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  1. Technology
June 27, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Northern Telecom Ltd has launched a data communications interface device and call accounting software for its Meridian Norstar digital key telephone system. The data interface enables the system to provide simultaneous digital voice and data communications. RS232 devices are connected to Meridian Norstar for asynchronous data communications via existing voice lines, at speeds ranging from 300 to 19,200 bits per second. A built-in Hayes compatible modem enables various communications packages to be used with the interface such as CrossTalk, ProCommPlus and Red Ryder. The interface can be installed with any Norstar telephone without extra wiring or hardware. The interface comes in two models, the DCI-D Desktop Application, a stand-alone unit which can share the port with any Norstar set and the DCI-B Base Model, for the Norstar M7310 set. The Base Model in installed in the base of the set, integrating into the phone. Price for both Norstar models is $700. Norstar Call Accounting is a software enhancement that enables call accounting reports to be generated. Examples of information that can be collected are time that customers are kept hanging on hold, the number of calls that go unanswered, and the duration of the calls from each station. List price is $1,200. An option for the Call Accounting system is Norstar Rates and Tariffs Service. This service is designed to provide accurate calculation of the cost for telephone calls placed almost anywhere in the world. In the US, the long distance rates charged by AT&T, MCI and US Sprint are included.

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