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asymmetric modem

A full-duplex modem that transmits data in one direction at one speed and simultaneously in the other direction at another speed. Contrast with ping pong. See V.90.


An ITU standard (1998) for an analog modem that communicates at 56 Kbps downstream and 33.6 Kbps upstream. It was designed for ISPs and online services that are digitally attached to the telephone system via T1 and T3 circuits.

In practice, the downstream link is not faster than 45 Kbps in these PCM modems, so called because they use pulse code modulation downstream and standard V.34 upstream. Initially, two incompatible technologies competed in this arena: x2 from U.S. Robotics and K56Flex from Rockwell and Lucent. Such modems can be upgraded to V.90 if they contain software-upgradable memory chips. See V.92, V.34 and channel bonding.

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