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7-Jan-05 - No V.92 for USR V.Everything - David Holiman writes "Looks like USR has given up on upgrading the 2805/2806 Courier v.90 modems to the V.92 protocol standard. After two plus years of waiting, poof! All of the sudden, the upgrade is not even 'coming soon' anymore."
29-Sep-04 - Mac & MoH - Earlier (26-May-02) I reported that while Apple's Macintosh had V.92 modems, there was no modem-on-hold software. This Apple page indicates Mac OS 10.2 supports modem-on-hold.
24-Jun-04 - Rockwell/Conexant MoH & NetWaiting Trouble - Updated information on V.92 Modem-on-hold and Rockwell/Conexant Modem-on-hold pages may help for those with trouble putting Internet connection on hold with NetWaiting software.
2-Apr-04 - Patton continues to update its V.92 RAS firmware - Release 5.3.1 in beta and available to Patton customers. Patton is working on even newer code to try and help with connectivity issues with some client modems and phone line conditions.
17-Oct-03 - V.44 Compression updated.
13-Sep-03 - NetZero promotes V.92 - with a national advertising campaign that promotes modem-on-hold, NetZero becomes the only major national ISP to offer V.92 with modem-on-hold (4 minutes). NetZero is also promoting a "HiSpeed" service with speeds up to 5X faster - only the fine print discloses that the transmission of files and attachments including music or video is not increased - the boost comes from proprietary compression techniques on certain types of content. Level3 provides NetZero access numbers.
3-Aug-03 - AOL Call Alert - If AOL has its way, you'll forget about V.92 and modem-on-hold, and pay more for AOL and your telco to handle calls while online: What is AOL Call Alert?
2-Jul-03 - Patton releases new code - V 3.4.3 for 29xx RAS has been released. Among the fixes included in this release is new DSP code (server modems) that "...fixes some compatibility issues." Also of note: "PCM upstream is disabled with this version of the code." ISPs using Patton RAS can download the upgrade from Patton.
11-Jun-03 - Motorola Back in the Softmodem business - In July 2001, Motorola announced it wouldn't continue in the analog modem business - but, it looks like the SM56 has been brought back to life: Motorola Softmodem Products. The Motorola Download page has only one new driver (presumably V.92), listed for Windows XP and for speakerphone model only listed as "build 6.02.13". The actual download is over 4megabytes, and appears to include V.92 drivers for Windows 98, Me, 2000 and XP.
8-May-03 - USR Courier V.92 Upgrade - USR has released V.92 code for model 3CP3453 Courier modems - available from the USR site. This upgrade leaves the older "V.Everything" Couriers unable to do everything: V.92 still isn't available for 25mhz 2805/2806 models - although it's still listed as a modem for which V.92 is "coming soon". (It was first listed as "coming soon" in August 2001 - see 14-Aug-01 update below.)
26-Apr-03 - Level 3 - Major V.92 Snafu? - since Level3 changed its default modem-on-hold setting to 'OFF', all V.92 client modems calling Level3 numbers now have trouble dealing with call-waiting - one of the major features of V.92! Because a V.92 connection is made, the client modem expects to do MoH, but instead of denying the request and staying connected, Level3 denies the request and disconnects. Result: customers of ISPs like AOL, MSN and Earthlink that dial into Level3 numbers are unable to control whether they wish to accept or ignore call-waiting calls! Why would Level3 do this? Apparently, some of their BIG customers have insisted they do not want to support (hence, do not want to have enabled) V.92.
16-Apr-03 - Audible Alert with Modem-on-Hold - now an option for Lucent/Agere DSP and Softmodem users with MoH version 1.71. This new version is available from Modemsite Downloads, and is now included on the driver CD for the Modemsite DSP and Softmodem.
12-Apr-03 - V.44 vs V.42 - Seeing is believing - V.44 vs V.42. Also - appears that Earthlink (and some other National ISPs) are discontinuing many UUNet (MCI) V.90 provided numbers and replacing them with Level-3 provided V.92 access numbers. Earthlink has indicated it does not want to support V.92 - likely one of the reasons the Level3 network's MoH support was changed. (See next item below.) In some cases, Level3 numbers provide lower connect speeds (V.92 or V.90) than other providers: Level3 makes extensive use of a super-pop architecture and CLECs that may introduce telco routing related impairments. Users with V.92/V.44 external modems and standard PC COM ports may also experience new problems: the modem can be faster than the PC can handle. If you haven't already come to the conclusion that controllerless and soft modems are better than "real" hardware-controller modems, it's time to re-think.
2-Apr-03 - Modem-on-holds barred - April Level3 update
Original item 26-Mar-03
Level3, the largest provider of V.92 access numbers in the US, recently changed the default MoH setting from 'ON' to 'OFF' on its network. Level3 spokesman Paul Lonnegren told Modemsite the change was made at the request of several ISP customers. A communication was sent to all Level3 ISP customers notifying them of the change. MoH is now enabled only for customers that have requested it. Lonnegren says that the sudden disappearance of MoH support reported by end users at Modemsite's Forum56 is due to the ISP's failure to request MoH support, or a Level3 provisioning error. Some ISPs using Level3 appear to be unaware of the change - Forum56 users report that Level3 ISPs they have contacted are not aware of any problem with MoH, and support suggests the problem must be in the user's V.92 modem or setup.
22-Mar-03 - Avoid New LT Win Driver - Microsoft Windows Update for XP has a 8.27 driver for the LT Win Modem - however, this driver is a special build that disables V.92 and V.44 as a temporary fix for rare compatibility issues. Anyone who "upgrades" to this driver will lose V.92/V.44 capabilities. Note - this driver "update" might be automatically installed on a users system configured for automatic Windows Update. Users who are connecting to V.92 ISPs may suddenly find modem-on-hold no longer working. This special driver build was requested by an Agere customer. (Rare V.92/V.44 compatibility issues can be solved by using commands (init strings) to disable V.92/V.44 features.) Given that Microsoft releases only a subset of LT Win drivers, it's hard to figure why they put this one on Windows Update. Agere is working on a new driver that corrects the compatibility issues.
26-Feb-03 - V.92 Handshakes - New today - audio & visual PCM upstream and modem-on-hold handshakes.
23-Jan-03 - Macintosh & V.92 - If you've got a Mac, and buy a V.92 modem for the Mac, can you do Modem-on-Hold (MoH)? Apparently not: while the modems are advertised and sold as "supporting" MoH, it appears that the necessary software to do MoH isn't available for the Macintosh. Zoom, which acquired GlobalVillage/Teleport, makes and sells a V.92 modem for the Mac, but doesn't include or make available any Mac MoH software. They've told some disgruntled purchasers that it's the job of "software developers" to make the MoH software to use the ability of the modem they make. It's been over 2 years since Zoom started selling V.92 modems for the Mac, and still no MoH for Mac users.
23-Jan-03 - Audio of V.92 Quick Connect Handshakes added to the Handshakes page. Thanks to David Hollman for providing the audio recorded from a USR5686E connecting to V.92 server.
17-Jan-03 - V.92 Facts & Hype - New page added to Modemsite.
15-Nov-02 - 3Com/Commworks releases improved V.92 code. TCS Release 4.7 was made available on 13-Nov at Commworks' Total Control site for the TC1000 RAS. Commworks indicates this release will support PCM upstream rates as high as 36,000bps. (The only other RAS vendor that includes PCM upstream support at this time is Patton.) In addition, the new Commworks code includes improved V.92 support that will help with GSTN cleardown, retrain, and rate-shift problems.
