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Chapter 13 - Data Communications: Adaptation 1979-1986

13.4 Data Communications - Industry Overview

Beginning around 1980, Data Communications was coalescing into an oligopoly dominated by those firms selling lease-line modems and statistical multiplexers. New market opportunities reflected investment conflicts to the never-ending need to improve existing products to gain or protect market share. One opportunity already observed was the need corporations had to interconnect terminals and multiple computers. Those Data Communication firms electing to enter the Networking market did so by incrementally innovating their statistical multiplexer technologies and introducing dataPBXs. DataPBXs appeared competitive until the personal computer radically changed the needed communication speeds and dataPBXs withered into obscurity. The impact of the personal computer equally impacted the modem business. Again new entrants, not existing firms, recognized the opportunity and established early market leadership. Digital T-1 transmission and T-1 multiplexers would prove even more threatening to the success and survival of Data Communication firms.