ARLINGTON, Va. (DJ) — Bell Atlantic Corp.’s Bell Atlantic Video Services Co. unit and Oracle Corp. said they plan to jointly develop and market interactive multimedia software and services.

On Wednesday, the companies announced Bell Atlantic Video Services will deploy Oracle’s software, systems and services as the platform for its Stargazer system, which can supply programming-on-demand — including movies and interactive home shopping services — this year.

Test in offing

The companies said Bell Atlantic will begin offering its Stargazer services in a market test this spring, pending regulatory approval, leading directly to the commercial deployment of on-demand, interactive services later in the year.

The deal teams the regional phone company that plans to merge with cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. with a software company known for its huge corporate database systems.

The companies said they will also offer their software and services to other telecommunications and cable companies.

Bell Atlantic Video Services will license Oracle’s multimedia database, applications development and networking software for the system. The Oracle database systems are capable of storing enormous amounts of data, such as films, TV programs, print media and home shopping libraries.

Simultaneity important

The equipment is crucial to the vision of a new communications world because the systems must be able to handle simultaneous requests from hundreds of thousands of customers for the same or different information.

The companies said Bell Atlantic Video Systems will use video dialtone providers to deliver the service into homes, coupled with the Stargazer navigational system and a combination of symmetrical microprocessor and massively parallel computers.

Under chief executive Larry Ellison, Oracle is trying to become a major player in the multimedia arena.

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