IOWN Global Forum Proof of Concepts to Shape Future of Optical Networks

 First In-Person Member Meeting Moves IOWN Communications Technologies Towards Market Success

WAKEFIELD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Innovative Optical and Wireless Network Global Forum (IOWN Global Forum) which seeks to create a smarter, more connected world, recently hosted its first in-person Member Meeting, welcoming 140 registrants from 44 organizations. Additionally, key sessions were live-streamed with over 300 members participating online from around the world.

Highlights from the meeting included strategic discussions that will, among other outcomes, result in several Proof of Concepts (PoCs) Reference Documents that are planned for release by the end of the year and are expected to shape the future of the networking industry and optical networks.

Successful Member Meeting

Attendees of the Member Meeting had the opportunity to join in deep technical discussions of the recently released IOWN Global Forum Vision 2030 Roadmap and its deliverables, hear presentations from fellow members, and participate in strategic, technical use case discussions and working sessions.

IOWN Global Forum Treasurer, Geng Wu, Ph.D., in his opening remarks encouraged members to celebrate the many milestone accomplishments and the great diversity of members, both of which were even more impressive given the Forum was forming during a pandemic. Wu is Intel Fellow and Chief Technologist for Intel Wireless Technologies & Standards for Intel.

Ulrich Dropmann, IOWN Global Forum Board Member and Head of Standardization and Industry Environment at Nokia, followed with a keynote address titled “Optical Network as the Foundation of Sustainable 6G” where he shared Nokia’s view on next-generation computing and networking technologies along with their impacts on the environment. The talk highlighted the technology trends for delivering future digital world experiences and why the work of the IOWN Global Forum is essential for the development of the necessary next-generation global infrastructure including the 6G system.

In addition to keynote and member sessions, work progressed with in-person meetings. Four workshops were conducted on “Data Center Decentralization and IOWN Technologies”, “Road to 6G with IOWN”, “New IOWN Use Cases” and “Open Programmable Infrastructure for IOWN Platform and IOWN Security”. Additionally, many task forces like Open APN Architecture (OAA), Data-Centric Infrastructure (DCI), and IOWN Data Hub (IDH) hosted productive breakout sessions.

Several key themes and results were discussed at the meeting. It was clear that IOWN technologies will be key to the future deployment of 6G and a greener planet. One classic example was how members of the IOWN Global Forum are reimagining data centers; as decentralized clusters servicing edge use cases with better performance and lower power requirements. There will be no green without digital and the Forum’s members are defining a future open programmable infrastructure that is both energy-efficient and secure. Finally, there were a variety of interesting discussions looking at our collective future use cases for connectivity and how the work of the IOWN Global Forum can address these needs.

Hey-Chyi Young, Vice President, Telecommunication Laboratories, Chunghwa Telecom and IOWN Global Forum Board Member provided closing remarks. Young stressed that many different companies and industries must come together and collaborate to achieve our vision and that the Forum is best positioned for this work. She was impressed that the meeting made good progress with intensive discussions and looks forward to seeing members at the forthcoming April Annual Member Meeting in Japan.

A post-event blog is available on the IOWN Global Forum website that summarizes many of the sessions here, and full recordings of the proceedings can be found on the Forum’s Member website.

Awards Ceremony

One highlight from day two of the meeting was the recognition of nine individuals who have made significant contributions to the progress of the IOWN Global Forum. Awardees for Milestone One included Gary Li of Intel, Ryosuke Kurebayashi of NTT, and Yuichi Morioka of Sony. Milestone Two awardees were Hideki Nishizawa of NTT, Hidetsugu Sugiyama of Red Hat and Ting Wang of NEC. Finally, awardees for Outstanding Contributions in Other Areas included Hiroki Takahira from Fujitsu and Tomoko Morishita of NTT. The Board and the member community of the IOWN Global Forum are very grateful for these and the many other key contributors to the growth and success of the Forum to date.

Dramatic Growth Continues

Membership in the forum has risen steadily to over 110 organizations and academic institutes globally, focused on the development of next-generation networking equipment and devices, device technologies, network-enabled services, next-generation computing, and research in areas such as silicon photonics and distributed computing. In late August, the IOWN Global Forum celebrated its 100-member milestone and growth has only continued, adding over 30 new members in the last 12-month period.

About IOWN Global Forum

IOWN Global Forum’s objective is to accelerate innovation and adoption of a new communication infrastructure to meet our future data and computing requirements through the development of new technologies, frameworks, specifications, and reference designs in areas such as photonics R&D, distributed computing, use cases and best practices.

Details on IOWN Global Forum and membership information can be found at


Mike McCamon

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