Czech Telecom Gets Ready to Provide ADSL Services
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[Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC] Czech Telecom put out public tender for supplies of ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) technology and announced the completion of a pilot project and its ability to offer ADSL to its customers in the near future.
Czech Telecom is local incumbent telecommunication operator with a dominant position in voice services and important market share in data transmissions and Internet access. It partly operates one of three Czech mobile phone networks through its 51 percent stake in GSM operator EuroTel. State-guaranteed monopoly of Czech Telecom for long-distance calls is approaching its end: since January 1, 2001 is Czech telecommunication market open for competition.
Czech Telecom therefore seeks new business opportunities. ADSL seems to be logical choice: the demand for broadband Internet access gets stronger and stronger with the progress of e-business. ADSL technology provides a high-speed connection to the Internet, corporate intranets and other data sources. It allows data to be sent at high speeds over a standard telephone line without any modification, only by using special devices (DSL modems) on both ends of the line. Because the service is always connected, end users do not need to dial in or wait for call set-up. The speed of the connection depends on quality of the line as well as on other circumstances, but usually it can be several Mbps for download and several hundred of kbps for download - many times more in comparison with standard modem. Prices are expected to allow household usage.
According to the sources close to Czech Telecom, the company plans to start commercial ADSL traffic in the second half of 2001. Czech Telecom recently finished a pilot project designed to test viability of ADSL on the local phone network, which is still partly very obsolete. Tests took several months and were reportedly successful. Czech Internet users thus can expect in 2001 affordable broadband access, wherever the phone line is - and competitors of unpopular but efficient local telco have to worry. No one of them has announced own plans regarding ADSL or similar technology yet.