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Social Challenge 5
Prepare for a new future with the power of technology


Why it matters

In recent years, various social issues have come to the fore: rapid increase in the global population, growing severity of natural disasters, worsening of food supply and environmental problems, and in Japan, low birthrates and an aging population are leading to a rapid shrinking of the working-age population and shortage of labor. To solve these problems, significant social and economic transformations are being demanded in every society and economy, and the advancement of digital transformation utilizing ICT (Information and Communications Technology) is required in every situation.

What can be accomplished

As a leader in digital transformation, we will act and contribute to helping resolve the social challenges unique to each country. For example, the declining birthrate and aging population, proper education, equitable healthcare, regional economic development, and long-term value through technology for the next generations.

Future vision

The NTT Group is committed to contributing to the development of society by acknowledging diverse cultures, and thus we will contribute to solving social issues by connecting people, goods, and cultures, including communities, nations, and society, while promoting high ethical standards, diversity, and inclusion in fair and equitable ways, and work towards creating a better workplace through powerful and new digital technologies.

Business Activity 16
Promoting the B2B2X Model

Our commitment

As a leader in digital transformation, we will act and contribute to helping resolve the social challenges unique to each country For example, the declining birthrate and aging population, proper education, equitable healthcare, regional economic development, and long-term value through technology for the next generations

Our objective

Generate \600 billion in B2B2X revenue by 2023

Policies and Concepts

In recent years, various social issues have come to the fore: rapid increase in the global population, growing severity of natural disasters, worsening of food supply and environmental problems, and in Japan, low birthrates and an aging population are leading to a rapid shrinking of the working-age population and shortage of labor. To solve these problems, significant social and economic transformations are being demanded in every society and economy, and the advancement of digital transformation utilizing ICT (Information and Communications Technology) is required in every situation.

Collaborating with companies in different industries and local governments as Your Value Partner, the NTT Group has been applying its management resources and capabilities, including human resources, research and development, and the ICT base to promote digital transformation and resolve social issues.

Going forward, we will seek to make a greater contribution to society based on our awareness that promoting the B2B2X business model that constitutes one of the pillars of our medium-term management strategy will be particularly effective.

Organization for Implementation

The NTT Group has made promotion of the B2B2X business model one of the pillars of our medium-term management strategy and has been taking action by establishing a B2B2X Strategy Committee with the president as chairman to facilitate Group collaboration while expanding projects.

We are also deepening discussion about future deployment of the B2B2X business model at regularly held Board of Directors meetings and reporting on progress at general meetings of shareholders.

What is the B2B2X model?

B2B2X is a business model aimed at resolving social issues by creating new value through collaboration with various partners.

This business model aims to provide our partner's customers (users) with new value by combining the industry expertise and customer platforms of our partners with the NTT Group's "data services" and "data management technology."


Development of B2B2X business

The model is being developed as an All NTT Group initiative in areas like (1) Advancing industry value chains (2) Providing better customer service (3) Utilization of mobile data (4) Community-based service and urban development.

Examples of value created with the B2B2X model

Facilitating collaboration with partners

  • Entered into a business alliance with Mitsubishi Corporation in December 2019 to transform industrial value chains and to generate new value through digital transformation (DX), and in July 2021 established the joint venture company "Industry One" for providing DX services.
  • Agreed to form a multi-year strategic alliance with Microsoft Corporation in December 2019 to promote the creation of a Global Digital Fabric, development of digital enterprise solutions, and co-innovation of next-generation technologies to deliver secure, reliable solutions that help enterprise customers accelerate their digital transformation.
  • Entered into a business and capital alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation in March 2020 to establish a long-term, ongoing cooperative relationship that enables the commercialization of businesses to realize smart cities that continue to evolve in accordance with resident needs.
  • The entire NTT Group is implementing initiatives aimed at achieving regional growth and developing smart cities by working with municipalities around Japan, with examples including a Community Development Partnership Agreement, concluded with Sapporo City (2015), a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement related to joint regional initiatives concluded with Fukuoka City (2015), an Agreement for Comprehensive Collaboration for developing a super-smart society by utilizing public and private data concluded with Yokohama City and Yokohama City University ( 2018 ), and a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement for future urban development concluded with Chiba City (2019).

※1 Industry One, Inc.: Company providing cross-industry DX solutions, established as joint venture with Mitsubishi

Business Activity

Capital alliance formed with Genesis Healthcare Co.

In the healthcare and medical business domain, the NTT Group is working to achieve Smart Healthcare that leads to a well-being society by promoting comprehensive DX, from healthcare to medical care, through the use of data for individual consumers, as well as by supporting the advancement of medical care in a data-driven manner. Genesis Healthcare is a pioneer in genetic testing and research in Japan. In addition to "GeneLife," a genetic test for general consumers, the Company offers "GenesisPro," a genetic analysis service commissioned by medical institutions, and "GenesisGaia," a bioinformatics and data science (genome AI) service for pharmaceutical companies and research institutions.

The two companies agreed to enter into a capital and business partnership with the aim of accelerating the acquisition, analysis, utilization, and distribution of medical and healthcare data, including genetic data, by leveraging and complementing each other's broad knowledge base and expertise. They also aim to contribute to the creation of a healthy society that respects humanity and recognizes diversity rooted in genetics, as well as one where each person can benefit from personalized, optimized precision services.


Business Activity

Established NTT EDX, a company working to advance higher education

NTT West, DNP, and NTT East have been working together to accumulate know-how in the digitization of education using ICT, with the aim of enhancing cooperation with publishers of textbooks and teaching materials and expanding the effectiveness of their collaborative efforts.

For previous efforts, we provided solutions individually to institutions of higher education, but we deemed it necessary to provide this service as a platform service so that we can provide more advanced functions at a reasonable price, and to expand the service to institutions of higher education nationwide as soon as possible. In addition, a number of institutions of higher education, publishers of textbooks and teaching materials, and bookstores that have sold textbooks for many years have requested that we commercialize this service in order to make students' education more convenient and resolve issues related to textbooks and teaching materials. We established our joint venture to address these requests.


