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-- by Joel T. Patz
The Motorola Montana packs 33.6Kbps speed in a Type II PC Card that provides Plug-and-Play installation.
I had no trouble installing the card in an AST Ascentia J notebook and connecting (and staying connected) to a variety of online services. The modem supports current communication standards, including V.34 (1996), V.42bis (MNP5) data compression, V.42/MNP2-4 error correction, the Hayes command set, and Group 3, Class 1 and Class 2 fax modes. It has dual RJ-11 jacks so you can connect a computer and a telephone at the same time. The package includes QuickLink data and fax software.
The Montana will be of special interest to cellular phone users. Tested with a Motorola MicroTAC Lite cellular phone, the card supported autodial, autoanswer and cable detection features that automatically reconfigure the modem for cellular operation. The Montana is equipped with Enhanced Throughput Cellular (ETC) error correction protocol, and you'll be able to flash upgrade to the ETC2 specification when it's finalized. A MicroTAC phone cable is a $10 accessory.
Motorola claims that the Montana will successfully connect at rates of 24Kbps or greater all the time, even in areas with poor line conditions. Although located in a major metropolitan area, I had no problems connecting or maintaining satisfactory communications.
The Montana PC Card is a good choice for people who want a high-performance modem but don't need a LAN adapter. As such, it finds a spot on our Recommended List next to the Ositech Jack of Diamonds.