NTT to offer fiber-optic access to Net

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a plan to offer fiber optic Internet access with connection speeds of up to 10 megabits per second for a monthly rate of 10,000 yen.

The pilot program, which would begin this fall, was included in the company’s first three-year management program since it reorganized itself under a holding company in July.

The monolithic telecommunications empire also said it is forecasting pretax group profits of 1 trillion yen for fiscal 2002, the final year of the three-year plan, up 42 percent from fiscal 1999.

The company also predicted that income from fixed telephone lines will fall from the current 50 percent to 30 percent of its total income, while income from mobile and Internet communications will increase from 50 percent of the pie to 70 percent by the end of fiscal 2002.

The NTT group also said that it will upgrade its i-mode service for smart mobile phone users by adopting Java-compatible terminals, and will aim to establish a global de facto standard for Internet access on mobile platforms by forming alliances with foreign operators.

NTT Corp. President Junichiro Miyazu said that the holding firm will review the 3-year program every year for possible revision since developments in information technology are so rapid and dynamic.

“We just can’t wait until the end of a three-year plan,” he said. “It’s very difficult to make a long-term plan.”

Miyazu declined to discuss further details of the fiber optic Internet service, only saying that the trial program will be limited to certain areas at first.

According to the three-year management plan, NTT forecasts group sales of 11.5 trillion yen, operating profits of 1.1 trillion yen and pretax profits of 1 trillion yen for fiscal 2002. It also plans to reduce the number of employees from the 220,000 it had in fiscal 1999 to 203,000 in fiscal 2002.