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 ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell Atlantic Video Services Company, a Bell Atlantic company, and Oracle Corporation today announced plans to jointly develop and market interactive multimedia software and services.
 Bell Atlantic Video Services will deploy Oracle's software, systems and services as the platform for its Stargazer(TM) programming on demand and interactive home shopping services this year. Bell Atlantic will begin offering its Stargazer services in a market test this spring, pending regulatory approval, leading directly to the commercial deployment of on-demand, interactive services later this year. In addition, both companies will offer their software and services to other telecommunications and cable companies.
 "Bell Atlantic's deployment of programming-on-demand will mark the dawning of the interactive information age," said Raymond W. Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL). "With this announcement, Bell Atlantic and Oracle are beginning to build the storefront of the future, with affordable, interactive services available at the touch of a button."
 "We were eager to ally with Bell Atlantic because of its clear vision, strategy and commitment to the market for interactive multimedia services," said Lawrence J. Ellison, president and chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation. "We look forward with great anticipation to deploying real, commercial services in 1994."
 Bell Atlantic and Oracle have created an alliance that will use the synergies of the two companies to hasten the development of the interactive multimedia industry. The companies will form an alliance management committee to pursue joint marketing opportunities and the development of additional services. The early commercialization of Bell Atlantic's Stargazer services will give the two companies experience that they can use in marketing the Stargazer interactive multimedia services and Oracle's multimedia software to telephone and cable companies.
 "Bell Atlantic welcomes Oracle as a strategic partner," said Stuart Johnson, chairman of Bell Atlantic Video Services. "They have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the success of Bell Atlantic's interactive multimedia business and to the interactive multimedia industry as a whole."
 Bell Atlantic Video Services' intent in 1994 is to develop and deploy a commercially viable system for delivering interactive multimedia services. The company will license Oracle's multimedia database, applications development and networking software for the system. The company said it intends to use video dial tone providers to deliver the service into homes, coupled with the Stargazer navigational system and a combination of symmetrical microprocessor (SMP) and massively parallel computers (MMP), which will be provided as part of the agreement with Oracle.
 Oracle today is the leading producer of software for corporate databases. During the last several years Oracle has aggressively adapted its database management program to the world of on-line interactive services.
 "This effort has been a logical extension of Oracle's expertise in managing large databases for some of the world's largest corporations," said Jim Abrahamson, chairman of Oracle Corporation. "We are pleased that Bell Atlantic has chosen Oracle to help create the information library for people everywhere."
 Oracle's software is designed to run on a variety of computers and with a variety of operating systems. The company also has designed its software to run on advanced massively parallel computers. Massively parallel computers string together thousands of inexpensive microprocessors in a single system. Each processor has its own communications pathway to the outside world. The total system thus avoids the congested data pathways that plague traditional computers and limit their use in providing services such as movies on demand, wherein thousands of users are getting data from the computer at the same time. Oracle has rewritten and expanded its software to accommodate video, audio and textual data. The new Oracle software, including the multimedia database capable of managing multiple data types, and authoring environment used to create an appealing onscreen interface for consumer interaction and networking software to connect any smart TV interface to the Oracle service will be officially unveiled by Oracle in a worldwide television news conference on Jan. 18.
 Oracle Corporation, headquartered in Redwood Shores, Calif., is the world's largest supplier of information management software. Oracle provides the software backbone to enable rapid access to large amounts of digitized text, image, audio and full-motion video. Oracle software runs on personal digital assistants, personal computers, workstations, minicomputers, mainframes and massively parallel computers. The company offers its products, along with consulting, education and support, in 93 countries around the world.
 Bell Atlantic Corporation, based in Philadelphia, is the parent company of New Jersey Bell, Bell of Pennsylvania, Diamond State Telephone (Delaware), and the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies of Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. These are companies that provide a full array of local exchange telecommunications services in the mid-Atlantic region.
 Bell Atlantic is also the parent of one of the nation's largest cellular carriers and of companies that provide software, systems integration, hardware and software service and support, and financial services throughout the United States and internationally. In addition, Bell Atlantic International offers network services and consulting to telephone authorities throughout the world and owns an interest in Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
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 /CONTACT: Zach Nelson or Margaret Lasecke of Oracle, 415-506-4176, or Larry Plumb of Bell Atlantic, 703-974-2814/

CO: Bell Atlantic Corporation; Oracle Corporation ST: Pennsylvania, California IN: TLS SU: PDT

JM-MK -- PH008 -- 1374 01/12/94 11:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 12, 1994

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