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Drew McReynolds on Imagining the Future of Telecom and Media

The impacts of the next iteration of telecommunication and the internet are set to be nothing short of profound – redefining the future of industries and individuals.

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By Drew McReynolds
Published June 14, 2023 | 3 min watch
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Key Points

  • The metaverse should bring a new, hybrid living that converges physical and virtual reality, offering potentially immense opportunities for tech titans across these new ecosystems.
  • Extensive 5G rollouts should drastically improve connectivity across underserved and rural locations around the globe.
  • Telemedicine may be the standout opportunity in a hybrid world, and could revolutionize global access to affordable, quality healthcare.
  • Unparalleled demand for ultra-resilient, highly secure, interoperable networks is expected to transform the architecture of today’s telecom systems.

Telecom companies that come out on top in the next few decades are likely to play a critical role in reshaping the way we live, learn, socialize and spend. While the industry is well-accustomed to technological transformation - adopting new digital channels and revenue streams regularly – the transition towards AR, VR and AI functionality could offer one of the greatest possible opportunities for decades.

Advancements in complex AI and sophisticated tech stacks designed for use across a multitude of interfaces will require seamless and ubiquitous connectivity. Combine this with the metaverse’s heightened security and privacy requirements, and the opportunities for telecom and media companies in the near future may become boundless.

Hybrid living

With the arrival of the metaverse, life for the individual is set to change. While hybrid working has already become the norm in a range of industries, hybrid living is on the horizon. Through augmented and virtual reality technology, created and delivered by telecom, media and technology companies, individuals are likely to be able to live in a new, mediated reality.

By integrating the digital world into the physical, the metaverse is expected to provide a new immersive reality which, in some instances, may rival or replace real life. Within a few generations, the majority of us may use an avatar in some form of virtual world.

For other industries, such as live entertainment, retailers, real estate, travel and beyond, this next iteration of the internet could force a radical rethink of business models and marketing approaches. Digital marketplaces are likely to emerge across almost every vertical.

Opportunities for the telecom industry to meet these changing needs are therefore rife, and equity value creation in the emerging metaverse is expected to come from companies pursuing a walled garden approach, as opposed to a blockchain or open-source platform structure.


In line with our quest for immortality, the rise of telemedicine could have a seismic impact on the availability of accessible, affordable, quality healthcare.

Virtually delivered remote healthcare will depend upon the successful rollout of extensive 5G networks around the world. The importance of 5G in ensuring reliable connectivity is available in emerging economies should not be understated, and the 5G network rollout could even reverse some of the dominant urbanization patterns seen in recent human history.

Again, cybersecurity will also therefore come to the fore. Telemedicine requires considered data protection regulation and privacy technology, although telehealth usage is up since pre-COVID.

The Canadian telecom industry demonstrates the possibilities in the 5G space, leading the way in delivering 5G to home networks and enabling the country to capitalize on network reliability and security.

Fundamentally, a digital world with reliable and fast connections for everyone will be a safer one. The scale of the opportunity for the telecom industry is immense – as the growth of both telemedicine and hybrid living could radically alter the lifestyle of every industry and individual.

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