Swedish telecoms equipment giant LM Ericsson AB should be bringing relief to home users needing faster access to the internet, while simultaneously retaining high quality telephone services with the launch of its Home Internet Solution. It transmits data over plain telephone copper wire at 115.2Kbps, using a coding technique called 2B1Q – the protocol for the encoding of physical signals in ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network systems. This will offer transmission at twice the speed of most existing modems. Ericsson’s system sounds close to ISDN, but is going to be priced as affordable for consumers, whereas ISDN has mainly been marketed and charged as a business service, at a cost too expensive for consumers. The widespread ISDN-2 uses two Public Switched Telephone Network 64Kbps channels so two phone lines are used and charged for during ISDN-2 data calls. Ericsson reckons its system is going to be attractive to both telcos and consumers, because the data is split off the phone wire at the telco’s local exchange switch, and doesn’t tie up PSTN lines, so doesn’t have to be charged at phone call rates. The company says the system has been fully technically tested with Finnish telecoms company Vaasan Laanin Puhelin Oy, and is due for commercial launch in the first quarter of 1998. It says it is in the process of selling the system to phone operators worldwide. Ericsson is planing to release further details about the system before launch and claims it can be installed at minimal expense to Telcos. Modems for users will cost between $100 and $200.
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