8-Nov-02 - Cisco released V.92/V.44 for 3640, 3660, 3725 and 3745 RAS servers with Mica modems yesterday. The 12.2(11)YT release is available for download from Cisco CCO. V.92 support for Mica modems is limited to Quick Connect and Modem-on-Hold - there will be no PCM upstream support for Cisco Mica modems with any RAS server. PCM upstream code has not been yet been released for any Cisco RAS product.
2-Nov-02 - Aastra acquires Nortel CVX - In May of this year, Canadian company Aastra acquired the Nortel CVX RAS product line. The Aastra site has only basic sales information on the CVX - and no mention of V.92 support. (Documents still at Nortel mention V.92/V.44 support.) The current 4.2 software which supports V.92 modem-on-hold, quick connect and V.44 was released in September, 2001 by Nortel. The release notes state "...PCM Upstream is not supported in the initial release of digital modem code for the CVX." Aastra hasn't replied to my query regarding the CVX. Nortel's 4.2 release notes also indicate that when PCM upstream is supported, subscribers with PCM upstream enabled will see lower downstream rates compared to V.90, while getting upstream rates that "hover around 36.0-42.7Kbps in 'clean' environments."
31-Oct-02 - V.92 ISP List - Now displays the list from a real-time database which also provides for sort and filtering. The form to submit V.92 ISP listings has been moved to a separate page (listings are verified before they are added to the live database). A help page for the listing also added. This will allow new and revised V.92 ISP listings to be added more quickly!
19-Oct-02 - Patton officially released V.92 code for its 2660 and 2996 RAS servers the first week of September.
19-Oct-02 - V.92 ISPs - I've converted the V.92 ISP list to a database, and will be changing the page to allow searching and sorting by various criteria. The submission form and database have some new fields. ISPs currently listed are encouraged to use the form to provide updated information. While I will still edit/verify information submitted, converting the page to database driver will allow faster additions to the list.
9-Oct-02 - V.92 ISP List - growing - now lists 120 ISPs with at least some V.92 support. I try to verify each listing. I've also changed the form to submit V.92 ISPs to collect more information - modem-on-hold support and maximum hold time as well as PCM upstream support. ISPs already listed - please re-submit the form with the additional information. I'm going to re-format the list to add MoH timeout info, and am thinking about location/sort options to make it easier for users to find ISPs that serve their area.....
25-Sep-02 - V.92 Test Number - Added to Access Numbers & Links - USR's V.92 test server.
25-Sep-02 - Deceptive V.92 Advertising - 2 owners of SONICBlue (Diamond Multimedia / Supra) V.92 modems have filed complaints with the FTC and BBB over claims their modems will do modem-on-hold: no enabling software supplied with the modem. This after futile attempts to resolve the problem with Diamond support. The complaint alleges deceptive and misleading advertising. After being notified of the complaint, SONICBlue gave the modem owners a link to download a MoH applet: ftp://ftp.diamondmm.com/pub/communications/supra/netonhold/ (Current file - netonhold_15.exe and instructions in netonhold_15.txt). The modems in question use a Conexant chipset.
14-Sep-02 - AT&T Worldnet has a "time-limited" trial for some access numbers for V.92 - currently not widely available. See Worldnet's V.92 FAQ.
9-Sep-02 - Earthlink & V.92 - Earthlink's DOES NOT support V.92 - according to Earthlink. I had added them to V.92 ISPs on Aug 30 as having limited and unpublished V.92 availability: some access lines are provided by Level 3 including V.92; however, Earthlink's official position is that they do not support V.92, and have no plans to support V.92. Earthlink has been removed from the V.92 ISP list.
30-Aug-02 - V.92 Interoperability - LT Win Modem & Modem-on-hold - Users with V.92 LT Win Modem running 8.xx drivers may find their machine reboots when an incoming call comes while online. This occurs if the ISP has set maximum MoH time higher than 8 minutes, and can be avoided if the ISP sets maximum hold time to 8 minutes or less. The next driver when released (8.24) will correct this bug. (This bug may not always crash the computer.)
28-Aug-02 - V.92 Interoperability - Cisco & Modem-on-hold - Cisco has released new V.92/V.44 server-side code. The 'unresolved caveats' section of Cisco Release Notes for Portware Release 184.108.40.206 indicates an unresolved modem-on-hold problem: "Cisco Mica fails to response (sic) to a MHreq sequence from the client modem." (MHreq = Modem-on-hold request).
7-Jul-02 - Kudos to COMTECK of Indiana - their V.92 FAQ provides extensive information for customers, including results of Comteck's interoperability testing.
3-Jul-02 - Lucent, Level 3 & PCM Upstream - Level 3, a national provider of dial-up access POPs to ISPs (including Prodigy, Orange County Online, VIP NetLink) has published a V.92 whitepaper. Level 3, which acquired bankrupt Navipath's network (see 22-Sep-01 update below), uses Lucent/Ascend RAS and promises PCM upstream in the 4th quarter - Oct-Dec '02.
3-Jul-02 - No more Prodigy - SBC acquired Prodigy which will 'disappear'. Go to Prodigy.net, and you'll find you can't sign up for 'Prodigy' - it's now 'SBC Yahoo! Dial'. While there are plenty of ads on Prodigy, information on its own service is lacking - no mention of access numbers, or V.92. Prodigy previously had announced it would use Level 3 access in some areas and support V.92.
22-Jun-02 - V.92 ISPs without V.92 - Various interoperability problems between client modems and server-side V.92 modems have led a number of ISPs to disable one or more V.92/V.44 functions. V.92 PCM upstream is supported only by 3Com. Patton's V.92 with PCM upstream, while available to ISPs, is still in beta. ISP discussion list messages (see ISP-related Links) indicate Quick Connect problems with various client and server modems (which include creating problems for older V.90 modems), as well as problems with V.44 compression, result in some ISPs turning off these features. Some V.92 ISPs may support only 1 of the V.92/V.44 features - and even then, the enabled feature may work only with some V.92 client modems.
26-May-02 - V.92 & Macintosh? While you can get a V.92 modem that will "work" on a Mac, it appears you can't get one that will do modem-on-hold: apparently no modem vendor has developed a modem-on-hold applet for the Mac! According to an officer of the Palm Beach Florida Macintosh user group, says that no modem vendor he's contacted indicates a Mac-compatible driver supporting modem-on-hold will be coming any time soon; and, that Apple support isn't helping - just referring questions to the modem makers. (In the meantime, Mac users should be able to at least disconnect on call-waiting with the +PCW command.)
26-May-02 - USR selling USB modem - In Germany: see 56K Faxmodem usb (xx5633-00). The .inf file included in the driver package for the modem indicates this is an OEM modem based upon Conexant controllerless chipset.
25-May-02 - Cisco to release updated V.92 code version 220.127.116.11 around June 1. It will have V.92 and V.44 disabled by default, so ISP's providing V.92 with Cisco gear will have to use an initialization string (modemcap) to enable V.92/V.44. Cisco release notes for current 18.104.22.168 includes a list of known bugs.
13-Apr-02 - V.92 Not So Fast - Special feature article added to Modemsite separating the hype from the reality.
13-Apr-02 - USR & MOH - Michael Willis reports getting Modem on Hold working to Cisco's RAS with the USR5686, latest firmware (5.4.4), and the latest USR ICN application, and has removed some of the previous information he published (see 5-Apr-02 update below & Michael's USR page). My independent understanding is that the Internal USR V.92 modem's bug currently remains uncorrected: modem on hold will not work on the internal (technically, the problem is the USR modem doesn't initiate a handshake that conforms to the V.92 standard when it attempts to go back online when ending the hold.)
