Google is mere days away from unveiling its new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, as well as their new Andromeda operating system which is said to be an infusion of Chrome OS and Android, and could be the next big thing which will be ready in 2017.
The upcoming hardware-focused media event should see a bunch of new devices unveiled by Google, with notorious leaker Evan Blass teasing the Chromecast Ultra. Google's purported Chromecast Ultra is a 4K-ready device, which will have the same form factor as the current Chromecast, but it not features a "G" insignia, with the Chromecast logo removed.
The new 4K-ready Chromecast rocks a physical button, which could be used as a reset button, or an on/off switch. Google will reportedly be shipping the new 4K-powered Chromecast Ultra in October, for just $69.
As I type this, I'm connected to a 100/40Mbps fiber connection with the National Broadband Network (NBN) here in Australia. It's one of the fastest connections you can get, but 1Gbps seems like a distant goal for most people - and now we're already hearing about 1Tbps connections.
Recently, Nokia Bell Labs with the help of Deutsche Telekom and the Technical University of Munich have teased 1Tbps connectivity in a field trial that involved "real conditions" like varying channel conditions and traffic levels. The difference here was a new modulation technique called Probabilistic Constellation Shaping.
Engadget reports that instead of using "all the networking's constellation points (the "alphabet of the transmission") equally, like typical fiber, it prefers those points with lower amplitudes -- the ones that are less susceptible to noise. That helps transmissions reach up to 30 percent further, since you can adapt the transmission rate to fit the channel. It's so effective that the team got close to the theoretical peak data speeds possible for the fiber connection".
We all hate data caps, and it seems Netflix isn't a fan of breathing internet under water, through a straw, either.
The streaming giant wrote a very strongly worded letter to the FCC, saying: "Data caps on fixed line networks do not appear to serve a legitimate purpose: they are an ineffective network management tool. Data caps on fixed line networks do not serve a traffic management function... the Commission should recognize that data caps and UBP on fixed line networks are an unnecessary constraint on advanced telecommunications capability".
There are some ISPs with 1TB data caps, which are okay for now, but what about constant 4K video streaming through Netflix and YouTube? Netflix notes this in their letter as well, adding: "A data cap or allotment of 300 GB of data per month or higher is required just to meet the Internet television needs of an average American. An above average television watcher, a multi-occupant household, or a consumer wishing to watch in 4K requires a much higher cap".
T-Mobile is preparing to unleash its next big thing: 400Mbps LTE speeds for specific smartphones, in one of 319 cities.
First off, you'll need Samsung's new Galaxy S7 or S7 edge smartphone, and secondly there'll be an update towards the end of October that will provide up to 400Mbps over LTE. The new speed boost is thanks to 4x4 MIMO, which doubles the upload and download speeds by increasing data paths between the smartphone, and the cell tower.
T-Mobile teases that the service is already active in 319 cities, and that it will be pushed down onto Samsung's two flagship smartphones after a software update later this month.
It looks like 5G could become a reality sooner than we think, with the FCC wanting to cut through the usual red tape to make things happen quicker.
A new deal has been signed with the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau that will see them skipping over the usual historic preservation reviews for small 5G cell sites throughout the US. As long as these sites won't "adversely impact" historic locations, 5G will be here faster.
The FCC will also take in some "welcome input" on how to make things even better, but this doesn't mean you will be getting a 5G-powered plan or smartphone in the next 12-18 months. We still haven't had the telecommunications industry agree on a 5G standard, and we don't have any smartphones that have 5G modems in them yet. So we're still a few years away for now.
Last year, Google announced Fiber was making its way to another American city in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, sign-ups for residents and businesses begin: anyone living in Highland Creek can put their name in for Fiber 1000 + TV, Fiber 1000, or Fiber 100 plans ($130, $70, and $50/mo, respectively), with a Fiber phone option for all plans. Meanwhile, eligible small businesses can benefit from one of three new business plans, each debuting in Charlotte.
