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June 28, 1990

3 NET OFFERS PRODUCTS TO ENABLE UK USERS TO GET MOST OUT OF LIBERALISED FAST LINES

By CBR Staff Writer

In a move to cash in on the high cost of bandwidth and on the relaxation of the old duopoly situation that now allows the re-sale of bandwidth on private networks, network application supplier 3 Net Ltd is offering a range of products designed to allow corporate users to make the most out of their high-speed private telephone links by increasing user capacity – it is envisaged that firms can either save money by using less bandwidth for the same amount of traffic, or use the extra bandwidth on their networks as an additional source of income. 3 Net, which was formed in 1987 with capital from Advent, BBHQ and 3i, says the Bandman voice compression systems are designed to operate over 2.048 Mbps digital networks using private branch exchanges that support the UK DPNSS signalling standard: with voice compression at either 16Kbps or 32Kbps, Bandman takes the information contained within the D channel of DPNSS to carry a total of 72 calls over a standard 30B+D link instead of the usual 30. Fitting in the network between the private branch exchanges each end of the 2Mbps link, a pair of Bandman units will compress internal calls where appropriate, while leaving alone calls whose origin or destination is the public switched network; bandwidth priority is set by the customer to determine when and to what level calls are compressed. Network management is provided either as an IBM AT-based package, or in open published form to be used in conjunction with existing management systems. To complement the basic voice compression system, 3 Net also announced versions of Bandman aimed at users of time division multiplexers and video conferencing systems. Bandman T includes all the features of the standard Bandman while supporting a transparent path for use by any time division multiplexer using a G703 interface; a 768Kbps channel for TDMs is supported while carrying 60 voice channels across the link. Bandman V is designed automatically to acquire the bandwidth needed to for a video conference session in addition to 60 concurrent voice channels; bandwidth is automatically handed back to the voice channels after the conference. Based on an estimated 3,800 2Mbps links in the UK that use DPNSS, 3 Net reckons that the potential market for Bandman is around UKP100m a year and hopes to get at least 5% of that in the next 12 months; if the amount of 2Mbps DPNSS-based links continues to rise at 1,800 a year 3 Net claims it presently growing at, the Basingstoke, Hampshire company calculates it will be doing around UKP20m of business a year from Bandman in the next three years. While the DPNSS standard is a prerequisite for Bandman use at the moment, 3 Net acknowledges that this standard may fall from grace in the near future and claims that the Bandman software is flexible enough to adapt to any emergent standard, such as DASS 2 or the European standard developed by Siemens and Alcatel. The Bandman range is available now direct from 3 Net with prices starting at UKP35,000 for a pair and rising to UKP60,000 for the Bandman V system with full resilience features; rental agreements are also possible. However, 3 Net is not intending to market Bandman itself in the long-term and says it will be announcing a series of reseller agreements with major telecommunications suppliers soon.

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