Since he first stepped into the public eye, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has made some… interesting choices, the most recent of which is, in the light of a recent whistleblower’s leaked documents that I wrote about last week, renaming his social media company Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB).
This sudden re-branding will not change the little blue “f” icon on our phones that we’ve come to know and love and/or hate. Rather, the new name is supposed to represent a new leaf for the company.
The movement into the “metaverse” isn’t a novel concept. Zuckerberg is merely following the path that Neal Stephenson set in his 1992 science-fiction novel, Snow Crash. If you haven’t read Snow Crash, you might be more familiar with The Matrix, Pandora from Avatar, or the OASIS in Ready Player One.
The metaverse has been around for decades via virtual and augmented reality… and in massively multiplayer online (MMO) video games like Fortnite and World of Warcraft.
While the change from Facebook to Meta is symbolic, the idea of the metaverse is anything but.
According to a recent Fortune article:
“Zuckerberg says the metaverse is the next evolution for social networking, moving past static user profiles that let people merely post comments and photos. To reach it, people would need to wear VR headsets or augmented reality glasses that superimpose the digital realm onto the physical world. There could also be lifelike holograms beamed into the real world from cutting-edge projection systems.”
We may be a few decades away from our own version of Pandora or the OASIS, but the metaverse has become a popular topic in recent years. And Facebook is planting itself right in the center of it.
But, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, none of this would be possible without 5G leading the way…
No 5G… No Metaverse
While the 5G rollout sounds like old news, with every mobile provider flashing their 5G coverage like the Kardashians showing off their latest million-dollar engagement rings, what we have seen is only the first chapter of this burgeoning technology revolution.
We’re seeing the basic 5G network right now.
But within months. we’re going to see 5G’s real potential surface.
To define it quickly, 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will replace or augment existing 4G LTE connections.
5G technology drastically improves upload and download speeds, while also improving latency, which is the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks. The current 4G network delivers around 100 megabits per second. But once 5G rolls out, that number jumps to 10,000 megabits per second — or 100 times faster than the current speed.
What does “100 times faster” mean? It means that an entirely new generation of technologies — including the metaverse — will likely become feasible and flourish.
Whereas 4G provided the network speeds necessary to run complex online apps like Uber and mobile streaming like Netflix, 5G represents a monumental leap forward.
It provides the foundation for a whole host of “gee-whiz” technologies, including automated vehicles… remote surgery… and the metaverse.
In the metaverse, Verizon said in a blog post from about a year ago…
“You could do exactly what you might do in the real world — meet a client for a quick chat or go to your favorite Korean grocery store down the block. But you could also stop and talk with a half Smurf/half man on the street. Or attend your sister’s birthday party as a hologram and dance with guests who live on different coasts… It’s a far cry from the limits of today’s internet or gaming apps that require a headset and only allow you to exist within a single story. In the Metaverse, you can own a business or rent an apartment and be required to abide by rules and regulations just like you would in the real world. But there would be no limit to the things you could see or do — if the digital infrastructure supports it.”
In other words, without 5G’s 10,000 megabits per second, no metaverse.
I’ve previously estimated that 5G will produce more than $56 trillion in wealth:
- Artificial intelligence is on pace to unlock over $30 trillion in new revenue.
- The Internet of Things is going to add $19 trillion to the economy.
- And driverless cars are predicted to add $7 trillion.
Once you add in the metaverse, that number gets even bigger. According to Emergen Research, “the global metaverse market size reached $47.69 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $828.95 billion in 2028.” That’s a hefty compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.3%.
Obviously, it is impossible to predict with certainty which companies will benefit the most from the metaverse’s 5G-fueled expansion.
I suspect it won’t be Meta Platforms/Facebook.
We aren’t all joining the metaverse tomorrow because Zuckerberg held a press conference last week. While the metaverse is inevitable, it will ramp up like all technologies — in fits and starts at first and then… all at once.
From “Weird” to “Gangbusters”
And the leaders likely won’t be the current tech giants… but some companies we haven’t even heard of yet.
They’ll seem weird at first — just as 4G leaders like Airbnb and Uber did when they first appeared — but will come into themselves and grow like gangbusters quicker than we expect.
But here’s the thing: The 5G/metaverse opportunity is still in its infancy, which means it will produce a growing list of winners over time.
The companies that understand what’s happening and harness this powerful new 5G network to improve or create entirely new services and industries could quickly grow and become the next Facebook or Uber.
On the flip side…
Companies that think 5G is nothing more than faster download speeds and don’t start preparing for its and the metaverse’s impact on their industry or their customers… will be doomed.
It’s the same with investors.
Those who understand that 5G is a much bigger story than faster smartphones… and understand that the last few hype-filled years were just the build-out phase and not an empty promise… could make incredible gains as this story plays out.
I recently issued a report in which I recommended four 5G tech stocks… the companies that are building out the 5G network. Learn how to get that report here.
Plus, I’m regularly boosting the size of this 5G portfolio in my Fry’s Investment Report letter.
P.S. One emerging platform could transform EVERY industry and supercharge the digital economy like never before: 5G. Two legendary investors are ready to give away the names of their favorite stocks. Click here for more.
On the date of publication, Eric Fry did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Eric Fry is an award-winning stock picker with numerous “10-bagger” calls — in good markets AND bad. How? By finding potent global megatrends… before they take off. In fact, Eric has recommended 41 different 1,000%+ stock market winners in his career. Plus, he beat 650 of the world’s most famous investors (including Bill Ackman and David Einhorn) in a contest. And today he’s revealing his next potential 1,000% winner for free, right here.