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BCE Inc (2)
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BCE's Bell scraps avatars for holograms at 5GFF meeting

2023-09-25 12:16 ET - News Release

Mr. Costa Pantazopoulos reports


BCE Inc.'s Bell Canada, Verizon, Vodafone and Matsuko have successfully conducted the first live transatlantic collaborative meeting connecting multiple holographic people in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom using 5G and multiaccess edge computing (MEC) technology.

Interacting with holograms of humans rather than avatars can provide a more personal experience for many applications, such as remote health care, collaborative working and education. The call was enabled by the speed of 5G combined with the quick response times of MEC, which moves the necessary computing closer to the edge of the network. This ensures a more-reliable and consistent hologram by removing delays resulting from multiple hops between different locations and across the Internet.

Holograms of employees located in three different countries were connected from: Toronto, Canada, using Bell's 5G network; New York, United States, using Verizon's 5G network; and London, United Kingdom, using Vodafone's 5G network. They were created using Matsuko's real-time software and just a single camera, and were then streamed thanks to spatial computing, an immersive technology which combines virtual and augmented reality. Matsuko's patented technology uses its presence app on a smart phone coupled with an XR (extended reality) headset to stream holograms instantly, creating the feeling that people are in the same room as you.

"Through its active participation in the 5GFF [5G Future Forum], Bell continues to support the developer community to access 5G MEC technologies and to ensure their solutions take full advantage of Bell's 5G network in Canada, and to interoperate globally," said Bell's Costa Pantazopoulos, vice-president of product. "This holographic video meeting demo illustrates how Bell -- with partners Verizon and Vodafone -- is making it easier for developers to leverage 5G capabilities to innovate and achieve their application goals."

"This demonstration shows how Verizon, via the 5GFF, continues to drive open API [application programmable interface] industry momentum with real-life use cases while also accelerating ease of use for developers," said John Nitti, senior vice-president, strategy, new business and partner development, Verizon.

Giorgio Migliarina, Vodafone group director of business products and services, said: "Multiparty holographic calling can make people feel more connected and productive, whether collaborating across classrooms, offices, hospitals or at home. The smooth and natural movement of these holograms will become more prevalent with the growing availability of 5G and edge computing technology."

Bell Canada, Verizon and Vodafone came together under the auspices of industry body 5G Future Forum for this first-of-its-kind demonstration. They are showing the transatlantic conference meeting and the technology behind it at the Mobile World Congress exhibition in Las Vegas.

Matsuko was able to connect to the fast 5G networks of Bell Canada, Verizon and Vodafone by using 5GFF's application programmable interface -- called 5GFF's Edge Discovery API -- which allows developers and independent software vendors, like Matsuko, to discover the nearest edge to their end-users, so their applications perform optimally with a consistent service across mobile networks. Network APIs are a set of interfaces based on industry-wide open standards that allow developers to plug into and use the low-latency benefits, speed and scale of 5G and MEC.

About Bell

Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing advanced broadband wireless, television, Internet, media and business communication services throughout the country. Founded in Montreal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE.

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