11-Apr 02 - Patton Electronics V.92 release is running in beta sites and an unsupported early release is available to all Patton customers who want to do testing. (See Patton's Support section.) All V.92 features are included; V.44 and V.59 will also be available. Some minor modem incompatibilities and improvements are being worked on with modem manufacturers. Commercial release is expected in 4-12 weeks, and will be made available to all customers of Patton's 2960 and 2996 RAS at no charge. Patton has also announced an enhanced warranty program that provides free advance replacements and a 5-year warranty term.
5-Apr-02 - USR & MOH - Michael Willis who administers the University of Washington's Cisco RAS has been testing V.92 client modems (see 27-Jan-02 update below). He's told me that Cisco has determined USR V.92 modems have a firmware bug that prevents re-establishing data connection after placing the Modem on Hold. Apparently, USR has told Cisco it will not make changes to make their modems compliant with V.92 specifications. The USR bug results in disconnection when you are finished with taking a call-waiting and try to go back to data mode. (See Michael's USR page which includes USR Control Center screenshots.)
5-Apr-02 - Smartlink V.92 - Version 3.0 drivers released for all Smartlink chipset modems including USB, PCI and AMR form factors.
3-Apr-02 - Broadcom BCM Modem & V.92 - Gateway has released a V.92 driver for the BCM modem.
21-Mar-02 - USR Modems and V.92 commands- Other modem vendors have supported extended modem commands beginning with a plus sign (+MS= , etc.) for some time; these extended commands must be terminated with a semicolon if other commands follow. While USR still does not support the modulation select (+MS=) command, the other V.92-related modem-on-hold, PCM upstream and Quick Connect commands are supported - but with a difference: these commands must be separated with a space, not a semi-colon. The V.92 Commands page has been updated to reflect this uniquely USR methodology.
10-Mar-02 - No Data - An ISP upgraded with Commworks V.92 reports that some modem connections last 10 seconds - although there is no disconnect, all traffic stops. Apparently, this problem can be avoided with "delayed connect" - if the user waits 15 seconds after connecting before sending anything, the connection works. (Problem reported with USR Winmodems, as well as others.)
5-Mar-02 - CommWorks V.92 - TCS 4.5 was released 26-Feb-02 making 3Com's CommWorks the first server-side vendor supporting PCM upstream. But, don't get too excited: currently the maximum upstream rate that is supported is 33,333bps - actually less than the maximum rate that can be achieved with V.34! In addition, the handshake associated with a V.92 connection will be longer than a V.90 or V.34 connect - exactly the opposite of the V.92 Quick Connect promise! Meanwhile, CommWorks has ticked off a significant number of its customers by requiring expensive service contracts and in many cases equipment upgrades in order to support the over-hyped V.92/V.44. Bottom line: users who are expecting dial-up performance boosts with V.92/V.44 are likely to be disappointed, and may actually see the opposite - poorer performance - for quite some time.
25-Feb-02 - Cisco's V.92 with PCM Upstream - The latest word on PCM upstream for ISPs using Cisco 5350, 5400, or 5850 RAS with NextPort modems is now sometime in the second half of this year: July-Dec '02. (The target was originally by Sep '01 - see 8-Dec-00 and 14-April-01 updates below. This item corrected on 1-Mar-02 to change Cisco 5300 to 5350: the 5300 will not provide PCM upstream support.)
Meanwhile, 3Com's Commworks is supposed to have V.92 code with PCM available for ISPs to download this week. My guess is any ISP who actually tries to use this, and expects no problems, will get a quick wake-up call (that is, if he can put his modem-on-hold).
23-Feb-02 - Zoom 2949L may be upgraded to V.92 - Zoom doesn't indicate you can do it, but I've received 2 reports from users who indicate they've successfully flashed the modem with the 3049L V.92 firmware - see Lucent Venus Modem V.92 Information. V.92 Driver is also available for the Intel HaM modem under Linux.
17-Feb-02 - 3Com/Commworks may release V.92 with PCM Upstream - Indications point to a release that include V.44 and V.92 with Quick-Connect, Modem-on-hold, and PCM Upstream the week of February 25 for supported server-side modems. (3Com requirements for ISPs to upgrade include a paid maintenance contract and, in some cases, hardware upgrades.)
16-Feb-02 - DON'T BUY A ZOOM 3025-L V.92 Modem: The 3025L, originally introduced as a V.92 modem in November, 2000, will be discontinued. While Agere continues to work on improvements to the V.92 driver for the "LT Win" chipsets, driver version 8.12 will be the last version that supports V.92/V.44 features on the 3025L or any other modem based upon the 1646 "Mars2" DSP. Only modems based upon the 1648C "Mars3.2" DSP will be supported in new V.92 driver releases. (I believe Zoom has a new 3025-N model, however, Zoom's product information page still lists 3025-00-00L as the "current" model.) A new 8.20 driver is available from Microsoft's Windows Update for XP and Modemsite.
DON'T BUY A USR "Performance Pro" V.92 Modem: see these Forum56 posts: A B C. All USR V.92 modems will have problems as the code for the modems has interoperability problems with V.92 RAS Servers. USR's Control Center - a poorly written Windows app to upgrade and control V.92 features - is and will be the source of much grief for ISP support personnel and end-users. The ICN (Internet Call Notification) feature doesn't work with many V.92 servers (including Cisco). USR has many bugs in its V.92 firmware, and unlike other modem makers, offers no way to flash from versions that cause you trouble to a version that at least lets you make a connection.
BEST DATA has a Modem-on-Hold "Net Waiting" application available for its V.92 56W-92 modem based upon Conexant chipset - although there's currently no info or link to it from the Best Data website! The applet is here: http://www.bestdata.com/tech/56fw92moh.zip
7-Feb-02 - V.92 with Nortel CVX - V.92 code released for ISPs using Nortel Network's server-side modems in CVX RAS. The code supports V.44 compression, V.92 Quick Connect and Modem-on-hold, but there is no PCM upstream support in the release.
27-Jan-02 - V.92 in the real world - Michael Willis has been working with Cisco's server-side V.92 RAS at a large west-coast university since mid October. He's put up a page with some information, and link to some of his thoughts on V.92 client modems tested. Check it out!
24-Jan-02 - V.92 from 3Com coming - Commworks' V.92/V.44 code is in final beta testing, and is expected to be released before the end of February. Commworks release will support Modem on Hold, PCM Upstream, Quick Connect and V.44 compression.
Meanwhile, I received a note indciating Zoom has made locating their V.92 modem drivers easier; maybe it's just me, but now when I go to Zoom.com, I don't see anything that looks like a link to drivers from their main page - except possibly "technical support", which page doesn't mention anything about drivers - except for XP....
20-Jan-02 - I no longer recommend buying a USR modem: They're just not the same company they used to be. Broken promises (V.92 upgrades 'soon' in March '01, now, it's 'never); no V.44 support; and just plain lousy interoperability and operation of what they are calling V.92 modems. I've received a number of reports of ISPs with Cisco RAS equipment: USR V.92 clients can't complete a handshake; USR's ControlCenter doesn't control anything (it doesn't enable/disable V.92 features). USR firmware upgrades may fix some inability to connect at all to the ISP, but with the flaky control center, getting the upgrade may be next to impossible.
