is said that by deploying more industries, companies can have more possibilities and find the most suitable track for themselves, but after the front line is stretched, it means that the company will push more competitors to its own opposite, and at the same time Dividing time and funds may not be as good as concentrating on a certain track to see results faster.

In addition, at the standard level, the entire industry is still in a state of chaos. In the future, the three major operators may “infight” in the competition for standards, or even be led by other companies, just like Japan’s mobile phone standard system more than ten years ago. Like defeat, existing efforts are vain.

For example, on November 11, 2021, the Metaverse Industry Committee of China Mobile Communications Federation held an unveiling ceremony, with members including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Huawei, etc. At the same time, Internet companies such as Tencent also proposed “Metaverse” The concept of “rate” to measure the “remote presence | immersion” created by Metaverse technology has become the scoring standard for the degree of industry development.

In this way, with the exponential increase in the number of entrants, the formulation of relevant standards for the Metaverse is rather slow, and the interconnection is far away. In the future, it will take time to prove whether the three major operators will use the “visible hand” of the government or institutions to solve the problem of formulating the rules of the Metaverse.


All in all, at this stage, the development of Metaverse is still in the initial stage. Even if they are both telecom operators, the layout of China Mobile, China Unicom, and Telecom is quite different.

But what can be confirmed is that no matter how the Metaverse develops, computing power is an extremely important part. Can operators use this as a starting point to expand their advantages, and make good investment, technology, and standards after the official launch of the industry Preparation, etc., has become the key to their success.

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