Advice on upgrading K56Flex modem

Matthew Hawkins matthew at
Mon Sep 17 09:25:52 EST 2001

On Mon, 17 Sep 2001, Felix Karpfen wrote:
> I currently own a Maestro K56Flex modem, that has served me faithfully
> and long.  It was my understanding that the main benefit of the more
> recent V90 modems is that they handle uploads at greater speeds - a
> non-issue on my box.

I think that's an urban legend.  It does have some basis in fact, though
- before the V.90 standard, there were two competing standards; Lucent's
k56flex and USR's x2.  They could not talk to each other at more than
33.6kbps.  So if you're dialling in to a x2 rack, you'll only be getting
33.6k rather than (close to) 56k.

> However, I have recently been advised that an upgrade would be wise
> because V90 modems are intrinsically more stable.  

Actually (from memory) 13 of the 15 technologies in the standard were
taken from Lucent (ie, are your k56flex).  What you will get though is
interoperability with any other V.90 modem (ie, you can talk 56K)

> Is this the case?  And if so, do I stick with the local supplier or is
> there something to be gained from looking further afield?

It could be cheaper to contact the manufacturer of your modem (and go
through the local supplier if you like...) and get the V.90 upgrade for
your modem.  Most modem manufacturers announced free upgrades (flash
rom software update) to the V.90 standard if you purchased a k56flex or



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