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MAJOR COMPANIES UNITE TO FORM ORGANIZATION TO PROMOTE FASTER ACCEPTANCE OF GLOBAL MULTIMEDIA COMMUNICATION

 LA NAPOULE, France, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A group of companies from around the world today announced the formation of a group that will work to promote the design and use of collaborative multimedia applications.
 Such applications allow people who cannot meet face to face to overcome any distances to work together at their workstations -- from any point on the globe.
 The statement outlining the collaborative effort was adopted as part of a regular business meeting of the seven founding members of the Multimedia Communications Community of Interest.
 The seven founding companies include: British Telecommunications, France Telecom, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: INTC), Northern Telecom (NYSE: NT), and Telstra Corporation Limited.
 The group has invited other companies to join with it in discussing the service and technical requirements for making its vision a reality.
 The Multimedia Communications Community of Interest will promote the use of applications that let people in different locations view documents, images, graphics and full-motion video on a personal computer screen. These applications also let people discuss what they see on the screen as well as make changes that all other participants can see.
 The success of this initiative will depend on the degree to which this type of collaborative work can be accomplished regardless of the operating system, computer equipment, or telecommunications company being used.
 The group will promote the use of existing standards. However, where standards do not yet exist, the group will define working specifications until open standards are adopted.
 The Multimedia Communications Community of Interest also plans to begin a series of field trials in the first quarter of 1994. The purpose of these trials is to test the consistency of the technical approach and test services on a coordinated, global basis.
 -0- 6/30/93
 /NOTE: Descriptions of some of the founding companies follows along with objectives and vision of the Multimedia Communications Community of Interest./
 British Telecommunications plc
 BT is one of the world's leading providers of telecommunications services. With a market capitalization of 26.15 billion pounds, it is one of the largest private sector companies in Europe. Its principal activity is the supply of local, long distance, and international telecommunications services and equipment in the United Kingdom, serving 27 million exchange lines. International direct-dialed telephone service is available to over 200 countries and other overseas territories, covering 99 percent of the world's 700 million telephones. Mobile communications and advanced business services show BT's commitment to technology and marketing. BT is expanding its presence overseas rapidly, and has operations in over 30 countries worldwide.
 Deutsche Bundespost Telekom
 Telekom is the largest provider of telecommunications services in Europe, employing more than 230,000 persons and earning some 54 billion Deutschmarks in turnover in 1992.
 The company offers nationwide services and equipment in the fields of voice, text, picture and data communication and transmission in Germany. It operates telephone, mobile communications, broadcasting and non-voice services, as well as broadband communications transmitted via satellite and optical fiber networks, with an overall length of more than 1 million kilometers.
 Telekom's network comprises more than 36 million main stations and more than 35 million individual telephones, with the total of 42 billion telephone calls being made a year.
 On the international level, Telekom is represented on the world's most important markets. It has established subsidiaries in Brussels, Paris, London, New York, Tokyo -- currently even Moscow and soon Singapore -- with these providing a full range of telecommunications services to and from Germany.
 France Telecom, a world leading telecommunications operator with consolidated pretax revenues of FRF 121.5 billion (about $22 billion), including 15.5 percent from international business, France Telecom is the world's fourth largest telecommunications operator. On Jan. 1, 1991, France Telecom began operating as a state-owned business under the authority of the French ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, with full financial independence. To maintain its competitive leadership, France Telecom invests 4 percent of its revenue in R&D.
 The installed base of telephones in France now stands at 30 million lines. With over 80 percent of the network already digitized, France Telecom's Numeris ISDN service spanned all of mainland France in 1990 and ISDN interconnections are now in service with numerous countries in Europe, America and Asia. One out of five French subscribers is equipped with a Minitel terminal. Over 20,000 different services can be accessed from the Minitel. In 1992, videotex traffic represented 1.8 billion calls.
 Thanks to expertise that encompasses virtually all telecommunications technologies and services, France Telecom is able to support its international customers around the world. The group's global presence (16 offices throughout the five continents) is built on partnerships, acquisition of interests in foreign markets (Argentina, Mexico) and active participation in international organizations.
 Intel Corporation
 Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is an international manufacturer of microcomputer components, modules and systems.
 Telstra: Australia's Leading Telco
 Telstra is Australia's government-owned domestic and international telecommunications carrier. The company's sophisticated domestic network reaches more than 95 percent of the population, its international network is one of the world's largest, and it is a major carrier in the Asia-Pacific region. To consolidate its regional associations and to enhance its capacity to provide global networking services to corporate customers, Telstra has a presence in every major business center in the Asia-Pacific.
 Northern Telecom
 Northern Telecom is the leading global supplier of fully digital telecommunications switching systems, providing products and services to telephone operating companies, corporations, governments, universities and other institutions worldwide. Northern Telecom has approximately 58,000 employees and had 1992 revenues of US$8.41 billion.
 Multimedia Communications Community of Interest
 Vision
 -- Our vision is to establish the ability for any customer to equip
 themselves in the near future with real-time, desktop multimedia
 communication systems that will allow them to interact with
 anyone around the world, with full capacity, at the touch of a
 button.
 -- We can realize this vision through a cooperative effort to speed
 the acceptance of this new "currency of communication."
 -- We intend to do this by bringing together a non-exclusive
 critical mass of key players.
 -- We will use internationally accepted standards.
 -- Our best assurance of success is to grasp the opportunity now.
 Objectives
 -- To accelerate the worldwide acceptance of desktop multimedia
 collaborative applications that use public and private ISDN
 switched digital networks through partnered public demonstrations
 of value-added services and applications.
 -- To promote the use of industry standards for interoperability, to
 specify a minimum base level Application Programming Interface;
 to define a generic set of functions for collaborative
 desktop working (including video, frame grabbers, directory
 services, chalkboard and file transfer).
 -- To promote the establishment of tariffs for public services and
 terminal equipment leading to ubiquitous, global deployment of
 multimedia communications products and services at a reasonable
 cost to the consumer.
 -- To be responsive to market needs with solutions that are both
 quick and easy to implement and use.
 /CONTACT: David Pincott of BT in London, 44-71-728-3409; Willfred Seibel, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom in Bonn, Germany, 49-228-181-4949; Bruno Janet of France Telecom in Paris, 33-1-44-44-9393; Clifton Scott of IBM Corporation in White Plains, N.Y., 914-642-5457; Ken Harper of Intel Corporation in Portland, Ore., 503-696-7277; John Thompson of Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, Calif., 408-765-1279; Frank McNally of Northern Telecom in McLean, Va., 703-712-8374; or Paul Rae of Telstra in Sydney, Australia, 6-1-2-287-5602, all for the Multimedia Communications Community of Interest/
 (IBM INTC NT)


CO: British Telecommunications; France Telecom; Deutsche Bundespost
 Telekom; IBM Corporation; Intel Corporation; Northern Telecom;
 Telstra Corporation Limited ST: IN: TLS SU:


IH-KD -- DC018 -- 7185 06/30/93 12:59 EDT
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