Manufacturers Embrace New Modem Standards

Top modem manufacturers Tuesday announced a plan speed-up dial-up downloads by incorporating new chipset standards into their modem technologies.

New standards approved for industry use by the International Telecommunications Union last week, can improve dial-up download speeds by as much as 200 percent and allow users to put their Internet connection “on hold.”

Cisco Systems Inc., Conexant Systems Inc., Hughes Network Systems and Lucent Technologies Inc., announced plans to incorporate the new standards into their modem product line this fall.

Dean Grumlose, Conexant division director of multi-service access products, said the new standards make dial-up modems a viable alternative to high-speed Internet access.

“We are delivering a significant advancement for dial-up modem technology,” Grumlose said. “Dial-up modems continue to thrive as the most attractive connectivity solution available because of their ubiquity, and because of their balance of cost and performance. The improvement in download speeds that v.44 offers will be as dramatic as when the industry moved from v.34 to v.90.”

The v.44 supplants the .42 bis technology used for data compression of modem traffic. The new standard uses a more efficient algorithm and is expected to quadruple data transfer rates as compared to uncompressed data.

The ITU last week also approved the v.92 chipset. The software solution will replace the v.90 standard used by many modem manufacturers today.

V.92 improvements include faster data rates, higher maximum connection speeds and significantly faster startup times on recognized connections. It also features built-in call waiting, which is already available in most modem product lines.

Craig Garen, Lucent client access business unit general manager, said the enhancements guarantee market growth for the modem industry.

“The analog modem market continues to be extremely robust, and these V.92
feature enhancements will factor heavily into that market growth,” Garen said. “Accelerating that market growth is the fact that V.92-enhanced modem chip sets will be used in many more types of applications, such as set-top boxes, Internet appliances, and gaming.”

Pierre-Andre Probst, ITU working party co-chairman, said digital subscriber line access in growing, but home users are demanding modem enhancements.

“Much attention is going to DSL technologies these days, but the voiceband modem will remain the predominant worldwide access technology for many years to come,” Probst said.

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