Development of new solutions together with SAP

NTT DATA and SAP have jointly developed the "Connected Product" solution for tracking transportation of fragile cargo with IoT sensors and making insurance procedures smoother. These initiatives help simplify cargo tracking and insurance procedures throughout the entire supply chain, with plans in place to cover actual business with international insurance and logistics companies.


Research and Development to Promote the B2B2X Model

Promoting the B2B2X business model is a central pillar of the NTT Group's initiatives contributing to the realization of a smart society. In the B2B2X model, instead of providing services to customers directly, the NTT Group supports service providers by offering ICT tools such as AI and IoT, to which various values are added before being delivered to customers. In addition, the NTT Group has been working to create B2B2X models with many partner companies and local governments. We will further develop them and advance a model that uses digital services and data management.

Example of initiatives

NTT and Tokyo Century Corporation working together for data center business operation in India

With demand in the data center market growing on a global scale, NTT established NTTGDC as a company in charge of investments and asset holding related to data center construction, with the aim of supporting the core infrastructure that is the foundation of the NTT Group's full-stack global strategy. In the data center business, where demand will continue to grow worldwide, NTT aims to provide high-quality services to global companies by maximizing investment efficiency and accelerating data center business investments. Tokyo Century is focusing efforts on promoting business strates that integrate the three spheres of "Finance x Services x Business Expertise" by cooperating wigieth good business partners. As an operating company with financial functions, Tokyo Century will be able to create unique financing and service opportunities for helping to address social issues, develop a solid business portfolio and expand global businesses in areas where growth is anticipated. NTTGDC and Tokyo Century have agreed that blending the core strengths of both companies and working together for the operation and promotion of data centers will help to boost corporate value. Partnering with NTTGDC marked Tokyo Century's first data center business that involves external capital.


NTT and Macquarie Asset Management enter into strategic partnership for data center businesses in Europe and North America

NTT and Macquarie Asset Management agreed to enter into a strategic partnership covering NTT's data centers in Europe and North America.

This strategic real estate partnership will give Macquarie Asset Management the opportunity to invest real estate capital alongside NTT, while also providing NTT with the opportunity to further build on its businesses in Europe and North America, two key regions for its data center business. NTT is also aiming to provide high-quality services to global companies by maximizing investment efficiency and making further growth investments in the data center business in the globally expanding DX market.

Business Activity

Establishment of New Company, NTT DX Partner

NTT DX Partner

In January 2022, NTT East established a new company, NTT DX Partner, which will provide support for business reform centered on DX consulting, create and provide a cloud-based digital platform, and analyze customers' various operations and client data. NTT DX Partner will also utilize NTT East Group's DX promotion know-how and assets to provide one-stop support, ranging from DX consulting to implementation and promotion of digital platforms, in a collaborative, joint development style. This will contribute to customers' success and address local and social issues that arise as well.


In March 2022, NTT West opened QUINTBRIDGE, a co-creation space originating in Kyobashi, Osaka, to promote open innovation and help revitalize the overall market. QUINTBRIDGE will support business co-creation and human resource development and aims to become a place where companies, startups, local governments, universities, and others can "learn, connect, gather, and create with one another." In business co-creation, we do not stop at formulating ideas, but work with partners to help these business ideas take shape and implement them in local communities, as well as provide various programs (interactive pitch programs, acceleration programs, etc.) to support this effort.

Launch of XR Service Brand "NTT XR," collaborative creation with partners


With the XR market slated to grow as a new type of lifestyle infrastructure, the NTT Group launched a new service brand called "NTT XR" in March 2022, allowing customers to select optimum services that suit their requirements.

The new XR service brand will provide a full range of services, from those catering to both corporate and individual users through to XR technical platforms and devices common to group companies. Together with content providers and other partners, we will provide an extensive range of services including entertainment, tourism, education, industry, commerce and many more to meet diverse needs of corporate and individual customers.

A range of services will be provided by group companies to customers in Japan and around the world in line with its vision of "Going beyond the limits of reality to share and enjoy dreams and experiences." For the consumer market, NTT QONOQ has already released the multi-device metaverse platform "XR World" and is expanding on features within the platform covering a wide range of areas including music, cartoons, dance events and more. Services available for corporate customers include remote conferences, on-site support, training, and marketing-related services. In addition, we will develop services in the educational and tourism sectors. To accommodate the increase in traffic and amount of data as XR continues to grow, "NTT XR" services are developed extensively on photonics-electronics convergence devices, cloud rendering and other IOWN-related technologies designed to provide a smooth, high-quality XR experience.


Business Activity

Launched SmartPRO ®, a Data Collection Service that Improves the Accuracy of Clinical Trial Evaluations

SmartPRO ® (hereinafter "the Service"), which increases the accuracy of clinical trial evaluations conducted by pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, was launched on May 20, 2022. This service is an ePRO*2 that digitizes subjective evaluations (hereinafter "PRO"*1) obtained directly from subjects or patients, and allows subjects or patients to relay their condition, such as "pain" or "feeling ill," from their own smartphones. Pharmaceutical companies and research institutions can view and download patient and subject PROs on the Service. In addition, a logbook function that allows subjects and patients to record all health-related data after the clinical trial as well will be provided as part of the Service by the end of FY2022. We will also consider new healthcare services that contribute to improving subjects' and patients' quality of life by safely and securely utilizing the data collected by the Service.

Through the Service, we will strive to achieve Smart Healthcare that uses digital technology to contribute to the development of healthcare.

  1. A PRO (Patient Reported Outcome) is a subjective evaluation of the course and symptoms of the disease obtained directly from subjects or patients during clinical trials.
  2. An ePRO (electric patient-reported-outcome) is a PRO that is filled out and collected electronically.

2025 World Exposition - Japan Pavilion

NTT will take the opportunity at the Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai to showcase its efforts for achieving a sustainable society through its new vision for society, by harnessing its various management resources and capabilities, such as its advanced R&D like the new IOWN communications and social infrastructure platform powered by optical technology, ICT platforms, and personnel. And for children growing up in an uncertain world, NTT will give them hope for the future, making for a truly memorable pavilion for visitors to the world expo.


