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As well as the 2720 and 2725 front-end communications processors to run a new release of the Network Control Program, and support 1.544Mbps digital lines (CI No 810), IBM is promising a 16Mbits-per-second version of the Token Ring local area network, which has already reportedly been demonstrated to customers; and a 100Mbits-per-second optical local area network conforming to the Fibre Data Distribution Interface. IBM also revealed that it is working to converge the packet-switching technology used in the 3725 communications processor with the circuit-switched technology of the Rolm Computerised Branch Exchange PABX. The forthcoming products were heralded at a meeting of consultants in Boston, called to explain its communications strategy – but according to attendees who talked to Computer Systems News, some of the IBM people at the meeting seemed as confused about the company’s strategy as the consultants were. In particular, the proliferation of local area networks supported by IBM was cited. IBM’s local net panoply includes the Token Ring, the broadband PC Network, Ethernet, and a token bus network for factory automation.

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