Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT Corp) reportedly plans to construct a pilot 6G mobile network ahead of the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan. According to Nikkei Asia, the company – which owns the country’s largest wireless operator NTT DOCOMO – aims to commercialise the next generation of mobile technology around 2030. The report notes that the pilot network, dubbed ‘IOWN’, will be supported by the carrier’s fibre-optic and wireless networks, and will serve Yumeshima, the artificial island that will serve as the venue of the World Expo. The Nikkei report goes on to say that IOWN is designed to process data without ‘converting optical signals, which cuts down on loss’, theoretically paving the way for transmission speeds up to 125 times greater than those currently offered.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in June 2021 telecoms tech developers from Japan and Finland revealed plans to work collaboratively on the development of 6G technologies, an area which is becoming increasingly influenced by Chinese companies. Nokia confirmed its plan to join the effort, with Japan’s ‘Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium’ subsequently signing an agreement with Finnish group ‘6G Flagship’. The Beyond 5G Promotion Consortium aims to commercialise sixth-generation communications technology in the 2030s, and includes the University of Tokyo and domestic telcos NTT Corp, NTT DOCOMO, KDDI (au), SoftBank Corp and Rakuten Mobile. 6G Flagship, meanwhile, is led by Finland’s University of Oulu. Talks are also said to be underway to draw in a US counterpart, with the likes of Cisco Systems and Intel touted as possible candidates.

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