3Com Initiates Program for 56K Compatibility

3Com introduced today the V.pcm Interoperability Testing Program, an
initiative developed to ensure 56K modem compatibility.

The program will provide modem makers with an outlet to test
interoperability among their products. 3Com will offer access to servers
that modem manufacturers can dial into for testing. The company will also
give client modems and technical assistance where needed.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) approved yesterday a
preliminary 56K international modem standard. The standard seeks to
alleviate the noncompliance of 3Com’s x2 56K technology and K56flex
technology, developed by Lucent and Rockwell Technology. To date, x2 modems
could not “talk” with those based on K56flex technology.

Both 3Com and Lucent reported they will work together to ensure their their
56K modems are compatible, and will offer software upgrades to
manufacturers and Internet service providers (ISPs) that support the new

3Com is hoping the V.pcm program will speed up the process of insuring
product compatibility. Vendors wanting to become participants can sign up for the program via
the Web.

“Interoperability testing between different 56K technology implementations
is critical to improving the health of the modem and remote access
industries,” said Lisa Pelgrim, senior analyst for Dataquest. “Quickly and
carefully executed interoperability testing will ultimately allow modem
users to enjoy the benefits of universal compatibility, which will infuse
life into demand for modems.”

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