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September 18, 1990

BRITISH TELECOM’S NEW AUDIOCONFERENCING BRIDGE USES STORED PROGRAM CONTROL

By CBR Staff Writer

British Telecommunications Plc has brought out a 20-line, technically advanced telephone bridge for audioconferencing based on Intel’s 80154 processor. The console is similar in design to the Elite 5, British Telecom’s electronic desktop bridge for controlling five phone lines, released three years ago. The Elite 10/20 automatically controls the decibel level on a line, which can vary from -3db to -25db because of the different physical distances of the line from the exchange. Telecom’s other bridges use hardware rather than a processor to control the gain or noise level. The Elite 10/20 operates through a desk-top console or can alternatively be driven from an MS-DOS personal computer. Up to 240 lines can be controlled by daisy chaining bridges together, although control remains centralised from one personal computer or console. Features of the bridge include broadcast-only and listen-only functions. The unit can also be programmed in advance, so that telephone conferences can take place and be recorded, without any participation by the user – a facility aimed at international companies spread across diverse time zones. Calls can be made by dialling into the bridge at a pre-set time, or by the bridge operator dialling meeting participants. The personal computer version of the bridge takes advantage of the memory facilities of the computer. It can store a number of configurations for pre-set meetings, has an autodial directory, and a call log. The Elite 10 for 10 lines – console system costs UKP8,500. The 20-line version costs UKP15,000. The Elite 10 personal computer version costs UKP11,300 for the software and hardware, while the 20-line version costs UKP18,300.

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