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Zuckerberg: 360-degree video and VR will be ‘killer app’ for 5G

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

Three hundred and sixty degree video and ultimately virtual reality will become mainstream ways of “sharing experiences” that will drive the next wave of mobile network upgrades, according to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, Zuckerberg said that improvements in bandwidth meant that using video was now a normal way to share social experiences. “Mobile networks are fast enough for video and for it not to be a terrible experience,” he said. The next step is to move on from two-dimensional video to formats that enable people “to share the whole scene” they experience, he said.

“We can capture the whole scene with a 360-degree camera and people can feel they are right there in that scene,” he said, claiming that more than one million hours of 360-video had already been watched on Facebook.

Zuckerberg said that 360-degree video was “one part of the content ecosystem” of a future that would also encompass virtual reality and would be enabled by faster network connections on mobile.

“This is where I come back to to the speed of 5G,” he said. Bandwidth improvements that have enabled video to be distributed to mobile devices “need to get a lot better for virtual reality”.

“This is going to be one of the killer apps of 5G – the improvement of the quality of that experience,” added Zuckerberg. “It will require a pretty meaningful upgrade of networks.”