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New ideas star at 1990 ICA.


Education was the keystone of this year's International Communications Association gathering.

In addition to a full schedule of seminars, ICA members were treated to a host of innovations offered by show exhibitors.

Video, international services and data offerings were among ICA show highlights.

PictureTel is squeezing more quality into fewer bits with a third generation compression algorithm. It allows transmission at 64 kb/s over public switched networks, and will let users cash in on the proliferation of switched services worldwide.

Dick Moeller, president of VideoTelecom, predicted annual growth of 50% to 60% over the next five years, up from 45% to 50% annually in the past five.

"Name your scarce resource and automate it with video," he advises telecomm managers. Expert mechanics or expert witnesses are two such resources.

Sarde is one user integrating video teleconferencing with France Telecom's ISDN offering. ISDN International transmits voice, images, and data between the U.S. and France. The capability will be extended to the United Kingdom, West Germany, Japan, Denmark, and Belgium in 1990; and to Hong Kong, Singapore, Spain, and Italy in 1991.

Network management capabilities were added to France Telecom's international Customer Support Center (CSC), allowing real-time monitoring of all components of a backbone network.

Cable & Wireless Communications' push into the international market includes transborder services between the U.S. and Canada and a next-generation facsimile service.

The 'one-stop' digital private line services include T1, fractional T1 (DS-0). DDS, voice tie lines, analog data, facilities management, fiber optic connectivity, and end-to-end billing.

Cost savings of about 15% are expected.

The facsimile service, called SureFax, eliminates retries, which increase the true cost of fax. The service features text-to-fax, allowing users to upload word processing documents without modification. This makes it ideal for the legal market. A store and forward feature allows users to exploit off-peak rates to international markets.

Mercury Communications announced its Global Virtual Private Network between the U.S. and U.K. GVPN integrates the benefits of a dedicated international private network with the flexibility of public switched networks, thus improving quality, functionality, and cost-effectiveness. Availability of the complete advanced service in the U.S., U.K., and Hong Kong is near.

Contel ASC's John Mattingly predicted a resurgence in satellite services, thanks in part to lower value video and some voice applications.

The market glut in satellite channel availability has worn down and multi-national firms are looking for reliable service especially in countries still building a basic telecomm infrastructure.

Contel is offering VSAT technology under $300 per month per site on a five year contract. Called the DMN 2000 line, it competed with TDMA as a spread specturm delivery service.

Contel said it is launching a new ASC-2 satellite next April to replace Westar IV and V.

AT&T Tridom meanwhile announced its line of VSATs with mix-and-match components tailored to price and performance demands of various industries.

SCADA-SAT is the first offering, targeted at oil and gas pipelines. Three more industries will be targets by the end of 1991. The system is OSI based.

US Sprint elected to hold the voice and serve up data comm services.

Their ISDN services and other data offerings were promised to help make ICA members' networks "future proof" as they move into the 21st century.

Fujitsu's Alan Nunokawa noted the ISDN challenge is to bring a sense of reality to what is abstract today. Changes in delivery media, especially to fiber in the backbone, will continue. But, Nunokawa said, twisted pair will be going to the desktop for a long time to come.

Several other service-oriented exhibitors had announcements.

Two big Japanese companies became MCI customers, signing five-year agreements for $10 million worth of Comm Advantage services.

Nichimen America and Mitsui & Co. (USA) have extensive interests in construction, electronics, textiles, equipment leasing, and manufacturing.

Mitsui will use Comm Advantage Plus to manage its voice, messaging, fax, and data traffic among the U.S., Japan, and the United Kingdom. Nichimen will use Commax service for voice, data, and messaging traffic, accessing a pre-provisioned shared network linking centers in the U.S., Japan, and U.K.

MCI also announced electronic mail interconnections with eight carriers, via X.400 standards: GE, Western Union, Infonet, Dacom Korea, OTC Australia, Swiss PTT, Transpac France, and Telecom Australia.

Expecting a doubling of the data communications market in the next five years, to over $16 billion, MCI outlined its plans to garner business. Initial efforts include addition of multipoint capability for digital private lines, clear channel 64 kb/s capability, and digital data access to its switched 56 service.

Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. has put in 5500 voice mailboxes for employees and customers in its various sites in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Roger Bruhn of Lockheed, an ICA Program Committee member, said his company chose Centigram Communications systems after reviewing equipment from a number of vendors.

US West introduced Self-Healing Services, designed to provide increased reliability to customers using high-speed private line services. It is backing up its guarantee by giving a free month's service to a user who suffers any downtime.

Self-Healing Alternate Route Protection, via fiber rings, is being offered first in Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Portland, Seattle, and Phoenix.

The other offering is Self-Healing Network Services, and IBM is an early customer for that service in its Boulder, Colo., facility. The Boulder site network will connect three US West COs and three key IBM buildings.

World Communications announced a new line of international switched services. Among services: traditional phone service, virtual ringdown circuits, foreign exchange, on-net emulation, internetwork dialing.

The company is also investing $50 million to expand its networking and transmission facilities.

Infonet announced it is interconnecting its worldwide Notice 400 messaging service with MCI Mail, Transpac's Atlas 400, Soft Switch X.400 Gateways, Touch's Worldtalk 400, and Consumers Software's Network Courier 400.

Make Systems, maker of network management software, announced that it and Newbridge agreed to jointly develop an enhanced version of Make's Netool decision support software. Newbridge's 5612 MainStreet Network Planning Tool, first result of the joint effort, lets network professionals simulate the behavior of complex networks in test scenarios.

Other product news from ICA includes:

PORTABLE FAX designed for smaller businesses. Model 6600 features 10-page document feeder, speed dialing, three-time redialing. Smaller than typewriter, weighs less than 11 pounds, measures 4.6 by 11.8 by 12.3 inches.

DIAL WITH A CARD in low-cost FO-511 facsimile. Three small Dialcards can be programmed with 10 fax and 10 voice numbers each for 60 one-touch autodial numbers. Also features 26-page memory, remote retrieval, 60-station broadcast, speaker phone.

TRANSMIT DATA from LAN to LAN or between LANs and host computer with LAN Reach 56 service. Applications include interactive sessions, electronic messaging, title transfer. Provides high-speed, bandwidth-on-demand, digital connectivity. Available: fall 1990.

UP TO 1280 FAX PAGES can be stored with 20-Mbyte hard disk drive. Permits automatic, unattended receipt of transmissions. Saves time, telephone costs.

SECURITY of dedicated backup facilities provided by DS-1 level disaster recovery product. Flex T-1 supports local, distant backup sites. Capable of responding to major disasters at primary network hubs within minutes.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Nelson Publishing
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:International Communications Association conference
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jul 1, 1990
Previous Article:Plenty of plums in ICA seminars.
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