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Dec 15, 1993 issue. This file presents an archive copy of the issue of the FYI France ejournal, ISSN 1071-5916, which was distributed via email on December 15, 1993. This particular issue originally was distributed in two parts, as indicated below.
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From: Jack Kessler 
Subject: Network Ideas from Europe -- Germany (part 1 of 2) (15 Dec 93)



December 15, 1993


	FYI France: Network Ideas from Europe -- Germany (part 1 of 2)

edited by:	Jack Kessler
		kessler@well.sf.ca.us


This is the latest of the current FYI FRANCE series, "Network Ideas
from Europe": previous installments have covered the European
Communities (September 15) and Italy (October 15), as this one by
Matthias W.- Stoetzer covers networked information current events in
Germany. The primary concern in FYI FRANCE still is France; but many of
you have been interested in looking at the immediate context within
which networked information developments in France exists -- the local
European competition also is working hard on the same sort of thing.

In January and February FYI FRANCE will talk, once again, exclusively
about France, to bring you up to date with the expansion of both
e-conferencing and online library access there. Some of the latest
"late" news about the Bibliothe`ques de France and Nationale will be
covered as well. If interest in the general European networking context
continues, though, there will be additional future installments on
networked information events elsewhere in neighboring Europe. In the
meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone, in French,
German, Italian, and any language of your choice (even ascii).

	    *
	   / \
	  / * \
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Jack Kessler

kessler@well.sf.ca.us


***
    
	Information services in Germany: A survey (part 1 of 2)

by: Dr. Matthias-W. Stoetzer

1.   Introduction

Since the passage of the telecommunication reform law of 1989 in
Germany all kinds of new telecommunication services (value added
services, enhanced services) can be offered by any provider, including
the state- owned telecommunications carrier, DBP Telekom. Information
services as part of these enhanced services consist of different types
of electronic messaging systems. Often these information systems also
provide access to online databases.

With regard to these telecommunications services it is possible to
distinguish external provided services on the one hand and inhouse
solutions on the other hand. Two categories of external provided
information services exist: commercial and noncommercial offers. The
commercial supply includes telecommunication services that are offered
on the market to make money. Non-commercial offers lack this profit
orientation, in general they only try to cover their cost.

2.   Commercial services

As to commercial offers at the moment the DBP Telekom remains the most
relevant supplier. Telekom offers two main information services: 1. its
videotex system called Btx (Bildschirmtext) and 2. Telebox, an
electronic mail system. The videotex system offers a variety of
telecommunication services, e.g. e-mail, file transfer and the use of
numerous online databases. The most popular applications for private
users are homebanking, railroad and airline reservation systems, an
electronic telephone directory, electronic shopping and information
databases, e.g. for computers, automobiles and the stock markets. For
business users Btx offers the possibility to form closed user groups
and provides a telecommunications network for the transmission of
little volumes of data.

In April 1993 Btx has about 376.000 subscribers. Table 1 shows the
development of users since the introduction of videotex in 1983. The
sharp rise of about 36.000 new subscribers in the first quarter of 1993
is due to a new marketing concept, concentrating on users connecting
their PC to the Btx system. This marketing effort includes the free
distribution of simple modems and decoder software and a change of the
brand name from Btx to Datex-J. The monthly charge for a subscriber
amounts to only $5. In addition he has to pay between one and four cent
per minute and separately for the information (Danke 1993). For the
customer the Datex-J/Btx system is a cheap possibility to gain access
to information and messaging services.

Table 1: The development of videotex

Year		Number of subscribers

1983			 10.155
1984			 21.329
1985			 38.894
1986			 58.365
1987			 95.932
1988			146.929
1989			194.827
1990			260.111
1991			302.274
1992			340.423
April 1993		376.000

Source: DBP Telekom


Telebox in contrast to Datex-J/Btx only offers a message handling and
e- mail system. This service is based on the X.400 standard. It was
established in 1984 and in January 1993 has nearly 5.700 mailboxes
(Table 2). The monthly membership fee amounts to $29. Per minute the
customer has to  pay at least 22 cent plus a charge depending on the
volume of the information transmitted. Due to its rather expensive
tariff it has a very limited number of users - more than half of its
boxes are inhouse connections of the DBP Telekom - and remains a
service for professional business users.

Table 2: The development of Telebox

Year		Number of boxes

1984			 362
1985			 626
1986			 889
1987			1087
1988			1323
1989			2093
1990			2813
1991			3335
1992			5362
January 1993	5672

Source: DBP Telekom

>From the point of view of DBP Telekom these two services are not very
successful to date. They are both loosing money and have failed to
reach the market penetration goals set when they were launched.
Concerning Datex-J/Btx the idea that there is great scope for
videotex-based information services to the residential sector, because
the information can be displayed on domestic television sets prooved to
be wrong. More than 80% of the new subscribers use their PC to get
access to the videotex system.

