Japan to allot 020 as prefix for networked ‘Internet of things’ devices


A communications ministry panel will solicit public comments on its idea for assigning 020 as the new prefix for mobile numbers allotted to wireless devices expected to be part of the “Internet of things” network.

The Internet of things (IoT) is a network of objects embedded with software and sensors that allow them to exchange data wirelessly.

The suggestion was included in a report the panel drew up Friday. The report will be finalized by the end of the year to reflect the public’s comments. The ministry is expected to start allotting IoT numbers as early as next April.

IoT technology will allow some tasks to be automated and make others currently out of reach possible. Household electricity meters, for example, might be automatically read, while data wirelessly emitted by moving vehicles could be collected to provide traffic information.

The panel decided to assign the exclusive number range due to the expected increase in use of such devices.

The draft also proposed that 060 be kept as a prefix for mobile phones as the number of numbers using the conventional 090, 080 and 070 prefixes are expected to be exhausted as early as 2018.