Proposing mobile-centered universal services NTT|電経新聞

Proposing mobile-centered universal services NTT

NTTが提案する今後のユニバーサルサービスにおける各事業者の役割(The role of each operator in the future universal service proposed by NTT)

NTT President Akira Shimada held a press conference on February 22 and emphasized the need for a universal service system centered on mobile.
President Shimada said, ”Most of our customers communicate using mobile phones.From the customer’s perspective, we have no choice but to consider universal services centered around mobile phones”. For example, most victims of the Noto Peninsula earthquake evacuated with their cell phones in hand. This is because necessary information such as phone numbers of family members is stored in the cell phone. Even if public telephones or landline telephones are installed in disaster-stricken areas, they cannot be used unless you remember the phone number. Therefore, when restoring communications, NTT placed emphasis on the early restoration of mobile networks.
President Shimada expressed the view that the burden on the public would be reduced by expanding the mobile area rather than continuing to expand the FTTH coverage area. FTTH area coverage rate is 99.8%. Some of the remaining 0.2% are already covered by mobile. It is said that combining these will reduce the cost burden.
“The ideal state of universal service is to make the most economically rational choice. When developing a last resort, the government can reduce the burden on the public by choosing a business operator that can provide services at the lowest possible cost. For example, , to cover a certain area, among all the operators, the operator that covers the area closest to that area can take various measures such as extending the entrance line. Minimize the burden on the public”.
A reporter asked if there were any issues with mobile devices in terms of speed and capacity.
In response, President Shimada said, ”The broadband standard for FTTH is about 30 megabits per second, but I don’t think that much is necessary.If you can browse the web to a certain extent on your mobile and use it for remote work, I think it will be sufficient.” replied.

There was also a question about whether a mobile-centered universal service would prevent the expansion of the optical infrastructure and weaken social infrastructure.
President Shimada said, ”According to the Telecommunications Business Law, NTT East and West provide services to MNOs when requested, regardless of whether they are in service areas or not. There will be no negative impact on the base. In fact, I think customer satisfaction will be higher if Last Resort is covered by mobile”. He added, ”What is important for NTT East and West is to further streamline equipment costs and operation costs.To that end, we want to keep our organization as simple as possible.Additionally, NTT East and West have restrictions on the scope of their business, which limits their ability to develop new businesses. This is at stake.I would like this to be eased.In order for NTT East and West to expand into new business fields, maintain a level of income and expenditures, and solidify their financial base, they will be able to advance Japan’s information and communications infrastructure. I believe it is necessary, and I would like to see a system that makes this possible”.
President Shimada expressed the view that it would be better to switch to the new universal service system as soon as possible.
”We need to have strong discussions, but as times are moving at a rapid pace, we cannot continue to have discussions forever.It is important to bring together various wisdoms and put new systems in place as soon as possible. No country yet has a mobile-centered universal service system, so Japan should start designing a system that will lead the world.Japan should take the lead in switching to a mobile and broadband society. If we don’t have that kind of spirit, we will fall behind the rest of the world”.