NTT Corp. and NEC Corp. have announced an agreement to collaborate on the development of optical and wireless technologies. To seal the collaboration, the service provider will take a 4.8% stake in NEC through the issuance of new shares and disposition of treasury stock by way of third-party allotment.
The collaboration is sparked by NTT’s desire to ensure the development of the technologies necessary to keep up with its anticipated optical and wireless network demands. For example, the service provider has launched the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network Global Forum (IOWN GF) alongside Intel and Sony to organize industry R&D around a common network vision. The developments within the collaboration are expected to fall within this scope.
The two companies say that they will quickly develop a joint “research and development structure” that will initially focus on two areas, one optical, the other wireless. In the optical realm, NTT and NEC will collaborate on development of a next-generation coherent DSP that will be made available to the general market. NEC also will produce optical systems that leverage the DSP. NTT Electronics, a major provider of merchant coherent DSPs that is commonly referred to in some quarters as "NEL," is an NTT Group affiliated company; its potential role in this effort is unclear.
In the wireless arena, the two companies will endeavor to promote acceptance and use of O-RAN Alliance specifications, including the development of products compliant with these specifications. NTT and NEC will focus on the realization of ultra-high-speed processing, ultra-low latency, and ultra-low power consumption in base station equipment via optical and wireless technologies.
NTT’s stake in NEC is meant to help fund “the acquisition of and acceleration in efforts to develop products, services, and intellectual properties that can gain a global competitive advantage,” the companies say.
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