Google says it will of course expand coverage to more neighbourhoods in the city, but it will take time.
The company is also working on bringing a budget 25mbps service for just $15/mo to financially challenged citizens in Charlotte, as well as gigabit internet free of charge to select public and affordable housing buildings. Google says this venture will "build on existing investments, like our support of digital inclusion fellows at the Urban League, Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library."
There's a huge change coming to Wi-Fi technology, with the industry body behind Wi-Fi meeting, and signing off on a new level of performance that's going to blow the walls off of your house. The only issue is it won't roll out instantly, as we'll need new smartphones, tablets, routers, and Wi-Fi adapters to be upgraded to this super-quick new standard.
The new standard is 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which has individual 5GHz channel speeds of up to 867MHz. The update known as 'Wave 2' is coming, pushing the Wave 1 speeds from 802.11 to new heights, including technologies like MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input multiple output) and wider channel bandwidth that will allow for faster than ever Wi-Fi transfers.
The Wave 2 update to 802.11ac Wi-Fi has maximum channel widths of up to 160MHz, which provides twice the potential throughput of the current 802.11ac devices on the market. Previous chips used up to three input/output streams, but the new standards can do four input/output streams.
Google has just made the internet infrastructure that connects the US with Asia magnitudes faster, with the FASTER Cable System now connected and online. The new FASTER Cable System is packed with the latest technology, and with its six-fiber pair cable it is able to deliver 60Tbps of bandwidth, with Google receiving 10Tbps of that bandwidth.
The super-quick FASTER Cable System was constructed by NEC and funded by a consortium of six companies that included Google and multiple Asian telecom giants. There's a huge 5590-mile trans-Pacific submarine cable that was designed from its inception to "support digital coherent transmission technology, using optimized fibers throughout the submarine portion. The combination of extremely low loss fiber, without a dispersion compensation section, and the latest digital signal processor, which compensates for the huge amount of cumulative dispersion at the end of the cable, enable this six-fiber pair cable to deliver 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific", according to the press release from NEC.
Some of the best technology was used to built the FASTER Cable System, with the "latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology" being used, there would be some problems, right? According to NEC's Project Manager, Kenichi Yoneyama, there were issues - with Yoneyama saying there were "many challenges during the construction", but he said that the now-connected FASTER Cable System would "not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region".
Bluetooth is everywhere... absolutely everywhere, but it's about to get a heck load faster. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) have announced the latest in Bluetooth technology, with Bluetooth 5.0 having twice the speed, 4x the range, and 800% more capacity.
The updated Bluetooth 5.0 standard won't hit until late 2016 or early 2017, but it does promise some huge leaps in bandwidth, speed and range. Bluetooth 5.0 will allow many more devices to have better communication indoors, outdoors, through walls, and more - taking in more connections, and having improved efficiency, with less wait times.
What does this mean for you? Well, Bluetooth 5.0 will allow you to connect to your devices more reliably, with them disconnecting less, and you'll be able to enjoy higher speeds, and a much higher range (4x).
While writing up a bunch of Computex 2016 coverage, I noticed a report over at Tech in Asia about 8K video being streamed over a 5G network. Now remember that the 8K resolution is a retina-busting 7680x4320... yeah, and it's being streamed over a damn 5G network, which doesn't really exist right now.
Japanese telco Docomo has said that it has started testing live streaming 8K video over a 5G network, without any problems at all. Docomo added that it's the first time that 8K video has ever been live streamed over a 5G network, which is quite the achievement.
Docomo teamed with Nokia on the 8K streaming over the 5G network, with the company saying a statement: "In the trial, 8K video of 48 Gbps - a bit rate four times greater than 4K video and 32 times [greater] than full HD - was compressed [...] and successfully transmitted without delay". 5G will usher in up to 10Gbps, but it all depends on countless factors between the telecommunications industry, governments, and the smartphone manufacturers. 5G could be here by 2020, completely bypassing the 40-50Mbps speeds that we get from 4G.