A new technology medium called Li-Fi is ready to shake up the world of wireless connectivity, offering real-world speeds of 1Gbps--100 times the speeds of traditional Wi-Fi.
With 4K resolution just around the corner, the world's appetite data consumption is about to become much more voracious. Communications titans will need to find a new wireless solution to transmit ever-growing data-streams at an efficient rate, and eventually Wi-Fi will have to be left behind. In comes Li-Fi, the light-based technology that was able to hit insane 224 Gbps speeds in a lab environment.
Li-Fi uses the visible light spectrum to transmit data, meaning that everyday LED bulbs can be turned into portable hotspots. In order to transmit data, Li-Fi bulbs use modular pulses of light that flicker in nanoseconds to transmit data streams. Imagine having an intensely powerful and efficient Wi-Fi hotspot in every room of your house--that's the kind of potential that Li-Fi has.
If you live in the UK and have subpar Internet, that will hopefully all change in the next few years if the UK government has a say about the matter.
The UK government is working on a Universal Service Obligation that would see all UK residents with at least 10Mbps Internet connections by 2020, where providers would be required to connect you, even if you live in a remote area. Starting early next year, consultations will begin, where it will hopefully see Internet access being branded as a basic utility, just like electricity and water.
But even by 2017, the UK expects to have around 95% of people connected to broadband. But, this expansion needs to be large enough to encompass the rest of the UK residents, and at least 10Mbps. The UK government says the Internet would be "affordable", but didn't state where pricing will start.
Google is following up its recently released TP-LINK OnHub router with a second, this time partnering with ASUS to make it happen.
It's said the second iteration will also feature "faster Wi-Fi, easy set-up, and simple management with the Google On app", but this time something called Wave Control as well. Essentially, you wave your hand over the top of the OnHub to boost Wi-Fi speed for a particular device. Judging by the supplied image, that means bringing the device near the OnHub, so this won't really work for desktops.
The Federal Communications Commission is getting ready to make 5G mobile Internet a reality, drafting rules that would allow companies to broadcast cellular signals at far higher frequency spectrums than what we have today.
The FCC's proposed new "flexible user service rules" would allow transmission of signals in the 28, 37, 39, and 64 to 71GHz bands. All of these bands are above and beyond the 700 to 2600MHz that 4G LTE networks use, with the FCC wanting public comment on any other bands above 24GHz that could be used for 5G.
It believes that the distance limits and ease of obstruction of using the spectrum above 28GHz can be overcome, and when it does overcome these issues, 5G mobile networks can push speeds of between 1Gbps and 10Gbps - around 1GB/sec to your smartphone, through 5G. The FCC specifically cites "dynamic beam-forming antennas as an engineering advancement that can support high-frequency, high-capacity networks" reports TechSpot.
You may have noticed a "+ New" button show up on Skype recently. It seems unassuming, but it marks a pretty significant change in how the instant messaging software works. With it, you can message anyone via email, Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Twitter, and they can join the chat as a guest.
It's not full-on cross-platform integration as we've seen with services like Trillian, but that's likely impossible in an official capacity, so this is the next best thing.
See it in action in the video below, which features people dancing for some reason.
Most people probably haven't even heard about MU-MIMO, but it's about to be a huge upgrade to Wi-Fi technology and speeds. We've been living with 802.11 a/b/g/n for a while, and even through the 5GHz upgrade, the overall speeds didn't leap near Gigabit, or 10GbE Ethernet.
The 'MU' in MU-MIMO stands for 'Multi-User', with it being the new Wave 2 specification of 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology. The big difference is that multiple data streams can be taken into consideration, with multiple antennas on the base station and client device blasting out data all at once. If there's four antennas on the base station, and four on your Wi-Fi card, then you can expect four streams of data simultaneously.
