SGS-Thomson Microelectronics NV is not commenting on a report in La Tribune Desfosses that it has decided to invest $1,000m in a new chip plant at Rousset, near Marseille rather than in Catane in Italy, creating 1,000 new jobs; the paper said the regional council, Provences-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, would be willing to contribute $180m towards the […]
SGS-Thomson Microelectronics NV is not commenting on a report in La Tribune Desfosses that it has decided to invest $1,000m in a new chip plant at Rousset, near Marseille rather than in Catane in Italy, creating 1,000 new jobs; the paper said the regional council, Provences-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, would be willing to contribute $180m towards the cost of the project.
US West Inc reports that its US West Communications unit is ready to launch its 12-month market test of multimedia services to nearly 50,000 households in the Omaha, Nebraska area: the US West TeleChoice service will provide a competing set of television programming services delivered over a video dial-tone network and This market trial is a significant step toward one day being able to provide the gateway for our customers to tap into an incredible array of information, communications and entertainment services, US West Communications said; the market trial features analogue-based basic and premium cable television programming, but the company says it plans later to introduce digital interactive services to its TeleChoice product line and make them available to the same Omaha homes.
France Telecom is trying to get a slice of the deregulated Swedish telecommunications market by investing $137m in a new network that will offer domestic phone services: it said this will expand its Swedish operations to include traditional telephony, local, long-distance and international calls, and it will initially target corporate customers in and around Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg; British Telecommunications Plc, Cable & Wireless Plc, Telnor A/S and TeleDanmark A/S are all active in Sweden.
The Austin, Texas-based IPC Technologies Inc arm of IPC Corp Pte Ltd is going after neighbour Dell Computer Corp and says it will beat any price quoted on Dell’s Optiplex line of personal computers by $100 per system, and it will match any advertised price on Dell Dimension XPS 100, XPS 120, and XPS 133 computers: the US arm of the Singapore company offers a complete line of Pentium-based computers with its Austin PowerPLUS line, with prices starting at around $1,300, and has also just launched file servers.
Swiss telecommunications group Ascom Holding AG’s systems and software subsidiary Ascom Infrasys AG has won a contract worth some $10.5m from the city of Prague, to deliver an integrated security system for the fire department, police force and rescue services: the system to be installed in Prague consists of five decentralised operational systems named Avanti, a product developed by Ascom and Fides Informatik, part of CS Holdings.
The Philips Digital Videocommunications Systems North American arm of Philips Electronics NV and Compression Labs Inc, San Jose say volume production and shipment of their television set-top boxes has begun: the terminals are claimed to be the first digital set-top products in full production to comply with the MPEG-2 international standards and MPEG-specified Musicam audio system and will be used in Bell Atlantic Corp’s trial video dial tone network in Dover Township, New Jersey.
VarTec Telecom Inc has introduced a new long distance telephone service, Dimeline, that costs just $0.10 per minute for callers to dial anywhere in the United States, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, contrasting with Sprint Corp’s offer of $0.10 a minute dialling during off-peak hours only: VarTec says it has already started a nationwide mail and radio marketing campaign and plans direct mailings to 10m potential customers in the US, who will pay a $5 monthly fee per line for the el cheapo service.
Fremont, California-based Seeq Technology Inc has got itself into a dreadful mess in its agreements with foundries that fabricate its chips (Seeq originally had its own wafer fab, but sold it a year or three back and now relies on foundries to fabricate the chips it designs) and it warns that revenues for its 1995 fourth quarter and 1996 first quarter will be lower than had been expected because it has agreed to ph
ase out its long-term wafer foundry agreement with IMP Inc, and to re-establish a foundry agreement with Hualon Microelectronics Co of Taiwan; IMP will continue to make chips for Seeq until the end of March but not at levels sufficient to meet Seeq’s demand – it wants to devote more of its capacity to its own parts; Hualon will again make chips for the company under terms of a lawsuit settlement of the dispute that arose when Seeq sold its non-volatile memory business early last year; Seeq reassures customers that production of its Hurricane family of Fast Ethernet products and its new ATM25 chips and its Ethernet controllers will not be affected.
San Francisco-based long distance provider of telecommunications services Phoenix Network Inc has bought the assets of Tele-Trend Communications LLC, a Denver-based reseller of long distance service: Phoenix said it will gain about $7.5m in annual revenue, increasing its annual turnover by 12%. Tele-Trend’s management team will join Phoenix Network as employees, but they will be compensated for incremental revenue growth achieved during a 14-month earn-out period.
The Philips Key Modules division of Philips Electronics NV, and Herald Datanetics Ltd of Hong Kong have announced an agreement to provide thin-film magneto-resistive quarter-inch cartridge head technology: Philips will provide Herald with thin-film heads on wafers and the Hong Kong firm will finish them at its production facilities in Shanghai and Zhuhai, China, manufacturing, marketing and selling finished magnetic heads, samples of which are available now; Philips has also announced an integrated chip set consisting of a write-read amplifier and a digital equaliser that works with a wide range of QIC formats including QIC-80 and Travan 4.
World Wide Web software firm Spyglass Inc has signed an agreement with Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG under which Siemens will distribute Spyglass’s Enhanced Mosiac browser: the agreement gives Spyglass, which has distribution pact with dozens of US companies including Microsoft Corp, AT&T Corp and Oracle Corp, its first distribution channel into the European market; Spyglass also has several distribution agreements with companies in the Far East, including Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.
MCI Communications Corp says it has used Tri-Color Wave Division Multiplexing to boost capacity of its network in Memphis, Tennessee by 50% without any new fibre optic lines: the technology enables existing fibre to accommodate three light signals instead of two by routing them at different light wavelengths, the company said; the technology will be added to MCI’s Chicago fibre ring in early October, with others cities to follow; no word on the system’s supplier.
Computer Sciences Corp is teaming with grocery software provider Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc in a $58.1m contract to help the US military modernise its systems for more than 300 commissaries worldwide: the deal has an initial two-year period valued at $24.1m and an additional six one-year options worth $34m.
British Telecommunications Plc reports that it has been chosen by Singapore-based Acer Computer International Ltd to meet its global networking requirements in its markets, which cover Asia-Pacific, Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and Africa; the UK company says the multi-million dollar contract will be one of the largest it has won in Asia-Pacific.
Hungary’s telecommunications company Matav Rt is talking to Siemens AG about the supply of telephones for its development of the Hungarian network over the next two years: negotiations started with Siemens after AT&T Corp backed down from a $7.5m agreement the company said; AT&T was not available for comment.
Our current facility is simply no longer suited to serve as headquarters of the world’s leading information technology company, said Louis Gerstner in a letter to IBM Corp employees, pointing out that the 30-year-old headquarters would have to be totally renovated and rewired t
o meet today’s needs, and a new building would cost about the same; the building, with its I M Pei-designed atrium is characterised by vast dramatic corridors and lots of wasted space, Tom Beerman, IBM’s manager of corporate issues, told the New York Times – with the present building, we can’t get cable television hookups, much less fibre-optic cable, Beerman said; IBM plans to sell or lease its current headquarters once the new building is ready, the Times says – but if the old building is such a white elephant and not good enough for IBM, why should it be good enough for anyone else?