NRI Papers
No.79 August 1, 2004
  Ubiquitous Networking:Business Opportunities and Strategic Issues  
Teruyasu MURAKAMI
       The ubiquitous network is positioned as a goal of the development of the next-generation information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure under the e-Japan Strategy II, and the systemization of policies toward this goal is moving forward in Japan. In addition, there are signs of the gradual international evolution of this new paradigm as represented by vitalized activities in this field in South Korea and focused discussions by Japanese delegates about this theme at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) of the United Nations held in December 2003 in Geneva.
        This paper clarifies that the ubiquitous network is a total ICT paradigm that was rediscovered in Japan after we entered the 21st century and discusses business opportunities and related strategic issues based on the trends that have become clear since the spring of 2003.
       In the process toward ubiquitous networking in Japan, various network infrastructures must be so developed as to acquire compatibility and interoperability. These infrastructures include wired networks with their focus shifting from high-speed to super high-speed network access, wireless networks aiming at being the world's most advanced networks, transportation system networks with their links being closer, broadcasting networks undergoing digitization, and physical object networks that will soon emerge.
       Japanese companies are in a highly competitive position with respect to the development and dissemination of ubiquitous terminals. Favorable results in this field will lead to the growth of ubiquitous electronics, and will give birth to the possibility of facilitating the growth of clusters of diverse ubiquitous service solutions, with a new set of three sacred treasures consisting of ubiquitous home appliances, ubiquitous cars and ubiquitous offices.
       In the realization of these business opportunities, approaches aimed at the development of original content and solutions from the user perspective are important at the stage of developing a network infrastructure. At the phase of developing the ICT utilization infrastructure, a vision for the realization of a strategic module vertical evolution model is needed. In evolving utilization solutions, the "industry-consumer reversal" phenomenon must be fully recognized.
Contents
I Progress in Activities for Ubiquitous Networking
  1 Political Measures
  2 Preventing Misunderstandings regarding Ubiquitous Networking
  3 The Ubiquitous Network from the User Perspective
  4 Global Evolution of the Ubiquitous Network
II Business Opportunities Brought About by Ubiquitous Networking
  1 Ubiquitous Networking Processes and Business Opportunities
  2 Development of a Network Infrastructure
  3 Development of a Utilization Infrastructure
  4 Evolution of Utilization Solutions
III Strategic Issues of Ubiquitous Networking
  1 Development of Infrastructure from the User Perspective
  2 Strategic Module Vertical Evolution Model in the Development of Utilization Infrastructure
  3 Evolution of Utilization Solutions and "Industry-Consumer Reversal"

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