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Product Spotlight: Toshiba PCX1100U cable modem

Jun 11, 2001  •  Post A Comment

What it is: Toshiba’s newest cable modem, introduced in January 2001, includes a USB interface in addition to the standard ethernet connectivity. That means cable installers no longer need to open a user’s computer to install an ethernet card. Instead, the USB interface renders the device plug-and-play since the user can plug the modem into the USB port in the back of the computer like a digital camera or a Zip drive. “For cable operators it’s easier for them because they prefer not to open up customers’ computers,” said Christopher Boring, marketing communications manager for Toshiba Information Systems, Network Products Division. He added that the plug-and-play functionality can cut the average install time in half.
Sales: Sales of Toshiba’s cable modems grew 85 percent-from nearly 200,000 units in the fourth quarter of 2000 to 373,000 units in the first quarter of 2001. Mr. Boring attributes the increase to the introduction of the PCX1100U modem in the first quarter of this year.
Availability: The cable modem is offered through cable operators and in retail outlets, including Circuit City, CompUSA and Best Buy. Toshiba modems have been available in retail stores for about a year but Toshiba expanded its retail footprint significantly during the 2000 Christmas season. Mr. Boring estimates about 10 percent to 20 percent of Toshiba’s modems are sold in retail locations. The product comes with self-installation software.
Added benefits: When sold in retail stores, the PCX1100U is bundled with Norton’s Internet security package, which includes firewall, virus and parental-control software, a $79.95 value that is included in the modem’s $169-$199 price. In addition, diagnostic lights on the front of the device make for easy troubleshooting.
Customers: AT&T Broadband, Time Warner, Cox, Comcast and other cable operators.
Competitors: Motorola, 3Com, RCA.