NRI Papers
No.104 May 1, 2006
  Next-Generation Ubiquitous Network Strategy
--Targeting Living/Urban Space beyond Distribution Supply Chains--
 
Tadashi TSUJI
      The concept of a ubiquitous network society presented under the u-Japan Strategy by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has already passed the stage of national strategy and policy, and has rapidly entered the implementation stage.
      Specifically, with the aim of reforming distribution processes, progress has been made on a worldwide basis in developing infrastructures that can lead to a ubiquitous network society, such as the EPCglobal Network and the GDSN (Global Data Synchronization Network) principally in the United States and Europe. As a result, a situation is emerging where "things" are directly connected to networks all over the world.
      In contrast, Japan has been failing to move quickly due to resistance to innovations in business models and social practices, which are necessary in realizing a ubiquitous network society. Accordingly, Japan has currently surrendered the position of a front-runner to the United States and Europe.
      Nevertheless, efforts to achieve a ubiquitous network society are projected to go beyond the current first phase focused on distribution reforms and eventually enter the second phase targeting everyday life and urban space. There is ample possibility for Japan to serve as a front-runner at the next stage.
      In order to secure an international competitive edge at this new stage of achieving a ubiquitous network, new plans must be formulated that include reforms in business and social practices in close linkage with international society working towards the development of standards and conducting related activities. For this purpose, it is also vitally important that the private sector and the government create a clear vision and establish specific strategies for making that vision a reality.
Contents
I Ubiquitous Network Society Becoming a Reality
  1 On the Eve of a Ubiquitous Network Society
  2 "u-Japan Strategy" Pursuing the Emergent Value Creation
  3 A World of Networks Where "Things" Participate
II Rise of the Ubiquitous Network Infrastructure
  1 Revolution of the Distribution Infrastructure
  2 Two Issues Facing Ubiquitous Network Infrastructure
III Shift of Paradigm towards a Ubiquitous Network Society
  1 Further Evolution of the Ubiquitous Network
  2 Ultimate Convenience and Ultimate Vulnerability
  3 Focus Shifting to Living/Urban Space
IV Challenges in Achieving a Ubiquitous Network Society
  1 Unstoppable Flow toward a Ubiquitous Network Society
  2 Requirements for Becoming a Front-Runner
  3 Expectations of Future Activities and Three Issues

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