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November 1, 1995

AT&T LAUNCHES MULTIMEDIA COMMUNICATIONS EXCHANGE SERVER

By CBR Staff Writer

AT&T Corp’s Global Business Communications systems division claims that it will deliver multimedia data over both wide and local area networks with the advent of the MultiMedia Communications Exchange Server. The server, developed with AT&T Bell Laboratories, is said to support multimedia data over switched Ethernet local nets and Asynchronous Transfer Mode networks. The server software runs on a Pentium machine that can be connected to any variant of Unix workstation. McDonald Corp’s restaurant designers have been trying out the server and used it for videoconferencing between several colleagues who were able to see and hear each other while working on the same computer-aided design file at the same time. Bay Networks Inc, Cabletron Systems Inc, Cisco Systems Inc, 3Com Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Sun Microsystems Inc and Innsoft Inc have announced that they will develop products to work with the server which will ship in the first quarter of 1996 at a starting price of $35,000. A version using a personal computer for the client side is planned by the end of next year. AT&T said that it would also upgrade its Definity Communication system beyond its current call feature and voice mail functions. The Communication System has been renamed Definity Enterprise Communications Server and will be adapted to become a local network server that will also handle simultaneous voice and data over Asynchronous Mode networks. Definity along with other multimedia network products will be known as BusinessWorks Solutions and will now fall under a newly established division staffed by 650 employees and designed to provide global customer sales and support. The division is planning to open BusinessWorks centres in the US, the UK, Hungary and Singapore.

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