There has already been some experimentation with "Super Wi-Fi" networks using the white spaces spectrum in the US, and now Mountain View-based search giant Google are poised to use the same technology to deliver Internet access to ten schools across South Africa.
The Verge has reported that "launching the test network is Google's most direct effort yet to demonstrate the potential of white spaces... as a means of delivering faster internet connectivity to the developing world and other rural areas."
"White spaces" are bands of unused television spectrum that allows signals to travel farther and penetrate deeper into buildings than the commonly used 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi spectrum bands.
LSI have come out today announcing their latest AXM5500 family of products, which feature the first high-end ARM-based multicore for mobile networking equipment. This new family of products from LSI will help mobile companies and service providers get out of the mess they're in right now with the ever-increasing mobile market.
The growing trends in the mobile market right now are expanding quickly with the 4G LTE adoption, and as this grows, LSI's help is going to get noticed more and more. Better network intelligence will bump heads with big data, and this needs to have a product to help it - enter the AXM5500 family.
It might not seem like we need it, but streaming video, music, games, social networks and the countless other things we do over mobile networks is always increasing - but network bandwidth and server hardware needs to continuously be upgraded in order to not be congested.
Life has a funny way of presenting answers to problems. Just last night I was discussing high-gain wireless routers with my colleagues here at TweakTown, and when I check my inbox this morning, I find a release on this beauty from ASUS.
The RT-N12HP Wireless-N300 is the latest offering in home wireless networking from ASUS, and sports two massive, detachable 9dBi antennas. The monstrous rabbit ears are said to give consumers 300% more Wi-Fi range if your devices have equally robust network adapters.
The device also brings some interesting admin features to the table such as the ability to control up to four distinct networks, primary and guest networks with separate options, and even dynamic bandwidth allocation. I was unable to locate any pricing at this time, and also came up empty on retail availability dates.
Wireless is a funny thing, it pretty much controls most people's everyday lives, and because it is mostly invisible, there's never an afterthought. If it 'just works', then that's fine. Well, a new wireless standard is on its way as the IEEE have adopted a new standards known as 802.11ad.
802.11ad will boast some incredible speeds of 7Gbps over 60GHz frequencies and should be baked into consumer devices as soon as 2014. The consumer-friendly marketing name that will find its way plastered all over 802.11ag is going to be WiGig. WiGig won't be replacing your wireless network, it will be complimenting it.
The hopes of the new technology will be that it'll provide an insanely fast, direct link between devices. The reason behind this is because of the 60GHz frequency it finds itself surfing along. As higher radio frequencies are used, they aren't so good at penetrating solid objects like walls, fridges, desks and more. High frequencies are really only good at shorter ranges, so WiGig will have its place in the market, but not where you'd like it to be.
CES 2013 - TP-Link has released two new ultra portable wireless pocket routers, making networking while traveling even easier. Both can be carried comfortably in a user's pocket.
The TL-WR706N "Halo" sports a 150 Mbps Wireless N connection while the TL-WR810N Wireless Poket Router provides a robust 300Mbs N connection. Both devices plug directly into a standard outlet and provide preconfigured wireless security settings.
Setup is as easy as plugging each device into a power outlet and plugging in the hotel's Ethernet cable which allows the devices to run as an access point.
Sprint are set to launch 4G LTE access to a bunch of new cities across the United States, with the telco announcing that "in the coming months" their high-speed LTE network will be available in Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and 100 additional markets.
Sprint will also continue to upgrade their current 3G network in many markets throughout the U.S., where they'll offer improved service for their customers. At the moment, Sprint have five 4G-powered smartphones on offer, including the Galaxy S III, EVO 4G LTE and Photon Q.
This is all just on the eve of Apple's new iPhone launch - perfect timing or what?
If you thought your home networking setup rocking Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) was fast, then you would think that 10 GbE is even faster. 10 GbE networking can handle around 1GB/sec transfer speeds, but you'd need some serious slick hardware to achieve this speed. Well, IEEE is not happy with the current Ethernet standard, and is pushing for much higher speeds.
