Revenues from France Telecom’s Teletel viewdata service grew 10% in 1992 to $1,035m while the total traffic, including the electronic phone book, grew 4.8% to 110m hours, the company announced this week. The use of Teletel services other than the directory grew 5.1% to 87m hours, or 1,000m calls. The number of Minitel terminals installed […]
Revenues from France Telecom’s Teletel viewdata service grew 10% in 1992 to $1,035m while the total traffic, including the electronic phone book, grew 4.8% to 110m hours, the company announced this week. The use of Teletel services other than the directory grew 5.1% to 87m hours, or 1,000m calls. The number of Minitel terminals installed grew 4.8% in 1992 to a total of 6.3m, the company said. Jean Guiraudios, director of France Telecom’s Teletel activity, emphasised the growth in practical use of Teletel services. Of five Teletel calls, one is oriented toward games or messaging, but four are asking for services and of those four, two are completely professional, he noted. The electronic directory continues to be the top seller, with the amount of traffic increasing 3.7% to 23m hours, or 760m calls. One study of 2,072 customers showed 96% using the directory. The nearest competitor service was transport information and reservations, at 53%. Guiraudios said France Telecom will introduce a faster Teletel service in mid-1994.
Every time we question users of Teletel, particularly frequent users, the only complaint we hear is of the speed. They want faster access, he said. The new Teletel Vitesse Rapide will operate at a speed of 9,600bps, double the present rate. The cost of connection for the new service will be about 20% more per minute, but should still cost the user less for the same operation. A redesigned line of Minitel terminals, which will accomodate the faster service and new electronic banking services, is being readied for introduction in 1994 as well. Guiraudios estimated that the number of Minitel terminals installed will reach 8m to 9m within the next four to five years. In response to a request by the Ministry of Post & Telecommunications, Guiraudios said France Telecom has proposed some technical methods to restrict access to Minitel. Some family organisations have lobbied for ways to keep unattended children from accessing either pornographic message services notorious Pages Roses – or services that send gifts based on a certain duration of connection. One method, he said, would allow you to change the code of access such that the phone line is left open to local or regional calls but not to Teletel.