NTT Docomo targets metaverse space

A scene in NTT Docomo’s XR World

Major mobile phone carriers are quickly developing their own spaces in the metaverse, a 3D virtual environment on the internet, in an effort to attract new users. The companies plan to use the metaverse to allow users to interact with popular singers or see famous tourist destinations.

NTT Docomo, Inc. launched NTT Qonoq, Inc., which will handle the metaverse and other digital services, on Saturday. The new firm will initially be in charge of operating and enhancing XR World, a digital space that opened at the end of March.

Starting Wednesday, XR World will include a theater for the idol group AKB48. Five members have formed the six-member group AKB48 Surreal, which includes one virtual member.

Special events are also expected to take place, allowing a user’s avatar to interact with the group in the same space.

“We want to enrich the lives of others by expanding the possibilities of self-expression and create new experiences through the metaverse,” NTT Qonoq President Seiji Maruyama said at a press conference on Sept. 28.