Besides DBP Telekom more than thirty private companies provide
commercial e-mail services in Germany. About 20 of these companies are
specialized on messaging services, the other offer electronic mail
services only as part of their value added and managed network services
(Table 3). Five of the more important pure information services
suppliers are CompuServe, Connect, GeoNet, GTC and MAXDAT. Their number
of customers varies from about 1000 up to about 20.000. Many of these
companies are only providing regional services, e.g. Telehaus Mu"lheim
and Telehaus Nordhorn, or specialise on certain groups of customers,
e.g. ComBox is a system for journalists and reporters.

Table 3: Private commercial e-mail systems

Supplier					Service
				Only E-mail			Enhanced
								Services

Alcatel SEL							X
AT & T								X
BT								X
Cable & Wireless						X
CocoNet				X
ComBox				X
CompuServe			X
Connect				X
debis								X
Deutsche Mailbox		X
GEIS								X
GeoNet				X
GSi				X
GTC				X
HBB				X
IBM								X
INAS								X
Info AG								X
Infonet								X
MAXDAT								X
MCI								X
Meganet								X
Microsoft			X
MSN				X
Radio Austria			X
Radio Schweiz			X
RMI				X
Rechenzentrum Buchhandel	X
Telehaus Mu"lheim		X
Telehaus Nordhorn		X
Unisource							X
Wieskes Crew			X

Source: Ku"hnapfel/Gerwin 1993, WIK

These messaging services very often include access to online database
informations. Suppliers of online databases on the other hand sometimes
offer e-mail services. A good example of an integration of both types
of information services is Rechenzentrum Buchhandel GmbH. It provides
services for booksellers. These include databases of books available
and email services.

The prices of these messaging services vary concerning the installation
charge, the monthly fee, the volume of transmission and the usage
time.  In addition the service provider charges a monthly minimum and
offer discounts. Because of these very different pricing schemes
comparisons are difficult.

With regard to the total market volume of commercial provided external
information services some estimations are availabel. Table 4 shows the
development of the German E-mail market volume from 1989 to 1992. These
figures imply an annual growth rate of more than 90%. Other very
different estimations of the electronic messaging and information
markets exist, but they agree that firstly most of the market volume
falls to online database services and secondly the annual rate of
growth at least amounts to about 20%.

Table 4: E-mail market volume 1989-1992

Year	Turnover (mill. US-$)

1989		 18,1

1990		 35,0

1991		 67,5

1992		150,0

Source: Scicon Networks 1989

***

(Next: In Part 2, Dr. Stoetzer presents "3. Non-commercial services", 
"4. Inhouse solutions", and "5. Conclusions and outlook", in his survey 
of the current state of "Information services in Germany".)

***

FYI France: Network Ideas from Europe -- Germany (part 2 of 2)

edited by:	Jack Kessler
		kessler@well.sf.ca.us
    
In Part 1, Dr. Matthias-W. Stoetzer, of the German Wissenschaftliches
Institut fu"r Kommunikationsdienste (WIK), described the current state
of commercial networking services in his country. Here he continues,
with "3. Non-commercial services", "4. Inhouse solutions", and "5.
Conclusions and outlook", concluding his survey of the current state of
"Information services in Germany".

As I said before, in Part 1, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to
everyone, in French, German, Italian, and any language of your choice
(even ascii).

	    *
	   / \
	  / * \
	 /*  * \
	 -------
	   / \


Jack Kessler

kessler@well.sf.ca.us

***

	Information services in Germany: A survey (part 2 of 2)

by: Dr. Matthias-W. Stoetzer

(continued)

3.   Non-commercial services

As to non-commercial offers certainly the most relevant system is the
German research network WIN (Wissenschaftsnetz). This telecommunication
network is provided since 1990 by the German association for a research
network, DFN (Deutsches Forschungsnetz). It is a packet-switched
network based on the X.25 standard and provides a variety of
telecommunications services especially for the academic and scientific
community. The WIN offers the infrastructure for a lot of higher
protocols like DECNET, SNA, TCP/IP, X.400 and so on. The services
include gateways and relays to the EARN/Bitnet system, the Internet
system and X.400 Message Handling Systems, thus linking the users to
the research networks in Europe and the USA (DFN 1993). Furthermore,
the WIN serves as an access to many national and european databases,
e.g. ECHO (European Commission Host Organization) and offers file
transmission possibilities, e.g.  using the FTAM and FTP protocol. The
number of research institutions and universities using the WIN has
grown from more than 200 in January 1991 to more than 400 at the
beginning of 1993.

The subscribers have to pay a flat-rate tariff per year independent of
the amount of transmission, the distance and so on (about $9.900 for a
9.6 kbit/s connection). Compared to the prices of other
telecommunication services providing the same functionality, this
prizing scheme in general turns out to be cheaper and does not involve
any uncertainties as to the bill at the end of the year. The
subscription to the WIN is not allowed for the commercial transmission
of data between enterprises.

