AT&T Announces Joint Japanese Venture to Establish Shared Intelligent Public Network.

AT&T has announced it will offer value-added network services to Japanese companies in a joint venture called Japan ENS Corporation. As a result of the project, Japanese businesses will be able to exchange data using dissimilar terminals and computers.

Japan ENS is a consortium of large Japanese industrial, financial and service companies, including the Industrial Bank of Japan, Mitsui and Company, Kokusai Denshin Denwa, Nippon Life Insurance Company, the Asahi Shinbun, Sony Electronics and Fujitsu and Hitachi computer companies. The venture is AT&T’s first into a market that has only recently been freed from Japanese regulation.

The approach of a shared intelligent public network is consistent with AT;T’s Information Systems architecture, which provides open access to dissimilar devices from different suppliers. In partnership with Japan ENS, AT&T will provide network technology and the resources to design, engineer and operate the value-added network. Management for the network operations and product planning and development will also be provided by AT&T. The Japanese companies will provide management and operation of the serive.

The services will be provided in phases. The first phase, scheduled for operation in late-1985, will be implementation of a backbone packet-switching network offering interactive terminal-to-host communications for intra and inter-company communications. Access to the network will be through packet assemblers/disassemblers located in Tokyo, Sendai, Sapporo, Niigata, Nagoya, Osaka, Kanazawa, Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

In the second phase, scheduled for early-1986, storage and processing technology will be added to the backbone packet-switching network. Software and network management capabilities will be customized to meet Japan ENS needs.

Japanese and US companies will be able to exchange information through the two countries’ enhanced network services facilities. Further enhancements will include host computer protocols for specific Japanese hots including Fujitsu Network Architecture and Hitachi Network Architecture. Other industry-specific protocols for document formatting and support of Japan language formats including Kanji, AT;T said.

In the new venture company, James Hubley, former director of international and network product management in AT;T’s Information Systems group, will be the senior AT&T executive. Hajime Hirota, formerly managing director of the Industrial Bank of Japan, is president of Japan ENS.

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