Strengthening operations for guidance with VR spatial platform "DOOR"

A guidance service was launched in February 2022 within a DOOR virtual salon, provided by OriHime-D avatars piloted by handicapped people or others with difficulties going outside. DOOR users can interact with the OriHime-D avatar and ask them questions about piloting the avatar or acquire information they need.

New advances include an AI avatar providing reception duties for the DOOR virtual salon. The AI avatar developed by the NTT Group on the basis of NTT R&D technology uses automated responses to provide information outlining content available in the virtual salon, and also applies federated learning to non-verbal cues like audio data, facial expressions and intonations in voice, to give users an interactive experience.


Business Activity 17
Protection and respect for intellectual property

Our commitment

As a leader in digital transformation, we will act and contribute to helping resolve the social challenges unique to each country For example, the declining birthrate and aging population, proper education, equitable healthcare, regional economic development, and long-term value through technology for the next generations

Our objective

More than in the previous fiscal year

Number of patent applications per employee

Intellectual Property Management Our Approach to Intellectual Property

The business activities of the NTT Group are sustained by products and services derived from the results of our aggressive R&D. For this reason, we believe that appropriate protection and utilization of intellectual property generated by R&D is vital for the NTT Group to achieve continuous growth, which in turn will enable us to continue contributing to our customers and society at large. We strive to protect the intellectual property of the NTT Group and promote activities that respect the intellectual property of others in every aspect of our business activities.

System of Intellectual Property Management

NTT protects the results of its R&D to maintain its competitive edge but at the same time makes its intellectual property available to a wider audience by licensing technologies that would contribute to the development of industries and businesses as well as standardized technologies that are already used in society.

Under the leadership of the NTT Intellectual Property Center, NTT has established policies for intellectual property activities involving the entire NTT Group and also provides support and coordination for the use and management of intellectual properties, aggregates the opinions within the Group on the intellectual property system and disseminates information outside the Group.

Protection of Third Party Intellectual Property

In order to prevent the infringement of domestic and overseas third party rights, NTT examines the third party rights of technologies used in our business at every step from the early stage of research and development up to the provision of the developed technologies to Group companies. NTT also strives to enhance the Group's compliance with intellectual property laws and regulations in Japan and abroad and mitigate potential business risks by sharing among the Group companies information on system amendments, and trends concerning intellectual property including disputes and court cases.

NTT Intellectual Property Center

External Utilization of R&D Outcomes

Since its founding, NTT has promoted cutting edge technological development as a leading company in the information communication industry. For this reason, we own a vast number of patents.

NTT licenses its proprietary technologies so that they can be used broadly by all for the benefit of the telecommunications market as well as other markets. For example, as part of our initiatives for standardization, we efficiently promote the spread of technology by licensing patents on standardizations to many companies through various patent pools.



IP Open Access Declaration Against COVID-19

Recognizing the need to contain the spread of\ COVID-19, the NTT Group expressed its consistent support for the IP Open Access Declaration Against COVID-19 in May 2020 and declared that it will "not assert any patent, utility model, design or copyright (hereinafter referred to as the "Intellectual Property Rights") against any individual or other entity during the period starting with the date of this declaration and ending on the date on which the World Health Organization declares that the COVID-19 outbreak no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, with respect to activities whose sole purpose is stopping the spread of COVID-19, such as diagnosis, prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19." NTT discloses its licensing policy and procedures along with detailed information on its R&D activities and technological licenses.

R&D Activity

NTT Technology Licensing Site

Licensing policies and procedure

Participation in the "IP Open Access Declaration Against COVID-19" (Japanese only)

NTT Intellectual Property Center Activity Policy

NTT Group, which engages in research and development, from basic to applied, in a wide range of technological fields, has accumulated intellectual property investments (R&D investments) over the years as a telecommunications operator that are unparalleled around the globe.

The NTT Intellectual Property Center has established an Activity Policy to provide security and safety to NTT Group's businesses, which is on the verge of expanding globally under the slogan of "Your Value Partner," and to support its growth. The Center formulates intellectual property strategies, provides appropriate protection for the results obtained through intellectual property investments, and promotes the use of intellectual property while respecting that of others.

IOWN, which is generating significant expectations and interest both at home and abroad, is not something that NTT Group can achieve on its own. Through an array of activities in line with our Activity Policy, we will support collaboration with our partners to address various social issues from a global perspective.

Formulating and Advancing Our Intellectual Property Strategy

The NTT Intellectual Property Center is NTT Group's core organization for managing intellectual property. The Center aims to secure competitive advantages by proactively and appropriately protecting and managing intellectual property rights (i.e., patents), or internal expertise, from the results of R&D, the source of all business activities.

NTT aims to share the benefits of its R&D by broadly licensing out its technologies that help advance industry, as well as technologies that have been standardized and can be used throughout society. When deploying the results of R&D in their operations, each company in NTT Group respects the intellectual property rights of other companies.

Our intellectual property strategy forms the basis of these activities, and together with our business strategy and R&D strategy, we are aiming to achieve the NTT Group's vision by taking a three-pronged approach to formulating and advancing our medium-term business strategy: (1) developing strategic intellectual property rights, (2) managing risks, and (3) utilizing our intellectual property.


Intellectual Property Portfolio

The results of R&D, which plays a major role in the creation of intellectual property for NTT Group, has translated into ownership of approximately 18,000 patents around the world.

The NTT Intellectual Property Center is not only responding to NTT Group's global business by strengthening overseas patent applications, but also working to obtain rights to a wide range of energy reduction technologies, such as photonics-electronics convergence technologies that will advance carbon neutrality, which IOWN aims to achieve by FY2040.



Open & Closed Strategy (Initiatives related to Standard Essential Patents)

IOWN will not be achieved via a limited number of companies whose core business is information and communications technology. In fact, companies and organizations in various fields active around the world have gathered at the IOWN Global Forum to discuss use cases and technical specifications for making IOWN a reality. In these discussions, it is important to clarify open (cooperative) and closed (competitive) areas while working toward the same goal. In open areas, for example, it is essential to define technology standards to achieve stable communication between devices from different vendors (standardization).

While NTT laboratories play a central role in proposing NTT technologies as standards, the NTT Intellectual Property Center is working to enhance its Standard Essential Patents (SEP) in coordination with these activities.

