Disney maps metaverse strategy with new exec; Pai joins EdgeQ board; Rakuten Symphony hire

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Disney maps metaverse strategy with new exec; Pai joins EdgeQ board; Rakuten Symphony hire

The Walt Disney Co is getting serious about the metaverse opportunity. The company recently promoted an executive to oversee its metaverse strategy in February, according to a report from Reuters.

Mike White has been named to the new role of senior vice president of Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences. White will be an executive in the Media and Entertainment Distribution group working on Disney’s coming metaverse experiences, the report said. Reuters report was based on an email Disney Chief Executive Bob Chapek sent to staff.

Before joining Disney in 2011, he served as chief technology officer for Apollo Group and had a long stint at Yahoo. Reuters reported that White will lead a cross-company team as part of the effort.

As one of the entertainment industry’s best-known brands, Disney’s metaverse efforts could provide a significant boost to edge infrastructure companies.

EdgeQ adds former FCC chairman to board

EdgeQ, a startup that aims to converge 5G connectivity and AI compute onto a system-on-a-chip, has added former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to the company’s board of advisors. He becomes the latest telecom industry figure to join EdgeQ’s advisory board, following the appointments of former Qualcomm CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs and former Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob in 2021.

Pai’s experience with government regulation of wireless spectrum could be instrumental as EdgeQ moves from development to sales of its products.

“On the regulatory side, some of the disputes we’ve seen among federal agencies could slow down, or even potentially stop the reallocation of spectrum for commercial uses, and that is something that would be unfortunate, of course, for all consumers and enterprises and for the country writ large,” said Mr. Pai, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

Rakuten Symphony

Another move in the mobile industry comes from Rakuten Symphony. The company is home to various products from the wide range of acquisitions Rakuten has made in the last few years such as Altiostar, a vRAN provider, and most recently, Estmob, a peer-to-peer file transfer service. A prominent advocate of Open RAN, Rakuten is hoping to disrupt the current cozy ecosystem of incumbents such as Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei.

Symphony is a separate entity from Rakuten Mobile, is a unit of e-commerce and online retailer Rakuten Inc. that operates an end-to-end virtualized and cloud-native mobile network and provides cellular service in Japan.

Tareq Amin, company CEO, announced on LinkedIn that Thierry Maupilé has joined as Rakuten Symphony’s SVP, business and product strategy. Thierry previously served at Altiostar as chief of strategy and product management. Previously he was a key leader at Cisco Systems, Starent Networks and IPWireless.

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