5-Jan-02 - Where's V.92? - Several ISPs who have upgraded to V.92 have told me there are problems with modem-on-hold: it's not working as advertised. [Probably an interoperability issue that may vary depending upon vendor RAS and firmware as well as client modem and firmware/driver.] CommWorks (formerly 3Com/USR) server-side V.92, which includes PCM upstream, is still in beta. Zoom, which has been selling "V.92" modems since November, 2000, has finally released a "real" V.92 driver and modem-on-hold applet - but you won't find them by going to Zoom's V.92 driver page - they're on the XP driver page! And, Smartlink has one of the most outrageous fluff pieces yet on V.92 - indicating V.92 will provide "broadband-like performance and features".
1-Dec-01 - USR Releases V.92 Upgrade - The USR "Performance Pro" (Model 5610A) is now listed as having a V.92 upgrade available at the USR site. At the same time, a new 5610B model becomes the (currently out-of-stock) new V.92 Performance Pro. We now know that "soon" to US Robotics means 9+ months. Before you upgrade or buy this modem, I recommend visiting this Forum56 thread which indicates the upgrade does not work; and this Forum56 thread regarding the 5610 "Performance".
22-Nov-01 - CommWorks V.92 info - CommWorks, which took over the 3Com/USR server-side RAS business, isn't going to make V.92 available for many ISPs without a lot of expensive upgrades. Like totally new equipment: TotalControl 1000. The equipment is available, but V.92/V.44 really isn't - it's in beta and all the bugs aren't out yet. Owners of older Total Control systems with the HiPer modem cards may be able to support V.92 with other HiPer chassis upgrades and a valid support contract; There will be no V.92/V.44 for Quad modem cards. The CommWorks site indicates both V.92 and V.44 will be supported. All the client-side V.92 modems also support V.44 with the notable exception of USR. (See 14-Aug-01 update below.) (Revision to text of this item made 1-Dec-01)
27-Oct-01 - V.92 upgrade for USR modems - The list of USR modems for which a free V.92 upgrade will be made available has been changed and shortened. There still is only one USR modem - the 5686 external fax modem - for which a V.92 upgrade is currently available. There are now only 14 product codes for which a V.92 upgrade is "coming soon". It is worth noting that over 7 months ago, USR promised V.92 upgrades would be "coming soon" for 74 product codes. (See 22-Mar-01 update below.)
18-Oct-01 - Prodigy to use Level3 & offer V.92 - Prodigy, formerly a Navipath customer, will become a Level3 Communications customer. V.92 access may be offered by the end of 2001. See this Level3 Press Release.
22-Sep-01 - Navipath going out of business - Internet.com reports that Navipath, which provides national wholesale access in the US to hundred of ISPs, is exiting the business at the end of this month. In July, Navipath became the first - and still only - national access provider offering V.92 support. The Navipath web site now consists of a single page, and the July press release has been removed. (See 8-Jul-01 update below.) Most ISPs using Navipath POPs likely will continue serving customers by switching to other wholesale providers; but, the national network of V.92 access numbers may soon disappear.
1-Sep-01 - Conexant HCF - Phoebe Micro has added a Modem-on-hold applet as well as Win2K and Me beta V.92 drivers to its website. The is the first release of a modem-on-hold applet - which is necessary to take advantage of the V.92 call-waiting/hold capabilities. See Conexant HCF Driver page. (Lucent/Agere-based Zoom 3025L's sold in November of last year still don't have a Modem-on-hold applet.)
23-Aug-01 - Nortel CVX - While Nortel may sell the CVX division, I'm told that development of the product line is continuing. V.92/V.44 is reported to be in beta testing.
22-Aug-01 - USR Courier & Performance Pro - Steve Zager, US Robotics' Analog Product Manager says V.92 upgrades will definitely be made for the Performance Pro 5610A modem. The older 25mhz Couriers (2805 and 2806) will also get a V.92 upgrade; but, no upgrade for the 20mhz Couriers. Zager indicated the upgrades are targeted for release sometime after September, but before April of 2002. The 5610A upgrade might be available as early as October 15. (This report corrects earlier report - see Apr 3 update below.)
17-Aug-01 - Lucent Ascend Max Gripes - Ascend users are griping because V.92/V.44 support for their MAX TNT's is coming at a price: service contract. [Nearly all server-side RAS makers gave free upgrades from K56Flex or x2 to V.90.] This post indicates Nortel Networks is discontinuing development of its RAS business - including the CVX. (See - 23-Aug update above)
Lucent/Agere LT Win Modem - new V.92 driver version 8.10 available here.
15-Aug-01 - HCF & V.92 - Phoebe Micro's website has a beta V.92 driver for the RocketExpress HCF. With proper tinkering, this driver can be used on other HCF modems. See: HCF Driver Page.
14-Aug-01 - USR Courier V.92 upgrade - It appears that US Robotics has had a positive change of heart regarding V.92 on "V.Everything" Courier modems: a V.92 upgrade will be developed for model 2805, 2806 and the new 3453 Couriers. The USR V.92 Upgrade Qualifier has now been updated to include 2805 and 2806 models. (Note: USR has indicated V.44 will not be part of the V.92 upgrade, and they have no plans to provide a V.44 upgrade. Sources for this info include Alexey Stanovy at www.usrsupport.ru & Gordon Shumway at Maximumpc.com.) Meanwhile, the infamous "Performance Pro" is still listed as a model that will have an upgrade even though my information indicates an upgrade will not be made.
11-Aug-01 - V.92 in Massachusetts - EclecTechs in Northampton, MA announces V.92 and seeks end-users for beta testeing.
3-Aug-01 - USR Control Center - Post in Forum56 indicates the USR Control Center software has been updated so that it [finally] recognizes the 5686D V.92 modem as a USR modem, and that there is an updated firmware release for it (that poster says improved performance). Remember 5686 modems are hardware controller-based - See Flashing Sportsters.
14-Jul-01 - Commworks starts V.92 compatibility testing - Zoom's web site has 3Com's Commworks June 4 press release announcing the addition of V.92 and V.44 to it's compatibility program. Strange - I can't find this press release on either the 3Com or Commworks sites.... Basically, there is no change from info in the 6-Apr-01 update below: ISPs using later-model 3Com RAS are scheduled to have V.92/V.44 available "in the third quarter".
10-Jul-01 - Cisco Release V.92/V.44 - With IOS release 12.2(2)XA, V.92 and V.44 firmware is available for ISPs using Cisco certain configurations of Cisco AS5300/5400 Remote Access Servers. (The V.92 support does not yet include PCM upstream.) V.92/V.44 support for AS5800/5850 is expected in a few months.
8-Jul-01 - Navipath has issued a
press releaseindicating it is the first ISP to provide nationwide support for V.92 and V.44. Navipath operates as a wholesale access provider and doesn't offer access service (or a phone number list) directly to the public. It also doesn't identify any ISPs that use its access service. (See 22-Sep-01 update: Navipath going out of business.)
3-Jul-01 - Conexant HCF & V.92 - The first V.92 HCF drivers spotted by Brilenkov on the Diamond site supporting their USB modem using the HCF chipset. See HCF Driver Page (Diamond listing).
1-Jul-01 - Conexant HSF Soft56 & V.92 - A 3.xx 'V.92' driver spotted by Javier from Diamond's FTP site. See the Soft56 Page for link to 3.05.12 driver.
1-Jul-01 - Rock River, IL V.92 - Rock River Internet has upgraded Lucent Ascend-MAX access equipment to V.92 to be 'the first on the block' - but a message to Ascend-users discussion group indicates the upgrade is a "...waste of money." The ISP says that USR's V.92 modems won't connect to the Lucent server if either modem-on-hold or Quick Connect is enabled...