SEPs are patents that must be used in the manufacture and sale of products and provision of services that conform to certain standards. The NTT Intellectual Property Center provides a secure platform for handling standardized technology rights by participating in and establishing patent pools, whereby companies and organizations in collective possession of SEPs manage patent royalties and other conditions, thereby maintaining relationships of trust with other companies and contributing to the safe and secure business operations of NTT Group.


Business Activity

Participation in Intellectual Property Matching Events Organized by Local Governments and Organizations

In an effort to help vitalize regional business structures, we actively participate in intellectual property (IP) matching events sponsored by local governments to offer licensing agreements that enable local companies to use NTT's proprietary technologies in developing their own products. In the case of a company based in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture, we signed a licensing agreement through a matching event organized by Kawasaki City and the Kawasaki Institute of Industrial Promotion that has enabled the company to use NTT's patented technology to provide a new service starting in 2019. We are committed to continue contributing to the vitalization of regional economies through this initiative.


Reinforce and Globalize Research and Development Policies and Concepts

As ICT companies leading the world, the NTT Group recognizes R&D as a material issue that gives Group companies their competitive edge. R&D supports the digital transformation of our customers and lifestyle transformations tailored to individuals, and the R&D department works with operating companies to develop new technologies that provide the wellspring for new value creation in a variety of domains to enhance the NTT Group's R&D, a pillar of our medium-term management strategy.

The NTT Group seeks to overcome numerous problems involving safety, disaster readiness, and the improvement of productivity through R&D and, as a result, strengthen industrial competitiveness and resolve social issues. Since ICT is applied in a variety of fields, we are forging partnerships with counterparts in wide-ranging industries as we pursue our R&D initiatives.

IOWN GLOBAL FORUM Linking Companies and Academic Institutions Across the Globe

We established IOWN Global Forum, Inc. (hereinafter "IOWN GF"), a new industry forum based in the United States, together with Intel Corporation and Sony Corporation in January 2020. This forum has grown to boast membership by 111 organizations as of November 2022.

IOWN GF's objective is to accelerate the adoption of a new communication infrastructure that will bring together an all-photonic network infrastructure including silicon photonics, edge computing, and wireless distributed computing to meet our future data and computing requirements through the development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications, and reference designs.


Organization for Implementation

The NTT Group's R&D activities focus on making the IOWN concept a reality, as well as basic research and applied research. Basic research serves as the backbone of telecommunications, such as basic and component technologies related to services and networks, while applied research is conducted by operating companies and is closely related to their respective businesses. These R&D activities are undertaken by NTT's IOWN Integrated Innovation Center, Service Innovation Laboratory Group, Information Network Laboratory Group, and Science and Core Technology Laboratory Group.

Also, we promote general producer activities, in which we formulate marketing and business plans and forge alliances so that the results of research by NTT laboratories can be transformed into Group businesses. In these general producer activities, we seek to develop business in a timely manner by combining the wide-ranging basic technologies of NTT laboratories with external technologies in collaboration with Group companies and with various other companies to create new services. In order for innovation to continually be an important driver of the NTT Group well into the future, we will aim to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by promoting innovations for social issues. These efforts will include patent applications and the publication of scientific papers.


Driving collaboration to make the IOWN concept a reality

IOWN GLOBAL FORUM linking a broad range of companies

NTT, Intel Corporation and Sony Corporation established IOWN Global Forum, Inc. (hereinafter, "IOWN GF"), a new industry forum. IOWN Global Forum's objective is to accelerate the adoption of a new communication infrastructure that will bring together an all-photonic network infrastructure including silicon photonics, edge computing, and wireless distributed computing to meet our future data and computing requirements through the development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications, and reference designs.


Space integrated computing network

To establish sustainable economic and social activities, it will become ever more important to effectively maximize the use of stratospheric and near-Earth space as an ICT infrastructure platform in a diverse array of fields such as energy, environment and climate change, disaster prevention, marine infrastructure, and security. Based on the "Space Integrated Computing Network Concept," NTT will take on the challenge of building new infrastructure, beginning with an optical wireless communication network to be constructed in space and a mobile network to be constructed in the stratosphere.


NTT and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation established the "Space Compass" joint venture company that operates a novel integrated space computing network business with the aim of achieving a sustainable society. The new company is involved in space data center (high-capacity communication and computing infrastructure in space) and space RAN (communication infrastructure for Beyond5G/6G) business and services as the first step to developing an integrated space computing network. The joint venture will take on the challenge of building new infrastructures in space, where business led by the private sector is expected to grow in the future, and contribute to the creation of a sustainable society.


Reinforce and Globalize Research and Development

  • The NTT Group is advancing innovative research and development that drives change worldwide while stepping up basic research at overseas centers. Specifically, we will use the research centers established overseas to strengthen joint research with a varied range of research bodies, actively utilize the latest external technologies, and increase investment in research on new growth fields.
    We will also promote the global rollout of R&D results and globalization of research targets. More specifically, in July 2019 we opened NTT Research, Inc., which operates three research laboratories, in Silicon Valley in the United States for the purpose of reinforcing fundamental research. We have launched a collaboration with universities and research institutes in the United States and Europe in the fields of quantum computational science, medical/health/healthcare, and basic cryptography/blockchain. We will further globalize our research and development by opening research centers in areas around the world, starting with Silicon Valley.

  • The creation and utilization of photonics-electronics convergence technology that combines optical and electric signals will be key to the development of IOWN. The "NTT IOWN Integrated Innovation Center" was established in July 2021 in order to advance development and accelerate the creation and utilization of this technology.
    In addition to the three centers (the Network Innovation Center, Software Innovation Center, and Device Innovation Center) involved in cross-sector product development, the NTT IOWN Product Design Center has been established at the facility. This center formulates a development and expansion strategy backcast from market needs and social demands and consistently promotes technology development, dissemination activities, and implementation support based on that strategy. NTT also assembled researchers who are known authorities in their respective fields to form the NTT R&D Authority Team. These Authority Team researchers take part in R&D activities at NTT to contribute to the development of IOWN and help shape our vision after making this concept a reality. Specifically, they are responsible for driving research in their fields of expertise by directing, providing guidance, and advising activities regarding research themes. As one facet of our efforts to accelerate R&D from a long-term perspective, NTT established the new Institute for Fundamental Mathematics, headed by Dr. Masato Wakayama, a member of the NTT R&D Authority Team who serves as the Fundamental Mathematics Research Principal.
    It will work on establishing a basic theoretical framework for modern mathematics and will accelerate research towards innovation in quantum technology by challenging to uncover the basic principles behind the superior power of quantum computing. It will also seek to contribute to NTT's R&D aimed at achieving IOWN by proposing the use of modern mathematics in groundbreaking new approaches to addressing various research problems, including the elucidation of unknown diseases and the discovery of new drugs.

