Gateway 2000 Inc. has aligned itself with U.S. Robotics Corp. in the battle of 56K-bps modem standards.
The North Sioux City, S.D., direct PC vendor will bundle modems featuring USR's x2 technology with desktop systems starting in April.
Gateway said its most popular modem, the TelePath 33.6 /14.4-bps data/fax modem for Windows, is made by USR, and systems shipped with the modem after April will feature the new technology. Customers who already own TelePaths can upgrade to x2 for a charge, using a software upgrade Gateway expects to make available next month.
USR has lobbied hard to have OEMs and Internet service providers pick x2, instead of the competing Lucent Technologies Inc./Rockwell Semiconductor Systems Inc. K56Flex.
The two modem technologies are incompatible at speeds greater than 33.6K bps. But so far, indications are that neither technology has been able to consistently reach 56K bps.