V.90 Modems Delivering on Promise

After nearly two years of interoperability problems, sketchy deployment, and equipment upgrades, the performance of 56K V.90-standard modems is finally delivering in the real world, according to a study by Inverse Network Technology.

Since the introduction of V.90 technology in October 1997, end-users have been plagued with a myriad of problems. The end-users modems began shipping months before the equipment needed by ISPs was ready to be deployed, creating a situation where users could not enjoy the benefits of 56K because ISPs could not immediately support it in all locations.

When the ISP equipment was finally available, users were still unable to see the high speeds promised by the new modems. Not only was there a lack of support, there were also multiple pre-standard versions of the technology that were not interoperable.

According to studies by Inverse, in November 1998, 34 percent of V.90 calls connected at speeds less than 28.8 Kbps, the speed that most V.34 modems could beat. In July of 1999, only 6.7 percent of calls connected at 28.8 Kbps. A call’s likelihood of achieving performance above 48 Kbps increased by 15.7 percent during this timeframe.

“The huge increase in successful higher-speed connections is direct evidence that V.90 connections are more widely available and far more stable today,” said Michael Watters, Inverse president and chief executive officer.

According to results from Inverse’s June and July BenchMark service, which compares the performance of more than 25 leading ISPs, V.90 users are enjoying connections an average of 61 percent faster than connections experienced by users of 33.6 Kbps modems. Inverse also found that V.90 Web throughput exceeded that of V.34 connections by 31 percent, with V.90 Web page downloads taking 4.8 seconds less time than V.34 modems.

Inverse also found that the time to login with a V.90 connection takes an average of 5.6 seconds longer than with V.34. This is caused by the more intensive handshake sequence that V.90 goes through.

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