17-Jun-01 - Conexant HSF Soft56 & V.92 - A 3.xx driver available from Microsoft may say it supports V.92 commands, but not actually allow them. See this new page on the Soft56 & V.92. The links for the 3.05.02 driver are on the Soft56 Page. Meanwhile, Zoltrix is reported to be selling a HSF modem with a red V.92 sticker on the box, but supplied with 2.x V.90 drivers. Currently, there are no V.92 drivers on the Zoltrix site. The driver on the Microsoft site lists only Conexant as the manufacturer, and the driver supports "Generic Conexant Soft56"; however, only a single PCI ID is supported by the driver, and Conexant has never made generic drivers available. New pages on the site describe, step-by-step, how to use this driver with other PCI ID's.
9-Jun-01 - Cisco's V.92 release now expected in July. (See 14-Apr-01 update). Surf Communications announces V.92 support in its product line. Surf specializes in products that enable analog modems to work with IP telephony.
9-Jun-01 - Dell & Compaq & V.92 - Lucent spin-off Agere will supply Dell & Compaq with V.92 modems (not just chipsets) based upon a new version of the Mars chipset ('LT Win Modem'). Compaq will begin selling the modem in kit form within the next 60 days for Deskpro models while Dell's V.92 modem is not expected until this fall.
12-May-01 - Conexant V.92 - Phoebe Micro's marketing department told me that they are selling a "V.92 upgradeable modem" and will be adding that to the product description (see 10-May update below). They indicate Conexant V.92 code has not been finalized, and V.92 drivers will be made available for their V.92 modems after Phoebe receives Conexant code (end of May), and completes its own testing of the code. The modems will support V.92 and V.44.
10-May-01 - Conexant V.92 that's not V.92? - Phoebe Micro's website now lists 2 Conexant-based V.92 modems - the Rocket V.92 Express is a controllerless 'HCF' modem; and, the Rocket Link V.92 a Soft56 'HSF'. It's pretty apparent Phoebe simply copied the specs for V.90 HCF and HSF modems, as other than the V.92 in the name, there is no mention of V.92 on the product pages. Phoebe's Driver downloads include "V.92" drivers for these modems. However, an examination of the driver download indicates these are not V.92 drivers at all - they are V.90 only! The firmware files in the downloads for HSF and HCF are July and March, 2000, well before V.92 was being developed.
10-May-01 - Lucent & V.92 - Mark Seward, Network Operations Manager at Paradise.Net indicates that the V.92 testing (see 13-Apr-01 update below) involves modems that are part of the regular dial-in hunt group. With this arrangement, a customer may get a V.92 or V.90 modem on any particular call. Seward says that there is a pilot dial-in number set up for customers who wish to get a V.92 capable modem on all calls. He also says that trials are progressing well, and that they have seen no problems supporting legacy (V.90 and V.34) modems. Also - I'm told that RuralNetwork.net in Idaho has upgraded to V.92 on one of its 56k dialup numbers (not sure what vendor's V.92 they are using).
5-May-01 - Lucent & V.92 - Heather Becker, director of marketing and communications for CLEC Contact Communications and ISP Wyoming.com, indicates the information another contact at Contact gave me in April is incorrect (see 13-Apr-01 update below). Becker indicated that Wyoming.com has POPs in 14 cities, and has been running beta, and now production V.92/V.44 code in 3 cities: Cheyenne, Riverton, and Lander, Wyoming. Wyoming.com is not promoting and doesn't mention V.92 on its website, and Becker says "We will market its availability to our end users and expand its deployment to our other Points of Presence when we complete modem testing." She also indicates successful testing with client modems, and no problems with legacy V.90 modems connecting, although some V.92 modems (Zoom and USR) may have some problems in some situations, and they are waiting for these vendors to fix their modem code before fully deploying V.92.
21-Apr-01 - Phoebe Micro - makers of modems using various chipsets including Conexant, PCTel and others says "...only certain modems can be upgraded to V.92 because of the hardware issue. You need to have a V.92 upgradeable modem in order to achieve the latest standard." Without indicating what modems are upgradeable, the page indicates when "ISP upgrade issues" are cleared, they will have V.92 upgrade software available. See Phoebe Micro V.92 page.
14-Apr-01 - Cisco & V.92 - Cisco's plans for V.92 have been delayed (see 28-Dec-00 update below). V.92 (without PCM upstream) and V.44 are currently in beta testing, and a May release is expected for NextPort CSMv6 modem, and a June release for Mica modems in AS5300 & AS5800 servers. V.92/V.44 support for the 3600 with Mica modem will be delayed. V.92 PCM upstream will only be available with the NextPort, and is targeted for a 3rd-quarter release.
13-Apr-01 - Lucent V.92 - The Lucent V.92 press release (see 5-Apr below) identifies 2 ISPs that have implemented V.92 "live" or "in a production environment. I have contacted both ISPs, and neither is running V.92 on Lucent RAS in what I would call a production environment: Contact Communications, a CLEC in Riverton, Wyoming told me "We are currently doing beta testing of V.92 with selected testers. As you noted there are still some problems with the modems. It is not currently available [to retail users]." Paradise.Net in New Zealand told me "At the moment we are trialling the V.92 code. The trials are progressing nicely although at this stage we have no eta on V.92 being available [to our customers]."
13-Apr-01 - V.92 commands updated. See V.92 Commands.
6-Apr-01 - 3Com announces V.92 for Total Control - CommWorks, a 3Com company has issued a press release announcing the Total Control 1000 line of Remote Access Servers will support V.92 (no mention of V.44) with a software upgrade expected to be available in the third quarter of 2001. While the release indicates the upgrade will be "free" - it's free only if the ISP has an (expensive) service contract with 3Com. In addition, only the latest "enhanced" line will get V.92 - earlier TotalControl equipment will not qualify even with a service contract.
5-Apr-01 - Lucent announces V.92 for Ascend MAX - In a 3-Apr-01 press release, Lucent indicates it is the first vendor to provide V.92 and V.44 support for ISPs. Read closely and you'll see that PCM upstream is not included with the release - it will be "...late this year." US Robotics' V.92 modems may be unable to connect to V.92 servers - USR bug page updated.
4-Apr-01 - Nortel Networks & V.92 - V.92 code for Nortel's high-density CVX access servers is currently in beta; while a new CVX release is expected around May 1, it appears it will not include V.92 which will remain in an extended beta and appear as a separate release. V.44 compression apparently will be supported on only the CVX's CSM6 double-density modem cards - V.44 will not be supported on CSM3 modem cards.
The first quarter of 2001 has passed, and no server-side modem vendor has released V.92.
Zoom continues to ship and sell "V.92" modems that lack key elements of the protocol - and provides no updates that will allow these modems to actually do V.92 when it becomes available!
3-Apr-01 - USR & V.92 - It gets more confusing.... The 30-Mar update that follows mentions the Performance Pro modem will be discontinued, and that no V.92 upgrade will be available. It has been on, off and is now back on the list of modems for which an upgrade will be available at the USR website. I have re-checked the tape of my conversation with USR's Rob Thomsen on 22-Mar-01, and he did indicate to me at that time the Performance Pro would be discontinued and that no V.92 upgrade would be available for it. As you can read below, I'm not holding my breath for clarification...
30-Mar-01 -USR V.92 Bug page updated.
After I made inquiries regarding US Robotics' February V.92 press release, public relations firm - Maples Communications - scheduled an interview with for 22-Mar with Kevin Lacey. On 22-Mar, I was told I would be not be talking with engineer Lacey, but USR marketing's Rob Thomsen. Before I was able to ask all my questions, Maples told me they had to end the interview. I was told I could submit the additional questions via e-mail, and that they would respond. I immediately e-mailed additional questions, and a week later had received no reply whatsoever. On 29-Mar, I inquired whether there would be any response to my questions. Maples' Mike Kilroy told me:
As you can imagine, USR product managers are very busy people, especially with the new direction of the company. I have to be careful how much I take of their time responding to media inquiries forwarded by me.
