NTT Corporation (NTT), its subsidiary NTT Data Corporation and NEC Corporation (NEC) have announced 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.
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.
Source: NEC Corp© Japan Today