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Here's another alternative to PACS. Plenty more where this came from./Bill
WINCHESTER, HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND, 1996 FEB 13 (NB) -- Imagine wireless access to
the Internet, or even wireless access to the Internet at 64,000 bits-per-second
(bps). Imagine no longer, because National Transcommunications Limited (NTL), an
alternative telecoms carrier (ATC) has announced plans to offer just such a
service within the next 12 months.
John Okas, the company's director, told Newsbytes that the decision to offer
low-cost high-speed Internet access was taken when NTL obtained a DTI
(Department of Trade & Industry) license to operate wireless local loop
telephony services at 10 gigahertz (GHz) last week.
As recently reported by Newsbytes, the other licensee was Mercury
Communications, which intends to use the 10GHz links as a means of bypassing the
need for a "local loop," and so getting the telecoms link from the local
exchange right into the customer's premises without the need for a copper pair
or fiber optic link.
Unlike Mercury, however, NTL plans to use the two megabits-per-second (Mbps)
data capacity of the 10GHz wireless technology to deliver low cost ISDN
(integrated services digital network) links to businesses, with particular
emphasis on Internet link provision.
Okas admitted that the company's game plan for low cost wireless ISDN Internet
access hinges on the manufacturers in the telecoms industry coming up with the
hardware to support wireless ISDN.
"At the moment, this technology doesn't exist, but we are working with a number
of players and expect to be trialing this technology by the third quarter of
this year, and then to offer commercial service soon after that," he said.
Okas said that the issue of 10GHz wireless telecoms service licenses represents
something of a watershed in UK telecoms, since it allows the ATCs to bypass the
local loop monopoly in most areas that British Telecom (BT) has enjoyed for
almost a hundred years.
"This technology is very exciting indeed and will certainly allow the ATCs to
move in on another element of BT's business," he said, adding that winning the
license offers the company many exciting opportunities.
"It means we can offer `last mile' connections on a national basis, delivering
an economic alternative to the existing carriers. We believe our special
competence in building and operating leading-edge wireless networks of this type
will allow us to roll out our network quickly and provide superior customer
services," he explained.
(Steve Gold/19960212/Press Contact: Nelson Bostock Communications,
+44-171-229-4400; Reader Contact: NTL, tel +44-1962-823434, fax +44-1962-822378)