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Home > News Room > NEC Uses OpenFlow Technologies to Provide National Video Transmission

NEC Uses OpenFlow Technologies to Provide Nationwide Video Transmission --- Video transmission between the Sapporo Snow Festival and Pro Baseball in Okinawa ---

*** For immediate use March 23, 2010

Tokyo, March 23, 2010 - NEC Corporation (NEC), a leader in networking, communications and information technology, and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) (*1), announced today the successful trial of nationwide video transmission using virtualized networks and OpenFlow (*2) next generation network technologies that enable centralized control through servers. This trial marks the world's first video transmission to multiple base locations using an OpenFlow network that spans all of Japan from Sapporo City to the islands of Okinawa (2,251 km; 1,399 miles).

The trial successfully transmitted high quality IP video through NICT's JGN2plus (*3) research and development network, which is equipped with NEC's OpenFlow programmable flow switch (*4) prototype. Video images were transmitted live between the Sapporo Snow Festival and the Nippon Professional Baseball camp in Okinawa over a transmission network constructed for trial purposes between five base locations (Sapporo, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Okinawa) using programmable switches at 17 points in cooperation with a range of broadcasting offices. Moreover, the system's reliability was further demonstrated through one-to-one transmission between single base locations, as well as simultaneous transmission between multiple base locations and multiple paths.

OpenFlow technologies enable network control by freely implementing a range of network control functions for control server middleware and centralizing network switch settings. This trial's video transmission network was accomplished through video transmission control middleware using OpenFlow and the implementation of control servers. The successful research, development and trial of these technologies verified that high quality, highly reliable video transmission can be delivered more flexibly and at a lower cost than IP multicast technologies, which require additional functions for all routers along the path.

OpenFlow technologies for video transmission include the following features:

  1. Simultaneous transmission to multiple locations (point-to-point transmission)
    The control server centrally manages all transmission paths and the OpenFlow network creates optimal paths from a transmission's origin to multiple destinations. Operational management costs for creating paths are less than conventional decentralized models because the control server enables centralized path visibility and identification. Furthermore, the control server is able to establish paths and transmit the same content to multiple recipients without allocating the group addresses that are required for transmission by conventional servers.

  2. Highly reliable transmission using multiple paths (bi-casting/tri-casting transmission)
    Highly reliable video transmission is realized through the development of technologies that create multiple paths from a transmission's origin to its destination, which enables paths to be switched when an obstruction appears. Even if a path fails, uninterrupted high quality video transmission continues when services are provided with NEC's high quality multicast technologies.

  3. Virtual networks are created for each user and multiple experiments may be implemented simultaneously
    One switch can be divided into several virtual switches and multiple independent virtual networks may be built. Multiple experiments and new services can be independently and simultaneously implemented by building flexible networks with the most desirable applications that are accessed through the variety of networks managed by control servers.

These trials took place in cooperation with broadcasting networks. See below for a summary.

  1. Video transmission of the Sapporo Snow Festival
    Successful live video transmission from Sapporo's Hokkaido Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (HBC) to Osaka's Mainichi Broadcasting System, Inc. (MBS) on February 4, 2010. Live video was also successfully transmitted on February 6 from Sapporo's Odori Park to the Hokkaido Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (HTB) headquarters and Osaka's Asahi Broadcasting Corporation. Implementation of OpenFlow network links between Japan and South Korea were also carried out through video transmitted from Odori Park to South Korea's TJB (Daejeon Broadcasting) on a JGN2plus OpenFlow network and an OpenFlow network on KOREN (*5) that was independently built by Seoul's Kyungnam University.

  2. Video transmission of Okinawa's Nippon Professional Baseball camp
    Successful transmission of Nippon Professional Baseball camp video from Okinawa's Nago Multimedia Center (*6) to Osaka's MBS from February 13 - 14, 2010.

Previously, NEC developed a programmable flow switch prototype and completed a trial between Japan and the United States (*7), in addition to jointly establishing the Clean Slate Laboratory with Stanford University (*8) and promoting a global structure of advanced research and development for realizing next generation networks.

Looking forward, NEC will continue to drive technological development of next generation networks through the support of OpenFlow on network devices and contributions to innovative university and institutional research and development.

These results were achieved in association with "Research and Development for Secured Cloud Networking," contracted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in the 2009 fiscal year.

About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation is a leading provider of Internet, broadband network and enterprise business solutions dedicated to meeting the specialized needs of a diversified global base of customers. NEC delivers tailored solutions in the key fields of computer, networking and electron devices, by integrating its technical strengths in IT and Networks, and by providing advanced semiconductor solutions through NEC Electronics Corporation. The NEC Group employs more than 140,000 people worldwide. For additional information, please visit the NEC website at:

NEC is a registered trademark of NEC Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Other product or service marks mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. (C)2010 NEC Corporation.


*1) National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT): *2) OpenFlow:

Programmable flow switch and control interface specifications between control servers defined by the OpenFlow consortium

*3) JGN2plus:

Research and development test-bed network for future networks managed by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT)

*4) Programmable Flow Switch:

Programmable flow switches are a new style of network equipment where, unlike conventional routers, simple packet switching mechanisms and control functions are separated. Users can freely develop and operate control middleware independently of the switching mechanism. This equipment enables the realization of advanced new technologies that link networks and cloud computing.

*5) Korea Advanced Research Network (KOREN):

A research and development network operated by South Korea's National Information Society Agency (NIA).

*6) Nago Multimedia Center:

A research and development center cooperating between business, academic and government circles that promotes the advancement of local telecommunications businesses and others through cultivating the technical experts who are needed to produce advanced multimedia that drive new research, development and commercialization.

*7) NEC Press Release:

"NEC Successfully Conducts a Trans-Pacific Demonstration of Programmable Flow Switch Prototypes to Enable Future Internet Innovations" (Announced: October 29, 2008)

*8) Stanford University Press Release:

"Stanford, Deutsche Telekom, NEC form Clean Slate Lab to prototype 'disruptive' new Internet technologies (Announced: December 2, 2008)

NEC Press Contact (Japan):

Chris Shimizu
NEC Corporation

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