by Mark H. Anbinder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This Tuesday, Global Village Communication will announce a new line of PC Card modems and Ethernet/modem combination cards offering 56 Kbps telecommunications to laptop users. The new cards support the K56flex technology developed by Rockwell and Lucent and should reach customers in mid-June.
The PC Cards will initially support PowerBook 190, 5300-, and 1400-series computers running System 7.5 or later. Global Village plans to ship a free software update in July for PowerBook 3400- and 2400-series laptops. Global Village is also releasing a parallel pair of modem and Ethernet/modem combo PC Cards for Windows 95 laptops - it's the first time the company has offered the same products simultaneously for Macintosh and Windows. Both cards offer fax capability via the popular GlobalFax software.
In response to questions about using K56flex technology over the competing U.S. Robotics X2 56 Kbps technology, Global Village said they had found broader support in the Internet Service Provider community for K56flex dialup users, and the same was true in the remote access server market dominated by companies like Cisco and Shiva. The new modems have a flexible flash ROM and software upgradable DSP technology that the company anticipates will allow upgrades to whatever 56 Kbps technology emerges as a standard. (Global Village Platinum 28.8 Kbps modem owners have been able to upgrade at no charge to 33.6 Kbps using updaters.)
The 56K cards use the same external dongle (known as a Clyde) as previous Global Village PC Card products to provide telephone and 10Base-T Ethernet connections. The Clyde also helps protect the card from surges and higher line voltages on some digital phone systems. The cards support the cellular adapter cables sold for Global Village's previous PC Card products. Global Village expects street price around $269 for the modem alone; $379 for the modem/Ethernet combo cards.
Global Village Communication -- 800/736-4821 -- 408/523-1000
408/523-2407 (fax) -- <email@example.com>