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ORIGINAL: BELL CANADA, VERIZON, VODAFONE, AND MATSUKO CONDUCT FIRST 5G TRANSATLANTIC HOLOGRAPHIC COLLABORATIVE MEETING

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

The 5G Future Forum members interact with holograms rather than avatars, providing more personal collaborative experience

MONTRÉAL, Sept. 25, 2023 /CNW/ - Bell Canada, Verizon, Vodafone and Matsuko successfully conducted the first live transatlantic collaborative meeting connecting multiple holographic people in Canada, the US and the UK using 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology.

Interacting with holograms of humans rather than avatars can provide a more personal experience for many applications such as remote healthcare, 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 in the US using Verizon's 5G network; and from London, UK, 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 smartphone coupled with a 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, 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, VP 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 industry momentum with real-life use cases while also accelerating ease of use for developers," said John Nitti, SVP, Strategy, New Business and Partner Development for Verizon.

Giorgio Migliarina, Vodafone Group Director of Business Products and Services said: "Multi-party 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, the 5G Future Forum (5GFF) 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 (Booth #1533, located in GSMAs Open Gateway Zone).

MATSUKO was able to connect to the fast 5G networks of Bell Canada, Verizon, and Vodafone by using 5GFF's Application Programmable Interface (API) – called 5GFF's Edge Discovery API – which allows developers and ISVs 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.

Note to Editors
The 5GFF is inviting independent software vendors (ISVs) globally, who either currently use 5G MEC or have it on their development roadmap, to apply to join the organization's acceleration program and work closely with some of the world's leading telecommunications companies to shape the API development process. The program is designed to expand and interconnect the global MEC ecosystem by partnering and engaging with developers.

In addition, the 5GFF works closely with GSMA's Open Gateway initiative, which launched earlier this year and now has over 30 signatories. Open Gateway is a framework of common network APIs designed to provide universal access to operator networks for developers and works closely with Linux Foundation's CAMARA which develops API specifications.
For more information, visit https://www.5gff.org/5g-mec-acceleration-program/ 

About the 5GFF
The 5G Future Forum (5GFF) consists of America Movil, Bell Canada, KT Corp., Rogers and Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone, taking on the challenge to develop seamless MEC interoperability across global telecom networks.

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company1, providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet, media and business communication services throughout the country. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.

Through Bell for Better, we are investing to create a better today and a better tomorrow by supporting the social and economic prosperity of our communities with a commitment to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. This includes the Bell Let's Talk initiative, which promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

About Verizon
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world's leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $136.8 billion in 2022. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers' demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.  

About Vodafone
Vodafone is the largest pan-European and African telecoms company. Our purpose is to connect for a better future by using technology to improve lives, digitalize critical sectors and enable inclusive and sustainable digital societies.

We provide mobile and fixed services to over 300 million customers in 17 countries, partner with mobile networks in 46 more and are also a world leader in the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting over 167 million devices and platforms. With Vodacom Financial Services and M-Pesa, the largest financial technology platform in Africa, we serve more than 71 million people across seven countries.

We are committed to reducing our environmental impact to reach net zero emissions by 2040, while helping our customers reduce their own carbon emissions by 350 million tonnes by 2030. We are driving action to reduce device waste and achieve our target to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of our network waste by 2025.

For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com, follow us on Twitter at @VodafoneGroup or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/vodafone.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Bell
Jessica Benzinger
jessica.benzinger@bell.ca 

Verizon
Katie Magnotta
katie.magnotta@verizon.com 

Vodafone
Media Relations
Vodafone.com/media/contact
GroupMedia@vodafone.com

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1
Based on total revenue and total combined customer connections

SOURCE Bell Canada

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