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56K Technology FAQ

Contents
The Confusion About 56K Modem Technology
What is 56K Technology?
How can I benefit fron 56K Technology?
What 56K Technology will Synchrotech support?
How do I find out if my ISP supports 56K?
Are Synchrotech 56K products available now?
When will a standard be adopted for 56K modems?
Will Synchrotech support the ITU standard when it is finalized?

Q1: The Confusion About 56K Modem Technology

Competing 56K modem technology has been developed by US Robotics (56K X2) and Lucent/Rockwell (K56flex). This has caused a lot of confusion for users around the world.

Internet Service Providers (ISP) have been forced to support either the X2 or the Kflex standard. If the user is lucky, the ISP has opted to support both X2 and Kflex. Synchrotech encourages the user to call their Internet Service Provider to see which of the two standards are support, before they make there 56K modem purchase.

The ITU (International Telecommunications Union), an international standards body which defines how modems communicate with each other, is in the process of creating the standard for 56K modem. The announcement for this new standard should come in early 1998.

Q2: What is 56K Technology?

56K Technology is the term used to describe the two modem technologies that attempt to transfer data at a rate of 56K bps, the fastest rate available for ordinary phone lines. Rockwell's K56flexTM and US Robotics' x2TM are the two technologies that are currently developing the 56K rate.

Q3: How can I benefit fron 56K Technology?

With the internet growing by leaps and bounds at a daily rate, the need for faster speed is becoming a necessity. With 56K modems, users can attempt to transmit data at a faster rate approaching 56K over existing phone lines, making it easier to download large files. The modems operate at up to 56 Kbps, and combine MNP5 and V.42bis data compression with MNP2.4 and V.42 error correction to provide full duplex operation with compressed data throughput up to 115,200 bps.

Q4: What 56K Technology will Synchrotech support?

Synchrotech products will provide modem customers with both solutions to 56K technology: Rockwell's K56flex and US Robotics' x2 technology. Several ISP and online services throughout the U.S. currently support one or both technologies. This means that a 56K modem customer will be able to find an Synchrotech product compatible with their current internet service, once their ISP or online service decides which technology to adopt.

Q5: How do I find out if my ISP supports 56K?

Many Internet Service Providers across the U.S. are currently offering support for either the K56flex or x2 technology. In some cases, ISPs have opted to offer support for both technologies. ISP support can be found for 56K in all 50 states. Modem users are encouraged to check with their local ISP provider to see what solutions they offer.

Q6: Are Synchrotech 56K products available now?

Synchrotech 56K product line began shipping in June of '97 and are available through most distibutor channels and retail stores - Check out Synchrotech's Links Page for more info.

Q7: When will a standard be adopted for 56K modems?

The ITU (International Telecommunications Union), the standards body which defines how modems communicate with each other, is in the process of finalizing a standard for 56K modems. The ITU expects to announce its modem standards in mid-1998.

Q8: Will Synchrotech support the ITU standard when it is finalized?

Buyers of Synchrotech's 56K modems will be upgradeable with future 56K modem standards. Purchasers of the new modems will be able to download software upgrades at no charge from the Synchrotech website. This will ensure Synchrotech customers that their investment will not become prematurely obsolete.

Synchrotech's Tech Support Department

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