Belgacom NV, the Belgian telecommunications company, is convinced Oracle Corp’s Network Computer can help it solve its bandwidth problems and develop new business applications. The carrier has signed a memorandum of understanding with Sun Microsystems Inc and Oracle Corp to develop and launch a Network Computer service. Belgacom aims to house and operate the central servers on which companies can put their data and applications. The goal is to make decentralized office servers in all of its 39 area codes accessible by high-speed ADSL Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Loop links, or from anywhere in Belgium via ISDN lines. The power of distributed computing enables us to put the computer closer to the switch … and thus put the computer closer to the customer, notes Jean Pierre Baudoin, Belgacom Director of Business Applications. In this way, Baudoin says, Belgacom only uses the network to update the information servers and can overcome bandwidth problems presented by technologies such as ADSL. It can also cut costs because the servers are updated via a local rather than a more costly wide-area network. While details are hazy, Baudoin notes that the concept will also complement the carrier’s Internet strategy. It gives the consumer the impression that he has access to a Web computer over a local area network, Baudoin says. He is convinced distributed computing and Java offer network operators new opportunities. It’s a concept that is attractive to telecom operators, Baudoin says, and one which will help Belgacom overcome the limitations of its small size, he says, and cooperate with global telecoms partners.