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November 2, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Norwegian telephone operator Telenor A/S will test interactive television in Norway from January, as part of a $1.5m initial contract. It will use Digital Equipment Corp’s Mediaplex server and equipment and services from Italtel SpA, Apple Computer Inc and Amati Communications Corp. The trial will take place in Oslo and will initially have 35 user sites, including schools, Telenor offices and Oslo residents’ homes. This will be expanded to 200 subscribers by the middle of next year. The Mediaplex server and middleware technology will deliver 35 simultaneous video streams during the first stage of the trial. DEC, in co-operation with Telenor Research & Development, will also develop the user interface for the system. The set-top boxes will come from Apple, while Amati and Italtel will supply ADSL for sending signals across the copper telephone network. Italtel will provide systems integration services. Services will include movies and music videos on demand, distance education for both home subscribers and schools, children’s programmes and some information services. The services will be free in the first stage of the trial, with charges planned for when the trial has progressed and a wider range of programmes is available. Telenor has Polygram A/S, Svensk Filmindustri Television, the Norwegian Film Institute, NKS Distance Education and TV2 to develop more content. Our objective at this first stage is to test all aspects of the technology and the programming said the project manager at Telenor Knut Sinkerud. We want to be sure that we have everything in place before we roll the services out to more customers.

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