Thursday, 22 November 2018 10:11

GSMA launches initiative to support Cloud AR/VR development

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The GSM Association, the lobby group for mobile carriers worldwide, has launched a new industry-wide initiative — The Cloud AR/VR Forum — focusing on the development of cloud virtual reality and augmented reality technology.

The program, which was unveiled at Huawei’s 9th Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, is backed by mobile operators, including China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT Corp., NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telefónica, Telenor, TIM, Turkcell and Vodafone, as well as other industry partners, including Huawei and HTC.

The GSMA says the program aims to encourage all parties to collaborate on accelerating the delivery and deployment of 5G cloud-based AR/VR services.

“Both VR and AR are disruptive forms of immersive multimedia that, combined with operator edge cloud and 5G connectivity, will transform the cost structures of the enterprise and entertainment fields,” says Alex Sinclair, chief technology officer, GSMA.

“Mobile operators will play a key role in its development, but without a common approach and industry-wide collaboration we risk fragmenting the market from the beginning. The establishment of this forum will overcome this hurdle and ensure we can scale compelling solutions faster.”

The GSMA says the new forum aims to encourage knowledge sharing between members, as well as discussion about new business models including the development of a service reference architecture to avoid cost fragmentation.

And it will also focus on technical development areas including research into ultra-low latency codec compression, graphics processing unit (GPU) rendering in the cloud and virtualisation technologies, and the development of simplified interfaces so that developers can easily deploy services.

“The convergence of 5G networks and clouds will enable mass market adoption of immersive experiences like AR and VR. Utilising scalable computing power at the network edge allows for unprecedented immersive and pervasive customer experience while leveraging cloud economics,” says Arash Ashouriha, senior vice-president, Group Technology innovation at Deutsche Telekom AG and chairman of GSMA Future Networks Programme.

“Hence, we need to work towards open ecosystems providing common interfaces across the end to end value chain in order to scale cloud AR/VR services fast across different markets. With this approach we will unleash the full potential of 5G.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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