An Introduction to the NetVenue:
It is believed by some that Internet Kiosks, are the future of public pay telephone. Despite huge profit losses by telecommunications giant by Nortel Networks which saw a third quarter loss of $1.8 (US) billion, has slashed its work force, and has hacked away at its product lines, it still continues to exist as a market leader.
One such product that Nortel Networks has recently stopped manufacturing and licensing to markets (but many resellers still offer in parts of Canada and the United States) is the NetVenue Terminal. The NetVenue is a robust, low maintenance next-generation Millennium public access terminals which is used to deliver IP-based services and applications.
The NetVenue is available in two platforms; the "Java Terminal" (Windows-NT based) and the "Mac Terminal" (MAC OS-9 / X based), and offer colour touch screens with card readers, receipt printers for e-commerce, a docking station enclosure house, a Debit Machine, a handset for POTS services, a keyboard and trackpad for Internet surfing capabilities. The broad classes of services most important to public IP access are currently seen as: Messaging services like e-mail Internet access (Web browsing), Form-entry services for markets such as banking and government services, Electronic Commerce applications such as ticketing and virtual malls, and Entertainment for gaming, online gambling, and Cyber-Sex0ring in chat rooms.
This paper will discuss the technical aspects of this beautiful piece of technology by outlining and describing the hardware, the software (applications), locations, ports descriptions, and more! We hope you enjoy this document, and we look forward to your feedback and updates. I certainly wish we could of released this document when the NetVenue was a brand new product, but it wasn't until recently that Magma and The Clone were able to acquire most of the details on it.
Mac Terminal Details
PC Terminal Details
Mac Terminal Details
PC Terminal Details
Hardware Architecture Details
Remote Administration Functions:
All updates to the Nortel NetVenue Terminal are done through the software known as 'NetOp Remote Control', which is used at the carrier's NOC (Network Operations Centre), or at the owner's location of business. NetOp Remote Control allows the system administrator to control the Nortel NetVenue Terminal's keyword, mouse, and basic to advanced functions all via a user- friendly Windows GUI. Details on ordering this product are available at: this web-page.
Be sure to request a FREE TRIAL, and try it before you buy it. Quite an interesting piece of software.
Credit Card Transactions:
All credit card transactions in the Nortel NetVenue are processed via the customized payment gateways which are completely supported by Nortel Network's Kiosk internal terminal software. The NetVenue uses a third-party clearinghouse to authorize and clear or deny credit cards for Pay-per-Use and purchases via service APIs. The Nortel NetVenue will communicate with the credit card clearinghouse's host over TCP/IP, and a proprietary protocol that is completely defined by the particular authorization company.
Shared Network Services:
Shared Network Services (SNS) provides credit card authorizations in Canada. Transactions are configured to be automatically settled by SNS who provide a settlement file back to the 'NetVenue Management System'. SNS also provides credit card transaction reports to the NetVenue Kiosk merchant clients.
NDC (formerly 'Global Payment Solutions') provides card authorizations for U.S. dollar transactions and U.S. merchant clients. ACS provides automatic settlement for these credit card transactions.
Card authorizations via the Kiosk can be performed by the payphone component of the terminal if the Netvenue payphone is in direct communication with the Nortel 'Millennium Manager'. These authorizations are for fixed amounts configured on the Millennium Manager. This amount is also fixed across all services that use Millennium card authorizations.
The NetVenue Smart Card Service:
Interac Debit card support is provided by a Debit Software Component in the Java Terminal in conjunction with a third party device manufactured by a company known as Nova Enterprise Solutions. The support provides for multiple merchant debit card transactions. This means that more than one merchant can accept debit cards as payment on a single terminal. The Nova device communicates with an "IVI Vending Pad" for PIN entry and prompting. It also clears the debit card to the financial institution via a separate physical connection to the bank's secure host computer. The Vending Pad provides most of the security since it contains the various security keys and performs all of the encryption/decryption of messages sent to the particular bank. The current implementation provides basic debit card support for a small number of terminals due to the high costs and maintenance: each Nortel NetVenue terminal requires a separate PayBox and a Datapac '3201' (transaction protocol) line for NUI-based connections. To learn more about the Datapac system, be sure and refer to this Hack Canada document.
The NetVenue Keyboard:
The NetVenue's keyboard kinda reminds me of the Millennium TTY Terminals found in most public places in Canada. The keyboard has a mouse-button near the credit card slot for moving the mouse cursor, and a separate clicker button. The NetVenue Terminal also has a QWERTY keyboard with many of the same keys you'd find on an average 101. The NetVenue terminal maps character keys according to the letters on the dialpad, and characters that are not supported such as "!" are not mapped to any input. Any keyboard buttons that are not valid, provide no audible response to the user. For example, if the user presses "!" on the keyboard, this has no effect within the GUI application.
Volume (up and down) buttons:
You guessed it; the volume buttons are used for increasing and decreasing the volume in the NetVenue's handset. It doesn't affect any of the terminal's multimedia audio volume as they are set to a factory setting or pre-set by the administrator.
Next Call button:
This button acts similar to the existing Millennium payphone's "Next Call" button. The Next Call button different has results depending on when it's pressed. During call set up, this key acts as a correction. If the customer is typing in a number and they press the "Next Call" button, the dialed number is blanked out. If the user is on a call, pressing this key allows the user to initiate another call using any existing credit. The next call may also initiate additional credit authorization.
