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May 15, 2024

NTT Corporation

Demonstrated real-time optical and wireless cooperative control for efficient IOWN All Photonics Network utilization
~Promoting optical networks in accordance with the state of radio usage that supports DX at factories~

News Highlights:

  1. We successful demonstrated that the IOWN APN and a wireless system can be linked and controlled in real time in accordance with the usage status.
  2. For this demonstration, we adopted an interface for cooperatively controlling mobile systems and optical systems, which is under discussion at the IOWN Global Forum.
  3. This technology enables the mobile robots that will support DX in factories to be sustainably operated and allows the APN connection from the wireless access point to the server to be changed freely depending on the usage status and application of the equipment in operation.
  4. As a result, the IOWN APN can be shared by multiple applications using only one line, which is expected to improve the efficiency of DX in factories.

Tokyo - May 15, 2024 - NTT Corporation (NTT) conducted a real-time cooperative control demonstration between IOWN APN (All-Photonics Network)*1 and a wireless system in accordance with the state of radio usage toward the application of the IOWN APN to various wireless systems. In the demonstration, we first adopted the extended Cooperative Transport Interface (eCTI)*2 under consideration at the IOWN Global Forum and linked a multi-radio proactive control technology (Cradio®*3) with a low-latency FDN*4. By switching the optical path of the IOWN APN in real time in accordance with the wireless usage status, we show that a "robust network" can be provided between the wireless (Wi-Fi) and optical (APN) sections.
 Thanks to this achievement, the mobile robots that support digital transformation (DX) in factories can be operated sustainably, and the connection destination of the APN from the wireless access point to the server can be changed freely in accordance with the usage status (changes in the number of terminals and applications used) and application (big data collection analysis, telerobotic operation) of the operating equipment. Therefore, one IOWN APN line can be shared by multiple applications, and DX efficiency in the factory can be expected to be improved.
 Technologies used in this demonstration will be presented at the Tsukuba Forum 2024*5 to be held from May 16th to 17th, 2024.

1. Background

DX in the manufacturing industry is rapidly expanding against the backdrop of a decline in the working population. More specifically, by collecting and analyzing data on the operation status of equipment in each process in a factory in real time, we have not only taken measures to optimize and improve efficiency but also been actively improving efficiency and eliminating labor shortages by introducing robots. To support DX, both wireless and wired networks need to have high-capacity and low-latency performance as well as reliability that does not disrupt services. Especially for wireless networks, it is important to deal with wireless access environments such as wireless LAN and local 5G that are expected to be used in factories. Power consumption and cost are also issues for DX adoption. From a network perspective, power consumption and costs increase as the number of network lines increases. For this reason, to increase the spread of DX in factories, network circuits need to be efficiently used while ensuring network performance and reliability.

2. Overview of demonstration

Two demonstration experiments were conducted by connecting a Wi-Fi access point (AP) and an IOWN APN line in a factory wireless environment, establishing an environment for communication between a wireless terminal under the Wi-Fi AP and a cloud server, and linking a wireless controller that implements the Cradio® function to understand wireless usage status with an optical controller that switches the IOWN APN line via eCTI in real time.

  1. Demonstration according to application based on user instruction
    At a factory, assuming a switch from big data collection work to remote robot operation work for each process, we conducted experiments to simultaneously switch the Wi-Fi AP to be used and the optical path to the connected cloud server in accordance with the performance requirements of each work and demonstrated that the cooperation operation was completed.
  2. Demonstration according to the number of connected user terminals
    An experiment was conducted at a factory to detect the number of user terminals to be connected and automatically switch the optical path to the connected cloud server on the basis of the information. Results demonstrated that the cooperation operation was completed in about 100 ms.