Internet providers and many more who depend on high-speed computing networks for a living, are on the rise. Users are streaming more video, and doing more things at once, and the quality of streaming and data is only going to get better, and bigger, respectively. IEEE is worried that large-scale networks will require an insane 10Tbps of total bandwidth to not hit a brick wall by 2020. IEEE have now formed a Higher-Speed Ethernet Consensus group that is looking at creating a new format that would see speeds reach 400Gbps or 1Tbit, depending on which approach is better.
There's a meeting set for late-September in Geneva to start talking about the details. But, you won't be seeing this type of insane connectivity in your house anytime soon. The first to get this type of tech would most likely be the big players such as Google, and co. Hopefully YouTube are on the first adopters list, and we don't get that nasty buffering crap when watching a video from a high-speed connection.
Over the weekend, Broadcom unveiled its latest and greatest consolidated multi-wireless chips, which use a combination of Bluetooth 4.0 and the 802.11ac, which sports up to double the speed of existing 802.11n technology, and can be up to six times more power-efficient, even while handling the same amount of data.
Broadcom's new chips can handle FM and conventional 802.11 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, and are expected to arrive in early-2013 to be used in smartphones and tablets. Broadcom's new chip uses a 40nm CMOS process and integrates a full Wi-Fi system, including MAC, PHY and RF. Like Bluetooth 4,0, the system can go into a low-power mode, as well as come out of it, virtually instantly, which provides some serious power savings when the system isn't being stressed.
The range of chips is also said to be much better than current 802.11 tech, with throughout hitting 1Gb (gigabit) per second. While the tech would hit smart devices, it will be mostly used at high speeds for home routers, future portable systems, and 2013-onward devices. Broadcom isn't the only company to promise "5G Wi-FI" (which is the consumer name of 802.11ac) chips, which should provide users with more choice, and thus, should keep costs lower.
Optus have today announced that their 4G network will go live across Sydney and Perth, and have promised that Melbourne will receive the same 4G treatment once the company's spectrum refarming operations of their new 3G Plus network are completed.
Optus' 4G network is available as of right now for small-to-medium businesses, as well as corporate customers. No consumer-based plans are here yet, but the company has plans to roll it out "shortly". Business customers can grab a 4G data card or 4G Wi-Fi hotspot from today, with an offer of 10GB per month for $40 per month, full pricing is said to be coming soon. Optus have also said that it won't be charging a premium for its 4G network at the moment.
Coverage-wise, 4G will blast over Sydney and Perth spans a 20km radius around the respective CBDs, with Melbourne's network (when it goes live) set to span 30km east-to-west, and 16km north-to-south. Melbourne misses out for now as the telco needs to complete their 2G refarming operations for the creation of the enhanced 3G Plus network before it flicks the switch on 4G for Victoria. As soon as the refarming to 3G Plus is complete, Melbourne will have 4G from Optus.
Brisbane will be blasted with 4G from Optus by the end of the year, just after their refarming operations are completed with my personal hometown, Adelaide, set to get Optus' 4G coverage next year.
Comcast have just confirmed that they are set to offer 305Mbps cable broadband, which they have called "Xfinity Platinum". Xfinity Platinum is currently being rolled out to "many major markets" according to the company.
Comcast have also said they'll be doubling the speeds of their current 25Mbps and 50Mbps offerings for existing subscribers, best of all, at no additional cost. The new Xfinity Platinum services come at an insane (well, to me) 305Mbps down and 65Mbps up, but at the time of writing there is no pricing details.
Verizon currently offers its 300Mbps FiOS service for about $210, so there's expectations that Comcast should float somewhere near that price. "Blast" and "Extreme" subscribers who have been up until now enjoying their respective 25Mbps and 50Mbps speeds, will be doubled to 50Mbps and 105Mbps at no cost.
