BELLSOUTH CORPORATION OUTLINES DEPLOYMENT PLANS
FOR OFFERING ISDN SERVICE TO BUSINESSES AND HOMES
ATLANTA, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Pledging "to maintain the leadership role in ISDN among Regional Bell Operating Companies," BellSouth today unveiled plans to offer ISDN services to its business and residential customers, said Jere Drummond, president of BellSouth Telecommunications Marketing.
"These plans commit BellSouth to full-scale volume deployment and commercialization of ISDN," Drummond added.
Those plans include the immediate availability of ISDN service for BellSouth's ESSX(R) customers in states where ISDN tariffs have been approved. ESSX service is BellSouth's flagship offering in its centrex product line.
In addition, officials outlined their intent to deploy by the end of 1992 a variety of other ISDN services targeted to specific business and residence customers. These services will include MegaLink(R) ISDN, Single Line Service ISDN for business, and Single Line Service ISDN for residences.
"BellSouth's ISDN is the key to integrating voice, data and video communications. ISDN will become the public-switched network's information highway to connect hosts, file servers and personal computers," Drummond said. "Think of ISDN as transportation for one of your most vital assets -- information."
Drummond made his comments during an ISDN customer announcement and demonstration at INFORUM, Atlanta's technology mart. He was joined by other BellSouth officials and a number of BellSouth's first ISDN customers.
"Our ability to introduce the service today is, in large part, due to the partnership we have had with many organizations who have participated fully in ISDN trials," said W.F. Reddersen, president of BellSouth Business Systems.
"Through our testing of the service -- and more importantly, by listening to our partners -- ISDN has moved not only into the realm of a viable architecture, but it has been transformed from a cutting edge' technology to a leading edge' competitive differentiator for business and government.
"We want to thank our partners -- those in the telecommunications arena, the government sector, the health care industry, the service industry and the educational community -- for their support and efforts in propelling ISDN services to the forefront of our industry," Reddersen continued.
Among the customers at the BellSouth announcement were representatives of the Orlando-based AAA Motor Club and the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal, both of which have participated in BellSouth's ISDN trials. The two organizations demonstrated their ISDN applications during the event.
Bob Galovic, director of telecommunications information systems for AAA, said the organization uses ISDN as part of its nationwide "Supernumber" service, which allows AAA members to call a single number when they need roadside assistance. Callers to the number reach a central computer in Heathrow, Fla., 12 miles north of Orlando, where the caller uses the telephone's touch-tone buttons to indicate the nature of the call and their AAA code number. Often, the report can be automatically sent to the nearest AAA dispatch center. Or, if additional information is needed, the call can be forwarded to a Supernumber counselor, where the caller information is automatically displayed on a computer screen.
"ISDN has helped us speed the process of providing better service to the motorist," said Galovic. "We've been able to enhance an already good service by eliminating steps that could cause delay or frustration."
At Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., the U.S. Army is using ISDN service for a variety of voice and data communications -- including accessing Department of Defense databases, electronic directory service, message desk information management, and station message detail reporting. The benefits include single-line access for all services, increased speed and greater flexibility, especially in rearranging the system.
"Redstone Arsenal is the first U.S. Army base to deploy ISDN to meet its communications needs," said Tim Bell, communications officer for the base. "In fact, the Redstone system is a U.S. Army Information Systems Command/Missile Command prototype for future Army ISDN applications throughout the U.S. and other countries."
ISDN, or the Integrated Services Digital Network, is the industry term for a major advance in telecommunications. Unlike traditional telephone service, ISDN provides not one, but three, information-bearing channels in a single line. That makes it possible for users to enjoy multiple voice channels, or a combination of voice, data and video communications, on one line.
An ISDN Basic Rate Interface (BRI) line provides two 64 kilobit-per-second B channels and one 16 kbps D channel. Most modems in use today operate at only 2400 bits per second -- or about 30 times slower than a single B channel. "ISDN is the key to the public switched network's viability as a major transport vehicle for high-speed data communications," Drummond pointed out. "Not only will ISDN provide the speed critical to computer traffic, it also opens the door for a multitude of new personal and business applications."
BellSouth (NYSE: BLS) is an Atlanta-based international telecommunications holding company. Its subsidiaries offer local telephone service in nine southeastern states and mobile communications service worldwide, provide advertising and publishing services, and market and maintain stand-alone and fully integrated communications systems.
/CONTACT: John Goldman of South Central Bell, 205-321-3481 (voice) or 205-324-8877 (fax)/
(BLS) CO: BellSouth Corporation ST: Georgia IN: TLS SU: BR-BN -- AT004 -- 1412 11/15/91 09:47 EST