Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) is an initiative for future communications infrastructure to create a smarter world by using cutting-edge technologies.

IOWN is built around photonic technology for ultra-high capacity, ultra-low latency and ultra-low power consumption.

Powering the Next Internet


Today, most of our devices and technologies (phones, watches, gaming, sensors, PCs, servers, networks, etc) use electronics to process and transmit information. IOWN will use optical technologies to transform these electronic connections into photonic connections, increasing transmission speeds and improving responsiveness while consuming extremely low levels of power.

Through the IOWN Global Forum, NTT is working with more than 100 partners to accelerate this truly transformational concept that will help build the communications and computing infrastructure of the future—the next internet.

How IOWN and optical technologies could improve our everyday lives

IOWN will change the way people, technology, nature and all things will interact and connect. Potential advantages include integrated wireless and wired networks that are always available, instant real-time interactions with zero latency, and computing that is highly safe and secure. Technology will become invisible, but highly connected and responsive.

For example, healthcare will be improved as surgery becomes more accessible. It will be easier to predict latent medical conditions, potentially limiting the spread of disease by supporting a faster preventative response and it will be possible to create and deliver more effective drugs and medications.

A more secure, safe and connected future

Cities will be safer as crowds are monitored and emergency services alerted in real time. Autonomous vehicles will almost eliminate road congestion and traffic accidents. Cryptographic communication will keep users safe from the risk of cyber threats.

By providing truly global accessibility to technology, optical technologies will allow us to communicate across diverse communities in the metaverse. Delays will be eliminated from real-time entertainment, sports or even business experiences, creating a physical experience in a virtual world.

Everything will be faster, smarter and more energy efficient. The number of applications and the benefits of IOWN technologies will be almost limitless.

The All-Photonics Network

IOWN leverages three different core technologies. Firstly, it will enable the All-Photonics Network (APN), an end-to-end solution that will seamlessly connect devices at the edge of the network (such as smartphones, sensors, wearables, vehicles, etc.) to infrastructure (like computers and data centers). This envisions a future where photonics-based technologies exist all the way from core data center computing to the devices, smartphones and sensors at the edge. It will expand the reach of networking, from data centers in space, to very powerful devices and sensors—with low power consumption and high processing power.

Next-Generation Digital-Twin Technology

The second core technology used by IOWN is digital-twin technology, creating a virtual copy in real time of anything in the real world—people, factories, cars and even the weather, for example.

IOWN’s Digital Twin Computing (DTC) takes this one step further by allowing digital twins to interact with each other in real time. By building exact interactive copies of complex systems such as cities, traffic, machines and even the human body, we can conduct precise tests and experiments with all the interactions happening in real time for more highly informed decisions.

The Cognitive Foundation

The third core technology of IOWN is the Cognitive Foundation (CF), based on AI and machine learning. Today’s computing is “computer-centric,” transmitting data from one computer or component to another in one location. The CF, however, manages the resources, components and information from the cloud, networks and individual devices in a “data-centric” way. This information can then be decentralized and reconfigured, eliminating the need for all functions to take place in one location. This is what we call “disaggregated computing.” Computing is embedded in the network, processed from the edge to the core based on high-speed, low-latency, optical-based connections.

What are the benefits of IOWN and how is it more sustainable?

Ultra-high capacity
The volume of data that that can be processed will be 125 times greater than networks today.

Ultra-low latency
Near-instant transmissions with end-to-end latency reduced by over 200 times.

Ultra-low power consumption
Goal of 100 times more efficient than today, reducing carbon emissions by 45 percent.

Foundational Technologies

IOWN’s Foundational Technologies lay the ground for the paradigm change from electronic to photonics ahead

All-Photonics Network (APN)

A network which uses photonics-based technology in everything from networks to computers and devices.

Digital Twin Computing (DTC)

The real and digital worlds combine to predict the future.

Cognitive Foundation (CF)

The platform that connects and controls networks, sensors, devices and systems.

Service Platforms

IOWN Service Platforms unlock the potential in the Foundational Technologies to improve value:

Data-centric Computing Ecosystem

Creating a simplified system with data hubs instead of individual data processing units.

Extreme Network as a Service

The integration of fixed and wireless networks combined with environment information to optimize traffic.

Photonic Direct Communications

The solution to share real-time, totally synchronized remote experiences in all kinds of fields.