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July 9, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

GEC Plessey Telecommunications Ltd’s iSDX private branch exchange looks to have avoided what many thought would be its inevitable fate following the Siemens purchase of 40% of GEC Plessey shares: that of complete suppression by the Mnchener in the attempt to clear the path for its Hicom line. Instead, GEC Plessey Business Systems Group director Brian Meade cited the 30% increase in iSDX investment to UKP10m, enhanced iSDX software and two new iSDX developments as measures of a long-term commitment by both GEC Plessey and Siemens to the iSDX as a prominent part in future plans. The relationship with Siemens, continued Meade, was one both of competition and collaboration, with the two continually looking at geographic presences and making pragmatic decisions country by country, product by product. But as for the long term future of iSDX, the sticking point for GEC Plessey was acknowledged to be two-fold: its adherence to the UK-developed DPNSS as a protocol effectively restricts entrance to many major markets, while its Plessey-designed hardware would, as it currently stands, make full compatibility with future Siemens’ exchanges impossible accordingly, it was revealed that GEC Plessey is already engaged in talks with several manufacturers to incorporate RISC architecture into future iSDX models to replace the proprietary chip made by Plessey Semiconductors that is currently used – it has already decided to use the Motorola Inc 88000 RISC in the System X public switch in the future (CI No 1,357). Meantime the Financial Times highlights friction between the company’s owners, quoting Jrgen Gehrels, Siemens UK chief executive saying that while Siemens has no immediate plans to increase its 40% ownership of the firm, Siemens’ technical dominance could one day be reflected in its holding, and GEC Plc responding that anything beyond the current arrangement is not on the agenda.

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