Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party is considering reforms to the laws governing telecoms operators, Nikkei reported. This follows comments by NTT president Akira Shimada that Japanese laws made it harder to do business with its partners. NTT faces a stringent disclosure requirement that by law means it must publicise every research finding from its R&D teams.

Shimada said that the requirement has led to potential partners refraining from striking a deal in frontier areas of telecoms such as 6G. Lawmakers from Japan’s ruling party will hold an executive meeting on 22 August to discuss potential reforms, with an official policy launch expected before September, the Nikkei report said.

NTT’s research team is spearheading development of a next-generation infrastructure called Innovative Optical and Wireless Network that could lower cost for 6G implementations. Researchers believe IOWN technologies could reduce power consumer in telecommunications to “one hundredth” of current levels, Nikkei said.

More than 100 global partners are thought to have expressed an interest in the IOWN project. 6G is still another few years down the road, with Nikkei putting forward an estimated 2030 launch date. That means NTT has enough time to put together a global ecosystem for its IP in the IOWN technology. Japan’s Telecommunications Business act governs NTT and other major domestic operators including KDDI and SoftBank. It is often referred to as the NTT Law as it was introduced in 1985 when NTT was still a state-owned monopoly on the cusp of its subsequent privatisation.

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