Leaders of the Philippines’ leading integrated telco network PLDT Inc. and its wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), are gearing up for the future and exploring the potential of the “inevitable” Metaverse.
For its Annual Corporate Governance Enhancement Session (ACGES), PLDT invited as keynote speaker Matthew Ball, author of “The Metaverse and How it will Revolutionize Everything” and managing partner of EpyllionCo, to talk about the characteristics and challenges of the Metaverse.
Also speaking at the session was Sheila Lirio Marcelo, a multi-awarded technology entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Proof of Learn, a Web3 education platform with a mission to unlock accessible, high-quality education across the world. Marcelo’s Metacrafters aims to train the builders of the Metaverse by being the Metaverse’s leading educational platform.
“The telco role should not only be providing connectivity. How do we collaborate with the Metaverse workers so that we can perform a better role?” said Manuel V. Pangilinan PLDT chairman, during the ACGES. “We have said that PLDT should move beyond connectivity. I think we’re quite good at providing the connectivity requirements of our people nationwide. But how can we move up to solutions and platforms? Indeed, if Metaverse were really to be the next big thing, how could we work better with the developers?”
According to Ball, the Metaverse is best understood as the next generation of the Internet. Citing estimates from various think-tanks, Ball said the economy of the Metaverse will be between 2.5 and 16 trillion dollars by 2030. Ball also cautioned against conflating the Metaverse with immersive virtual reality, games like Roblox or Minecraft, or Web3 or crypto, which are either only ways to access the Metaverse, simply part of the Metaverse, or principles and/or technologies, rather than the Metaverse itself. “At the end of the day, the Metaverse is not a comprehensive vision of the future. The Metaverse is an understanding of technological change, of new use cases, but it does not say exactly what the future is going to be,” he said.
Reacting to Ball’s presentation, Jojo G. Gendrano, Senior Vice President and Head of PLDT Enterprise said: “The Metaverse will impact every type of consumer and business segment, similar to how the internet has affected all walks of life. And telcos will play a key role in ensuring meaningful and secure connections in the Metaverse.”
PLDT has organized and conducted corporate governance enhancement sessions since 2007 in the spirit of continuing education and has invited international and local experts to share their insights and interact with PLDT’s Board and senior management.
“This collaboration among PLDT and Philippine-based affiliates of First Pacific has always been an effective venue for us to be updated on trends and best practices in business and governance,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, PLDT and Smart president and chief executive.
Directors and key officers from PLDT and other publicly listed affiliate companies in the MVP Group also attended the online event.