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Plessey and the Telenet data communications subsidiary of US Sprint yes-terday confirmed their agreement to marry development and marketing of their packet switching technologies in a joint company, called Plessey-Telenet Ltd. The new company, owned 51% by Plessey and 49% by Telenet, will operate initially in the UK, Holland and Washington, stretching further afield by the end of the decade. Plessey has distributed Telenet’s 3000 switches in the UK for the last nine years, and the two com-panies aim by 1989 to integrate them with Plessey’s own line of X25 packet switches, called the 2500 series. Managing director of Plessey Controls Marcus Beresford says the packet switching market will double in size to UKP350m by 1991, with the biggest growth to come in Europe. The announcement came with news of orders worth a total of UKP15m and a forward order book of UKP35m. The orders come from the Trustee Savings Bank, which aims to link its various companies, including United Dominions Trust and Swan National, on an X25 network called Yesnet; from the Home Office, which will set up access points in a number of government departments – this will also be op-erated and managed by Plessey-Telenet; and from Logica on behalf of Eutelsat, the European Telecommunications Satellite Consortium, for a network to link three satellite ground control centres. In addition British Telecom has placed its third order for Telenet switches to extend its Packet Switchstream X25 service and Midland Bank has ordered further switches to extend Midnet. Plessey-Telenet Ltd is to be headquartered in Basingstoke. Some 70 employees at Poole will relocate there over the next six months with five Telenet people coming over from the US. Telenet claims 40% of the US X25 network market; exports account for 30% of total business.

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