R&D to make the IOWN concept a reality

  • NTT has established a feed-forward AI air-conditioning control system that predicts comfort levels even with short-term data, and demonstrated its ability to achieve energy conservation and comfortable environments. This technology was developed as part of the Urban DTC ® initiative aimed at optimization of entire urban areas, by making predictions of the future and links between digital twins using the 4D digital platform ® capable of observing the entire city in real-time in sophisticated detail. And to achieve the "Another Me" digital twin of oneself, NTT redefined and announced the philosophy behind the concept of "We" that encompasses oneself and Another Me, based on the Self as We theory developed together with research partners at Kyoto University.

  • We teamed up with Hokkaido University to be the first in the world to demonstrate the capabilities of a compact optical device that achieves low loss, wideband and variable compensation of optical power difference between different kinds of signals (modes). This was a major step forward for achieving the high-volume optical transmission backbone exceeding 1 Peta-bit capacity target of the IOWN concept. Development of a supra-1 Peta-bit class optical transmission backbone as the target of IOWN proposed by NTT calls for optical transmission line technology and optical transmission technology utilizing spatial modes. NTT will continue its industry-academia collaborative research in this field.


  • NTT has developed a digital signal processing circuit and optical device that achieves the world's largest capacity of 1.2 Tbit/s per wavelength for coherent optical transmission.
    Using the proprietary developed world's highest class digital coherent signal processing circuit and world's fastest optical device increases the optical signal modulation speed to the world's highest 140 Giga baud, and achieves 1.2 Tbit/s per wavelength, the world's highest capacity. When compared with existing technology, the optical signal modulation speed is 1.4 times faster, and the transmission capacity has increased by 1.5 fold. The developed device can also be expanded to more than double the optical transmission distance of 800 Gbit/s.

Promoting Other Cutting-Edge Research

  • 6G experimental trials with world-leading vendors:
    NTT DOCOMO and NTT agreed to collaborate with world-leading vendors Fujitsu, NEC, and Nokia to conduct experimental trials for sixth generation mobile communications technology (6G) with the view of launching commercial 6G services by around 2030. Research and development of 6G systems is advancing as the technology capable of expanding communication coverage in the sky, at sea and in space, and enabling both ultra-low-power consumption and low-cost communications. Indoor trials will begin within fiscal 2022, with outdoor trials slated to begin from fiscal 2023 and after. NTT will continue working with these world-leading vendors to conduct experimental trials, with each company moving forward with other major vendors in developing initiatives that build on their individual expertise. This will help to accelerate research and development of 6G, and contribute to faster global standardization and commercialization of 6G.
  • High-precision Detection of Rust in Social Infrastructure Facilities using Image Recognition AI:
    NTT successfully developed an image recognition AI that detects rust in various social infrastructure facilities with a high level of accuracy. The image recognition AI can distinguish multiple types of infrastructure facilities from images of roadside facilities taken by NTT's Mobile Mapping System (MMS) to detect rust that has formed on those facilities (roadside facilities and utility pole-mounted facilities), with a detection accuracy of 97.5%. The image recognition AI can identify and inspect in one run multiple infrastructure facilities in images captured simultaneously by MMS, which reduces operational costs as it allows consolidation of separate field inspections that had been performed by each infrastructure manager. Uniform inspection quality can also be achieved because the image recognition AI uses uniform standards that eliminates the variations in detection results between individual inspectors. Further improvements made to AI in the future will provide added value for social infrastructure maintenance management work and help achieve a smart society.
  • As part of NTT's "Medical and Health Vision," a simulator called the Bio-Digital Twin has been developed to support risk control and improve well-being by predicting future physical and mental conditions of a person. A new type of sensing instrument is the wearable electrocardiographic device. The device being developed is centered on the apical region of the chest, where the heart is closest to the rib cage, as a reference point with opposite electrode poles in three nearly orthogonal directions to capture the activity of the heart in three dimensions.
  • The quest to develop more compact quantum computers for more practical applications has struggled due to their need for large cooling and vacuum equipment, amongst other challenges. NTT, together with the University of Tokyo and RIKEN, has jointly developed an optical fiber-coupled quantum light source (squeezed light source), which is a key technology for achieving large-scale optical quantum computers.
  • NTT was the first in the world to successfully acquire knowledge on the process of spin-wave generation and the electrical control of spin waves in a graphene quantum Hall state. This resulted in acquiring a means of investigating the fundamental properties of spin waves. Feeding back this knowledge to applied research will make a significant contribution to the development of magnonic devices.

Why IOWN is essential

The development of digital technology has broughtabout a number of technological innovations, such as ultra-high definition images, but we believe that we must change our mindset to achieve further evolution.

With IOWN, we believe it is important to try to grasp phenomena and information as they are through a more diverse set of values and perceptions, as opposed to filtering them through human-only values. Dr. Jakob von Uexkull, a German biologist, proposed the concept of the "self-centered world" ("Umwelt" in German), which states that all living things have a species- specific perceptual system, and that each has a world based on its own species-specific perception and acts as its own subject. The IOWN concept is based on the idea that different subjects see things in different ways, and that the information being conveyed and the processing method will vary according to the values of each subject. Thus, it aims to convey and process every bit of information in accordance with the values of each subject.

