NTT, ACCESS Partner to Drive Innovation in Optical Network

NTT Corporation (NTT) and ACCESS Co. Ltd., have announced a business and technology partnership aimed at promoting the realization of Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN).

Through the arrangement, NTT and ACCESS will conduct research and development on new user interface and user experience technology for IOWN. In addition, by leveraging the global channel ecosystem of IP Infusion, a wholly owned subsidiary of ACCESS, NTT and ACCESS will set up sales channels of NTT software to global markets as a first step toward establishing a global value chain to provide the developed software products.

Even with the pandemic largely behind us, there is likely to be an ongoing shift toward a decentralized society, with the continuation of social distancing and other measures. To achieve a world of seamless interconnection of real and virtual in such a decentralized society, one requirement is for an information processing infrastructure on which everyone can easily process information in many different forms, beyond digital, and create value from it. A second requirement is for innovative UI/UX technology to enable all kinds of users to simply and intuitively interact with the new information processing infrastructure.

Moreover, the infrastructure supporting such a society will need to be capable of scaling quickly and providing flexible configuration, in order to connect the vast amount of data coming from people, things, virtual spaces, and other places of all kinds. The various players working to realize this infrastructure are actively developing software-based network technology, with its high affinity to automation and artificial intelligence, and are aiming for high cost-effectiveness.

NTT is promoting innovative R&D that will bring about change throughout the world in alignment with its group vision: “To resolve societal issues through its business operations, NTT Group works together with its partners as `Your Value Partner`.” NTT is working with partners around the world to develop game-changing innovative technologies, setting forth its IOWN initiative as a part of its vision of building a platform for creating a wide range of services in society.

ACCESS has achieved growth on the corporate vision of “connecting everything over the Internet.” From the time the Internet was emerging, the company has continued to advance technologies for connecting Internet information and services with people. Its embedded software technology and knowledge have set it apart from its competition, as the company developed and provided to the world browser and other technology for mobile phone Internet connection. IP Infusion, an ACCESS Group subsidiary, is a leader in white box solutions (*2), developing and supplying the world’s most advanced network technologies, capable of meeting the most demanding conditions as network traffic grows exponentially. With its white box products boasting the quality and reliability demanded by telecommunications carriers, it is working to achieve open networks and disaggregation.

Under the arrangement agreed on today, research and development will be carried out making use of NTT UI/UX technology and ACCESS embedded browser technology. Additionally, making use of the technologies, knowledge, support capability and global delivery/operations framework of IP Infusion, built up through supplying its software-based network operating system (network OS) solutions to more than 350 companies, the partnership aims to achieve efficient worldwide provision of the innovative technologies born of IOWN.

R&D on UI/UX for IOWN

The birth of the Internet was a major advance for the world, as it made possible the expansion of information spaces on a vast scale and enabled anyone to access that information from anywhere at any time. IOWN is aimed at providing a new information processing infrastructure for seamlessly connecting the real and virtual worlds, free of communications bandwidth and latency constraints. Drawing on the UI/UX technology developed over the years by NTT and on ACCESS browser technology, R&D will be carried out toward realizing the UI/UX needed in IOWN, so that the value of the new information processing infrastructure can be derived to the maximum extent and all users can readily and intuitively learn how to use it.

Establish a Global Value Chain to Commercialize NTT Software Technology

NTT working with various partners and communities has conducted open R&D on white box network OS solutions Beluganos (for L2/L3 network equipment) (*3) and Goldstone (for optical transmission equipment) (*4), intended for enabling white box in telecommunications carrier networks.

IP Infusion, meanwhile, has developed a global channel ecosystem for providing on-going support for a wide portfolio of its own and partner products. In addition to its own network OS for white box, OcNOS these include global integrator and customer support arrangements for the DANOS-Vyatta edition, and support for the Commercial SONiC distribution.

The partnership will aim for early realization of a platform for sales and support in global markets of network OS solutions making possible IOWN and other leading-edge networking.

Looking Ahead

The collaborative research on UI/UX based on this partnership will seek to devise new UI/UX capable of effectively presenting the many different kinds of information obtained from IOWN to each recipient, based on their characteristics and values.

Toward tangible realization of IOWN, it will further aim to achieve market introduction of pioneering network OS solutions Beluganos and Goldstone in fiscal 2022. NTT and ACCESS will continue conducting open R&D with various global partners toward realization of IOWN.