Figure 1. Overview of optical-wireless cooperative-control technology Figure 1. Overview of optical-wireless cooperative-control technology

3. Technical point

  • Technology for understanding radio wave fluctuations in the wireless segment and cooperative control with external systems (Cradio®)
    Cradio® understands radio wave fluctuations in a wireless section by acquiring precise radio environment information from a collection box that constantly collects radio frames in the vicinity of terminals. This technology observes changes in the number of connected terminals belonging to a specific AP and notifies the cooperative control function part (or notifies the cooperative control function part on the basis of user instructions) when such changes occur. The cooperative control function part achieves cooperative control with the low-latency FDN control function, which is an external system.
  • Optical-wireless cooperative-control technology
    Cradio® and the low-latency FDN control function communicate information such as radio wave conditions, the number of connected terminals, and changes in usage via eCTI, thereby realizing real-time control of wireless and optical sections.
  • Network-computing cooperative-control technology
    Network-computing cooperative-control technology monitors the transmission time of an optical network and the processing time of applications on an edge server in total, and it simultaneously switches the network path and the edge server used in real time so that the service is sustainable. In this demonstration, IOWN APN was applied as an optical network, and high-speed switching of optical switch was realized.

Figure 2. Operation sequence of optical-wireless cooperative-control Figure 2. Operation sequence of optical-wireless cooperative-control

4. Future plan

Optical-wireless cooperative-control technology can be applied to private wireless systems such as Wi-Fi and local 5G, as well as cellular systems such as Beyond 5G/6G. In the future, we will carry out demonstration experiments on the integration of various wireless systems and IOWN APNs, as well as various usage scenarios, with the aim of developing a total network solution business that combines IOWN APNs and private wireless systems.
 Also, by the end of fiscal 2024, we will conduct demonstration experiments to reduce the power consumption of mobile systems by applying the elastic load balancing function*6 under consideration at the IOWN Global Forum and linking the IOWN APN with the wireless base station.


By introducing new optical technologies from the network to terminals and chips, APN achieves ultra-low power consumption and ultra-high-speed processing, which has been difficult to achieve. By assigning wavelengths to each function on a single optical fiber, we can provide multiple functions that support our social infrastructure, such as information and communication functions such as the Internet and sensing functions, without interfering with each other. APN IOWN1.0 is commercially available from NTT EAST Corporation and NTT West Corporation. other window other window

*2extended Cooperative Transport Interface (eCTI)
The extended Cooperative Transport Interface (eCTI) is an interface for linking and controlling mobile systems and optical systems and can have various performance and operational effects in wireless and optical networks. It can be linked with private wireless systems such as Wi-Fi and local 5G, and cellular wireless systems such as Beyond 5G/6G for real-time and proactive control. other window

Multi-radio proactive control technology "Cradio". Component technologies of the IOWN consisting of multiple technologies. Cooperative control technology is applied in this demonstration. other window

*4Low-latency FDN (Function Dedicated Network)
Low-latency FDN monitors the total transmission time of the network and processing time of edge computing, always maintains low latency and low jitter in accordance with service-performance requirements and provides sustainable and stable communication services. other window

*5Tsukuba forum 2024 other window

*6Elastic load balancing
A technology for saving power of a Distributed Unit (DU) by connecting a Radio Unit (RU) and a DU by an APN line, switching the APN line in accordance with traffic conditions, and distributing/controlling the DU. In realizing this function, switching of APN and distributed/aggregated control of DU can be cooperatively controlled by utilizing eCTI. other window

About NTT

NTT contributes to a sustainable society through the power of innovation. We are a leading global technology company providing services to consumers and businesses as a mobile operator, infrastructure, networks, applications, and consulting provider. Our offerings include digital business consulting, managed application services, workplace and cloud solutions, data center and edge computing, all supported by our deep global industry expertise. We are over $97B in revenue and 330,000 employees, with $3.6B in annual R&D investments. Our operations span across 80+ countries and regions, allowing us to serve clients in over 190 of them. We serve over 75% of Fortune Global 100 companies, thousands of other enterprise and government clients and millions of consumers.

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