Schlumberger Unveils Next Generation Pay phone                 
                          (Newsbytes; 12/01/98)                         

  PARIS, FRANCE, 1998 DEC 1 (Newsbytes) -- By Sylvia Dennis, Newsbytes. 
 Schlumberger has introduced Access-IT, the flagship of a new generation of 
 smart card pay phones that the firm says can be used by telecommunication 
 companies for value-added services.

   The Access-IT pay phone is unusual, Newsbytes notes, because it uses an ATM 
 (automated teller machine) user interface, rather than a traditional screen-
 based pay phone for user interaction. Because the unit was designed from the 
 ground up with value-added service in mind, its data communications costs are 
 much less than other multimedia pay phone kiosks, company officials said.

   One interesting feature of the Access-IT unit is that it includes a set of 
 utility software that allows network operators to create and download data 
 communication-based services to the unit from a remote location. This feature, 
 the firm says, means that networks can operate and update the pay phone from a 
 centralized location.

   Because data communication costs are minimized on the unit, Schlumberger says 
 that the pay phone can be used by operators to launch new services such as 
 information and advertising, helping them to extend call times, attract new 
 types of user, and to differentiate their brand in an increasingly competitive 

   According to Olivier Parriche, the firm's Access product manager, the Access-
 IT unit allows pay phone operators to exploit the rapidly changing 
 telecommunications scene.

   "The Access family offers cost-effective choices for individual locations, 
 and supports the creation of unique services which can expand the appeal of pay 
 phones to reach new customers, and foster a distinct brand image and customer 
 loyalty," he explained.

   When viewed from the front, the pay phone has an ATM look-and-feel, with 
 buttons arrayed on the sides of the screen. According to Schlumberger, user 
 trials of the technology have concluded that this presentation type of display 
 is better than the traditional screen phone approach to multimedia terminals, 
 mainly because the "ATM look" is familiar to most users.

   The Access-IT has a monochrome 240 x 128 pixel display to minimize graphical 
 display downloads. The company plans to launch a color version of the unit, 
 possibly with a higher screen resolution, to support more sophisticated multi-
 media applications, Schlumberger officials said.

   The software behind the pay phone is known as the IT (information technology) 
 Navigator -- no relation to Netscape -- a package the firm says allows users to 
 define and download information displays, as well as providing a ready-to-use 
 solution for network operators to create, deliver and support new public 

   Newsbytes notes that the Access-IT pay phone builds on the established 
 Schlumberger PF08, which the firm says is the world's most widely-used smart 
 card pay phone. The new unit has, the firm says, been engineered for even 
 higher reliability and lower costs of ownership.

   Key features of the pay phone include: magnetic stripe and smart card payment 
 options with a built-in growth path to future electronic payment techniques; 
 higher electronic integration with non-mechanical magnetic hook detection for 
 enhanced robustness; a compact and ergonomic shape; remote initialization 
 capability allowing installation by third parties; and a modular structure and 
 design which supports remote diagnostics, as well as replacement for repair 
 purposes in under 10 minutes.

   Schlumberger's Web site is at .

Thanks Kinetic!

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