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  1. Technology
December 1, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp has developed a microscope capable of seeing objects 500 times smaller than previously thought possible with conventional optical microscopes: called a scanning interferometric apertureless microscope, it provides resolution of up to one nanometre, which is about five times larger than an individual atom and finer than the wavelength of light, IBM said; it could have applications in gene mapping, since it can see single molecules and quicken finding details of the 3,000m components of human genetic code; in computer technology, the new microscope also offers a chance for greater data storage density, IBM said; it can offer data densities up to 100 times greater than currently possible, for example, a system that can read 50 nanometre bits could store 30 full-length movies on a floppy on a surface area the size of a penny, it said.

Pacific Telesis Group Inc said it will offer long distance phone service both inside and outside its base of California and Nevada when legislation allows: it said long distance services in California would be facilities-based, needing very little extra investment; outside the home states it could most easily be accomplished through resale; the company is also interested in offering international service, especially high-added value on-line and multimedia traffic.

Worldcom Inc, the fourth largest long distance telephone company in the US – a title that has successively been held by about five companies in the past decade – says it will enter the local phone market as soon as it is permissible: it said that around half its customers were residential users, and while they only accounted for 4.7% of turnover, it saw scope to increase this by offering bundled long distance and local service; it said it expected to be a major supplier of long distance capacity to regional Bells when legislative reform opens the long distance market; the company stressed it would not offer long distance capacity at unprofitably low wholesale rates, and said it expects 30% profit growth and 20% growth in turnover this year.

Turkey’s state-owned telecommunications firm Turk Telekom has cancelled the Groupe Speciale Mobile operator’s licence that it granted to the local Telsim as company, the Anatolian News Agency reported: it said Telsim had violated the agreement signed in July 1993 for Turkey and abroad; Turk Telekom, presently wholly state-owned but a candidate for privatisation for several years, said it will take over provision of the phone services that were previously offered by Telsim.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp’s president wails that a break-up of the company will hinder development of Japan’s multimedia business and hamper free competition in the country’s telecommunications market: he said government deregulation and an effective opening up of Nippon Telegraph’s local call networks would cause real, direct competition on Japan’s market; at present, the market is segmented; the company earlier announced that it would allow competitors to connect their lines into its local loop networks (CI No 2,761), although competitors have complained that the interconnection charges proposed by the company are too high for them to compete effectively; it is hoping the laws restricting its areas of business and those of Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co Ltd will be lifted; the subcommittee, deliberating whether to break it up, is requrred to issue recommendations to the Posts & Telecommunications Ministry by the end of February.

Hong Kong Telecommunications Ltd has cut its workforce by 1,000: it wants 2,500 to go by March 1998.

Local phone service provider GTE Corp, offering local service in many US markets, says it is in talks with long distance companies about reselling capacity from their networks to provide bundled telecommunications services to its customers and said excellent deals were on offer: the company said it would begin by offering long distance within its local telephone service areas and that with the opening up of the medium distance toll call market to competition in many states, local service providers would be at a disadvantage to new entrants if local carriers did not provide long distance services too; GTE would also be interested in international calling services and wireless resale, enabling it to fill any holes in local coverage.

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To ensure that Americans suffering from hearing loss have easy access to a telephone, federal regualtors proposed that most workplace phones be fitted for use by people wearing hearings aids by the year 2000: the Federal Communications Commission also proposed that hospitals and nursing homes be fully equipped with hearing aid-compatible phones within two years and hotel and motel rooms within three years; within a year of the plan’s adoption, all of these establishments would have to install phones with volume controls when they replace old sets or buy new units; the Commission said more than one in 10 Americans suffer from hearing loss and as the population ages, that number will grow; the plan, which the Commission issued for public comment, would implement parts of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988; the Commission does not know how much the plan would cost.

London International Group Plc yesterday launched a campaign on the World Wide Web to tell you everything you always wanted to know about safe sex and promote its condoms – but as the lady once used to sing at a time when the US National Aeronautics & Space Administration was having problems getting its rockets up to orbital height, they couldn’t get it up, they had the Cape Canaveral Blues, because when we visited the Durex site after they told us about it earlier this week, we were greeted with the limp turn-off site under construction.

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