IOWN Global Forum 4th Annual Member Meeting April 2024 – Highlights

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Executive Summary

On 23-26 April, 2024, the IOWN Global Forum hosted its 4th Annual Member Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, welcoming 210 registrants from over 86 organizations, with an additional 137 online participants, from 14 different countries. Additional attendees joined both in-person and online on Thursday 25 April for the FUTURES event, the first ever Member Meeting session open to the public. With a key theme of collaboration and innovation throughout the week, members made great strides toward the Forum’s Vision 2030.

Opening Message, 2024 Elected Directors, Keynote

The IOWN Global Forum President and Chairperson Dr. Katsuhiko Kawazoe welcomed members and expressed appreciation for their efforts to support the Forum. He noted recent achievements such as the Forum mentioned on the White House’s fact sheet from a meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan, the Forum’s presence at MWC 2024, and an increase of 29 members since the Forum’s last Annual Member Meeting. He emphasized the need for all members to work together to accelerate the Forum’s work efforts.

Following the opening message, five Directors with a wealth of experience and expertise across the communications ecosystem were welcomed to the IOWN Global Forum Board of Directors:

– Per Beming, Chief Standardization Officer, Ericsson
– Mike Kellogg, Director, Global Transformation Strategy, Microsoft
– Rong-Ruey Lee, Vice President, Telecommunication Laboratories, Chunghwa Telecommunication
– Giovanni Manto, Leader, Strategy & Advanced Optical Technology, Nokia
– Chris Wright, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Red Hat

Ciena’s Steve Alexander then gave his keynote titled “Faster, Closer and Greener: The IOWN All-Photonic Network,” which discussed the necessity of the All-Photonic Network (APN) to meet the world’s ever-increasing need for faster, closer and greener connectivity.


IOWN Global Forum Contributor Award Ceremony

In 2022, the IOWN Global Forum Board of Directors introduced an annual award program to recognize individuals who provided outstanding contributions for the Forum’s Steering Committee and Working Group activities. Recipients are nominated by the Chairs and approved by the Board of Directors. This year, the following six individuals received an award:

– Hiroshi Kuno of Sony for outstanding contributions to the future-looking Use Case, Benchmark Model, Reference Implementation, PoC Report for AIC-Interactive Live Entertainment and the Early Adoption Use Case
– Lieven Levrau of Nokia for his important contributions to the Energy Efficiency subject, which was highlighted in the latest release of the IOWN Global Forum Vision 2030 White Paper
– Tomohide Murase of Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation for decisive contributions to the future-looking Use Case, Benchmark Model, Reference Implementation and PoC Report for CPS-Industry Management
– Christoph Schumacher of NTT for outstanding contributions as a task force leader and to the quality of the IOWN Global Forum documents
– Hidetsugu Sugiyama of Red Hat for his important contributions to the PoC report for CPS-Area Management Use Case
– Hiroshi Yamamoto of NTT for his communication, promotion and organization of support for the December 2023 ITU CxO meeting

Member Presentations

Four Member Presentations from KDDI, NEC, Rakuten Mobile, and VIAVI were given at the Closing Plenary.

Michiaki Hayashi of KDDI Corporation presented “Paving a Way Toward the Global Standard of APN,” which touched on the importance of APNs for achieving a smart and sustainable future. NEC Corporation’s Kenji Fukui highlighted the need to accelerate early adoption use cases with his presentation, “Toward Accelerating Early Adoption Use Cases from the APN Controller Point of View”. Ayaz Bankapur of Rakuten Mobile presented “Optimizing Optical Transport Networking with Adaptive Resources: An AI-Driven Approach,” which touched on use cases, challenges and considerations of Rakuten’s telecom AI strategy. Dr. Sameh Yamany of VIAVI Solutions shared “Synergizing IOWN Objectives with Open RAN: Achieving Seamless Harmonization,” which focused on VIAVI’s vision for 2030 for Open RAN and how the IOWN Global Forum will help realize it.

Each Member Presentation included time for Q&A, where in addition to questions about the presentations suggestions were made for further incorporating the presentation contents into the Forum’s workstreams.

Discussions, Breakout Sessions, Workshops, and Networking

Rich member discussions, workshops, and breakout sessions for Steering Committees, Working Groups, and Task Forces took place during the meeting, on topics such as energy efficiency, digital twin, remote media production, green computing and more. Those in-person also enjoyed a variety of networking opportunities to connect with fellow IOWN Global Forum members.


On 25 April, the Forum’s first-ever FUTURES event was held to envision a photonics-driven future of next-generation communications and infrastructure technology, and how it will impact business strategy and innovation. Open to the public, the event welcomed over 200 in-person and 70 online participants in the optical and wireless network technology space to listen to presentations and panels by experts on the Forum’s important work.

Closing Remarks

The last day of the meeting featured a closing message from the IOWN Global Forum Director Dr. Rong-Ruey Lee, who shared exciting trends toward a new era for the Forum and expressed his gratitude to the attendees and participants. Dr. Lee also announced the next Member Meeting location, which will take place 8-11 October in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Forum would like to thank all participants, in-person and online, for their support and involvement in making this Member Meeting a success. We would also like to thank our sponsors, Ciena, Fujitsu and NTT, for their support. We look forward to future Member Meetings with the IOWN Global Forum members.

Many presentations, photos, and recordings from the 4th Annual Member Meeting are available to the IOWN Global Forum members via the Member Portal. If you are interested in becoming a member, learn how to join today.


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