I will attempt to answer your additional questions but it may take a few days to a couple of weeks.
As of today, the text on the USR V.92 upgrade page has been changed: if your modem's product code is not listed in the drop-down box, it now indicates that your modem will not be eligible for a V.92 upgrade, and the list of modems included in the list has been updated. For example, the Performance Pro modem (5610A) has been removed from the list. Thomsen indicated that the Performance Pro modem is being discontinued. My additional questions - and commentary. The following item was published 22-Mar-01 after the interview:
22-Mar-01 - There are mistakes in the design of USR's V.92 modem upgrade pages according to Rob Thomsen, USR Product Line Manager: the drop-down list of modems is intended to be the complete list of modems that have, or will at some point have a V.92 upgrade, but there are some models for which an upgrade is intended that are missing from the list; he also indicates that the message to check back if your model is not listed should state that if your model is not listed there will be no V.92 upgrade for your modem.
The only Courier/V.Everything modem that will have a V.92 upgrade is the newly designed, mostly unavailable Courier model 3453. (This Courier has been shipping internationally for less than 6 months, and the old EOL'd Courier model 2806 is the one currently listed for sale on USR's website.) Thomsen indicated that USR plans to offer a trade-up plan for owners of older Couriers allowing them to exchange their old Courier for a new V.92 model at a reduced price. Bottom-of-the-line Winmodems, as well as OfficeConnect and PerformancePro, and modems that were originally sold without V.90 (x2 with V.90 upgrade) will not qualify for a V.92 upgrade.
It appears to me there is an even bigger mistake at USR: the implied promise of modem upgrades versus the reality. The USR V.92 FAQ currently has Q&A - Q: Will Current V.90 products be upgradable? A: Yes. Many will be. While there are 74 product numbers on the USR drop-down list, I can't figure out what most of these actually are. In most cases, the product numbers listed for currently available products on USR's site do not appear in the upgrade list! In addition to the Courier, OfficeConnect and PerformancePro, other current modems which will not have a V.92 upgrade include 56k-external voice modem 5605; and internal PCI model 5687: Out of 7 currently listed consumer models, upgrades will be available for 2. Out of the 5 Courier models listed on USR's product page, zero will have V.92 upgrades. Out of 6 Laptop (PC-Card) modems listed on USR's product page, none are currently included in the V.92 upgrade list. Many?
I assumed that USR (and other modem vendors) would support V.44 compression in conjunction with V.92, but USR's V.92 product does not implement the new V.44 compression standard.
It also appears there's a change in the USR software originally described as allowing for 3 rate optimizations with V.92: upstream, downstream or balanced. The USR website currently describes ControlCenter as allowing the user to set the modem for maximum downstream, or "balanced". (Based upon prior updates, this appears consistent with a V.92 PCM upstream that can only be on or off and does not allow for setting upstream or downstream speed limits; the increased upstream will come with a reduction in downstream rate.)
16-Mar-01 - 3Com & V.92 - 3Com remains the vendor for many ISPs using what used to be US Robotics' Total Control Remote Access Servers via the new CommWorks division. Indications are V.92 capability will be available for the Total Control (TC1000) chassis with 24 or 96-port HiPer DSP modems as a software upgrade SKU (presumably with a price). The upgrade is expected to be available to ISP customers sometime after June of this year. 3Com has confirmed that V.92/V.44 will not be available for customers with older Quad Modem DSP Cards.
8-Mar-01 - USR & V.92 - The USR website now has promised free upgrades for a handful of USR modem models. Early reports indicate some trouble: some users are reporting lower V.90 connect speeds with the new V.92 firmware. There also appears to be a bug. Warning: USR provides no [easy] way of flashing your modem back to a prior version! The HTML source code for the USR upgrade page contains comments that might be indicative of future plans, and also reveals there are only 2 model #s (out of 74 listed) for which V.92 upgrade are currently available - see this page.
USR now has a retail V.92 modem: USR5686D - an external modem listing at $149.
At least some of top-of-the-line Courier V.Everything's do not currently qualify for a free upgrade! USR says to check back "at a later time" if your model number is not listed. USR indicates that its V.92 implementation includes software to support call-waiting and modem-on-hold, and allows the user to optimize the connection for upstream, downstream or to balance the two. [It appears that until V.92 servers are available, an upgraded modem may be set to disconnect on call waiting in a manner similar to the Lucent Win Modem.] USR, which is using a new public-relations company, has not responded to my questions and requests for more information.
24-Feb-01 - USR & V.92 - US Robotics has issued a V.92 Press Release. The release does not give any specific information about V.92 products or upgrades, but indicates USR V.92 modems should be available by the end of March. ZDNet has published a related story with information that is not contained in the official USR release. Zoom has been selling "V.92" modems since last November, and has not yet provided any driver updates. The drivers provided by Zoom will not work properly, or support all V.92 features like modem-on-hold. V.92 servers should start appearing soon - and I hope Zoom will provide necessary drivers before that occurs!
18-Feb-01 - Nortel/Bay V.92 - It appears that Nortel, which purchased Bay Networks and its 5300-series line of ISP access equipment, will not support V.92 on the 5300 series. Nortel V.92 upgrades will be made only for the newer CVX series of access servers. A February 12 Press Release indicates that V.92 will be available for the CVX series during the first quarter of this year.
9-Jan-01 - USR & V.92 - The US Robotics web site had a
V.92 press releasedated 6-Jan-01 which was removed from the site after report of the release here. A USR spokesperson told me today that the release was a mistake - that while USR made a number of press releases in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Show, they did not intend to issue the now-removed press release, and that USR is not currently shipping V.92 product. The item said that USR has completed interoperability testing with server-side vendors; that USR is now shipping a 5686 External V.92 Faxmodem, and that "certain" USR products will be upgradeable to the V.92 standard for free, with reference to USR website for more information. It appears that USR is focusing on what it hopes will be high-growth Broadband products - cable & DSL. Also see: Broadband - Not So Fast!
7-Jan-01 - Elsa V.92 modem available. Sold mainly in Europe, this is a USB model. The Elsa site (in German) doesn't specify what chipset is used. Toan tells me it's at Saturn for 159DM ($77 USD) (31-Jan-01: Update - Chipset appears to be Lucent Venus - Hardware controller-based modem.)
28-Dec-00 - V.92 Commands - Updated with V.44/V.42 +DCS= commands.
8-Dec-00 - V.92 servers - Cisco has revealed plans for V.92: There will be no V.92 support for AS5200 servers. 3600, AS5300 and AS5800 servers with Mica modems will support V.44 compression, Modem-on-Hold, and Quick Connect around April, 2001 - there will be no support for V.92 PCM upstream for Mica modems. AS5350, 5400 and 5800 servers using NextPort CSMv6 modems will have V.44 compression, Modem-on-Hold and Quick Connect around March, 2001, and V.92 PCM upstream support is projected for this modem card between July and September, 2001. Note - AS5300's with older Microcom modems will not support V.92 or V.44. [Wording revised 15-Dec-00]
Meanwhile, Conexant's Nov. 22 press release applauds V.92 ratification and indicates Conexant will begin shipping V.92 chipsets 'this year'. It appears that Conexant will not support V.92 or V.44 in any of its existing V.90 consumer chipsets.
