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NTT and KDDI signed a basic agreement to promote global standardization of optical network technologies

―For a Resilient Network Infrastructure in the Beyond 5G/6G era―

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
KDDI Corporation

Tokyo - March 17, 2023 - Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (hereinafter NTT) and KDDI Corporation (hereinafter KDDI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter MOU) to promote global standardization in the field of optical networks, such as optical transmission technology, mobile network technology and its operations management technology, where both companies can leverage their technological strengths. For that purpose, both companies will accelerate open innovations with partners around the world, aiming to contribute to global standardization.

NTT and KDDI have so far led the research and development of optical networks in Japan. Both have been researched and developed high-capacity optical communication systems for domestic terrestrial links and ultra-long haul and high-capacity optical submarine cable systems for a transoceanic link. And then, successfully implemented the high-capacity optical communication systems in the real world, which now becomes one of the social infrastructures.

In the Beyond 5G/6G era, the data volume generated from smartphones and other devices is estimated to increase more rapidly than ever. In the meantime, enormous information transmitting, processing, and storing will be required, and those must be efficiently implemented with low power consumption as carbon neutrality is ICT (information and communication technologies) industry's mission. In order to solve these complicated problems and make innovative services continuously available in the future, it is indispensable to conduct advanced and latest research and to develop optical networks promptly by utilizing open innovation, and to accelerate their implementation worldwide by means of well-established global standards.

In response to these challenges, NTT and KDDI decided to work together to realize such all-photonic networks based on their experience in R&D activities over the ICT domain.

■Overview of the MOU

NTT and KDDI will jointly investigate how to achieve a sustainable high-capacity optical network to prepare for the challenges of the Beyond 5G/6G era. Both companies will also accelerate the research and development of optical networks with open innovation communities, aiming to standardize innovative communication technologies and deploy them in the real world on time.

1. Standardization of transmission characteristics for All-Photonics Network with both high speed and the best quality

The All-Photonics Network features low power consumption and low latency by transparently transmitting optical wavelength signals without electrical processing. On the contrary, such transparency causes another consideration that traditional optical networks do not. For example, the number of optical wavelength signals should be carefully assigned to multiple services following the design rule of an All-Photonics Network, and their transmission characteristics should be well maintained with a certain quality level by minimizing degradation due to optical fibers' nonlinearity and optical amplifiers noise.
NTT and KDDI will promote standardization activities to achieve an all-photonics network, its expansion, and the interoperability among carriers for interconnection based on their experience in the research, development and the actual implementation of optical networks all over the world.

2. Standardization of All-Photonics Networks with Mobile Communications

In the era of Beyond 5G/6G, there will also be other mechanisms in mobile network infrastructure that effectively accommodate a greater number of base stations and provide customers with a new service experience. While standardizing technologies to apply an All-Photonics Network to mobile networks, NTT and KDDI will contribute to enhancing mobile network and their services, connecting edge and cloud data centers or inter-core networks with an All-Photonics Network.
Both companies aim to realize an innovative communication infrastructure with high capacity, ultra-low latency, and high quality and reliability, accommodating various services, mainly the mobile network, on-demand with reduced power consumption.

3. Standardization of orchestration technologies

In the Beyond 5G/6G era, since the utilized ICT resources will dramatically increase while maintaining high robustness, resilient optical networks should be designed to handle such ICT resources so as to optimize their allocation and configuration and to minimize the outage of services.
NTT and KDDI will standardize optical network monitoring and control technologies where both companies have much knowledge of highly reliable optical networks under the multi-vendor as well as the multi-operator environment. They aim to realize a resilient network with their orchestration technology and mechanism to monitor and control multiple optical network domains cooperatively.

By effectively conducting the standardization activities, NTT and KDDI will utilize the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) Global Forum [Jump to the applicable section1] as one of the places to promote open innovation and utilize the outcome for the global standardization of all-photonics networks at ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardization Sector) and other standardization organizations.

NTT and KDDI strongly expect the early adaption of the all-photonics network as a resilient telecommunications infrastructure and contribution to a sustainable society with such innovative technologies originated.

■About NTT

NTT believes in resolving social issues through our business operations by applying technology for good. An innovative spirit has been part of our culture for over 150 years, making breakthroughs that enable a more naturally connected and sustainable world. NTT Research and Development shares insights, innovations and knowledge with NTT operating companies and partners to support new ideas and solutions. Around the world, our research laboratories focus on artificial intelligence, photonic networks, theoretical quantum physics, cryptography, health and medical informatics, smart data platforms and digital twin computing. As a top 5 global technology and business solutions provider, our diverse teams operate in 80+ countries and regions and deliver services to over 190 of them. We serve over 80% of Fortune Global 100 companies and thousands of other clients and communities worldwide. For more information on NTT, visit Open link in a new window

■About KDDI

KDDI is a telecommunication service provider in Japan, offering 5G and IoT services to a multitude of individual and corporate customers within and outside Japan through its "au", "UQ mobile" and "povo" brands. In the Mid-Term Management Strategy (FY23.3-FY25.3), KDDI is promoting the Satellite Growth Strategy to strengthen the 5G-driven evolution of its telecommunications business and the expansion of focus areas centered on telecommunications.
Specifically, KDDI is focusing on the following five areas: DX (digital transformation), Finance, Energy, LX (life transformation), and Regional Co-Creation. In particular, to promote DX, KDDI is assisting corporate customers in bringing telecommunication into everything through IoT to organize an environment in which customers can enjoy using 5G without being aware of its presence, and in providing business platforms that meet industry-specific needs to support customers in creating businesses.
In addition, KDDI places "sustainability management" that aims to achieve the sustainable growth of society and the enhancement of corporate value together with our partners at the core of the Mid-Term Management Strategy.
By harnessing the characteristics of 5G in order to bring an evolution of the power to connect, KDDI is working toward an era of the creation of new value.

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