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  1. Technology
December 3, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

AT&T Co in the US has announced that it is to launch a public Frame Relay high-speed packet data service as one of three new products that will form its InterSpan Data Communications Services (CI No 1,806). The Interspan Frame Relay service is to use the StrataCom Communications Inc IPX 32 FastPacket networking system, a multimedia cell relay T1 and E1 networking switch, to provide the access node component of its network. The service will run at speeds of up to 1.536Kbps, with access speeds of 56Kbps and 64Kbps. AT&T is targetting mainstream applications, such as CAD/CAM file transfer, distributed database processing, image processing and large file exchange. There will be a controlled introduction of the service during the first quarter of 1992, and the service will be generally available in the US in the following quarter. Pricing on the new service has yet to be set, and indeed AT&T was not able to confirm how it would be calculated. An announcement on this is expected in the first quarter of 1992. As well as the Frame Relay offering, AT&T is to launch the Interspan Information Access Service and the InterSpan Locator Service. The Access Service is designed to make it easier for users to access corporate databases, electronic mail and information services. It enables them to access any of these services over the AT&T network by dialling the same seven-digit number, regardless of where in the US they are dialling from. Network security is provided via customised log-ins, and the service supports a variety of host protocols. The Locator Service can best be thought of as a souped-up version of directory enquiries, and it enables users to find the nearest premises of a national business or organisation by dialling the same number, again regardless of where in the US they are dialling from. AT&T said that these are the first three offerings in a line, and Stratacom said the kit represents StrataCom’s largest order for its Frame Relay equipment so far.

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