USR was one of the first companies to offer high-speed dialup modems for PCs. Catering to early BBS operators and users, the company set new standards in modem speed in 1984 with the introduction of V.32 modems that supported data transfer at a then-blazing 9,600 bits per second. In the early 1990s, USR secured a relationship with CompuServe, an early provider of online information, to offer the company’s modems to subscribers. USR also entered the burgeoning fax and laptop modem market at that time. The company quickly became a favored brand for PC manufacturers, and therefore experienced even greater awareness and distribution. Continuing to expand the power of modems to V.32bis and V.34, the company began a concerted push into retail channels. By 1996, its brand strength, revenues, technological innovation, and partnerships were unparalleled in the modem industry.
With the dial-up modem business as its foundation, USR expanded its brand to include content distribution and storage products. With the February 1997 introduction of x2, the precursor to the current V.90 56K standard, USR modems became the modem of choice for the Internet revolution. The company was acquired by, and later spun off from, 3Com Corporation, resulting in a major reorganization and restructuring in September 2000.
In the succeeding months, USR solidified its channel partner relationships and worldwide supply chain, while rebuilding its IT infrastructure, sales force, and support staff. In January 2001, the company moved its corporate headquarters to Schaumburg, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. In March 2001, USR shipped the fist V.92-compliant modems that successfully completed interoperability testing with major network equipment providers.
Aquired by UNICOM Global in 2013, USR currently operates from offices in the United States and United Kingdom, as well as satellite offices in seven other countries. Today, employees worldwide support the millions of users of USR dialup modems, computer peripherals, and security devices.
A Bright Future
Long recognized as a leader in the Internet access industry, USR continues to break ground in the way users connect to information, entertainment, and each other. The company focuses on providing innovative products that access, distribute, and store information, content, and communications for the home, home office, and small- to medium-business markets.
As users become more adept at manipulating, and more demanding of, technology, USR will strive to fulfill each and every need of its end users – whether that means a fully-networked home with wide-ranging, wireless connectivity or a virtual office of team members accessing secure data from miles apart.
Leveraging its analog modem line’s key strengths – brand equity and channel penetration – USR will continue to bring new products to its worldwide customer base quickly and competitively. Users can expect simplicity in setup and use, reliability and convenience, as well as the dependable service and support that USR's customers have enjoyed for three decades.
USR continues to be recognized by users as the standard in quality, reliability, and technical innovation. Hallmarks of the brand include:
Simplicity – USR products offer an excellent out of the box experience including clear instructions and easy set-up;
Reliability – USR products are simple to maintain and use, with a long service life for long-term value;
Integration – USR products feature an outstanding level of interoperability for use with most other connectivity products and services;
Performance – USR products offer best in class performance with speed, reliability, and security;
Ease of Interaction – USR is responsive and professional, making retailer, customer, and vendor interactions easy and smooth.
Responsible for delivering the leading edge technology and simple-to-use solutions that are the cornerstones of the USR brand, the Engineering team performs three key roles within the organization: Development and Productization, Engineering Services, and Test Engineering. The Development and Productization Team has a history of successful product launches and technology firsts in several different, high volume consumer product lines. The Engineering Services Team adds expertise in safety and worldwide regulatory compliance, component engineering, and mechanical design. The diverse backgrounds and rich knowledge base of the Test Engineering Team rounds out the USR Engineering team, ensuring a balance between leading-edge technology and product ease-of-use, to provide an outstanding customer experience.
USR's efforts are concentrated on the emerging home connectivity market and small enterprise networking solutions targeted at the home, home office, and small- to medium-business markets.
The increasing availability of broadband to the home and home office markets, and the ever-growing bandwidth of such connections, has shifted the individual home Internet connection to a fully integrated home network, with multiple devices supporting multiple connections and applications, including data, voice, video, and file sharing. It is these homes and networks that can take advantage of USR’s fully integrated products for access, security, speed, and range.
Small- to medium-businesses have undergone a transition due to increased availability of Wi-Fi products and access, as well as the convergence of data, voice, and video applications. Too small for major technology providers who build massive networks for thousands of employees, these companies find themselves without the guidance and support needed to build a small- to medium-sized network. USR provides these customers with solutions designed specifically for small businesses with 25 or fewer users.