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NTT to use AI to predict, ease congestion around Tokyo Olympic venues

The New National Stadium is seen under construction in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward in this April 16, 2019 file photo. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) will use artificial intelligence to help battle overcrowding around Tokyo's Olympic and Paralympic venues, the firm announced on June 20 along with other support measures for the 2020 Games.

Under the anti-congestion scheme, the Japanese telecom giant, which is sponsoring the 2020 Games, will grasp the flow of traffic based on information such as mobile phone access to base stations from users signed up with NTT and foreign tourists' access to public Wi-Fi networks.

By combining the information with data provided by Tokyo Metro Co. on ticket gate traffic at subway stations, AI will predict potential congestion areas. NTT will share the forecast with users, while Tokyo Metro will boost the number of train services to alleviate crowding.

Furthermore, NTT will install at least 1,300 Wi-Fi access points at the New National Stadium, the main venue for the 2020 Games, in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward. This will enable half of some 68,000 spectators at the venue to simultaneously receive videos on their mobile gadgets and upload videos on social media without a hitch.

Through these services, NTT aims to provide spectators with new ways of enjoying sport events, such as checking the movements of certain athletes with their own smartphones while watching the games live at the venues.

(Japanese original by Akiko Kato, Business News Department)

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