Swedish phone company, has sent a letter of protest to the European Commission’s anti-trust division, labelling as anti-competitive BT’s plans to tackle the Swedish market jointly with the Norwegian and Danish phone companies. The Swedish and Italian partnerships are the latest in a series of aggressive moves BT has made around the globe. Last year it bought a 20%, $4.3 billion stake in US-based MCI Communications Inc. It has formed smaller alliances with Spain’s Banco Santander, with Germany’s Viag AG and with phone companies in Japan, Australia and Finland, in addition to those in Norway and Denmark. Its main competitor AT&T Corp. of the USA has assembled an even longer list of partners around the world in the past two years. BT’s expansion into Europe may have created more waves than revenue for the company, but BT believes it is well positioned to win an operator’s license in both Germany and Spain when the market is liberalized under European Union rules in 1998. This makes local phone companies in Europe nervous about BT. The letter from Telia complains that the BT-Tele Denmark AB-Telenor venture is anti-competitive, because those companies home phone markets aren’t as open to competition as the Swedish market they will be jointly attacking.
Fibre links for major buildings The Korea Newsreview reports that by the end of the year about 100 large-scale buildings in Seoul and Pusan will be connected with fibre-optic cables as part of the information superhighway project. The fibre-optic cables
will replace the conventional copper wires in all buildings with than 300 telephone circuits by 1999. It is also planned to link ordinary household with fibre-optic cables by the year 2015. Korea Telecom has announced that it has developed the nation’s first optical communications transmission system. The system, fibre loop carrier (FLC), will be used to help deliver a variety of multimedia telecom services, including voice and video data, through a network of optical cables to subscribers, The FLC system has various functions such as self-testing, self-correcting, self-controlled network management, telecontrolling and remote repairing. In the FLC system, as many as 1890 telephone calls can be handled by just two strands of optical cables. The system is expected to meet the growing demand for broadband network services and a variety of multimedia telecom services will be embodied through the optical cable and FLC system. Similarly, videoconferencing and data communications will be offered.
Investing in Internet security IBM; H&R Block Inc.‘s CompuServe online service, America Online Inc. and Netscape Communications Corp. are taking equal stakes in Terisa Systems Inc. The Wall Street Journal Europe reports that the four investors will pay $10 million to buy a controlling share in Terisa’s stock. This backing could accelerate efforts to enable users to buy and sell goods over the Internet. Netscape had formerly been pushing a competitive security system of its own, but Terisa is expected to blend the two rival securitv
systems so they are compatible. Terisa, based in Menlo Park, California, is owned by RSA Data Security Inc., which licenses encryption software, and Enterprise Integration Technologies, an electronic-commerce research and development company.
IBM increases Internet services In a bid to become a significant provider of Internet services to business, IBM plans to at least double the number of local Internet access points on its global data communications network and offer World Wide Web publishing services, The Financial Times reports that the IBM Global Network will expand from 177 Internet gateways in 21 countries to about 450 local access points in 40 countries by the end of this year, Currently, the network has about 25 000 business customers, representing 2 million users. IBM’s goal is to provide high-speed communications links based on asynchronous transfer mode technology that can provide communications speeds of billions of bits per second. IBM also plans to move the Prodigy consumer online service to a network of World Wide Web servers, allowing it to be accessed by anyone connected to the Internet.
Private drive on superhighway Western officials have predicted to third world countries that the information superhighway will be a private toll road, not a public works project financed by government handouts. The
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