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3Com rolls out ADSL products

The networking company looks to give high-speed Net access a boost with its latest ADSL offering.

Networking company 3Com (COMS) is giving high-speed Net access a boost this week with the launch of a second generation of ADSL products.

The networking technology, asynchronous digital subscriber line, is not yet widely available domestically. It takes existing phone lines and jacks up the speed at which data can be transmitted, allowing voice traffic to flow simultaneously. ADSL is just one of many technologies that telecommunications firms can choose from in order to boost bandwidth for businesses and consumers.

Developed by U.S. Robotics, now a subsidiary of 3Com, the rollout of ADSL products is targeted at cell networks that already have implemented ATM (asynchronous transfer mode). A previous rollout in March was targeted at frame-based Ethernet networks.

Included in the introduction is a new DSL access multiplexer, or DSLAM, that offers 63 ports for service providers looking to provide high-speed access. Pricing for the hardware starts at $8,762. The Cobra, a single-client modem, and Viper, a multiple-client ADSL router for workgroups, also are being offered, with prices coming in at $300 and $500 respectively. A Transcend Affinity Manager application is available for administration of the new gear, with full production of the new hardware beginning next month.

The new DSL business unit at 3Com, launched ten months ago, boasts over 25 sites in the midst of field trials and tests, according to 3Com. Widespread deployment of ADSL capabilities will now be up to service providers, company representatives said.

3Com also announced plans to integrate the network management software tools of U.S. Robotics into its Transcend suite of tools. Renamed Transcend Network Control Services, the suite will include 3Com's Transcend Enterprise Manager and U.S. Robotics' Total Control Manager. 3Com has said it will offer a single platform across its small, medium, and large business segments by the second half of next year.