Strange now to recall that a bare five years ago, questions were being asked about whether L M Ericsson Telefon AB, then doing about $6,500m in annual sales, was big enough to remain in the big league of telephone exchange and telecommunications equipment makers dominated by AT&T Corp, Alcatel NV, Northern Telecom Ltd and Siemens […]
Strange now to recall that a bare five years ago, questions were being asked about whether L M Ericsson Telefon AB, then doing about $6,500m in annual sales, was big enough to remain in the big league of telephone exchange and telecommunications equipment makers dominated by AT&T Corp, Alcatel NV, Northern Telecom Ltd and Siemens AG: the extraordinary boom in the cellular telephony market put an end to all the questions as Ericsson quickly became the world’s number one supplier, with the strongest competition coming not from one of the traditional majors but from a company that had no history in telephone exchanges, Motorola Inc; it should do over $14,000m this year but can Ericsson’s soaring growth continue? Five years ago the company forecast that the 6.5m cellular subscribers would reach 65m by the end of the decade – and that figure will be exceeded this year and 2000 could see it at 350m.
Northern Telecom Ltd has a $40m contract with the Netherlands Ministry of Defence to supply the Dutch armed forces with Synchronous Digital Hierarchy transmission equipment and a network management system as part of the NAFIN Netherlands Armed Forces Integrated Network project, a wide area network for speech and data communications to which more than 200 defence sites will are to be connected.
The European Commission is expected to block plans by Tele Danmark A/S, Norsk Telekom A/S, controlled by Telenor A/S – and Kinnevik AB to set up a venture to distribute television channels to cable systems.
Dell Computer Corp has taken 1.2% of the Japanese market by selling direct, and now Gateway 2000 Inc opens its telephone lines for business today, Bloomberg reports: the North Sioux City, South Dakota has already been selling about 3,000 machines a month for two years via a joint venture with Nissho Iwai Corp to large corporations and through retail outlets; that agreement now becomes non-exclusive.
In response to a question about Apple Computer Inc’s future in the face of Windows95 at the Software Publishers Association Europe meeting in Cannes, Dave Nagel, senior vice-president of worldwide research and development quipped that Apple is always supposed to disappear with the next version of Windows, but our backlog is higher today than it has ever been; he also added that we believe Microsoft will ultimately switch to a Windows NT-derivative operating system and that it is just using Windows95 to bring out 32-bit application programming interfaces.
The Pakistan government is demanding that all electronic mail service providers and bulletin board operators apply for registration, private system operators told Reuters: one said the Communications Ministry had written last month, saying their operations were not authorised, and that failure to comply would result in strict action under the 1885 Telegraph Act, which was enacted by the British; the ministry also asked electronic mail providers in a separate letter for details of their system configuration, investment plans and suggestions for how the government might collect royalties and tariffs on a yearly basis, which has operators worried because most of Pakistan’s bulletin boards are hobby clubs for computer users, not profit-making businesses, and even commercial service providers were barely turning a profit since Pakistan has very few on-line users.
L M Ericsson Telefon AB reports that Mercury One-2-One Ltd has successfully introduced frequency-hopping into its Groupe Speciale Mobile-based DCS1800 system here in the UK: in systems that have not implemented frequency-hopping, calls are assigned to a designated radio channel within a cell but with frequency hopping, cells that have two or more radio channels can alternate the call between the radio channels up to 217 times a second, and average the strength of all the channels within a cell and configure the cell based on the average signal strength, which is always greater than the minimum, which in turn enables them to increase the capacity in the cell.
oftware Inc’s shares tumbled more than 25% on Tuesday after the company said it expected lower second-quarter earnings and flat revenues: the company, which acquired Easel Corp in June, estimates that turnover for the quarter to July 2 will be flat with the $17.8m combined sales of Vmark and Easel for the previous quarter, sending its shares nosediving $5.50, or 26.5%, to $15.25 and underlining how fragile are current share valuations.
The headquarters of Anglo-French Jetphone Ltd, which provided aircraft passengers with the first pan-European direct air-to-ground telephone system, is to be located at Shannon: Jetphone will employ 20 people initially, rising to 50 by year-end; Jetphone has installed telephones on 20 international aircraft, and by the end of 1995, 200 aircraft will offer 50m passengers flying over Europe the opportunity to make international phone calls.
Pixel Multimedia Ltd, a privately-held Israeli developer of interactive information and entertainment software, has attracted $1m investment from Bertelsmann AG’s Bertelsmann Music Group for a minority stake.
Computergram will never be an acronym-free zone, but we do try, really we do, and week by week, Music Week makes it clear that the computer industry is far from the only one to be plagued by acronyms – this week, a front page headline reads MTV to continue VPL battle, which left us wondering what on earth Music TeleVision could have to do with visible pantie lines.