Czech Telecom Gets Ready to Provide ADSL Services

[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.

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