Printer Friendly

What works for supermarkets may work for ISDN.

The people who hand out bite-sized freebies at grocery stores have been practicing it for years. Now the communications world is catching on:

Give someone a free sample and they'll probably end up buying at least one box or jar of your product. That's the foot in the door toward creating a loyal customer.

So it goes with ISDN.

AT&T played the role of free sample distributor in the supermarket of communications choices for telecomm managers. Try it, the carrier said of ISDN, you'll like it.

AT&T offered three free months of primary rate service to users who signed up by Oct. 20. Included was a waiving of PRI installation fees, along the lines of Sprint's and MCI's policies of waiving such fees.

If demand was strong for ISDN, such a special offer wouldn't have been necessary. In a way, that reflects the precarious position that ISDN occupies in the market these days.

But just as my wife and I didn't know we needed that chocolate-caramel cheesecake at the grocery store the other day until a woman handed us free sample bites, there are lots of users who don't realize what ISDN can do for them until someone makes it irresistible for them to try it.

The way AT&T set up its offer was to waive the $3000 one-time installation fee as well as the $400-a month charge for three months.

As far as the other carriers, Sprint continues to waive its $2000 installation charge for users signing up for PRI by the end of this year. MCI began waiving its one-time $3000 charge a year ago.


A year from now, watch for ISDN to make big news.

TRIP 92 is set for Nov. 16-20, 1992. TRIP stands for Transcontinental ISDN Project, and the spotlight' will shine brightly on users' ISDN applications at that time.

Matt Thomson, senior product manager for CPE for Northern Telecom, discussed TRIP 92 at the Network 90s conference in San Francisco.

The event, which has the enthusiastic support of the National ISDU Users and the Corporation for Open Systems, "is to serve as a platform to demonstrate compatibility between end-user equipment as well as applications on the national and international levels," says Thomson.

More than 100 user organizations are expected to take part, with more than 200 examples of their ISDN applications.

"The purpose is to prove to the industry and to users that ISDN is alive, well, and thriving," says Thomson.

Before the end of next summer, Thomson says, those involved will provide details of their applications. That information will be compiled into an atlas that Thomson expects will see wide distribution in advance of the TRIP 92 week.

What is best about TRIP is that it won't be a week consisting of one-time ISDN demonstrations arranged by carriers or CPE vendors to tout their latest service or product offering.

TRIP will focus the industry's attention on the many practical ways users are putting ISDN to work on an ongoing basis.

It should be a finding climax to what has been promised to be, for all practical purposes, The year of ISDN, with its implementation of the National ISDN 1 initiative.

Work at home

As ISDN begins to roll out in the residential market, work-at-home applications will pave the way. That's the prediction of Karen FitzGerald. Bellcore's ISDN product manager.

Also speaking at the Network 90s conference, FitzGerald based her prediction on the expectation that employers would pay the phone bills for workers using ISDN at home.

She says studies show a large potential for ISDN in small business and residential markets. These studies are based on surveys of possible users who are asked if they would like the services that ISDN can bring. The architecture isn't identified to them as ISDN, because the acronym probably wouldn't mean much to them anyway.

Working at home and ISDN are definitely compatible partners. The higher line speeds are a natural for home-to-office access, and the ability to carry out several functions at once will help make telecommuting practical.

Most of us do some work from home, even if we're not full-fledged telecommuters. How many times are you stuck because you can't use the phone for a voice call because a fax is coming in, or because you're in the midst of a lengthy file transfer?

Sure, you work around it, but it would be much more efficient to be able to do at least two things at once on the same line.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Nelson Publishing
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:integrated services digital network
Author:Tanzillo, Kevin
Publication:Communications News
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Nov 1, 1991
Previous Article:Telecommunications can lead us out of the recession.
Next Article:How Judge Greene's recent decision changes business telecomm.

Related Articles
ISDN: Interface Standards Usher in Ultimate Network.
Everything Coming Up Digital.
Toward the Private ISDN; A View of Corporate Voice-Data Networks.
The World's Entering the Era of the Integrated Services Digital Network.
Forecasts for 1986: Another Concern for the Telecom Manager.
Northern makes big promises.
The maturing of ISDN brings on new users.
Food for thought: how Arizona grocer upgraded its network.
The second coming of ISDN.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters