Japanese companies NTT and Fujitsu Limited formed a strategic business alliance to conduct research in the mobile communications and optical transport fields, with the aim of expanding into the global market and delivering sustainable infrastructure.

In a joint statement, the partners said that they will conduct joint research and development activities toward the realization of a variety of “energy efficient, sustainable technologies” in areas including open architecture optical transport and mobile communications, combined with disaggregated high-performance computing, all of which are made possible by photonics-electronics convergence device innovation.

The two companies said that they are promoting “an open approach in which white box and general-purpose software can be supported in multiple vendor environments, shifting away from the existing model that relies on specific vendors, with the ultimate aim of encouraging a climate in which a variety of innovative ICT services can be realized to bring flexibility for a new digital society.”

In the field of optical transport communications, Fujitsu and NTT say they will work together to plan new optical devices based on an open architecture, build system products developed by Fujitsu, and control supply chain management. The two partners aim to expand the business globally with a strategic entry into the data center interconnect market, where demand is expected to grow and the adoption of open architectures is accelerating.

“In order to promote more open mobile networks in anticipation of the Beyond 5G era, the two companies will study the development and promotion of open interface-based technologies, as well as the development of global businesses based on the results of these activities,” the partners said in a release. “The first step is to develop technologies that can be established globally with a variety of partners through avenues including the ‘5G Open RAN Ecosystem’ launched by NTT DoCoMo.”

For example, the two companies said they will work on measures to improve performance, which remains a challenge for expanding the adoption of virtualized radio access network (vRAN) and develop control technologies to optimize radio access networks. NTT will use these technologies to further enhance mobile network infrastructure in preparation for full-scale 5G deployment. Technology developed through the collaboration will be used by telecommunications carriers on a global basis through the “5G Open RAN Ecosystem” initiative and other means.

“While the two companies will openly promote these developments with various partners, NTT and Fujitsu will actively participate in these developments and leverage results from joint research into the optical transport and mobile communications business with the ultimate aim of expanding into the global market and making sustainable network infrastructure a reality throughout the world.”

As part of the alliance, NTT Electronics will acquire a 66.6% stake in Fujitsu Advanced Technologies, a provider of semiconductor mounting technology, which will be renamed NTT Electronics Cross Technologies and start operations on June 1.


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