NTT - Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation

05/16/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/15/2024 21:22

May 16, 2024 NTT's ISAP and the 6G Revolution

In the rapidly evolving world of telecommunications, the impending arrival of 6G technology promises revolutionary changes, particularly in how mobile networks and computing power converge to improve user experiences. As we move into this new era, there is one major challenge to confront: the growing demand for higher computing power on mobile devices, which often strains battery life and processing capabilities.

NTT Corporation and NTT DOCOMO are developing a solution to this challenge, one that has the potential to redefine mobile connectivity and computational distribution.

The core of NTT and DOCOMO's innovation lies in the existing separation between mobile networks and cloud computing. Historically, mobile devices process data independently, often leading to increased latency-delays in data processing-which can worsen user experiences in applications requiring real-time responses. For example, in a world increasingly reliant on augmented reality (AR) and virtual environments, any delay can disrupt the immersive quality and functionality of these technologies. What's more, the heavy lifting done by the devices themselves drains battery life and limits the complexity of tasks they can handle efficiently.

To tackle these problems, NTT and DOCOMO have introduced an innovative concept known as In-network Service Acceleration Platform (ISAP). The technology fundamentally transforms how data processing is handled by offloading much of the computational demands from individual devices to the mobile network itself. Think of it as a restaurant kitchen operating during a high-stake dinner rush. Instead of each chef (device) preparing every component of a dish from scratch under immense time pressure, imagine if some of the ingredients could be prepped in a central kitchen (network). This system would allow chefs to focus on assembling and enhancing the final presentation, thus ensuring quicker service and higher quality dishes.

ISAP works under a similar principle by integrating computing resources like GPUs directly within the network infrastructure, which can dynamically adjust based on the device's needs and the network conditions. Doing so not only accelerates the data processing tasks by moving them closer to where data is initially collected, but also greatly reduces latency, because the data does not need to travel back and forth to distant cloud servers.

The real-world implications of this technology are potentially huge. In smart cities, for instance, ISAP could enable more sophisticated traffic management systems. Cameras and sensors placed throughout the city could instantly process and analyze traffic conditions, communicating with each other to optimize traffic lights and reduce congestion in real-time without relying on central servers. This would resemble a network of quick-thinking traffic officers at every intersection, each with a bird's eye view of the city's traffic flow, making adjustments in real-time to keep cars moving smoothly.

Another compelling application could be in wearable technology, particularly in health monitoring. Devices like smartwatches could use ISAP to process health data such as heart rate and physical activity on the network, rather than on the device. This would not only extend the battery life of the wearables but also enable more complex health monitoring applications that can run continuously without degrading the performance of the device.

Additionally, the entertainment and gaming industries could see transformative changes with ISAP. Gamers using mobile AR or VR headsets could experience seamless and immersive environments without the need for expensive, high-powered processing hardware within their devices. Instead, the heavy rendering required for such detailed virtual worlds could be handled by the network, delivered in real-time to headsets with minimal latency, making the virtual experience feel as responsive and real as the physical world.

As NTT and DOCOMO continue to refine and expand their technology, in collaboration with partners like Nokia for on-demand network resource management, the promise of 6G is beginning to crystallize into more than just faster speeds-it could fundamentally change the ways mobile technology integrates into our lives, making our interactions with digital worlds more seamless and our devices more capable, but at the same time less cumbersome. Not only offering new technological possibilities, but also ensuring that future mobile networks will be more inclusive, dynamic, and responsive to our growing digital demands.

NTT-Innovating the Future