Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 350, November 1998

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Japanese Companies in the US


TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Using the nationwide backbone of Internet service provider VERIO INC., the New York City subsidiary of NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. has launched Internet access services for corporate customers, particularly Japanese multinationals operating in the United States. Arcstar Internet provides a complete menu of options, including Web hosting and server coallocation as well as Internet connectivity. Last spring, NTT invested $100 million in Englewood, Colorado-based Verio, which bought it an 11.75 percent stake in the fast-expanding ISP (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 344, May 1998, p. 6). Subscribers to Arcstar Internet are able to connect to the Internet through about 200 access points across the country.

In an alliance designed to demonstrate the expanded capabilities of the third generation of wireless networks, MATSUSHITA COMMUNICATION INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. and NORTHERN TELECOM LTD. will deploy experimental network systems, services and terminals based on wideband CDMA (code-division multiple access) technology. Before yearend, the partners will begin trials in North America, Europe and Asia that test on a variety of Panasonic-brand mobile terminal devices the ability of W-CDMA to deliver such services as high-bandwidth Internet access and multimedia communications as well as voice over wireless networks built by Nortel Networks. That equipment, which will draw on the expertise of the big Canadian communications switch manufacturer and the data networking knowledge of its BAY NETWORKS, INC. subsidiary, will enable mobile multimedia applications at speeds up to 384 kilobits per second. In the next phase of their collaboration, Matsushita Communication Industrial and Nortel Networks intend to jointly develop end-to-end solutions for W-CDMA voice and data applications.

WYTEC, INC., a developer of standards-based cellular communications products, has gained a key partner, MARUBENI CORP., in its drive to sell broadband wireless systems around the world. The Santa Clara, California company will provide the technology and the systems engineering for the deployment of LMDS (local multipoint distribution systems) equipment, while the trader will offer prime contracting services and financing to communications services providers. LMDS broadband wireless systems operate in the 25-gigahertz to 32-GHz frequency band. As part of their tie-up, Marubeni made an equity investment of undisclosed size in Wytec.

The NEC Computer Systems Division of PACKARD BELL NEC, INC. has parlayed its Express5800 server technology to move into two new markets. First, it introduced a fully integrated communications server that links remote clients, telecommuters and branch offices to the corporate network using analog or digital connections over the public telephone network or through virtual private networks. The open systems-based Express5800 Remote Access Server employs industry-standard processors, Microsoft NT Server software and third-party applications to host and manage remote communications. Two configurations of the Express5800 RAS are available. One can handle remote connections for up to 16 simultaneous digital or analog calls; its pricing starts at $12,000. The other, which begins at $16,000, is designed for settings requiring remote connections for as many as 48 concurrent digital or analog calls.

The NEC Computer Systems Division of PACKARD BELL NEC, INC. also has teamed up with JDL TECHNOLOGIES and HUGHES NETWORK SYSTEMS, INC. to bring high-speed Internet access to urban and rural schools at generally more affordable costs than other solutions. The customizable Express5800 K-12WORLD Internet Access Server package includes an Express5800 server, Edina, Minnesota-based JDL's K-12WORLD Internet Access Server software, a modem and an optional DirecPC satellite dish from Hughes Network of Germantown, Maryland for schools that do not have access to high-speed data lines. This combination, which starts at $6,100, provides Internet access at speeds of up to 400 kilobits per second. Downloaded information can be stored in the Express5800 to create an electronic reference source for students to tap instead of performing their own Internet searches.

The skyrocketing demand in the United States for network capacity to accommodate constantly expanding data communications finally could provide HITACHI, LTD. the opening it needs to boost heretofore negligible sales of capacity-expanding optical transmission equipment. That, at least, is the hope of Norcross, Georgia-based HITACHI TELECOM (USA), INC., which believes that it can build sales of optical transmission systems from almost nothing now to $495.9 million in 2003. To this end, the company will expand its lineup of SONET (synchronous optical network), DWDM (dense wave-division multiplexer) and OXC (optical cross-connect) equipment. Hitachi Telecom, which now employs some 200 people, also plans to increase employment to strengthen its marketing and maintenance capabilities.

An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.
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