NTT EVP,
Head of R&D Planning
Atsuko Oka

Greetings

ICT is making remarkable progress, developing a wide range of services and leading various transformations. ICT is also changing styles of living and working, creating a new common sense. Individuals can now easily send out information, and diverse values are spreading. At the heart of these changes is DATA (information). The world is transforming into a data centric society where data create values and all activities are decided in a data-driven approach.

Due to this, the volume of data continues to expand rapidly. To process data, large amounts of computing resources are being deployed. As a result, power consumption is dramatically increasing. It is expected that the amount of data will continue to grow in the future. Efforts to reduce power consumption are being made in various areas, but we are approaching to the limits.

To address this issue, NTT announced the IOWN initiative in 2019. This is an initiative for creating a next-generation communication infrastructure characterized by ultra-high capacity, ultra-low latency, and ultra-low power consumption, utilizing innovative optical technologies. Optical technologies have been widely used in the field of communications, so-called optical fiber. Compared to electricity, optical technologies consume very little power regardless of the communication distance and speed (frequency). The IOWN initiative brings about changes in computing as well as communication by utilizing optical technologies.

IOWN will create a wide variety of services and new value not only in the telecommunications field, but also in transportation, medicine, finance, education, and many other fields. Collaboration with partners in each field is imperative for the realization of IOWN. It is also essential to make IOWN products available to the public as quickly as possible. To achieve this, NTT will soon provide the IOWN testing environment, jointly develop IOWN-compatible services with partners and aim to commercially deploy these services. At the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, Kansai, we will showcase a unique experience, the beginning of the new era powered by IOWN, to the people around the world. I hope you will look forward to the progress of IOWN initiatives which paves the way to the next generation.

Atsuko Oka