Following Rockwell Conductor Systems' claim that it has developed technology for analog modems that will allow users to download data at speeds as fast as 56 Kbps over voice-grade telephone lines, several manufacturers have said that they will incorporate that technology into new products.
Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc., Boca Research, Inc., and Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc., all expect to release products based on Rockwell's technology in 1997. U.S. Robotics is also rumored to be working on a similar product.
The advance may extend the life of the analog modem market, which is increasingly being challenged by ISDN and other high-speed data transfer technologies. ISDN offers 64 Kbps and faster data transfer. The fastest analog modems now available are 33.6 Kbps devices, but the most widely sold are 28.8 Kbps.
The 56 Kbps analog modems will not upload as rapidly as they download, therefore, their greatest value will be in accessing the Internet. The use of an analog modem on a voice-grade telephone line usually is substantially less expensive than ISDN service.