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AetherWorks Breaks the Sound Barrier

by Mark H. Anbinder <mha@publiccom.com>

AetherWorks Corporation last week announced its first ready-for-market technology, a high-speed analog modem that will offer symmetrical 43.2 Kbps connections over an ordinary analog telephone line. The technology, which the Minnesota company calls V.Mach, will be discussed at the company's Las Vegas hotel suite at Comdex this week.

<http://www.aetherworks.com/>

The company plans to license its technology to an undisclosed array of modem manufacturers, with the first models expected by the middle of 1997. Though AetherWorks says its reference platform includes support for all current modem standards including v.34+ (33.6 Kbps) and backward compatibility for previous standards all the way down to 300 bps, it's not certain all manufacturers will be able to include support for uncommon protocols, such as AT&T's v.32terbo (19.2 Kbps, included in Global Village Mercury modems). Compression and error correction standards such as the MNP suite and v.42 and v.42bis are supported in current prototypes and should be handled by most, if not all, licensee modems.

AetherWorks president and CEO Dr. Jonathan Sachs commented that the V.Mach technology performs especially well on noisy telephone lines, where some modem protocols fall down. He added that V.Mach performs at least as well as previous technologies all the way down the line quality spectrum.

V.Mach modems should be well suited to high-speed Internet dialup connections and network-to-network routing applications. Sachs is confident demand for analog modems such as those containing the V.Mach technology will remain high for the next several years; he says that recently announced asymmetrical 56 Kbps technologies require a digital local loop on one end of the connection and unusually high analog line quality, so these technologies will not be well-suited to most consumer and business applications where higher-speed technologies such as ISDN aren't appropriate.

AetherWorks is also working on a telephony service called Jeeves, which the company says will revolutionize computer telephony by offering such capabilities as having email read over the phone and having voicemail transferred to a laptop.

AetherWorks Corporation -- 888/552-3309 -- 888/552-3301 (fax)
<info@aetherworks.com>