NTT Corporation (NTT), its subsidiary NTT DATA Corporation (NTT DATA) and NEC Corporation (NEC) announced today the acceleration of activities to promote the global adoption of 5G solutions tailored for enterprises. The three companies aim to develop these solutions to accommodate market demand that helps to drive the creation of successful business models and business. These activities will be conducted in “Enso – The Space for Creators” (Enso Lab), which has been established at NTT DATA Deutschland’s Munich laboratories.
Current wireless network base stations are mainly equipped with integrated hardware and software based on the specifications of certain communication equipment vendors. However, in order to lower the dependence on specific vendors, O-RAN activities which aim to create an open ecosystem for base station equipment are accelerating among mobile telecommunications operators around the world.
In June 2020, NTT and NEC entered a capital and business alliance for joint R&D and global expansion of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) products utilizing innovative optical and wireless technologies. The companies have now launched an initiative to develop globally competitive products in compliance with O-RAN Alliance specifications with global operators and telecommunication equipment vendors toward promotion of the wider use of O-RAN and other open architectures.
In addition, since O-RAN specifications indicate that open architectures of software for communication equipment are required, NEC’s communication system integration technologies as a telecom equipment supplier, and NTT DATA’s IT system integration technology as a software developer are increasingly necessary.
2. Details of cooperation
As part of the global O-RAN activities, the three companies will start co-creation activities utilizing their 5G capabilities for enterprises. The Enso Lab has created a 5G environment featuring a multi-vendor system configuration by building a co-creation space for enterprises using 5G technologies form NTT DATA, and installing additional NEC radio units that conform to O-RAN specifications.
By utilizing the Enso Lab, customers will be able to build demonstration environment using 5G base stations that meet O-RAN specifications, and develop application prototypes according to customer-specific requirements. This will help customers develop new business utilizing 5G.
As a first step of the three companies’ co-creation activity, they aim to develop and commercialize solutions that include 5G infrastructure and applications for automotive-related industries in Europe. Furthermore, the companies plan to create new solutions for other industries, such as the automotive and manufacturing fields for global markets, including the US, by leveraging their private 5G expertise, knowledge and use cases cultivated in Japan.
3. Role of each company
NTT – Overall coordination and support of collaboration
NTT DATA – Integration of 5G systems for enterprises
NEC – Providing technologies, products, and solutions required for 5G systems for enterprises
4. Representative Quotes
Akira Shimada, Representative Member of the Board and Senior Executive Vice President of NTT: “As one of the initiatives based on NTT’s capital and business alliance with NEC, three companies, including NTT DATA, have begun co-creation activities for enterprise 5G solutions in the global marketplace utilizing radio base station equipment manufactured by NEC in compliance with O-RAN specifications.
“By combining NEC’s sophisticated network technologies and the integration capabilities of the NTT Group, we believe that we can accelerate the creation of advanced corporate solutions that match customer needs.”
“NTT Group is working together with global partners to promote the spread of open architecture in order to create innovative technologies, products, and solutions in the telecommunications field, and will contribute to resolving social issues through the development of services utilizing 5G.”
Toshi Fujiwara, Representative Director and Senior Executive Vice President of NTT DATA: “With 5G networking becoming widespread worldwide, digitization will accelerate even further. In order to respond quickly and flexibly to customer needs in 5G networks, the NTT Group will promote the dissemination of open networks that conform to O-RAN specifications. At the same time, the NTT Group will strive to propose and develop advanced solutions tailored to the needs of global companies by utilizing NEC’s proven 5G related technologies.”
Takayuki Morita, President, CEO and Representative Director of NEC: “NEC is engaged in a range of activities through a capital and business alliance with NTT, aiming to expand and grow 5G businesses globally.
“As part of our collaboration with the NTT Group, we have great hopes that by combining NTT DATA’s solution delivery assets with NEC’s technology assets, we can promote co-creation of 5G for enterprises, starting with the European automotive industry.”
“Going forward, we will continue working together to provide value to customers in Europe and elsewhere utilizing innovative 5G solutions.”