Intel plans to make its first splash in the broadband networking arena this autumn when it launches a range of PC based digital subcriber line (DSL) modems.
The move follows its decision to set up a communications product group earlier this week (see VNU Newswire, 15 July, 1999) to target areas outside of its traditional desktop and processor based networking niche. The group will house its switches, hubs and routers products.
But Greg Lang, vice president of Intel's network interface division, said the chip giant would also work with Cisco to develop a range of DSL modems that work with the networking supplier's central office DSL equipment.
The modems will also support other third party DSL equipment from vendors such as Alcatel and Fujitsu, however, and be compatible with the G.lite and G.DMT DSL standards. These enable consumers to surf the Internet and take telephone calls over the same line at the same time.
Lang said: "The DSL modems will be sold through telcos for consumers to put in their PCs," adding that the company was also in discussions with a number of European telcos to resell the offerings.
He believes Europe could be a huge market for DSL because Europeans already heavy use ISDN heavily and are ready to migrate. "DSL offers higher data rates," he explained.
And Intel had highlighted the relationship with Cisco, he explained, because the two had historically combined Cisco's backend switching technology with Intel's desktop networking tools.
The G.lite standard was ratified last month by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and is expected to bring DSL technology to the masses. It gives consumers a download speed of up to 1.5Mbps, which is dramatically faster than 56Kbps dialup modems and very close to the performance offered by cable modems.
Unlike G.DMT, or full rate DSL, it does not require a splitter - a box that is mounted outside the consumer's house to separate voice and data traffic. But full rate DSL also boasts download speeds of up to 6Mpbs and is aimed users who are constantly downloading Web information.
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