28-Nov-00 - Upstream/Downstream Rates - Conexant maintains the V92.com website. The V.92 Faq indicates the PCM upstream may cause reduction in downstream rates of 1.33 - 2.66kbps. This page also moves projections of V.92 server modem availability to "mid-2001".
25-Nov-00 - V.92 servers - Still only vague estimates for when V.92 will become available for ISPs. 3Com has made no formal announcement, but some of its customers have indicated that March, 2001 is the target for V.92 from 3Com. They indicate that 3Com will provide a 'free' upgrade for the HiPer DSP modems, but will not implement V.92 at all for its Quad modems.
22-Nov-00 - Do you have a V.92 modem already? If you have a Lucent-based Win Modem, you may be able to 'preview' V.92 yourself: The drivers on the Zoom website for the new 3025 V.92 modem work with other old LT modems. There's really no need to 'preview' the driver at this time, as there are no V.92 servers to call; however, the compatibility of Lucent's V.92 driver, combined with Zoom's intent not to offer V.92 upgrades for its existing product is significant. More information on the driver compatibility as well as some editorial comment on this new page: LT & V.92. No thanks to Zoom, whose manual with this product is Copyright 1999 with no mention of any V.92 commands, I have information on some V.92 commands and V.250, a proposed standard for modem commands. It also appears that the V.92 PCM upstream may not allow for speed-limit control commands: unlike the downstream limits, PCM upstream is either on or off: if there is an impact on the downstream, you will not be able to tune or limit the upstream rate.
18-Nov-00 PC World story on V.92 - Tracey Capen reports from Comdex that US Robotics "Previews Minor Upgrade in V.92 Modems". The PC World report says "...V.92 will let you speed your upload by sacrificing download performance". (Incorrect information in the article includes: V.90 modems send data to your PC at 56kbps and upload at 32kbps as well as the description of Quick Connect.) The report also says US Robotics plans to offer free V.92 upgrades for "many" of its V.90 models. Update 22-Nov:The USR preview written about by PC World was at a private demonstration off the show floor. USR, Lucent, and Cisco have not responded to my requests for additional information on their Comdex presentations.
16-Nov-00 - Comdex & V.92 - I wish I had been there. I have only sketchy information at this time: Lucent demo's V.92: V.92 modem-on-hold working demo to three servers; V.44 compression working to 2 of the 3 and showing a 33% download improvement over V.42bis on a test file. Apparently, the demo does not include a PCM upstream - possibly due to V.92 upstream/downstream issues reported in recent updates below. Lucent is now the only company in the analog modem business that makes client modem chipsets and server remote access equipment. US Robotics and Conexant have no exhibits. Cisco - which relies on Conexant for its server modem code - may be showing V.92 and I'm seeking more details. 3Com is listed as exhibiting PCMCIA and wireless product - no news on V.92 with the Total Control access server line. The final approval of V.92 as an ITU standard is expected before the end of this week.
14-Nov-00 - Lucent statement on V.92 testing: Responding to my inquiry if Lucent testing indicates V.92 PCM upstream impacts downstream rates, a Lucent spokesperson says:
Our interoperability testing has focused first on the Modem on Hold and QuickConnect features and we are just now beginning to test and analyze PCM Upstream, so we don't have empirical data to support or reject [ the 56k=v.Unreliable report of lower downstream rates ]. We don't believe the PCM Upstream will impact the Downstream rates but will provide more info after further testing.
10-Nov-00 - Lucent issues press release indicating that it has begun interoperability testing and will support V.92 sometime in 2001 with its Ascend line of remote access servers. There is no indication as to what kind of upstream rates - and the effect on the downstream - are being achieved in Lucent's testing. No press release, but an announcement by Lucent Portmaster product manager Marty Likier in the independent Portmaster-users discussion list that the Portmaster line is now formally at end-of-life. Any remaining connectivity issues (and there are some) with PM3's will not be addressed - there will be no more Lucent updates for this product used by many [mostly smaller] ISPs.
V.92 - Upstream/Downstream rates: Testing information.
UPDATE - 4-Nov-00: More on V.92's effect on downstream rates
Revised 21-Oct-00 update - Ed Schulz pointed out in newsgroup post that it is impossible to get V.92 PCM upstream without a PCM downstream connect; original text implied that 48k PCM upstream achieved with a V.34 downstream.
As reported earlier (see 21-Oct-00 update), V.92 may not live up to the promise of improved upstream rates without an impact on downstream rates:
An engineer might explain it this way: In theory, the power generated by the PCM upstream does not effect the downstream until the upstream hits roughly 40K. At that point, the PCM downstream has to be reduced by about 8K. This would mean that if you previously could get a 52k V.90 connection, you would be able to get 44k (52k-8k) downstream while getting 48k upstream. (However, I'm told that this has not been achieved in industry testing.)
It is unclear if performance in the real world will even achieve the theory that upstream rate can go to about 40k without an effect on the downstream: the reason is echo. The upstream PCM signal is echoed back by the telco's line card and becomes part of the downstream. This PCM echo is more difficult to cancel than the conventional V.34 signal creating a higher signal to noise ratio requiring a reduced downstream rate.
UPDATE - 31-Oct-00 - Zoom ships V.92 modem: Zoom issued a press release 26-Oct-00 indicating it has begun high-volume shipment of model 3049 external and model 3025-PCI internal V.92 modems. However, the press release indicates Zoom does not expect any ISPs to offer V.92 service until sometime in 2001, so these new V.92 modems will connect using V.90 in the meantime. Zoom has told me that the models introduced are based on Lucent chipsets, and they will also introduce V.92 product based on Conexant chipsets. Zoom has indicated that it will not make V.92 upgrades available for any of its 56k V.90 product, and that it will continue to make and sell V.90 modems. Expect more product announcements from other vendors as Comdex Fall/2000 approaches Nov 13-17 in Las Vegas.
UPDATE - 21-Oct-00 - V.92 upstream impacts downstream rate in testing: An industry source tells me testing of V.92 modems has achieved 48kbps upstream rate - but with a maximum downstream rate of less than 34K. Initial V.92 product may mean that to get any significant boost in upstream rate, your downstream may drop below 34k. Client modem will need to use different initialization strings to optimize upstream at expense of downstream, or vice-versa. V.92 changes: The ITU working committee has been considering changes to the V.92 specification at recent meetings. 2 changes relate to the new 'Quick Connect' feature - and lengthen slightly the handshake time for quick connect (to prevent premature fallback to V.34, and to ensure answer tone is present long enough to disable telco echo cancellers). Another change specifies which modem will initiate an answer tone when resuming a connection that was placed on call-waiting hold. It is unclear whether a final specification will be ratified when the ITU meets in Geneva November 13-17.
UPDATE - 7-Oct-00 Multi-Tech Systemspublishes V.92 Q&A; says expects to have a V.92 product announcement by the end of the year.
UPDATE - 2-Oct-00 - No V.92 for Lucent/Livingston Portmaster 3 (PM3):
I've been told that Marty Likier, Lucent product manager for the PM3, announced there will be no V.92 support for the Portmaster 3 access server. (Lucent PR has not yet responded to a request to confirm this.) The PM3 is widely used and loved by hundreds of [local and regional] ISPs. Lucent acquired the PM3 with the 1998 purchase of Livingston. In 1999, Lucent purchased Ascend which made competing access equipment (AscendMAX). ISPs using the PM3 apparently will have to buy new access servers if they wish to offer V.92 when it becomes available.