The language is primarily in English, unless the phone is located in places like Quebec, then it would be French by default. You can change the language the NetVenue displays and says (on the voice prompts) by pressing the Language Key once. The language service is synchronized with the Multimedia primary language via the "PC-to-Payphone" interface protocol.
Forgotten Card Alarm:
The forgotten card alarm audible sound file is played on the PC's multimedia speakers when a card is left in the card reader at least 5 seconds after the customer hangs up the receiver on the NetVenue. This sound file is configurable via the back-end Multimedia Server, so if you ever wanted to change it, you could. It would be especially entertaining to change the forgotten card alarm from the usual "dee-doo-dee-doo" to "hey idiot, you forgot your card in me!" :)
Rate Table Updating:
On a regular basis, the Nortel NetVenue will connect via POTS copper lines to the remote server running Millennium Manager to update its rate tables and software (for upgrades, security patches, etc). How does the NetVenue know when to update its records? The NetVenue software runs on a task-list or 'cron', and usually updates at the same time every day. Sometimes the service provider will set the NetVenue to dial out to the Millennium Manager at various times throughout the week or month.
Software Architecture Details
The Nortel NetVenue has the ability to allow a user to check their e-mail through two ways; web-based services on the Internet (i.e. Hotmail) and through POP3. If a customer decides to check their e-mail through the POP3 protocol, the Nortel NetVenue will politely prompt the user to enter their POP3 e-mail account ID and password. As soon as that information is entered, the user will then need to press the log on button and begin sending and receiving e-mail as well as deleting, replying to, printing (if applicable), moving, jumping to the next and/or previous message. However if the user messes up and enters either invalid login or password info, the NetVenue will prompt them a few times before quitting.
E-mail Attachments are not supported for reasons of security. Denying the user the ability to attach files, will significantly cut down on the chances of viruses and trojans being sent from the user.
There are several API commands that can be used to access the NetVenue's functionality for reading cards, clearing cards, printing receipts, printing tickets, and dialing telephone numbers for the customer. For your convenience (heh), here are the API commands it uses. Remember, many of these commands require the Nortel NetVenue to have a laser printer installed. Don't even bother if it doesn't, mmmkay?
"Print PostScript File"
This command prints one or more PostScript files stored on the hard drive to the system laser printer. The Print PostScript File command is useful for printing forms such as insurance/government forms, etc.
"Print Receipts / Coupons"
This command (you guessed it!) prints receipts and coupons. Intriguing.
"Print Current Web Page"
This command prints the content of a HTML page to the system's default printer while a user is online.
This command will let you exit the service.
"Print Ticket" (requires a ticket printer)
This command lets you print tickets. Fun.
"Dial Phone Number"
This command by default will dial the telephone number as configured in the terminal database by the NetVenue administrator. One can enter any number they wish here, including extensions for voice-mail and/or customer service on PBX's.
"Read, Clear Card"
This command tells the NetVenue terminal to request that the user insert their credit / debit-card for transactions. Only the administrator can configure the "Result URL" in the server using the administration tool which is user ID and password protected (and probably set to a factory default, and never changed).
The Nortel NetVenue uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL 128bit) over Internet transactions that is provided by the Internet Explorer / Netscape browsers. For Datapac based transactions, proprietary encryption over the data lines is used as well as encryption at the remote server. If the administrator does not have an SSL compatible server, the customer will NOT be able to use SSL features on the NetVenue.
NetVenue's TCP/IP Ports & Protocols:
(Note: After writing this document, The Clone submitted a few of these ports
to Fyodor of NMAP and they were added to the 3.20 release for late April.)
The following is a list of network protocols and ports that are used by the NetVenue Terminal...
Photograph of a NetVenue:
The following photograph is that of the NetVenue Terminal
that was taken from Nortel Network's own corporate site...
Locations in Canada:
As far as I know, the only locations that were ever noted was one in Toronto Ontario, and one in Montreal Quebec, Canada. Both of these were services offered by Bell Canada. At the end of 2002, the contract that Bell had with Nortel expired. Bell decided not to renew the contract and decided to go with another company (King Products) and is now offering public services using the cc100 terminals. The cc100 terminals are interesting, but lame in comparison to the vast features the NetVenue offers. Western Canada MAY still adopt the NetVenue for services; particularly by telephone companies such as Telus Communications. The United States is said to have many NetVenue terminals in use by small telecom service providers. A friend of a friend in New Jersey works for a company that sells these NetVenue's, so eastern USA is definitely utilizing these.
As for other companies, I found a document (from October 1999) online that talked about a real estate company, Boardwalk Equities Inc, planning on deploying 250 NetVenue Terminals throughout their buildings. At the time that this press release came out, Boardwalk claimed that 10 were already deployed for both the cities of Calgary and Edmonton. [Read the press release]
The Conclusion to this Paper:
There you have it; the most comprehensive document you've probably ever read on the Nortel NetVenue Terminals.
We sincerely hope you enjoyed this paper, and we hope to hear your feedback, and receive any tips and/or corrections.
The future of the payphone industry appears to be that of the
Internet Kiosk terminals. Will they last? Only time will tell.
Shout Outs: Hack Canada, The Grasshopper Unit / Nettwerked, Toronto 2600, StealThisComputer.org
PacketNinja.ca, SmartestGirls.com, and lastly to the Nortel Networks NetVenue engineering guys/gals.