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Lucent pushing DSL technologies

Lucent unveils a combination DSL/56-kbps modem chipset and also a device incorporating a network router, a modem, and a second phone line.

At the Networld+Interop trade show today in Las Vegas, Lucent unveiled new products for accessing networks with high-speed DSL (digital subscriber line) technology, including new modem chipsets.

Lucent said its WildWire chipset for end-user modems will allow data to be downloaded at 1.5 mbps (megabits per second) when connected to DSL service providers. With the same chipset, users can also dial in to regular Internet service providers and download data at a maximum rate of 56 kbps (kilobits per second).

The WildWire chipset will allow users to maintain a continuous Internet link without interrupting telephone service. Importantly, users will not incur additional installation fees because this and other DSL "lite" technology reduces costs by eliminating a piece of equipment known as a "splitter."

Initially, users will only be able to connect to DSL equipment sold by Lucent to service providers. Modems with the WildWire chipset will be software upgradeable to new international standards that could come by the end of the year, Lucent said.

The chipset will be available to PC manufacturers by the third quarter of 1998, so that they can offer new PCs with the DSL/56-kbps modems by the Christmas selling season, Lucent said. The chipset will cost $69 in quantities of 10,000, compared to around $30 for the 56-kbps modem alone.

Lucent also introduced its Personal Media Router, a device which incorporates a network router, a modem, and a second phone line. Up to four PCs or peripherals can be connected to the device for sharing files and peripherals, Lucent said.

The device, aimed at use in small and home office settings, will be available by the end of 1998. Lucent's central office equipment, which supports the use of Internet Protocol (IP) networking standards, will also be available at that time.