Bell Alex Display Phone

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Bell Alex Display Phone


Bell Canada ALEX tetetext service has its roots in the popularity of teletext systems (such as the French Minitel) and in Bell's Integrated Office Systems strategy, developed in mid 1980s, to integrate office systems with communications.
Bell ALEX provided on-line data services through Bell's commercially available packet-switching data network called Datapac.

ALEX service required a dedicated  terminal (rented from Bell) to be installed at a customer's location (later, the service could also be accessed using home computers). The ALEX terminal was designed by Norpak Corp. of Kanata, Ontario and manufactured by Northern Telecom. As opposed to text-based teletext  services such as Minitel, the display of ALEX terminal was implemented in compliance with internationally acclaimed NAPLPS standards (North American Presentation Level Protocol Syntax) first developed for the Canadian Telidon system.

The ALEX service was officially launched in 1989 in Montreal (following the 1988 trials) and soon after in Toronto. Initially, the services in categories such as communication, entertainment, games, education, government, and shopping were offered. By September 1990, there were over 580 services available in Toronto area. The service was discontinued in 1994.

The museum Bell ALEX holdings:
  • Bell Alex terminal model NT9 G52A1, serial number 140001170
  • ALEX Magazine, Bell, Toronto, May/June and September/October 1990


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Bell Canada, “Bell Alex Display Phone,” York University Computer Museum Canada, accessed May 29, 2024,

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