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Lucent / Agere Venus Modem (Updated 6-Dec-03)

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Lucent, now Agere, does not make modems - they make chipsets that vendors (OEMs) use to manufacture modems. These vendors in turn sell their product to system makers, distributors and retailers, who in turn make the product available to end-users.

The Lucent Venus chipset is a hardware-controller based design. This means that the modem should operate without any special driver in any operating system. The modem contains a digital signal processor and flash-ROM that holds the firmware.

In order to upgrade the modem's firmware, a vendor-specific flash file is required. While the code that is used to accomplish 56k protocols is commonly developed for the Venus and Lucent Win Modem, whether any particular update is made available to the end-user is up to the OEM or vendor of the modem to the end-user. Most OEM's do not release most upgrades, and it is for this reason I do not recommend modems based on this chipset.

The Lucent Venus chipset is used by Zoom for models 2919L, 2949L and 3049L. It is also used by a variety of OEMs including Actiontec and many others, and is available in external, internal and USB models.

Later versions of the chipset support V.92. Modemsite's Download Area has an updated Modem-on-Hold applet, Readme and Instructions.

Commands for disabling 56k and Limiting Connect Speed are available.

Post-connection diagnostics and call data are available with the ATI11 command.

NOTE: As with most modems that have FlashROM, if a flash upgrade is interrupted before completion, your modem may no longer function. If you flash with an incorrect version, your modem may no longer function. It may be possible in some situations to use another vendor's flash, but remember if you try it, you may wind up with a non-functional modem! Scott in VA writes:

I have an Actiontec 56K ISA Master modem. I noticed that ZOOM model 2919 is a Lucent Venus based ISA modem, and supports Channel 2 Call Waiting. First, I downloaded the ZOOM Channel 2 Call Waiting program to see if it would work with my Actiontec modem. It didn't. So, I Flashed the modem with ZOOM's firmware and IT WORKED!!! After flashing, the ZOOM Channel 2 Call Waiting software detected my Actiontec Modem as a ZOOM modem and the Call Waiting software works perfectly!!!

DOS & Linux Support:

Since the modem has a hardware controller, it should operate in any operating system. Exceptions may include USB or PCI models that require a driver to emulate a standard serial port.


The Venus chipset is capable of supporting V.92 firmware. Later models may include V.92 firmware, and the vendor's site may have updates. Vendors making V.92 modems with the Venus chipset include Actiontec, MultiTech, Zoom and others. (Zoom discontinued the Venus-based 3049L switching to 3049C with a Conexant ACF2.)

For V.92 & Modem-on-hold, including call-waiting caller-id, you may need updated firmware from your modem vendor, and the latest Agere Modem-on-Hold software. (Early V.92 firmware for this model had many bugs!) MoH for Venus V 1.70 and V 1.73 is available at Modemsite's download area - but, this may not properly, or at all, without updated modem firmware. Because this is a flash hardware-controller modem, the firmware update needs to come from your modem vendor. The vendor should also supply Venus MoH 1.70 or higher to you. 

Owners of Zoom 2949L V.90 modems have reported successful update to V.92 using the Zoom 3049L files as follows:

Cal Liming from Va.: "First your modem must be installed as a 3049L using the file '3049.exe' available on Zoom's website. Then download the file 3049MOH.exe and install. This file contains the Modem on Hold Application as well as the the "flash" upgrade for the Lucent Chipset. From Hyperterminal ATI3 will report V.92 standard. My connect rates are much improved. I don't believe Zoom will inform anyone of this." 

Venus V.92 modem makers include: 

Actiontec (it's website indicates it has Version 1.70 of call-waiting, with version 5.92 drivers; but, does not have any old or new V.92 firmware - only V.90 as of 2-Feb-03) 

Zoom 3049L - Modemsite has updated firmware and modem-on-hold for Zoom 3049L modems.

If you have a V.92 with this chipset, please send me your feedback.

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