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November 23, 1995

INTERACTIVE TELEVISION TRIAL IN BRUSSELS TO START IN JANUARY

By CBR Staff Writer

The TECTRIS interactive television trial in Brussels is scheduled to start by January next year. If all goes well with the laboratory tests, which are now in their final phase, the trial may start at the end of this year, said Geert Dejonghe, research engineer at national telecommunications operator Belgacom NV. An initial 50 ‘friendly users’ – all Belgacom employees – will try out the service for six weeks to see how the technology fares. This will give Belgacom the chance to evaluate any technical problems. What happens to the trial after that will depend on those results. The trial may be affected by who takes the 49% of Belgacom currently on offer. The British Telecommunications Plc and Bell Atlantic Corp consortium said on October 16 that it will not be submitting a final bid for a stake in Belgacom. The remaining bidders are Koninklijke PTT Nederland NV with Swiss Telecom and Ameritech Inc, bidding on its own. Dejonghe said we hope that the new partner will contribute know-how and experience to the trial. The choice will have some repercussions on the next phase of the trial, but not this phase he said, but he added quickly that the decision is an issue for Belgacom management and has nothing to do with the trial.

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