Sony and NTT (with IOWN) collaborate on remote broadcast production platform

Sony and NTT are teaming up to develop a remote broadcast production platform that combines Sony’s video production products with NTT’s large-capacity, low-latency, wide-area network.  The partnership aims to improve the customer experience by providing more content, such as content distribution at local stadiums and live music venues, which we have not been able to deliver due to cost.

The goal of this collaboration is to create a remote production platform that will:

  • Reduce the costs associated with owning, operating and maintaining broadcasting equipment
  • Expand video services
  • Improve the customer experience

Playing a central role is NTT’s All-Photonics Network, a component of IOWN that incorporates new optical technologies at every level, from networks to devices, and even inside chips, to enable ultra-low power consumption, ultra-high-speed processing.

NTT’s IOWN—which is backed by companies including Sony, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco and others is being designed to enable ultra-high capacity (data processing of 125 times greater than networks today by volume), ultra-low latency (end-to-end latency reduced by over 200 times) and ultra-low power consumption (100 times more efficiency than transmissions today).

NTT released a new white paper highlighting the development of “Inclusive Core” architecture for the 6G/IOWN era. This architecture incorporates concepts such as In-Network Computing and Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) into the core network, reducing terminal processing load and protecting privacy for services used over the network. [Read the Full Release]

1. Background and purpose of the agreement

To achieve digital transformation of content production, broadcasters are gradually introducing IP compatible devices in order to develop flexible production and distribution environments for broadcasting facilities. In particular, when IP-enabled equipment is installed in a wide area, it is necessary to maintain a network that does not fluctuate in delays between sites to support efficient facility operation.
Considering this background, we will accelerate our research into technologies that combine Sony’s video production products and solutions with NTT’s large-capacity, low-latency, wide-area network. By forming a remote production platform, we aim to reduce the cost of owning, operating, and maintaining broadcasting equipment and improve the customer experience by expanding video services.

Figure 1 Formation image of the remote production platform

2. Technical elements of each company


Sony has set forth the concept of the next generation of broadcasting stations, in which the broadcasting facilities of each station are converted to IP and the cloud. Toward this realization, we will provide the next generation live production solutions, Networked Live [1]. Networked Live leverages resources on-premises, in the cloud, and in multiple locations to streamline workflows, provide agility and flexibility, and deliver high-quality live production. Mainly for broadcasters, we offer a range of products, including solutions for managing network resources en masse, switchers using on-premises cloud systems, codecs for efficient network bandwidth for media transmission, and support for remote production.


The technology development of the IOWN APN [2] enables the transparent transmission of IP capable devices over optical layer path connections via multi-device/multi-protocol. In addition, the ultra-high-capacity and end to end optical path connection enables 4K/8K class video communications to be communicated with low delay using uncompressed and lightly compressed transmission technology. Furthermore, communication without delay fluctuation enables high-quality synchronization between IP compatible devices using PTP [3]. In addition, we are aiming for an architecture that realizes strict availability requirements for video editing through high-speed line switching with optical path redundancy.

Figure 2. Research directions toward large-capacity wireless transmission

Source: NTT Technical Review (May 2019), “Toward Terabit-class Wireless Transmission: OAM Multiplexing Technology”

3. Main areas of cooperation and collaboration

  1. Study on establishment and management of network environment using IOWN and Networked Live
  2. Study on technology and environment construction for IOWN and Networked Live
  3. Study on IOWN and Networked Live compared to existing networked systems
  4. Study on extending environments based on future IOWN and Networked Live capabilities

4. Outlook

Under this agreement, the two sides will cooperate to discuss the formation of a wide-area remote production platform while exchanging information and opinions on matters to be promoted together with the parties concerned in the cooperative agreement.


[1]For details on “Networked Live,” visit: other window

[2]IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) is a network and information processing infrastructure including terminals that can provide high-speed, large-capacity communications and vast computational resources utilizing innovative technologies, including light. The IOWN consists of three main components: the APN (All Photonics Network), which enables not only networks but also terminal processing; the DTC (Digital Twin Computing), which enables advanced and real-time interaction between objects and humans in cyberspace; and the Cognitive Foundation, which efficiently deploys various ICT resources including these. IOWN will contribute to the realization of a prosperous society by creating a variety of services and new value in a wide range of fields, not only in the telecommunications field. For details, visit: other window

[3]PTP (Precision Time Protocol) is a technology that achieves time synchronization with high precision. A time stamp is embedded in a dedicated time synchronization packet, and this packet is exchanged between systems to synchronize both times.

