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Gateway service creates grassroots marketplace.

Gateway Service Creates Grassroots Marketplace

NYNEX provides a low-cost gateway to hundreds of information-service providers without charging up-front subscriber fees. Thousands of customers call up local shopping forums, news, and education services via the Info-Look Gateway Service. They're billed only for on-line time. Charges appear on regular phone bills.

Simple dial-up access to the network is combined with the efficiency and call-control management of Siemens Public Swithcing systems' X.25 packet-switching technology. Customers use their home computers, modems, and software to dial a published gateway number, which accesses a Siemens Advanced Network Processor--a packet switch linked directly to the Info-Look gateway.

At the gateway, customers find a directory of service providers. When they choose a service, the gateway initiates links to the info provider. Users can connect with hundreds of services in a single call.

Through low-cost interface requirements, providers can get a system up and running on the network quickly. In many cases all that's needed is a PC, X.25 communication board, bulletin-board software, and dedicated phone line. NYNEX offers an optional billing service through the network.

Framing data as discrete 128-byte "packets" accommodates traffic from highly dispersed locations. Packet technology makes maximum use of network bandwidth, sending individual packets one by one along the most efficient network routes. The technology is consequently most cost-effective for widearea, "bursty" (asynchronous) and interactive applications--precisely the kind used in public access to information services.

Users Get The Gist

Siemens Public Switching Systems Inc., working with NYNEX's Prototype Services Laboratory, developed a software product called GIST (Gateway to Information Services and Transport).

GIST provides an electronic gateway to monitor billing, manage customer access to info providers, handle call-control flow throughout the network, and automatically reroute calls. GIST incorporates a software function known as the DTE (Data Terminal Equipment) reselect, directly into the gateway.

DTE reselect is actually a "call redirect" function defined in CCITT's X.29 standard. Without it, a caller would dial into a packet network and have to submit to an ID and password procedure. A network-interface device called a "PAD" (packet assembler/disassembler) would make the ID request, perform a verification, and then ask the user to enter a phone number for the desired info service.

With GIST, users final dial into a Siemens ANP packet switch (in effect the PAD), which directs calls into the gateway facility.

GIST enables the switch to bring users and info providers together automatically without redialing or entering separate phone numbers or electronic addresses.

Billing can be consolidated on a monthly statement. The network collects four types of info: initial bill for phone call into packet switch, bill for time the switch and gateway communicate with each other, cost of packet transport from user to info provider, and info provider connect time.

Because the network interface is simple, a service bureau can package information, provide all computer and storage equipment, and do all interface work for entrepreneurs.

In essence, Info-Look provides both instant market exposure and tremendous ease of use for customers.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Nynex Corp. provides Info-Look Gateway Service
Author:Johnston, Walter
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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