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AT&T, HEWLETT-PACKARD BUILDING OPEN PLATFORM FOR DATA TRANSMISSION

MORRISTOWN, N.J.-AT&T Network Systems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have signed an agreement to build an open software platform they will jointly market to telephone companies and cable operators.

The two companies intend to cooperate in creating an intelligent network software platform, with a specific aim to provide high-speed data transmission. The companies also will develop applications for software platforms, develop technology and products for interactive TV and jointly offer interactive, broadband data networks.

Equipment is scheduled to be available by the end of 1996. Because the platform will be open, operators won’t be locked into a single brand of equipment nor will the network be PC-based, said Carly Fiorina, president of AT&T Network Systems North America.

AT&T Network Systems and Hewlett-Packard also will work together on technology and product licensing, research and development and joint marketing and sales.

The duo said they expect their platform will be available for wireless as well as wireline service because future networks are likely to be integrated.

“It should be transparent to the end user whether it is wireless or wireline,” Fiorina said. The network will be able to accommodate both wireless and wireline with applications and access products, she said.

The companies are co-developing operational support systems and business support systems, two software-based networking arenas.

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