IBM yesterday finally entered the digital PABX business in Europe with launch of the 8750 Business Communications System, jointly developed with its Rolm Corp unit – and announced the thing as the 9750 for the North and South American markets and for the Far East. The announcement was also made in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway. The 8750 will be manufactured by IBM’s integrated switching systems services, ISSS, in Havant, Hampshire, which was set up in July this year to boost telecom equipment sales in Europe. The product will be sold through what IBM calls dedicated IBM telecommunications units in each country. The 8750 supports from 96 telephone lines in a box the size of an office typewriter up to 3,000 lines in a five-box configuration. It is based around a Rolmbus 295 with a bandwidth of 295Mbps for when ISDN standards are finalised internationally. Rolm’s digital Rolmphones, which offer advanced programmable voice and data communications, may be used with the 8750, subject to different public telephone authorities’ requirements. They are connected using the 8750 BCS Rolmlink, which then gives customers ISDN-type features including switched 64Kbps channels for voice and data, common-channel signalling and integration of voice and data over a single pair of wires. IBM says that the 8750 is compatible with the UK Digital Access Signalling System, DASS-2, and with Digital Private Net-work Signalling System, DPNSS. The 8750 also links to IBM’s PC Network and Token Ring local area networks, and to its mainframes, departmental systems and workstations. It is compatible with IBM’s antique previous generation analogue switching systems, the 1750 and 3750, which IBM says it will continue to support as complementary to the new switches. IBM’s NetView personal computer also links to the new PABX, which can then provide network management information to a centralised host NetView system managing either SNA or non-SNA devices. Availability of the 8750 is as follows: July 1988 in the UK; August 1988 in Italy; September 1988 in Belgium and Luxembourg; October 1988 in Germany and Austria; and March 1989 in France. Availability for Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands and Norway have not yet been determined. In the US, the company also announced the IBM Personal System/2-based IBM Token-Ring Network Trace and Performance Tool, a program and two adaptor cards that enables network managers to measure local area network activity and usage among as many as 260 devices. IBM also announced the 9755 Attendant Console for the 9751 and previous CBX systems, saying it makes incoming call processing faster and more efficient and can be used with a new telephone directory program for MS-DOS micros. No prices were given in either the US or Europe.
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