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November 13, 1988

FRANCE TELECOM AND INFONET TEAM TO OFFER MINITEL VIEWDATA IN THE US

By CBR Staff Writer

Having established by far the world’s most successful viewdata service as a fact and facet of everyday life for the majority of its citizens back home, France Telecom is determined to get its Minitel system accepted in the US, and is being positively Japanese in its quiet persistence. In the latest move, Minitel Services Co in White Plains, New York and MinitelNET Inc have signed an agreement which makes French Kiosk-based information services available to personal computer and Minitel users on the Minitel Services Co network, making it the first time that the French-language services on the national system have been available in the US and Canada without subscription fees. Minitel Services Co was founded only on October 4 last, and is offering local dial-up access to its services by owners of MS-DOS micros in 150 cities in North America. In addition, users of Minitel terminals will be able to access the Mintel Services network in 20 of the largest cities in the US and Canada. It is also seeking North American information providers for the network, making things easy for them by providing software than enables anything from an AT-alike up to be used to create services – and once up, Minitel Services Corp will handle all administration, billing and customer support functions, so that entrepeneurs can offer specialised services into niche markets with a mininum of equipment and overhead. MinitelNET Inc is a New York-based company wholly owned by Minitel USA, France Telecom’s viewdata company in the US, and Minitel Services Co is a newly-formed viewdata information services operator owned jointly by Minitel USA and Computer Sciences Corp’s Infonet, in which France Telecom is now an investor.

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