Toward the Metaverse: Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom Join Forces to Realize 5G-Enabled AR-Animated Avatar Calls

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The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) closely examined extended reality (XR) applications with
Release 17. This was pivotal in identifying the current limitations and potential enhancements in today’s 5G
specifications, paving the way for 5G-Advanced, which will be addressed in Release 18. One of the key
areas for 5G-Advanced is the development of animated avatar calls that use augmented reality. This is
considered a stepping stone toward a broader integration of the metaverse.

Rohde & Schwarz, a leader in test and measurement solutions, has partnered with Slalom, a next-generation
professional services company creating value at the intersection of business, technology, and humanity, to
create a state-of-the-art lab environment. This collaboration has resulted in a test bed for XR-based use
cases. At the test bed’s core is the R&S CMX500 5G one-box signaling tester from Rohde & Schwarz. This
innovative setup empowers network operators to evaluate XR-based applications and services in a
controlled environment, ensuring optimal performance and quality of experience (QoE) for their subscribers
even before mainstream deployment.

The animated avatar, developed by Slalom, renders on a cloud computing architecture, which is seamlessly
integrated with the R&S CMX500. The R&S CMX500 emulates a 5G network to establish a Voice over New
Radio (VoNR) connection to the end-user device. The end-user experience is brought to life using a motorola
edge 40 pro 5G smartphone connected to Lenovo ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses, where the avatar is
displayed. The system also features a loopback of audio samples, laying the groundwork for future audio
quality assessments based on the POLQA algorithm. A key aspect of the avatar’s animation is head
movement emulation, which is designed to convey attentiveness during calls. The accurate rendering and
timely display of such details on the end-user device are among the key performance indicators that are
being further investigated by both companies.

Christoph Pointner, Senior Vice President for Mobile Radio Testers at Rohde & Schwarz says: “We are
thrilled to enhance our application testing capabilities through our collaboration with Slalom. This partnership
lays a robust foundation for the wireless ecosystem, accelerating the market introduction of XR-based
applications and services to pave the way for the metaverse.”

Sam Andrews, General Manager at Slalom says: “In partnership with Rohde & Schwarz, we have developed
an innovative concept where we can assess and measure the end-to-end quality of XR experiences that
considers network, device, and application to create seamless outcomes for end users and unlock new opportunities for enterprises.” Jason Inskeep, Advanced & Converged Architectures / Mobile / 5G at Slalom,
adds: “At Slalom, we believe that being able to architect a true end-to-end integrated solution – from the
network to the application layer to the end user – is fundamental to helping our customers achieve resiliency
and efficiency at scale, unlock new revenue streams and create amazing customer experiences.”

This collaboration between Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom opens the way to virtual interactions that are more
immersive and personal. For consumers, this innovation promises an enhanced sense of presence and
engagement during voice calls.

Rohde & Schwarz and Slalom will demonstrate the test bed for AR-animated avatar calls at the Mobile World
Congress 2024 at the Rohde & Schwarz booth 5A80 in hall 5 of Fira Gran Via in Barcelona.

Press contacts:
Europe (headquarters): Christian Mokry (phone: +49 89 4129 13052; email:

North America: Dominique Loberg (phone: +1 503 523-7951; email: Dominique.Loberg@rsa.rohde-

Asia Pacific: Sze Ming Ng (phone: +603 5569 0011; email:

About Slalom
Slalom is a next-generation professional services company creating value at the intersection of business,
technology, and humanity. With our fiercely human approach, we deeply understand our customers – and
their customers – to deliver practical, end-to-end solutions that drive meaningful impact. Backed by over 700
technology partners, our nearly 12,000 team members in eight countries and 49 offices help people and
organizations dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows for all. We’re honored to be consistently
recognized as a great place to work, including being one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For eight
years running.