While dramatically low latency, enormous bandwidth, and very small latency fluctuations are required to make these new ideas a reality, the current internet is reaching its limits in terms of both transmission and processing capacities. Furthermore, power consumption continues to increase in tandem with the enormous amount of information being processed, and the increase in CO2 emissions has become a serious global issue. NTT Group's vision of a high-capacity, low-latency, low-power-consumption infrastructure that can handle information as-is requires an end-to-end, fullstack redesign and optimization that breaks away from individually designed layers, from networking to computing. The key to this is "photoelectric merging" technology. Conventionally, optical signals and electronic signals have had their roles completely separated into "transmission" and "processing," respectively, and the task of converting the two types of signals is inefficient and consumes a lot of power. If we tightly integrate optics and electronics, we can apply optical technology to the entire system, down to the processor level, and we can rethink the architecture (structure) from a full stack perspective.




The advantages of IOWN

I think the optics-related expertise that NTT has accumulated over the years is a big advantage. What everyone is probably most familiar with is internet connection services using fiber optic cables, but NTT has long been researching the possibility of not only using fiber optic cables as a transmission medium, but using optics as a basis for transmission equipment and information processing. The results of these research projects are being put on a development track that brings them closer to commercialization, with the goal being practical applications. In terms of recent achievements, the core of "photoelectric merging technology" is the ability to perform optical-electrical and electrical- optical conversion at ultra-high speeds and with ultra-low power consumption. In LSI, the input/output (I/O) consumes the most electricity, and the impact of replacing this with light is quite significant. Moreover, with electricity, power consumption increases rapidly as the distance over which signals are transmitted increases, but with light, power consumption does not increase very quickly. Thus, by utilizing light through photoelectric merging technology, it is possible to achieve not only ultra-high speeds, an original characteristic of light, but also ultra-low power consumption. A typical example is the optical transistor developed by NTT in 2019, the first in the world to combine ultra- high speeds with ultra-low power consumption. A transistor is a conversion device that can output an electrical signal in its proper form by providing it with a control signal. Converting signals is called switching. Conventional light-switching devices are huge and cost several hundred billion yen, but now that optical transistors have been created, they have been reduced to the size of a piece of chewing gum. In addition, the research and development of optical transistors involves not only signal processing technology, but also the creation of optical modulators. This requires know-how regarding stabilization at high accuracy so as not to disturb the spectrum of a certain wavelength, which is an analog technology that is part of a cottage industry. The fact that we are now able to connect long distances optically is largely due to utilization of our technology. To cope with the increase in data volume and power consumption, a structural evolution from electronic processing to optical transmission is essential, and the breakthrough in the technology supporting this structural evolution hinges on the higher precision, smaller size, and lower cost of optical transistors. Therein lies NTT's advantage.

Anticipated business model

IOWN will be available in a variety of domains, but here are two easy-to-understand scenarios.

First, let's consider the interior of a data center, disaggregated computing. A personal computer has a similar structure, but a server has an interface, a CPU, memory, and storage. The current trend is for the CPU to issue instructions, temporarily store information in memory, and then store the information resulting from its calculations in storage.

The CPUs used to be run by electrical signals, but by directly connecting accelerators such as GPUs and DPUs via light and linking them with different wavelengths, it is no longer necessary for each server to have its own CPUs and memory. CPUs are located in one casing and memory in another, and connecting them optically makes it possible to create a situation in which it appears as if a very large amount of CPUs and memory are installed on a single server.

Disaggregated computing image

This allows for a scalable computing infrastructure with ultra-low power consumption, high-speed processing, and the ability to add as many parts as required. One potential business model in this case would involve selling optical transistors. In addition to the optical transistors themselves, products that incorporate photoelectric merging technology and optical modulators into computer motherboards and semiconductor packages are also a possibility. Essentially, we would be selling key components. Next, we will expand the scope somewhat to include all-photonics networks, which utilize optics between networks, and areas outside the data center. Optical transmission technology used in the core of relay systems that connect cities and in metro networks that extend throughout cities can be expanded to the end user's neighborhood, which would allow for flexible configuration of ultra- high-capacity optical paths, such as a "one wavelength per person" model, for each application. It would be like having a dedicated, on-demand, one-toone optical line with no video compression and almost no delay in transmission and reception. optical paths, can be used to reduce power consumption.

APNs could be used for the mobile fronthaul portion that links base stations and mobile antennas. In urban areas, the population changes depending on whether it is day or night, so traffic volumes will inevitably vary. For this reason, load balancing, which dynamically constructs optical paths, can be used to reduce power consumption. APNs can also be used as lines linking data centers. These days, it is difficult to set up large data centers that require enormous amounts of power.

In the future, small- and medium-sized data centers will be dispersed over a broad area, and it will be necessary to connect these distributed data centers using light so that they can operate at a level comparable to that of large-scale data centers. Large-scale data centers require enormous amounts of electricity, but if spread out, they can also make use of renewable energy generated close to their locations, thus enabling local production for local consumption of energy. Potential business models for cases in which APNs are provided include: acting as an infrastructure service provider, such as providing mobile fronthaul and networks between data centers; a data center business that provides distributed data centers connected by APNs; and a product business selling optical transceivers to be installed in data centers edges.

All-photonics network (APN) characteristics image


What are some use cases?

IOWN is an innovative concept based on light that communicates and processes things as-is and helps to create a new smart society with low energy consumption in a sustainable manner that is not attainable with our current internet. Some use cases that are anticipated at this stage include the following.

While (1) providing interconnect solutions for data center operators and (2) providing mobile networks for mobile operators have already been introduced, (3) providing networks for events (live broadcasts, cloud-based e-sports broadcasts) is another potential use case. We have already conducted demonstration tests for cloud-based e-sports event broadcasts. Competitive games via the cloud are fought in real time, and it will be essential to exchange large amounts of 8k video data with a delay of less than 20 ms. A delay of a few milliseconds compared to a delay 10 times that amount will result in a different attack timing. It is impossible to fight within a game in an environment where the timing of attacks is off due to delay. The delay in the demonstration test was 20 ms, but we are making efforts to lower this to a few milliseconds, and we are currently developing a system that can control the delay in 1-μs increments to enable synchronization.

