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In an exclusive interview with Telecom Review, NTT Senior EVP, Dr. Katsuhiko Kawazoe, talks about sustainable technology implementation as well as the significance of NTT’s participation in this year’s ITU CxO meeting.

The NTT Group is aiming to achieve sustainability based on technology. Can you explain the key focus behind the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) concept?

The concept of the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network aims to significantly improve the performance of energy efficiency, transmission capacity, and low latency. Performance advantages of IOWN are 100 times higher in energy efficiency, 125 times higher in transmission capacity, and one two-hundredth end-to-end latency. Toward realizing IOWN, we established the IOWN Global Forum in January 2020 and are working on R&D and social implementation with about 140 global member organizations.

How will IOWN influence Japan’s position as an indispensable global player in the semiconductor value chain? How will NTT contribute to fulfilling this goal?

I’d like to emphasize that IOWN is a global project, not a Japanese domestic project. One key component of IOWN is photonic-electric convergence technology, which replaces diverse processes using electricity with optical processing as much as possible. We’d like to contribute to the semiconductor industry by achieving the world’s best performance in this field. In collaboration with the IOWN Global Forum members, NTT will globally create new value chains in all industries with IOWN.

What are the long-term plans for IOWN’s implementation moving forward?

We launched our first IOWN All-Photonics Network service in Japan in March 2023. In the next steps, we plan to develop disaggregated computing technology, and then apply these IOWN technologies to all industries, such as mobility, medical care, and construction. In the future, we aim to accelerate social implementation and create a sustainable and smarter world by IOWN.

What is the significance of your participation in this year’s ITU CxO meeting?

Until now, IOWN has been discussed and developed on de facto forums mainly from industry perspectives. But we believe the power of de jure standards, especially ITU-T is essential                                                  for realizing a sustainable and smarter world in the global deployment of IOWN. At the roundtable, I would like to emphasize the necessity of collaboration between ITU-T and the industry among the C-level executives and get started together.

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