Published on November 16, 2023, 8:39 pm

Singtel recently hosted its inaugural metaverse event at the Singtel Comcentre, showcasing how its 5G network enhances immersive experiences for consumers. With the theme “Destination: ifland,” around 130 attendees had the opportunity to create and personalize their own avatars in ifland before entering the exclusive Singtel x ifland room, where they were treated to a live performance by American singer-songwriter Alec Benjamin.

Benjamin, known for his performances outside concert venues on YouTube, serenaded the audience with his hit songs and even took time to answer fans’ questions in real-time. The participants who attended the event were winners of a contest that ran on Singtel’s social media channels last month.

This event was made possible through a partnership between Singtel and SK Telecom (SKT). ifland is an SKT-owned metaverse platform that was launched globally in November 2022, spanning 49 countries, including Singapore. Alongside experiencing the ifland app, attendees also had the opportunity to take photos with Benjamin’s avatar using an interactive photo booth and explore other immersive metaverse activities such as playing games with Pico 4 augmented reality (AR) headsets.

Anna Yip, CEO of Consumer Singapore at Singtel, emphasized how this event aligns with their goal of delivering unique digital experiences to customers. She noted that working with SKT allows them to showcase the capabilities of Singtel’s 5G network in engaging consumers within the metaverse. They are committed to developing more captivating use cases together with their partners that demonstrate the potential of their metaverse-ready network.

“The evolution of the internet is shifting towards a creator economy and immersive virtual worlds,” said Anna Yip. She highlighted that achieving enhanced metaverse experiences involving multiple users and augmented or virtual reality devices necessitates an ultra-low latency network with high-speed connectivity and higher bandwidth.

The ifland platform empowers users to design their own digital avatars, offering chat functions and a range of activities such as virtual concerts and celebrity fan meets. Users can also create their own personalized “rooms” and invite friends to engage in activities tailored to their interests.

“Destination: ifland” is the first episode of The Meta Guide, a series of metaverse-themed events that Singtel plans to co-develop with SKT. This series aims to introduce new platforms and experiences within the metaverse for consumers to explore. Currently, the ifland app is available for Android and iOS users. Singtel customers who download ifland can look forward to exclusive benefits like K-pop fan meets and virtual merchandise in the near future.

As part of their collaboration, Singtel and SKT are working closely on developing virtual versions of Singaporean landmarks along with avatars inspired by local culture. They envision expanding these metaverse offerings to other countries where Singtel has a presence, including Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Additionally, the two companies aim to explore opportunities for collaboration in areas such as advanced data encryption to enhance network security against emerging cyber threats.

The global metaverse market is expected to skyrocket from US$39 billion in 2021 to US$680 billion by 2030, driven by integrating AR tools and VR headsets. Currently, most users access metaverses through smartphones or computers, which may not provide an optimal experience. The combination of the metaverse with 5G technology has the potential to digitally transform various industries, including manufacturing. For instance, innovative technologies like automated robots could be deployed within the metaverse for testing operations or training purposes before implementing them in real-world scenarios.

Singtel’s recent event exemplifies its dedication to staying at the forefront of technological advancements while providing immersive digital experiences to its customers. As they continue exploring the possibilities within the metaverse with their partners like SKT, we can expect more exciting developments in this space.

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