IPv6 trials to start in Japan

Fujitsu, its affiliate Internet service provider (ISP) Nifty and Internet access provider eAccess will launch IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) networks for their ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) users on a trial basis, the three companies announced Monday.

The networks, which are expected to roll out in mid-January for 100 users, will be the first native IPv6 connection using ADSL, according to the three companies. The native system is provided by dedicated lines, unlike the currently more common system that connects to IPv6 networks by tunneling on an existing IPv4 network.

The service will be provided for Nifty users who want to participate in the trials, for which the Japanese government-sponsored IPv6 Promotion Council started collecting test users last month, said Takashi Sugiyama, a spokesman for Nifty.

The trials include networking of Sony Corp.'s game console PlayStation 2 via IPv6; connecting IP telephone handset hardware, IP telephone software or voice-over-IP telephone adaptors over the Net; and streaming video to terminals with IPv6 addresses. There will also be two home-appliance network trials, one using a remote terminal and the other via PC.

The Nifty ADSL users who join the trials can choose in which one they want to participate, Sugiyama said.

IPv6 can access more addresses than the current version 4 of IP, potentially allowing each electric device to have a unique global address. IPv6 is expected to replace IPv4 when its address space is exhausted, sometime in the next few years.

Nifty hopes to provide communication services such as video chat and Internet telephony using IPv6 in the future when it is commercialized, Sugiyama said.

The IPv6 Promotion Council will invite a total of 1,000 users to join the trials, which run until the end of March, said Masanori Kakioka, a spokesman at the council. The trials are part of the government's e-Japan initiative, which aims to make Japan the most advanced IT nation by 2005, Kakioka said.

Other ISPs that will provide IPv6 connections for the trials include Internet Initiative Japan Inc., NTT Communications Corp., Japan Telecom Co. Ltd. and KDDI Corp.

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