Anshel Sag, Staff Technologist and Technical Writer, took MU-MIMO for a spin in his research paper on MU-MIMO and 802.11ad Wi-Fi, with some interesting results. Sag reported: "In our own lab testing at Moor Insights & Strategy using off the shelf equipment at retail stores, MU-MIMO smartphones when paired with a MU-MIMO access point, experienced a 75% TCP (transmission control protocol) download performance uplift going from 260 Mbps bandwidth with three smartphones to 455 Mbps with three MUMIMO enabled smartphones. In fact, overall network bandwidth utilization actually increased as we added devices to the network, rather than decrease, which it did in the case of nonMU Wi-Fi which can partially attribute to the poor Wi-Fi performance in crowded areas".
Fujitsu has announced that it has developed a new wireless communications receiver, which is capable of massive transfer rates of up to 20 gigabits per second. The receiver is tiny enough that it will fit into a smartphone, super-powering data transfer rates.
The new chip would make smartphones and tablets capable of transferring 4K or even 8K video virtually instantly, with 8K resolution videos featuring 16x the resolution of 1080p. Fujitsu is calling its new chip the world's first compact 300GHz receiver, thanks to its insanely fast wireless communication abilities.
Fujitsu's new chip is smaller than 1 cubic centimeter, where it combines both a receiver-amplifier chip as well as a terahertz-band antenna. Because the chip has high sensitivity, transmissions ranges are much shorter - just 1m away. A Fujitsu spokesperson said: "It is the first time such a highly sensitive terahertz band receiver has been made small enough to fit into a current-generation cellular phone". The company hopes to have the chip being built commercially in 2020.
An ISP based out of North Carolina is offering residents an insane 10Gbps fiber service, to both businesses and residents. Fibrant, which has deployed fiber throughout Salisbury, NC, "was created five years ago after city officials were unable to persuade private ISPs to upgrade their infrastructure", reports Ars Technica.
Fibrant officials don't expect much demand from residents for the 10Gbps bi-directional fiber, as the huge speeds are targeting businesses in and around the city. The 10Gbps service is now "available to every premises in the city", including all homes. Residents can expect to pay around $400 for the 10Gbps connection, which isn't too bad at all.
Robert Van Geons, Head of the County's Economic Development Commission said: "We don't want to oversell customers and have you paying for a 10Gbps service when you're using 100Mbps", while Fibrant Director of Broadband and Infrastructure Kent Winrich adding: "To be honest with you, we're not anticipating residents taking 10Gbps service. The reason for 10 gig is economic development... This is really geared toward attracting businesses that need this type of bandwidth and have it anywhere they want in the city".
Gogo has just received approval from the FAA to offer consumers 70Mbps in-flight Wi-Fi, up from the much slower speeds of 9.8Mbps. The FAA only just this week approved the final Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) required to use it.
The new system was meant to be streaming content on planes already, but the FAA didn't provide the final STC required, but now that it has Gogo is free to offer 70Mbps Wi-Fi to its customers. Gogo has over 500 aircraft waiting on antenna upgrades, with the plan now being to have the new antennas installed by early 2016.
2Ku will be installing the new satellite antennas, where they'll also be future-proofed to work with new spot beam satellites. This upgrade is going to be huge, as it will increase the speeds from 70Mbps to 100Mbps. 100Mbps shared across a plane full of people might not seem like much, but it's better than nothing.
During Q2 of 2015, half of US Internet homes now have at least one connected TV device, according to a report from The NPD Group. The statistic includes connected TVs, video game consoles, streaming media players, and Blu-ray players able to connect to the Internet.
45 percent of TVs sold in the second quarter supported apps, a drastic increase from 34 percent in 2014 and 24 percent in 2013. Not surprisingly, Netflix is the most commonly used video service among connected TVs, ahead of YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO GO.
"We're living in the Golden Age of TV where significant investments are being made in developing original series," said John Buffone, executive director of connected intelligence at NPD. "This is being enabled by growth in online services such as Hulu and Amazon Video as well as industry leading TV networks benefitting from the large pay TV subscriber base and fast developing over-the-top audience that uses apps on TV."