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Some User Views of Telecommunications Needs.

What requirements do the telecommunication planners for large user organizations anticipate for the future?

Our purpose is to try to look at this problem from the other side, the users' side. "What do progressive institutins think their telecommunications needs will be in the future?"

The intent is not to imply that manufacturers and providers of telecommunication services are not doing a successful job. They are. Evidence of this is growth in sales. For example, the Data Communications Market Survey predicts that telecomunication services will grow by 16.6 percent in 1983, while sales of telecommunication products will grow by 16.4 percent.

All of the views presented illustrate that, whereas today's telecommunication tasks are in fact being adequately performed, there is a genuinely urgent desire for substantial improvement within the next few years. Perhaps presentation and discussion of these ideas will help to accelerate improvement. An Industrial View

From Marvin Rahm (Dow Chemical), it is clear that Dow Chemical has long been concerned with the integration of transmission services via a Local-Area Network. Installation started in 1973 and, as of 1982, Dow had LAN's installed at 26 of its locations worldwide.

Dow's choice is a braodband coaxial-cable network with the result that nearly 450 kilometers of coaxial cable have been installed at its different locations.

An initial requirement which led to the choice of a broadband network is Dow's heavy use of video for its industrial relations and employee education programs. For data transmission, initial applications were handled by point-to-point, dedicated frequency-division multiplexing. Switching services have since been added using radio-frequency modems and broadband, multiple-access LAN equipment from a variety of suppliers. A Banking Industry View

Credit Suisse is one of the three largest banks in Switzerland with a staff of 10,000. Currently one on-line terminal is instaslled for every three staff members, with the plan to shortly increase the number of terminals so that one on-line terminal will be available for every two staff members. Teleprocessing services are centralized and all equipment installed must be compatible with the proprietary teleprocessing system architecture of a major supplier.

The major problem which Credit Suisse sees is a result of the commitment to a proprietary teleprocessing architecture. The need for various advanced functions creates opportunities for specialist teleprocessing-component manufacturers to successfully market products wh ich would provide advanced function not yet available from the major suppliers, but compatible with their architectures. A Military View

Some of us rather casually describe systems wh ich should be able to function in a "hostile" environment. Such considerations play almost an overriding role in miliary" command-and-control" systems.

Both of us rather casually describe systems which should be able to function in a "hostile" environment. Such considerations play almost an overriding role in military "command-and-control" systems.

Both the Army and the Strategic Air Command are developing replicated, distributed command centers with the goal of being able to function despite numerous site failures.

Perhaps the most striking requirement in military communications . . . next to that of survivability . . . is the integration of almost all telecommunication technologies. In the architectures suggested, one finds, for example, A LAN providing service for a small tactical operation center connected via a gateway to a packet-radio network. The packet-radio networks are in turn interconnected via additional gateways and long-haul packet-switched trunks. Speech as well as data must be handled.

The military is in urgent need for automatic reconfiguration techniques for its telecommunication networks. A Credit-Card Industry View

The credit-card industry is eager to increase the degree to which it is automated: first, for its traditional transactional (credit-verifying) tasks and, second, for newer personal terminals both in business and in home locations.

In order to expand and to minimize costs, the industry is interested in: traffic concentration, conversion of voice to data (to reduce human intervention and cost), cable television and other media (as a means to bypass local access loops), increased interchange among proprietary and indusry networks, low-cost local storage which would facilitate distributed data bases and reduce telecommunication costs, and exploiting ISDN's (Integrated Services Digital Networks) when they become available.

As the use of Electronic Fund Transfer becomes more widespread the industry is becoming increasingly concerned with protection through encryption and authentication techniques.

The four views summarized are rather different in where their emphasis is placed. In the case of Dow Chemical, it is on integration of local-area transmission services. In the case of Credit Suisse, it is provision of bridging function. Survivability is the chief concern of the military, and reduction of transaction costs that of American Express. On the other hand, all four views have one point in common; namely, a hunger for many of the devices and techniques available today only as prototypes in research and development laboratories.
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Article Details
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Author:Rudin, H.
Publication:Communications News
Article Type:transcript
Date:Jan 1, 1984
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