UAE’s Etisalat Group Takes First Steps in Metaverse
e&, known formerly as Etisalat Group, announced the soft launch of its virtual world, e& universe hosted virtually in Arcadia Planitia on Mars.
This announcement came during Gitex Global 2022, held at the Dubai World Trade Center with the participation of 5,000 exhibitors.
CEO of e& Hatem Dowidar said his company takes its first steps in the metaverse, marking a remarkable accomplishment in the e&’s transformation journey to global technology.
Dowidar pointed out that the e& universe comes as a result of collaboration with HTC to provide an enriching experience for users through multiple virtual spaces and avatars.
Dowidar noted that the United Arab of Emirates (UAE) enjoys high bandwidth and low latency, a matter which makes the metaverse functional with the launch of 5G a few years ago.
Despite being in its early incubation stages, several companies and the Dubai government expanded their footprints in the metaverse.
“Telcos must consider harnessing [the metaverse’s] potential for the betterment of lives, whether it is a virtual playground or shopping destination, or even using it as a training ground for smarter, more efficient AI and industrial manufacturing processes,” Dowidar told the press during Gitex.
He asserted the importance of 5G technology in powering the metaverse as it offers low latency, enhanced render level of detail (LOD), and offload processing, adding telecoms can play a more prominent role in the metaverse through the 5G technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), edge cloud, and analytics.
According to him, telecoms will be needed to cooperate with technology platform providers, specialist cloud providers, technology giants, online game developers, and internet tech companies to create a stronger metaverse system.
He also said that the next phase of e& universe would include purchasing digital assets and NFTs, watching virtual concerts and sports events, and other experiences which will make e& the first telecom in the UAE and region to offer such services.
He pointed to e&’s business center, established in the metaverse in cooperation with Huwaei, as it provides users with a digital 3D retail experience via metaverse technologies.
Through e&’s business center, customers can experience a whole new level by using VR devices as they can benefit from digital services and products offered by e& through the use of high-speed 5G technology.
Over the past few years, the UAE has positioned itself as one of the world’s prominent hubs for metaverse and blockchain technologies.
The Emirati government, in July, launched the Dubai Metaverse Strategy which aims to contribute $4 billion to the emirate’s economy. The strategy targets increasing the number of blockchain and metaverse companies fivefold within five years as well as offering 40,000 virtual jobs.
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