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.