About NTT:

NTT contributes to a sustainable society through the power of innovation. We are a leading global technology company providing services to consumers and business as a mobile operator, infrastructure, networks, applications, and consulting provider. Our offerings include digital business consulting, managed application services, workplace and cloud solutions, data center and edge computing, all supported by our deep global industry expertise. We are over $95B in revenue and 330,000 employees, with $3.6B in annual R&D investments. Our operations span across 80+ countries and regions, allowing us to serve clients in over 190 of them. We serve over 75% of Fortune Global 100 companies, thousands of other enterprise and government clients and millions of consumers.



NTT pins growth on IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network)

NTT to offer optical technology-based next-generation network services under IOWN initiative; 6G to follow


NTT pins growth on IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network)

NTT Corp has unveiled a plan to invest JPY8 trillion ($59 billion) in growth businesses over the next five years. The core of its new growth will be its self-developed IOWN concept.  The Japanese telecom giant is aiming to lift EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) from JPY3.3 trillion ($24.3 billion) today to JPY4.0 trillion ($29.5 billion) in 2027.

The IOWN (Innovative Optical and Wireless Network) is an initiative for networks and information processing infrastructure including terminals that can provide high-speed, high-capacity communication utilizing innovative technology focused on optics, as well as tremendous computational resources. This is done in order to overcome the limitations of existing infrastructure with innovative technologies, optimize the individual with the whole based on all available information, and create a rich society that is tolerant of diversity. We have started R&D with the aim of finalizing specifications in 2024 and realizing the initiative in 2030.

IOWN consists of the following three major technical fields:

  1. APN: All-Photonics Network
    Major improvement to information processing infrastructure potential
  2. DTC: Digital Twin Computing
    A new world of services and applications
  3. CF: Cognitive Foundation®
    Optimal harmonization of all ICT resources

A key concept is Photonic Disaggregated Computing – a new computing architecture that makes the shift from traditional server box-oriented computing infrastructure to boxless computing infrastructure, building on photonics-based data transmission paths.

By enabling each module, such as memory and AI computing devices, with photonic I / O (Input / Output) and connecting modules with a high-capacity and high-speed photonic data network, photonic disaggregated computing achieves highly flexible computing infrastructure. By dynamically combining modules according to computing demand, it also dramatically improves performance. Using NTT’s optoelectronic integration technology, the inter-package and inter-chip data transmission process can be replaced with photonics even inside of modules, while also dramatically improving energy efficiency.

By including data-centric computing technology and photonic disaggregated computing technology into the IOWN concept, we will accelerate creation of a natural cyber space in the era of the Smart World.

For example, AI control done by transmitting a large volume of data with low latency can realize system control that goes beyond the limits of human perception and reflexes. By coordinating a vast number of AI systems, NTT says they can realize overall optimization on the scale of society, as well as prediction of the future through large-scale simulations.


NTT to offer optical technology-based next-generation network services under IOWN initiative; 6G to follow

Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) said it will start providing its first services under an optical technology-based next-generation network initiative to its corporate clients.  The major Japanese telecommunications company plans to start offering the services from March 16 for a monthly fee of 1.98 million yen through its regional arms Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corp.

NTT rival telco KDDI Corp. will also take part in the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) initiative which was first announced by NTT in 2019.  It’s goal is to reduce electricity consumption (power) and achieve high-capacity communication by converting electric signals into optical ones to cope with surging network traffic. It will join the IOWN Global Forum, comprising over 100 members including NTT and many information technology companies in and outside Japan.  Founding IOWN members are NTT, Sony and Intel. The forum will be discussing technical specifications for optical and wireless networks with a view to developing an international standard for 6G communications.

Source:  IOWN Global Forum


The two Japanese rival firms will work together to make IOWN a 6G platform, pundits said.  That’s amazing as all previous IMT standards (3G, 4G, 5G) were developed by 3GPP and then ITU-R WP 5D.

At a news conference, NTT Senior Executive Vice President Katsuhiko Kawazoe said: “We hope [IOWN] will help resolve social issues and create new value.”

NTT plans to announce the second round of IOWN services as early as 2025.