China Mobile brings metaverse concept to i-City

SHAH ALAM: I-Berhad is bolstering its digital offerings in i-City with the metaverse concept in collaboration with China’s telecommunication giant China Mobile.

The term “metaverse” refers to a shared interactive 3D virtual world that has been heralded as the next evolution of the internet.

The concept came to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic as lockdown measures increased demand for online business and entertainment.

CMI director of enterprise Jackie Chen Jiang Long said during a recent strategic alliance agreement signing ceremony with i-City Properties that the metaverse was the new logic for developing the next generation of the internet and the future digital economy.

China Mobile, he claimed, had already prepared the technologies and strategies needed to build the metaverse.

“China’s government has already launched this metaverse programme two years ago. The government has included the metaverse programme in the country’s new development plan for this year. A large number of technology companies will develop the platform. Because China Mobile has the network and data centres, we will most likely provide computing resources for those companies to build their metaverse application.

“In Malaysia, we are in talks with i-City about deploying the metaverse application. Because virtualisation is an important aspect of the metaverse, we will develop a 3D modal for the entire i-City. We also have a building management platform to manage the entire i-City. By deploying our platform, we will integrate all systems and buildings and reduce the maintenance cost for i-City,” Chen explained.

According to Datuk Eu Hong Chew, non-executive director of I-Berhad, the company would invest RM10 million in the metaverse, while CMI would provide the technology, infrastructure, and eco-system. 

Eu explained that the collaboration with CMI as an eco-system developer was part of I-Berhad’s plan to reinvent i-City 2.0.’

“The metaverse is the latest social media buzzword. We want to reimagine i-City through the metaverse and improve overall development through new technologies. We believe Malaysia will experience something unique,” he said.

Eu said that I-Berhad hoped to crystallise two things with CMI immediately. First is to enhance the leisure and lifestyle offerings in i-City with metaverse, and secondly, to position the overall project as a smart green city.

i-City Properties, an I-Berhad subsidiary, will collaborate with CMI to build the country’s first smart green corporate tower within the i-City development.

The corporate tower will be outfitted with 5G internet-enabled cameras and sensors to collect the data on the environment, energy consumption, and human traffic flow.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology will be woven into the fabric of the building.

During the signing ceremony, i-City Properties director Monica Ong said with the 5G rollout this year, the firm would be working on a slew of AI enhancements to ensure that the ultrapolis maintained its position as Malaysia’s first and most progressive smart city.

The RM10 billion i-City is Malaysia’s first and only ultrapolis with a 400G capable high availability network that is ready for the deployment of 5G technology and has Multimedia Super Corridor Malaysia Cybercentre status.

The project is integrated with a data park currently equipped with a tier-3 data centre to meet its tenants’ growing data bandwidth needs.

The developer is expanding the data park with two more centres of 100,000 square feet each to meet the increasing demand for cloud computing facilities.

© New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd

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