After the bad memories of June 18 1985, when its network broke down for several hours due to saturation, French national packet network operator Transpac SA has decided to improve the quality of its service and to strengthen the security of its circuits, reports 01 Informatique from France. In 1988, the average life duration of […]
After the bad memories of June 18 1985, when its network broke down for several hours due to saturation, French national packet network operator Transpac SA has decided to improve the quality of its service and to strengthen the security of its circuits, reports 01 Informatique from France. In 1988, the average life duration of a virtual circuit was 100 hours: according to Transpac, now it is 140 hours. In 1986, the network was down for an average of 85 minutes a month: today’s figure is 20 minutes, an improvement that Transpac says is the result of bringing the switches closer to the actual sites of its customers. This process should continue, as the present figure of 200 switches is to be increased by another 500 in the next three years. These improvements are to be accompanied by a strategy of diversification that will see Transpac’s network management service and involvement in X25 lines such as Esterel and Rubis complemented by three additional areas of interest in value-added services: the X400 public message service, now known as Atlas 400 and offering a mailbox facility and message broadcasting; entrance into the Electronic Data Interchange market; and increased involvement on the international scene. This last part of its new strategy will have three objectives. Firstly, Transpac will help French companies such as Sesa and Alcatel in the switching industry, and SAT and TRT in modems, to sell their goods abroad by offering know-how exchanges to a wide range of countries through its sister firm Interpac, which was recently bolstered by the purchase of Intelmatique. Secondly, the restructuring abroad, particularly in Africa and perhaps in Eastern Europe, will be accompanied by an intensive recruitment programme. And thirdly, Transpac is intending to further increase its international presence by buying packet switched lines such as the Mexican one. According to 01 Informatique, things are going well for Transpac: apparently, its packet switch network is the largest in the world with 70,000 subscribers, while in three years network traffic has doubled to 2,380m characters a month, of which 1,100 are on the Teletel network alone. Turnover for 1988 was around $440m, and is expected to cross the $500m mark for this year, with profits up on 1988’s figure of $14m. This is despite regular reductions in tariffs since 1986, when the charge for transmission of data was roughly 1.5 cents per kilobyte, against about one cent now. The amount of data that Transpac handles is, however, increasing all the time, and the number of customers increases by around 10,000 a year. The government is still the largest user by far, with 23% of total connections, followed by the industrial sector with 17%, the financial sector with 15%, large insurance companies with 12%, and the service sector with 10%.