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NTT Communications: Digital Event Connects Tokyo and Kanazawa via World's Longest IOWN APN to Commemorate Hokuriku Shinkansen Line's Extension

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NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) and the Hokuriku Regional Office of NTT DOCOMO, INC. (DOCOMO), together with the city of Kanazawa, celebrated the opening of a new section of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line between Kanazawa and Tsuruga by holding digital events on March 16 under the theme of "Connection," a key component of NTT Group’s Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) concept.1

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Scheme of live remote performance (Graphic: Business Wire)

The events included a live remote performance that seamlessly connected musicians in Kanazawa and Tokyo, a distance of about 1,000 kilometers, via the All-Photonics Network (APN). For the connection, NTT Com provided its APN Leased Line Plan powered by IOWN,2 which used the longest optical cable ever deployed in an IOWN demonstration and the first to be deployed in Japan's Hokuriku region.

The event brought together the Kanazawa Junior Jazz Orchestra JAZZ-21, consisting mainly of middle and high school students who have performed at the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and various major festivals around the world, and celebrated violinist Mayu Kijima, winner of numerous international competitions, including the 1st Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition in 2016, who performed with the Walner violin made by Antonio Stradivari 1699, which was on loan from the Munetsugu Collection.

Kanazawa City provided the demonstration environment and operated the venue in its area and NTT Com provided the APN transmission equipment and the venue in Tokyo. NTT Com and DOCOMO livestreamed the event on Kanazawa's metaverse platform using DOCOMO's 5G video transmission system, allowing viewers at home to enjoy the live event on PCs, smartphones and tablets via the browser-based virtual space platform DOOR.3 In addition, DOCOMO used its Hide Mode4 function to allow more people than normal to enter the virtual room. This was the first time in Japan that a metaverse space open to the public was used for a music event.

In another demonstration, smart lighting was used to allow spectators to digitally interact with Kanazawa's famous Tsuzumi-mon Gate to influence its illumination on the evening of March 16. Using 5G communication and IoT technology, spectators were able change the illumination by selecting from eight patterns via tablets placed near the gate. The demonstration, called “Connecting with Tsuzumi-mon Gate,” allowed people to make a special connection with the iconic site, including to take commemorative photos.

A third commemorative demonstration on March 16, called “Connecting with Other Locations,” allowed visitors to the Underground Plaza of the Motenashi Dome near Kanazawa Station to view and experience famous scenes along the Hokuriku Shinkansen line via a wide-angle virtual reality display without the use of goggles. During the demonstration, multiple people simultaneously enjoyed videos, 360-degree images and metaverse spaces, and even the experience of sitting in a Shinkansen driver's seat while traveling on the newly extended Hokuriku Shinkansen line.

DOCOMO group, under an agreement signed with the city of Kanazawa and West Japan Railway Company in 2019, is working to promote local attractions using 5G and other advanced technologies. Following the recent Noto Peninsula Earthquake on January 1, DOCOMO has strengthened its efforts to work with the people of the Hokuriku region to revitalize the region and support its recovery and reconstruction. Going forward, based on the lessons learned from the event to commemorate the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line's extension, NTT Com and DOCOMO are committed to providing new value to Kanazawa citizens and customers by incorporating new technologies, including the IOWN APN where possible, to promote the attractiveness of Kanazawa and contribute to the revitalization of the region.

1 Network infrastructure concept for creating an enriched society using advanced optical technologies, etc. IOWN® is a trademark of NTT Corporation. https://www.rd.ntt/e/iown/
2 NTT Com began offering APN communication services spanning prefectures from March 1 to meet customers' needs for advanced communication infrastructure.
3 DOCOMO's subsidiary NTT QONOQ INC. (https://www.nttqonoq.com/?lang=en) provides this service for holding events and displaying content in virtual spaces.
4 While 24 people is the normal recommended capacity of a virtual room, Hide Mode is a paid option that allows hundreds of people to enter, with certain limited capabilities. Please visit https://door.ntt/web/faq/index.html.

About NTT Communications
NTT Communications solves global technology challenges by helping enterprises utilize managed IT-infrastructure solutions to overcome complexity and risk in their IT environments. These solutions are backed by our worldwide infrastructure, including industry-leading, global tier-1 public and private networks reaching over 190 countries/regions, the world's most advanced data-center facilities (more than 500,000m2) and cutting-edge technologies for cloud, security and AI. As the core provider of the DOCOMO group's enterprise-business services and solutions, we create value by providing global-scale support for restructuring in industry and society, new workstyles and digital transformation in communities, leveraging 5G, IoT and other technologies under the "docomo business" brand. Together with NTT Ltd., NTT Data and NTT DOCOMO, we are the NTT Group.
www.ntt.com | Twitter@NTT Com | Facebook@NTT Com

About NTT DOCOMO
NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s leading mobile operator with over 89 million subscriptions, is one of the world’s foremost contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. Beyond core communications services, DOCOMO is challenging new frontiers in collaboration with a growing number of entities ("+d" partners), creating exciting and convenient value-added services that change the way people live and work. Under a medium-term plan toward 2020 and beyond, DOCOMO is pioneering a leading-edge 5G network to facilitate innovative services that will amaze and inspire customers beyond their expectations.
https://www.docomo.ne.jp/english/

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Contact information

For more information
Public Relations Office
NTT Communications Corporation
Phone: +81(0)3-6700-4010
Email: pr-cp@ntt.com

Hokuriku Regional Office
NTT DOCOMO, INC.
Phone: +81(0)76-225-2080

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