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NTT President Miura Speaks at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 Forum

The ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 Forum features sessions on various themes. On October 6th, NTT President & CEO Satoshi Miura spoke to telecoms carriers, vendors, government officials and other visitors from countries around the world about ICT and economic growth.

Session title: “ICT as a transformational infrastructure of infrastructures”
Time & date: 9:00-10:30, October 6th (local time)

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Speech

Opening Statement by Satoshi Miura at the ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 Forum

Id like to talk about NTT’s broadband networks and ICT services, and then indicate how ICT can contribute to economic growth and social benefits.

Currently, NTT Group is working on two strategies.
First, in terms of infrastructure, we have been leading the world by constructing the NGN which offers quality of service. For fixed line, we have expanded optical fiber broadband. For mobile, we will introduce Long Term Evolution, or LTE. This way, IP-based network will be ready by the end of the next fiscal year.

In addition, NTT Group is focused on creating ubiquitous broadband services on the NGN. For example, we are working on IPTV, video services, and e-learning for consumers; and SaaS and digital signage for businesses.

Now, I’d like to talk about the social importance of ICT services.
First, there is the contribution to economic growth. In Japan, ICT industry accounts for around one-third of real GDP growth. And it also has a positive impact on other industries. As you know, ICT has become indispensable in our daily lives, in all industries, and in public services because of its high penetration rate. Therefore, creating new ICT services will be critical to the recovery and growth of the global economy.

The second aspect is the role of ICT as a driver for transformation by encouraging innovation and resolving social issues. The contribution of ICT is not just limited to improved efficiency. Although we had been subject to constraints of time, space, and information in the past, ICT has enabled us to overcome those constraints. ICT offers innovations such as mobile banking, and it serves as a new infrastructure in our society. So, ICT has become increasingly essential for social development. For example, (1) Telework can provide work opportunities and reduce commuting time; (2) Teleconferences can cut out the need for business trips; (3) Home ICT services can improve convenience of everyday life.

Above all, these services can contribute to the solution of global environmental issues. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama announced an ambitious goal about the reduction of CO2 emissions. ICT services will play an extremely important role in achieving this target.

As new services develop, a reliable network becomes more and more critical, in terms of user privacy and security. Therefore, we look forward to collaborating with various players, and working on developing new technologies and services.

Key Q&A

Q.
What are your views on ICT promoting economic growth?
A.
ICT no longer simply offers greater efficiency and convenience. For firms, it has become the very core of corporate strategy. Public administration now also relies on ICT. ICT promotes economic growth, not by acting alone, but rather by linking up with other industries to create new businesses. So, it is difficult to distinguish the extent of ICT’s impact. Mobile business is a typical example. In Japan, mobile market is growing rapidly not only in network services but also in contents and upper-layer businesses. Where the total market scale stood at eight trillion yen in 2006, this is expected to grow to 14 trillion in 2010.
Q.
What role should government play in expanding broadband and eliminating the digital divide?
A.
The role of government will differ according to the country, and should be determined with reference to factors such as national broadband penetration rates and carrier dissemination plans. In Japan, we include ADSL, optic fiber, CATV and, recently, wireless services like WiMAX within the definition of broadband, providing almost universal coverage. Optic fiber alone covers 90 percent of users, and we are working with central and local government in regard to the remaining 10 percent to solve the digital divide issues.
Q.
Which of the various mobile broadband technologies, such as WiMAX and LTE, will be the mainstream?
A.
ICT technologies are constantly evolving day by day, and WiMAX is one of promising technologies. NTT was unable to get a license for WiMAX and is instead pushing forward with LTE, which is also sufficient to provide the necessary services and coverage. What I’m saying is that rather than one technology dominating indefinitely, technologies will continue to change, so as a carrier we have to keep an eye on every technology and decide which one is fit for our business.
Q.
What are your views on the relationship between climate change and ICT?
A.
ICT has two effects on CO2 emissions. One is to reduce emissions through telework and teleconferencing. The other effect that must not be forgotten is the ICT-driven increase in CO2 emissions due to, data centers and the spread of the Internet and video contents. That’s where we as a carrier have to think about ways to cut back CO2 emissions. We are working to reduce our energy consumption through introducing more energy-efficient routers and ICT equipment, and introducing virtualization technology and more efficient air-conditioning technology into data centers. In the future, we will also make effort to the realization of energy-saving technologies such as optical routers. In total, ICT still has the contribution to CO2 reduction, because its reduction impact exceeds its emissions. In fact, some calculations suggest that ICT has an effect equivalent to a three percent reduction of Japan’s total CO2 emissions.
Q.
Finally, please give us some comments on the advance of ICT, applications and contents in the telecom industry.
A.
The NTT Group has announced a new Medium-Term Management Strategy, "Road to Service Creation Business Group." As a network carrier, we need to provide network services such as NGN and LTE, while also creating new services through focusing on our contents, platform and upper-layer services. Taking ‘open’ and ‘collaboration’ as our two keywords, we are currently working with other various players to achieve these goals.

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