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  1. Technology
September 20, 1995

MINIGRAMS EXTRA

By CBR Staff Writer

Singapore maker of sound, video,software telephony multimedia and desktop video conference products Creative Technology Ltd launched Modem Blaster 28.8 PCMCIA, a new high speed 28.8Kbps V.34 facsimile modem; the product, which provides users with instant access to the Internet, electronic mail and on-line forums, data and facsimile software, and hook-up to both a phone line and a headset will be available at retail outlets in the US this month, costing about $250.

Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co Ltd, Tokyo plans to launch a mobile phone service joint venture, MobiCom Corp in Ulan Bator, Mongolia in November which will be capitalised at around $9m: the Japanese international carrier will hold a 44.4% stake, while Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp will take 44.4% and Newcom Co of Mongolia will hold the remainder; MobiCom will start with one exchange station and four radio stations to provide digital cellular phone service in Ulan Bator but service will expand along with growth of Mongolia’s telecommunications infrastructure; the service is planned to start in March 1996.

Tustin, California-based repair, parts and maintenance specialist Cerplex Group Inc is to discontinue its end-of-life programmes and to take a charge to cover part of its asset exposure with respect to bankrupt SpectraVision Inc; the two measures are expected to cost it about $22m in pre-tax write-offs this quarter; net sales from end-of-life programs were some $55m in 1993 compared with $33m in 1994 and an estimated $19m to $21m in 1995.

Hughes Electronics Corp, Los Angeles, California has sold two of its component business units to a group including management and Citicorp Venture Capital Ltd in a leveraged buyout involving the management of the Technology Products Division, which makes equipment for semiconductor manufacturers, image displays, microwave video distribution equipment and speech switching products, and Hughes Identification Devices Inc; no terms given.

Deutsche Telekom AG has been the victim of an enormous scam by an international group of crooks that had manufactured and sold inexhaustible telephone cards, Les Echos reports: police in Hamburg announced Wednesday that they had arrested several members of the organisation that was planning to manufacture 500,000 fake cards over the next few weeks; following the announcement, Deutsche Telekom decided to reinforce the security of the reading system for telephone cards – some 45% of Germany’s 165,000 public telephones use phone cards.

Read-Rite Corp will have to look to its laurels, for its pre-eminence in recording heads is being challenged by Taeil Media Ltd, Reuter reports from Seoul: We are investing heavily in China, Chung Kang-hwan, president of Taeil Media told the news wire, adding that producing in China was very helpful in cutting costs; Taeil exports more than 80% of its output, mainly to the US and Japan; a Seoul Securities report says Taeil’s net profit is expected to rise to the equivalent of $9.7m this year from last year’s $5.3m, on annual turnover of $387m, up from $254.7m last year; Taeil holds a 60% stake in Ssang Tae Electronics Group, which was set up in 1993 in the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin in a joint venture with two Chinese partners and United Development Ltd, Israel to assemble heads for disk drives; Taeil and its Newmax affiliate have jointly won an order from Fujitsu Ltd to supply $400m of magneto-resistive heads over three years.

Houston-based Tech-Sym Corp is to buy Telefunken Sendertechnick GmbH, a producer of broadcast transmitting equipment, from Daimler-Benz AG’s aerospace arm; no terms given.

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Morris Plains, New Jersey-based Physician Computer Network Inc, provider of medical practice management software will buy Versyss Inc of Needham Heights, Massachusetts for about $40m, $24m in cash and promissory notes and it will assume $16m of Versyss debt; Versyss, a vendor of information systems for physicians, had 1994 turnover of about $67m and a modest profit, according to Physician Comput

er, which had 1994 turnover of $20.5m; Physician Computer said that the deal would expand the number of office-based doctors across the US to which it has access to 80,000; it expects the takeover to be closed by the end of October.

Arlington Heights, Illinois-based Motorola Inc said GTE Corp mobile cellular operator subsidiary GTE Mobilnet has chosen Motorola’s cell site and switch equipment for its new Personal Communications Services network: GTE Mobilnet has cellular and Personal Communications licences covering 72m people and according to the Wall Street Journal the contract is worth up to $800m; Motorola declined to comment and GTE Mobilnet was not available.

ACT Manufacturing Inc, Hudson, Massachusetts said it expects lower net profit than for the same time last year and second quarter this year on slightly higher turnover for the third quarter due to start-up costs for new customers: it expects turnover of $24.5m to $27.5m against $24.0m a year earlier, saying that a volume change from a large customer occurred in the third quarter; ACT announces third quarter results October 18.

What’s in a name, we asked in CI No 2,752, but what’s in a letter? A lot, if you happen to be Newport Beach, California-based Virtual Realty Network Inc, which at first glance looks as if it might be quite exciting, until you spot the missing i and realise that Virtual Realty Network develops, operates and controls a network of residential mortgage loan origination centres, although it does operate vide oconferencing mortgage services.

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