UPDATE - 22-Sep-00 - Lucent announces a new tiny V.90 modem chipset. The release indicates the chipset "...is also upgradable to the emerging V.92 analog modem standard..." My follow-up to Lucent:
The press release indicates the DP2V90DX is upgradable to the new V.92 standard. How will this be accomplished and will there be a charge for this upgrade?
Lucent response: YES, VIA SOFTWARE ENHANCEMENTS (UPGRADES)
Will Lucent make available a V.92 upgrade for its other V.90 modem products (Apollo/Mars, Venus, Scorpio), and if so, what will be the terms and timeframe?
Lucent response: WE PLAN TO PROVIDE SOFTWARE ENHANCEMENTS (UPGRADES) TO THE VAST MAJORITY OF OUR V.90 MODEM CHIP SETS, AND WE INDICATED IN OUR JULY 2000 V.92 PRESS RELEASE THAT WE PLAN TO HAVE SUCH ENHANCEMENTS AVAILABLE THIS FALL.
In response to my follow-up seeking more information, a Lucent spokesman indicated that their V.92 "...pricing strategy will be driver by whatever the market dictates. For competitive reasons, we cannot provide more details regarding pricing." Lucent indicated that the OEM's who buy Lucent chips ultimately control the pricing to endusers.
[It appears to me that this new chipset is similar to the Apollo/Mars software modem with DSP - aka Lucent Win Modem.]
UPDATE - 28-Jul-00 - I spoke with Kevin Lacey, Firmware Development Manager for the new US Robotics who clarified the conflicting statements regarding maximum upstream rate with V.92: The USR release of 44k is incorrect. The V.92 recommendation will permit a maximum upstream rate of 48k. An upgrade for existing USR/Courier V.90/x2 modems is technically possible, but no decision has been made as to how and if an upgrade will be made available.
I expect the call-waiting capability of V.92 to be the most appealing feature for some users: some people are paying $5 - $10/month for an Internet Call Waiting service that could be eliminated with V.92....
UPDATE - 22-Jul-00 - Lucent, U.S. Robotics, Cisco and Conexant have issued mostly vague press releases on V.92. Lucent - July 10, USR July 11. The Cisco/Conexant joint release was issued July 11. Lucent, Conexant and Cisco will be making product that supports V.92 in the fall. USR, no longer a 3Com company, will be shipping client-only V.92 modems "...when interoperability with head-end providers is achieved." 3Com, which has not made any announcements, retained the TotalControl access equipment and server modem line used by many ISPs. Lucent and USR provide more information on the faster handshake:
"Quick Connect will approximately halve the time required for a dial up modem to make the 'handshake' to an Internet Service Provider on regularly used connections..." (Lucent 7/10 release.)
This implies that V.92 modems will have a means to learn and recognize connection characteristics - the reduction in connect time won't occur on all connections. It will be interesting to learn more how this function will be implemented, and how effective it is in the real-world calling. [I would expect it may have problems for customers whose phone company and/or ISP is using robbed-bit-signaling.]
None of the companies have announced any upgrade provisions for current V.90 modem owners - for ISPs or end-users. Hardware modems - modems with flash memory and on-board controller & DSP - can be upgraded only if there is enough on-board memory to hold the new firmware and the vendor makes a V.92 flash available. Technically, all "controllerless" modems (modems requiring Operating-System-specific driver) should be able to support V.92 with a software driver upgrade. All of the 56k server modems used by ISPs are software-controlled and could be upgraded to V.92 with software - as long as the vendor makes that software available to the ISPs.
Conflicting statements on upstream rate: The Lucent press release indicates that the new PCM upstream in V.92 will provide rates up to 48kbps, while the USR release puts the maximum at 44kbps. (See 28-Jul update above - 48k is the correct maximum upstream rate with V.92)
UPDATE - 7-Jul-00 -The International Telecommunication Union has agreed on three new standards. In addition to V.92 - which may provide up to 48kbps upstream on "the best connections", quicker handshaking, and call-waiting/modem-on-hold capabilities, the group hosted by 3Com, Lucent, Conexant and Motorola also adopted recommendations on 2 additional proposed standards. V.44 is a new data compression technique that may provide a 25% improvement over V.42 compression standards - up to a 6:1 ratio. Finally, new procedures for modem and connection fault-finding were recommended in V.59. Final approval of all 3 standards is now slated for a Study Group meeting scheduled for November, 2000. Also see: ITU press release. Modem vendors - for both end users and ISP server modems - still have not publicly announced plans for V.92 support. Conexant has obtained the V92.COM domain which is inactive.
ORIGINAL REPORT - 8-Jun-00
Technical issues reportedly have set back the determination of V.92 - the new dial-up PCM modem standard that may provide up to 44k upstream rates. Action now expected at a June 30 meeting. Normally, once a proposed standard is determined, new V.92 modems will arrive in advance of the formal adoption of the standard some (6+) months later.
When V.90 was introduced, many called it "the last" analog modem standard --- it just wouldn't be possible to go any faster.
V.91 is already a "standard" that allows up to 64k up & downstream rates for "voice" calls over ISDN. There is virtually no deployment of V.91.
What V.92 offers:
Increased upstream rates - up to 44k by using a PCM stream through an a/d conversion. [Still, only 1 a/d conversion is required: if you have trouble getting 56k rates with V.90, there will be no improvement.]
Faster Handshaking - The time to establish a connection may be reduced.
Call-Waiting Compatibility - Allows modems to stay connected 'on-hold' while you take an incoming call-waiting call.
How will V.92 fare in the marketplace? Modems have become a commodity, although USR modems still command a premium price. While new consumer V.92 modems may appear soon, no benefit can occur unless ISPs also upgrade their access equipment.
I'd expect that nearly all 56k modems - consumer and ISP - are capable of being upgraded to support V.92 via a software or firmware flash. I'm not aware of any modem vendor that's announced plans for V.92 product or upgrades. The greed factor may produce upgrade fees, or not developing upgrades for some V.90 product lines at all to try and force purchase of new V.92 technology. (None of the modem players I've contacted are ready to make public statements regarding V.92.) There appears to be little demand among ISPs to add V.92 support.
Increased upstream rates will provide little real-world performance increase for most dial-up activities. I would expect the new PCM upstream - going through an analog to digital conversion - to have even more real-world problems than with today's V.90/V.34 asymmetrical connections. With an estimated 40% of V.90 owners experiencing no V.90 or connectivity problems, the need for speed will be tempered by the disappointing 56k experience to date.
With 3Com shedding it's market-leading and unprofitable modem business to an offshore firm, and Lucent and Conexant still working out some V.90 bugs, we may not see a strong and cohesive marketing push at all.
Most computers sold today come bundled with a "56k modem". Often that's the total description of the modem - V.90 may not even be mentioned. It will be difficult to distinguish the new V.92 "56/44k" from the old V.90 "56k" modem.
In addition to possible increased upstream rates, V.92 will provide quicker handshaking on some types of calls, and a 'data-hold' feature that will allow call-waiting compatibility. You'll be able to hold the modem connection to your ISP while you take an incoming voice call with call-waiting. Despite these improvements, V.92 may produce more headache and pain than benefits for ISPs and the modem industry players.
Standards Process: There are two major steps in getting a modem standard: Determination and Adoption. When a standard is determined, the specifications are "almost" set. Minor revisions may be made to the standard before it is adopted some months (usually 6 or more) later. USR V.90 modems were available less than a week after V.90 was determined, and other vendors quickly followed. "Pre-standard" product was marketed before most prior standards including 14.4/V.32, 28.8-33.6/V.34 and x2/K56Flex/V.90, but this is not happening with V.92.