Virtual reproduction of real life (concerts, eSports)

  • Reproduction of events offering two-way exchange of high-definition video and audio within a virtual space
  • Low-latency data exchange allows for those at remote locations to have the same experience as those at the venue


Future schedule and milestones

We hope to conduct early demonstrations of these use cases, receive feedback from customers, and further refine the IOWN technology. Then, starting around 2020, we have been proceeding with field demonstrations to users and areas that need advanced services, such as smart cities and critical infrastructure. Around fiscal 2022, we will roll out services, though it will still be limited to specific uses and areas. After 2026, we will expand the service nationwide by connecting areas where it has already been implemented. Also, an important event coming up in the near future is the Osaka Kansai Expo 2025. We hope to convey a part of our IOWN-based worldview in an easy-to-understand manner, combining some of the IOWN technologies we have mentioned thus far with existing technologies as well. In doing so, we hope to present a new kind of value through partnerships with various companies and organizations, which will lead to these technologies subsequently being implemented throughout society.

IOWN Expansion Roadmap image

IOWN Case Studies

(1) Optical Network Technologies to Support eSports

  • For eSports events hosted among multiple sites, IOWN APN offers a gaming UX no way inferior to the UX of in-person events.
  • Transferring uncompressed or slightly-compressed video signals enable users to use remote servers in distant data centers with simple operational inputs and video displays. Functions that offer network delay measurement and adjustments also ensure fairness in remote events held among multiple sites.


(2) Real-time Remote Orchestral Ensembles with "Future Concerts"

  • Allows for real-time remote sessions over IOWN APN that eliminates the need for performers to gather in the same location.
  • Forming a split screen from multiple video streams delivered from multiple locations with low latency makes it possible to reduce video delays without sacrificing the low latency features of the APN, and allows multiple remote locations to exchange video without perceptible time lag.


(3) Natural Remote Control Utilizing Avatar Robots

  • The low latency of IOWN has enabled remote robot operation without any time lag perceived by the operator.
  • Video delays transmitted over the internet make it difficult to operate the robot because the robot had to be stopped often to check its status. This demonstration allowed robots to be controlled in real time with feedback, verifying that the robots could move along the same route in half the time.


Business Activity 18
Contribution to the revitalization of local communities and economies

Our commitment

As a leader in digital transformation, we will act and contribute to helping resolve the social challenges unique to each country For example, the declining birthrate and aging population, proper education, equitable healthcare, regional economic development, and long-term value through technology for the next generations

Our objective


Development rate of 5G infrastructure maintenance (by FY2023)

Contributing to the Vitalization of Regional Societies and Economies

  • NTT ArtTechnology Corporation was established in December 2020 to protect various tangible and intangible cultural and artistic assets, and to promote the appeal of regions both domestically and abroad by broadly spreading new online-based styles of cultural and artistic appreciation.
  • Provided a simple and secure online storage service for SMEs. "Cowork Storage" was released in March 2021 to provide a more flexible and extensive service with file sharing functions to build secure computing environments, and used in a similar way to NAS or file servers.
  • Established Co-Designing Institute for Polyphonic Society in July 2021 to promote regional vitalization by providing consulting services aimed at supporting the activities of municipalities, companies, organizations and other associated groups (local communities, public private partnerships) that are facing issues achieving revitalization at a local level.

Advancing Personalization by Supporting the Transformation of Lifestyles

We support customers as they transform ever-diversifying lifestyles by providing personal solutions centered on DOCOMO that closely align with individual needs. Number of cell phone subscribers totaled 84.75 million in fiscal 2021.

In terms of service, we are enhancing electronic payment and contents while utilizing AI and big data to improve communication with every customer.

Promoting Digital Transformation

We are raising operational efficiency by introducing robotic process automation (RPA)*1. The operational process has been adopted in approximately 2,900 cases within the NTT Group as of the end of June 2020. We are also recommending the use of RPA among our customers, and more than around 6,500 of them have adopted the process as of the end of June 2020. We also sought to advance our Group management by actively introducing a unified enterprise resource planning (ERP)*2 system for our personnel, finance, and procurement operations.

  1. Solution for automating operations previously handled by humans by establishing procedural rules to replace humans with robots.
  2. Management method for implementing centralized management of corporate resources to achieve optimization across the entire company.

Business Activity

Initiatives for the Realization and Deployment of 5G

We launched our commercial 5G services in March 2020, and we will provide billing plans such as 5G Gigaho and 5G Gigalight, seven types of 5G devices, services in the gaming, music and sports genres, and solutions that contribute to advancing industry and driving digital transformation.

Furthermore, we are promoting initiatives that will increase convenience and enrich people's lives by creating new value and offering solutions for social issues toward our goal of rolling out services to all 1,741 municipalities in Japan, and achieving coverage for 90% or more of the population, by March 2024.


Promotional Activity

"Regional agricultural culture connected with 'NTT-grown' tomatoes"

NTT East is advancing the agricultural DX concept as part of efforts to achieve a local, sustainable recycling-oriented society.

Proving support for smart agriculture by utilizing AI, IoT, drones and other ICT is part of this initiative.

While agriculture makes up the core industry in many regions, the reality is that the majority of agricultural produce relies on imports. As an IT operator, efforts were made to see if we could address the challenges that the agricultural business faces, such as an aging population and shortage of workers. NTTe-City Labo (NTT Central Training Center) harvests "NTT-grown" tomatoes available in the market grown by NTT AgriTechnology cultivation staff in its state-of-the-art vinyl greenhouses, and supplies for municipal elementary school lunches as part of a local production and consumption model. To learn how the tomatoes they eat were cultivated, 80 students from the local elementary school visited the farm as part of a field trip, making the initiative a valuable lesson for dietary education.


Robot equipped with a 4K camera.
The remotely controlled robot moves around the greenhouse to carefully check the condition of tomatoes.


Initiatives for Universal Design*1

The NTT Group actively encourages the broader adoption of universal design, which ensures that products and services are easy for all customers to use, regardless of age, gender or physical abilities.

※1Products and services that can be used by senior citizens, children, persons with disabilities, and foreign visitors facing language barriers (includes expanded functions)


Establishment of the NTT Group Web Accessibility Policy

The NTT Group is working to ensure and improve the accessibility of its websites for a wide spectrum of customers, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities. Specifically, the Group established the NTT Group Web Accessibility Policy. The policy for official websites of the Group companies with head office functions in Japan is set according to JIS X 8341- 3:2016*2 and each works to comply*3 with Level AA.

