Toshiharu Aoki

Toshiharu Aoki
Toshiharu Aoki
Associated organizations
NTT Labs
Fields of study
IEEE Founders Medal


Dr. Toshiharu Aoki has been the undisputed leader in gaining international cooperation for global standardization and commercialization of broadband multi-media networks.

His leadership began in the 1980’s, when he led the development of the world’s first, all-electronic digital switching system, a project that made him keenly aware of the need for international standardization if multimedia services were to be commercially successful.

As director general of NTT Labs in Tokyo, Japan, he proposed and steered the creation of TINA-C, the Telecommunications Information Networking Architecture Consortium in 1992. In so doing, he convinced competing telecommunications carriers and suppliers to share a common architecture. Today, that architecture is widely used as the technical benchmark for international network management and new service development.

Three years later, Dr. Aoki again led an international coalition, this time to harmonize transmission of fiber optics access networks. Known as the Full Service Access Network Group, this collaboration of telecommunications carriers enabled the development of equipment components based on global standards, thus substantially reducing transmission costs. In both cases, he was a staunch proponent of international cooperation, and supported it with significant research and development resources from NTT.

As a bridge builder between research and commercial introduction, he has initiated and promoted international academic conferences among Asian countries in collaboration with the IEEE. These conferences encouraged academic research and fostered new broadband technology industries in Asia.

An IEEE Fellow, Dr. Aoki has received the IEEE Frederik Philips Award and is a past president of The Institute of Electronic, Information and Communication Engineers in Japan.

Toshiharu Aoki was awarded the 2006 IEEE Founders Medal “For outstanding visionary leadership in global standardization and commercialization of broadband multi-media networks.”