European network operator Aucs has launched a new dial IP service that it claims will let businesses better control the cost of their remote workers' communications.
Most operators charge remote corporate users on a per minute basis for dial up Internet access. Aucs, formerly AT&T Unisource, is offering its new Dial IP Service on a flat rate basis per user.
"We're providing network managers with the assurance that there will be no nasty suprises at the end of the month," said Dial IP Service product manager Chris Atkin.
Aimed at travelling workers, home workers and small businesses, the service gives users access to the Internet and to their corporate Intranet via the Aucs frame relay backbone.
Businesses can chose how many concurrent user slots to buy on the service. This lets the network manager define the service level, said Atkin.
"If they do want to buy one user port for each user, with effectively no blocking, it is relatively expensive. Or they could compromise and say the chances of all users dialing in at one time is unlikely," he said.
The service typically costs €160 per concurrent user, plus the telephone costs for time online.
Dial IP Service can be used, mostly using a local rate call, in 10 European countries. The service currently supports dial up at 33.6Kbps for conventional modem users and 64Kbps for ISDN users.
Support for higher bandwidth ISDN will be available by the end of the year, but no date has been set for 56Kbps modem support. Plans are also underway to extend the service to users travelling outside Europe, but again no launch date has been set.
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