Besides the DFN as an official attempt to promote the use of
telecommunication services for the academic community many private e-
mail systems exist. These systems still concentrate on topics mainly
relevant for "Computer Freaks". Therefore, the most widely used
applications are the exchange of information as to PCs and programming,
the downloading of shareware and public-domain software and computer
games. During the last years the use also began to cover other areas of
interest like e.g. chat lines and information as to astronomy, cooking,
environmental protection, philosophy and politics.

These e-mail boxes are organized in networks using the same software,
but due to many existing gateways they are for the most part linked
together. For transmission of data they almost exclusively rely on the
telephone network and modems.

Market estimations count for at least 2.000 of private messaging
systems, bulletin boards and e-mail boxes. The most relevant systems
are FidoNet, the German part of the worldwide Fido Network with about
800 systems, Zerberus-Net (around 200 systems), MausNet (around 50
systems), AmNet (around 40 systems), MagicBox, SubNet and UseNet
(Gro"nling 1992).  To cover their cost some of these private electronic
messaging systems are charging their users with moderate prices. The
tariffs vary from $2 to about $6 per month.

4.   Inhouse solutions

Besides these information services that with some qualifications are
open to the public there exist many inhouse applications of electronic
messaging and online-database systems. Most of the large German
enterprises have their on internal e-mail solutions that go beyond
local area networks. A prominent example is the air transport industry,
where Deutsche Lufthansa runs an e-mail system connecting nearly all
their establishments worldwide. Also the insurance companies in Germany
belong to the early adopters of new telecommunications services. A
representative investigation points out that in 1992 only about 8% of
the German banks but 30% of the insurance companies use (internal and
external) electronic mail systems (Stoetzer 1993). Furthermore the
automobile manufacturers, e.g. Volkswagen and Daimler Benz, use
electronic information systems and also the German chemical industry is
part of the business community relying on large and sophisticated
inhouse networks.

5.   Conclusions and outlook

In comparison to the USA the use of information services in Germany
surely is still in its infancy. Nevertheless, at the beginning of the
nineties a wide variety of applications by business, academic and
private users on commercial and nonprofit grounds exist.  Concerning
the professional use of information services it is necessary to
distinguish online database and messaging services. The use of online
databases by business customers will be influenced by CD-ROM based
information supply. Certainly, CD systems will become a substitute for
traditional online database services with the exception of real-time-
information services. On the contrary, the use of electronic messaging
systems by enterprises is claimed to be a most promising market. These
very optimistic forecasts and studies need a cautious interpretation,
having in mind that this development should already take place in the
eighties but at that time failed because of the emergence of telefax.

As to the academic community e-mail and file transfer will become more
popular during the next years. Their use will spread from informatics
and natural sciences to the social sciences. This reflects the
increasing awareness of these services and the increasing knowledge as
to the use of computers.

The use of e-mail services by private households in order to
communicate probably will be limited to a certain group of users. This
group of people using their PC for the exchange of private information
and entertainment will increase only with moderate rates because the
residential sector prefers to use more simple telecommunication
services (telefax, answering machines). As to the mass market for
commercial information systems and databases a market potential exists,
considering the increase of penetration rates of PCs of private
households during the last years. In this area homebanking might become
an important application. But the representative household will
carefully compare benefits and costs of different solutions. In this
respect an alternative like phone-banking may turn out to be more cost
effective.  Therefore, electronic information services like Btx/Datex-J
will only become a success story in the residential sector if their
price will be low enough.

Dr. Matthias-W. Stoetzer
Wissenschaftliches Institut fu"r Kommunikationsdienste (WIK) 
Rathausplatz 2-4
D-53604 Bad Honnef 1

References

Eric Danke: Bildschirmtext (Btx), in: Franz Arnold (Ed.): Handbuch der
Telekommunikation, Ko"ln, 1989-1993.

DFN (Deutsches Forschungsnetz): Verzeichnis der Anwender des
Wissenschaftsnetzes (WiN) und der DFN-Dienste, Nr. 11, Ma"rz 1993.

Dieter Gro"nling: Elektronische Na"chte, Die Welt der Mailboxen und
Computernetze, Frankfurt a.M. 1992.

Jo"rg B. Ku"hnapfel, Holger Gerwin: E-mail- und TelefaxMehrwertdienste,
Eutelis Consult, Ratingen, 1993.

Scicon Networks: The Market for Value Added Services in Europe, London,
1989.

Stoetzer, Matthias-W.: Der Einsatz von Mehrwertdiensten in
ausgewa"hlten Wirtschaftsbranchen. Eine empirische Bestandsaufnahme,
(Forthcoming), Bad Honnef, 1993.


ISSN: 1071-5916

end

XXX


FYI France (sm)(tm) e - newsletter        ISSN 1071 - 5916

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