Internet Research Institute, Inc. (“IRI”) is a research and development (R&D) company established in December 1996 to create an ideal network society by widely applying technologies for construction and operation of IP (Internet protocol) networks developed in the academic field to the industrial field. The Internet is the most significant technical innovation in the 20th century, which was created for the purpose of linking computers all over the world. The world is now changing immensely due to the Internet. As a company starting business operations at this significant turning point in history, IRI and its group companies are aggressively conducting research and development of state-of-the-art network technologies together with the government and academic projects, as well as collaborative businesses in various industrial fields, to respond to social needs and develop human resources for a population in which network operating technicians are currently overwhelmingly short in supply.
For some time just after its establishment in 1996, IRI proposed the development of Internet infrastructures and tried to materialize related business during their development process. To be more specific, IRI’s first business was the technical support toward almost all telecommunication carrier ISPs in Japan. The next business achieved in 1997 was the launch of Japan Internet Exchange Co., Ltd. (“JPIX”) as a joint venture formed by KDD Corporation (currently KDDI Corporation) and other 16 companies. JPIX has been providing service for operation of IX until now as Japan’s first commercial IX (Internet exchange). Since 1998 to date, IRI has been engaged in business for providing support for mobile ISP technologies to NTT DoCoMo, Inc.
Based on these experiences, IRI launched iDC (Internet Data Center) in the form of joint venture with Asia Global Crossing Ltd. in 2000. To enter into full-scale iDC business, IRI took over this joint venture to make it IRI’s subsidiary in March 2003. Like this, IRI’s subsidiary named BroadBand Tower, Inc. (“BBTower”) has started and BBTower has been, to today, acting as a hub for web servers operated by Japan’s largest portal, Yahoo! Japan, and Japan’s other major contents providers and corporate users. BBTower is committed to continue to play a role corresponding to Tokyo Tower in the broadband network by optimizing its carrier-neutral, powerful broadband connections. From 2000 to 2001 which was the starting time for broadband, IRI provided technical support for NTT East and West, emerging ADSL carriers and emerging FTTH carriers to start their IP networks. In February 2002, BroadBand Exchange, Inc. (currently IRI-Communications, Inc.; “IRI-Com”) was established to provide layer-3 traffic exchange service to and among contents providers and various communication carriers. IRI-Com is now expanding its business targeting CATV stations and broadband contents providers.
Following IP network businesses based on IP technologies, IRI made TAU Engineering, Inc. (currently IRI Ubiteq, Inc.) a subsidiary in March 2001 to launch IP platform business to incorporate IP technologies into various hardware. In addition, IRI established the Ubiquitous Research Institute as its in-house organization in October 2002 and started joint research and development for technologies to incorporate IP technologies into various hardware with many non-IT enterprises, in collaboration with TAU Engineering. In 2004, the Ubiquitous Research Institute was transferred from IRI to IRI Ubiteq. In this way, IRI Ubiteq has transformed itself to a reliable research and development partner for information appliance manufacturers and industrial electronics manufacturers, and its listing on Osaka Securities Exchange’s Heracles was approved on June 14, 2005.
In parallel, IRI has been trying some new businesses. As the first full-scale challenge in the medical field which is still left behind in the introduction of IT and IP, IRI acquired FiberTech Co., Ltd. to make it a wholly-owned subsidiary in October 2004. In November 2004, IRI formed an alliance with Giuliani Partners/Sage Capital Growth based in New York to establish IRI Finance And Technology Asia Ltd. (“IRI-FTA”) and then launched “IP Synergy Finance” business. In this business, IRI is going to provide partner companies with strategic investments and innovative IP technology solutions possessed by the IRI group.
As a result of the reorganization of the IRI group by some demergers and mergers made until the 8th fiscal year, the IRI group now provides technical support service targeting the three customer domains in principle, namely, service for supporting network construction and operation targeting Internet infrastructure companies, service for supporting web server operation targeting contents providers, traffic exchange service among contents providers and IT infrastructure providers, and service for supporting IP platform development targeting hardware manufacturers.
In the fiscal year ended June 2003 which is the final year for up-front investments made for 6 years since the inception of IRI, the IRI group achieved 11.3 billion yen for net sales on a consolidated basis, while they had been only 0.1 billion yen in the first fiscal year. It had been IRI’s long-cherished numerical target to achieve net sales exceeding 10 billion yen. In the first quarter of the fiscal year ended June 2005, IRI recorded triple profits (operating income, ordinary income and net income) on a consolidated basis and achieved a turnaround for the first time since IRI's establishment. In the years ahead, IRI is going to deploy “Neutral Netsourcing” business by optimizing IP network technologies targeting the aforesaid three customer domains from a neutral position, according to the broadbandization and the advance of ubiquitous society. To be more specific, IRI intends to carry on the technological innovation to promote integration of fixed telecommunication networks, mobile communication networks and broadcasting communication networks and the technological innovation to promote “machine-to-machine communication”, instead of “person-to-person communication”, and continue challenges to become a 100 billion yen corporate group. In addition, the IRI group is committed to continue sincere efforts, fully recognizing social responsibilities imposed on business entities.