SK Telecom announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group), a global technology and investment conglomerate, to jointly promote the metaverse business in the Middle East.
Under the MoU, SKT and e& agreed to jointly promote the metaverse business in countries where e& is providing telecommunications services such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
With its strong presence in the Middle East market, e& will provide SKT with insights on customers, business model development and service offerings. SKT will develop a metaverse service optimally designed to fit the needs of its customers in the Middle East by fully leveraging its expertise acquired through successful operation of its metaverse service in Korea.
In particular, SKT will localize the service by creating iconic landmarks and cities of the UAE within the metaverse, as well as developing special avatars and digital fashion clothing such as traditional costumes that reflect the Middle Eastern culture.
SKT and e& have held discussions on market testing to understand the markets and customers in the Middle East. The two companies plan to analyze e& customers’ metaverse service experience and usage patterns to verify service marketability in the region.
Moreover, SKT and e& will operate a joint exhibition booth featuring metaverse at GITEX, the largest tech show in the Middle East to be held in Dubai on October 10-14, 2022, to provide local companies and customers the chance to experience advanced metaverse technology.
At the booth, they will offer a volumetric concert emceed by Saoud Al Kaabi, a popular Emirati actor and TV show host, and showcase NFTs created by e&.
Khalifa Al Shamsi, CEO, e& life said: “Following our major announcement on the metaverse with e& universe at GITEX Global 2022, the partnership with SKT to develop the Metaverse Service is another major step forward as we stay invested in building a robust metaverse ecosystem in the ever-evolving immersive virtual world. The metaverse offers limitless possibilities, opening doors to engaging with customers in innovative ways as they participate in heightened interactive experiences that were previously unimagined. This collaboration will be the start of a new journey as we continue to identify key opportunities to fuel these experiences and build a virtual world that contributes to a brighter, digital future.”
“Through partnership with e&, we expect to deliver new and differentiated metaverse experiences to customers in the Middle East and develop global opportunities for our metaverse service,” said Ha Min-yong, Chief Development Officer (CDO) of SKT. “Going forward, we will expand our cooperation with e& to other areas of ICT.”