Akira Nishitani

Startup’s agility can support social infrastructure.

Akira Nishitani

General Manager, Project Management Dept.

I was looking for a new challenge in a new place.
It was with this in mind that Akira Nishitani, General Manager of the Project Management Department, was assigned to xGN from CTC. Now in his fourth year with the company, what does Nishitani feel every day, the sense of fulfillment and tension that can only be experienced at this place, and what new hopes does he have?

The best solution to leverage the strengths of the two companies.

In April 2020, I was transferred from CTC (ITOCHU Techno-Solutions) to xGN.
I remember feeling that it was good timing. I had been working on projects with KDDI as a client for 15 years, and although I was fulfilled, I wanted to do something new.
As a result, I have been able to take on new challenges that are fresher than I had imagined.

There are two major tasks that I am working on now.
The first is to manage the development and implementation of “5G SA” related systems, a communication service that can fully exploit the potential of 5G lines, such as ultra-low latency and multiple simultaneous connections. The first thing that excites me is the excitement of working directly on the next generation of telecommunications infrastructure.
The other part of my job is to create and disseminate rules and flows for executing project work with xGN.

As you know, xGN is a joint venture between KDDI and CTC. We have different backgrounds, different areas of expertise, and different corporate cultures. Naturally, the way we proceed with projects is also different. We are trying to maximize the strengths of both companies and rather enhance each other’s strengths. We are searching for the best solution, gradually shaping it and applying it within the company.

Our policy is to “create a new way of doing things from scratch,” rather than to follow the style of one company or the other, so we have a wide range of areas to think about and a considerable amount of pressure. However, I am feeling the excitement that I could not experience at CTC.

Supporting the foundation of society in a different view.

The joy of being involved in the creation of services that support society as a whole. That’s what I feel most excited about my job now. It is also a valuable experience to be able to work on the core business of a telecommunications carrier. It is also refreshing to be able to face telecommunication services from a different perspective every day. Of course, when I was at CTC, I was proud of the fact that I was working on important services and providing them to users through KDDI, our client.

However, there is a view that can only be seen from KDDI’s side: as one of the three major carriers, the KDDI Group is responsible for the telecommunications infrastructure that it continues to provide and maintain. I always have a sense of being connected to a larger number of stakeholders, including many end users.

Even in a just a meeting within the office, there is a lot of deep discussion and deep understanding of the overall 5G SA service. Unlike when I had only a limited involvement in the system that CTC introduced, the complex and diverse elements are now in front of my eyes as “my business.” It was very stimulating and filled me with curiosity. It is very exciting and satisfies my interest and curiosity.

We started 5G SA service in April this year, and it is refreshing to directly see the status of system operation, such as the number of subscribers and the amount of traffic used by mobile terminals, and to feel both happy and sad at the same time. I am grounded and supported by society. I feel that this is a rare place where I can get a real sense of what it is like to be in touch with and support society.

It is amazing that the KDDI employees with whom I once worked on a project are now my relatives in the same company, and we are now working on the same mission with our eyes in the same direction. However, it is precisely because we have the same viewpoint that I always feel a strong pride in KDDI as a telecommunications carrier and a sense of responsibility to support the social infrastructure that it has built up.

Likewise, I would be happy if our experience and light footwork on CTC’s side could be a stimulus, and in fact, I am confident that it will be. There is an atmosphere of mutual respect here.

Discussions with colorful talents raise the growth rate.

When I joined the company, there were about 30 employees, but now there are over 200. Even so, we are a compact organization compared to KDDI and CTC. I am proud of the fact that we are creating and supporting the next-generation telecommunications infrastructure with a small group of elite employees, and I think it is a strength and “identity” that is only possible at xGN.

The best and brightest from both companies have joined together, and the best infrastructure and application engineers and managers with a hundred years of battle experience are working face-to-face with each other. I feel it is a pleasure to be able to deepen and expand discussions with people who have such colorful knowledge. This would be difficult in an organization that is too large.

I believe that in the past two years, my level of expertise has increased at a different speed from the rate of growth I have experienced in the past. Even if the time comes when I return to CTC someday, I am now looking forward to what I will be like then.