NTT Group "Web Accessibility" Initiatives (Japanese only)

※2 JIS X 8341-3:2016: "Guidelines for older persons and persons with disabilities--information and telecommunications equipment, software and services-- Part 3: Web content" of Japanese Industrial Standards

※3 Refers to compliance with the description defined in the "Compliance Performance Announcement Guidelines for JIS X 8341-3:2016.March 2016 Edition (published on March 22, 2016)" of the Web Accessibility Infrastructure Committee, Info-communication Access Council. This means that we have established and disclosed an accessibility policy and confirmed that the pages fulfilled all the requirements through the tests implemented and based on JIS X 8341-3:2016.

User-Friendly Service Lineup

We offer a broad range of discount services for various users, including senior citizens and persons with special needs, to facilitate access to ICT services.

Special discounts on dedicated lines for educational facilities (NTT East and NTT West)

Since January 2001, NTT East and NTT West have offered special fees for schools on FLET'S services suitable for using the Internet at a fixed sum in an effort to promote educational use of the Internet.

Discounts on mobile phone use for persons with special needs (NTT DOCOMO)

NTT DOCOMO offers the Hearty Discount programs for encouraging more social participation by persons with disabilities.


Promotional Activity

Consulting for universal design

NTT Claruty employs a large number of people with various disabilities. The company provides consulting services to suit customer requirements from an early stage of research, development and planning, with the view to designing structures with barrier-free layouts, accessibility assurance, universal design, and inclusive design.


Web accessibility diagnosis

NTT Claruty offers a broad range of services catering to web accessibility, by suggesting ways to make improvements to barriers present on websites from the perspective of use by people with disabilities


Policies and Concepts to Pursue Customer Satisfaction

The NTT Group serves various customers, from general consumers to corporate customers, providing a broad range of products and services.

Its main business fields, the telecommunications and ICT industries, continue to innovate, producing new products and services. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets continue to evolve almost daily, giving rise to a number of new services utilizing the NTT Group's network. At the same time, with the evolution of technology and services, the amount of information needed to use them has increased, and this has also increased opportunities for us to receive various confirmations, inquiries, feedback and requests from customers with regard to device malfunctions and questions about various fees and services. The NTT Group believes that resolving customers' concerns or questions about the services they use and maintaining a high level of satisfaction for all customers will foster a relationships of trust with customers and lead to the acquisition of new customers.

Organization for Implementation

The NTT Group companies have built a system for making operational improvements that will lead to reductions in the time taken to respond to customers, enhancing products and services, and influencing development based on the voice of customers received through surveys, the Customer Services Center, and other departments. In turn, we work toward developing and providing services closely in tune with the voice of our customers. Specifically, we work continuously to improve our year-over-year results for the KPIs of the reduction in waiting and customer service times at DOCOMO shops, the number of improvements made based on suggestions from customers, and the response rate of our call centers, which will give rise to a positive cycle of improvement.

The NTT Group will keep on making efforts to raise the level of customer satisfaction, including service quality and on-site responsiveness required by customers, in conjunction with the business operations of individual NTT Group companies

Main Initiatives

Customer Contact Points

Each Group company has set up a call center that responds to customer inquiries on products and services, requests for repairs, and complaints. Major call centers of the NTT Group receive over 180,000 calls each day and endeavor to respond promptly to customers. Each call center has set its own targets aimed at improving response rates and enhancing the quality of responses and support. They also engage in various efforts including telephone response competitions and training to enhance skills for providing better responses.

COVID-19 Outbreak and Support for Customers

In March 2020, NTT Group companies announced their policy of extending payment dates upon request from customers facing difficulties in paying for services on time, and this policy was extended through to the end of November 2021.

Recognizing that the government's stay home request created an environment that made it difficult for customers to use their d POINTS, NTT DOCOMO decided to reactivate d POINTS that expired between March and May 2020 and award them to customers, effectively extending their expiration dates.

In light of schools implementing remote classes and online education, a partial waiver of data communication fees was announced to support the use of smartphones for online learning. NTT Group companies have also been supporting telework, education, and health by setting up customer contact points and providing some services free of charge as initiatives. At the same time, the NTT Group has been using the way cell phones connect to analyze demographic changes caused by government policies addressing the spread of COVID-19 and providing information to central and local governments and the media.

Reflecting the Voice of Customers

The NTT Group listens to the voice of its customers, including their opinions and requests, through its call centers. Each Group company has constructed a system for reflecting the voice of customers in making operational upgrades and improving and developing products and services, and they are making an active effort in related activities as well.

For example, NTT Communications collects the voice of customers through various contact points in an effort to reinforce initiatives for enhancing services and improving operational processes. This includes not only annual surveys, but also soliciting customer feedback at the time of application and during various support processes.

For more information on these initiatives, please refer to each company's website, Sustainability Report, and other materials.

NTT East "Service with a Smile" activities (Japanese only)

NTT West "Customers First" activities (Japanese only)

NTT Communications "For Increased Customer Satisfaction" (Japanese only)

NTT DOCOMO "Initiatives That Utilize Feedback from Customers" (Japanese only)

Promotional Activity

Social impact of "flow of people data" generated from approximately 85 million samples

DOCOMO InsightMarketing provides "mobile spatial statistics" that visualizes the movement of people. Society and the economy are closely linked to how people move around. "Mobile spatial statistics" provides a way to "visualize" the movement of people, and is an essential technology as the foundation of all efforts to support society. Providing citizens with accurate data on clusters with high concentrations of people, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, made a significant contribution to society.

When the state of emergency was first declared in April 2020, countless people were restricted from going outside. At the time, preventing infections required avoiding "clusters," and DOCOMO received inquiries from media outlets around the clock requesting the use of "mobile spatial statistics" for identifying areas of congestion in real-time. DOCOMO also felt the need for neutral information that was not subjected to the bias of any particular media outlet. In response to these requests, efforts were made to make "mobile spatial statistics" accessible to everybody so that information could be viewed from anywhere. Population maps shown to visualize areas of congestion as heat maps were made available for free, to much positive response.