The European modem channel is clogged up by uncertainty over when US Robotics will deliver its 56Kbps modems outside the US. Today, USR promised its X2 technology would ship in Europe "soon" but would not be more specific. The delay is only pouring oil on the burning debate over 56Kbps standards.
Dealers are holding back on selling 33Kbps modems as customers wait for the new models. Steve Bradshaw, director of product marketing at US Robotics Europe, agreed people were waiting for the latest technology but said they can upgrade anyway. He said: ?We have released 56K modems in the US and we?re preparing a release in Europe very shortly. Anyone who buys our 33K modem has an upgrade path whether it?s in chip or flash memory.?
But that was met by derision by Dave Curl, marketing manager at PC cardmaker Psion Dacom, who believes users need standards - USR's X2 technology is rivalling the 56K specification from Lucent and Rockwell to gain dominance. ?56Kbps is a very good thing and ultimately it will be good news for users when a standard is agreed. At Cebit USR were pushing three different PC Card modems which we thought were vapourware.?
He said many modem manufacturers, including his own, supported a 56Kbps standard. ?You have to agree with USR that 56Kbps was the marketing coup of 1996. But corporate users are not impressed by marketing coups. They?re impressed by scalable solutions and they don?t want smoke and mirrors.?
He said Psion Dacom and many other manufacturers supported the Rockwell-Lucent standard. That was more likely to prevail in the long run.
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