(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Joint Extranet Standards to be Implemented Mid-Year
February 24, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Japan's Distribution Systems Research Institute
has drawn up technical specifications to build extranets to connect
enterprises by Internet Protocol (IP).
|The institute is an extra-governmental body under Japan's Ministry of
International Trade and Industry (MITI).
In December 1996, the institute announced the concept of the Open Business
Network (OBN) for building IP-based corporate networks. Intranet specifications
based on frame relay have already been determined. About 80,000 connections
in Japan are based on these specifications at present, according to
The new OBN specifications extend the existing intranet standards to
enable extranet construction. Four value-added network (VAN) providers
-- KDD Corp., Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT), Intech Co.,
Ltd. and Japan Telecom Co., Ltd. -- plan to begin extranet services
based on these specifications in May or June this year.
To enable extranet services, the VAN provider installs a router that
complies with the new OBN extranet specifications at each access point,
and sets up a server for managing information about the users who are
permitted to access the system.
Each corporate user signs up with one of the VAN providers. To implement
an extranet, the end users simply connect by IP to any of the four VAN
providers' access points.
In contrast to the usual method of data communications over the Internet,
whereby information is routed through a number of servers, data in an
extranet built to OBN specifications travels only within the closed
network managed by the four VAN providers. This guarantees security,
according to the institute.
Users can connect to an access point in the usual way of connecting to
the Internet, by dial-up IP connection over an analog line. However,
since companies will want to use an extranet for transferring large
volumes of work data back and forth, the institute believes that most
companies will choose a leased-line service.
Competition among the four providers means that charges for a leased-line
connection will probably undercut ordinary leased-line services. "A
64kbps leased-line service could cost around 30,000 yen (US$250) per
month by next year," said Hisao Furukawa, assistant general manager
of the Open Business Network Information Center of the Distribution
Systems Research Institute.
Furukawa said that major distributors, such as the supermarket Daiei
Inc. and Ito Yokado Co., Ltd., are already getting ready to deploy extranets
as corporate ordering systems, based on the new OBN specifications.
In the long term, the institute plans to further extend the OBN specifications
for voice and fax transmission, and may implement these technologies
as early as next year.
(BizTech News Dept.)
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