Korea telco SK Telecom posted some of their numbers over the weekend, proving that the high-tech nature of the country comes from their business. SK Telecom now have over 4 million LTE subscribers.
This figure is actually pretty amazing when you think about it, with the telco hitting the number just 44 days after they hit the 3 million mark. Considering that the country has a population of around 50 million, this equates to 41,000 new sign ups per day.
That sign up rate is a 71-percent increase in a new user acquisition numbers from June, with SK Telecom mentioning that the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy S III LTE model is a chief driving factor on the expanded demand. Sales of the Galaxy S III on SK Telecom reached 200,000 just 10 days after it was made available in South Korea.
Infortrend have just announced the North American availability of two new product lines in their EonNAS family, the EonNAS Pro and EonNAS 1000 Series. Infortrend note that while NAS' are getting more popular for the SOHO and SMB markets, data protection offerings on other brands "come up short".
This is where Infortrend's new EonNAS Pro and EonNAS 1000 Series come into play, running a ZFS file system, Infortrend fill this voice by offering an "unprecedented collection of advanced data protection features", including data deduplication, corrupt data self-healing, snapshot and pool mirror - bringing enterprise-level data protection and storage features to the SOHO and SMB markets.
Infortrends' NAS' definitely deliver on the performance side of things, too, offering performance of more than 100MB/sec, and in FTP environments, it can ramp up to a respectable 180MB/sec. Director of the EonNAS product line for Infortrend, William Chen, says:
The unprecedented collection of advanced data protection features available on the new systems is what truly sets them apart. The EonNAS Pro and EonNAS 1000 Series are designed to bridge the gap that exists between high end enterprise NAS offerings and what had been available up until now for SOHO and SMB users. Infortrend is bringing something different to these users -- data protection features that previously were only seen in enterprise solutions -- at a price point designed for smaller budgets.
The Internet Society has organised an event for a week from now, World IPv6 Day. The event is being held on June 8, which is a little over a week from now. It may seem insignificant, as there's no product launch, and nothing to show, but the behind-the-scenes of it is going to be quite mind-blowing, eventually. According to the website:
World IPv6 Launch represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6. As the successor to the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, IPv6 is critical to the Internet's continued growth as a platform for innovation and economic development.
Who is participating? Well, just a few large companies such as Akamai, Comcast, Google, AT&T, Google, Time Warner Cable, Cisco, Facebook, Microsoft Bing, Yahoo! and more. Even a local ISP from my puny little state here in South Australia, Internode, are participating.
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Verizon's 4G LTE service is available in 230 markets across the United States, and today the company has launched something quite different: HomeFusion Broadband. HomeFusion Broadband is available nationwide, or the two-thirds that are already covered.
The service will pump out transfer rates somewhere between 5 and 12Mbps for downloads, with uploads sitting between 2 and 5Mbps. The average DSL speed or basic cable Internet connection is around that speed, but HomeFusion is going to be much more expensive.
Why does it still sound good? Well, Verizon is mainly aiming for rural areas that are covered by its LTE network, but not by a cable broadband provider. The installation of a cylindrical antenna is required, and will cost you $200 from the get-go. Plans then begin at $60 per month for 10GB of data, $90 for 20GB and if you want 30GB, you'll be spending $120 per month. For every GB you go over your plan, Verizon will slap you with a $10 fee.
The Wi-Fi (802.11x) has been revised multiple times over the years, where we've seen 802.11b, g, n and smaller changes like 802.11a, but the IEEE standards committee is now looking at a pretty major revision to the standard dubbed 802.11-2012.
802.11-2012 is said to stand out from the 802.11x crowd by operating within a range of 3.65 and 3.7GHz. At the moment Wi-Fi usually operates at around 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequencies. With the 2.4GHz frequency absolutely saturated by most consumer devices, and 5.8GHz becoming more and more popular, using a new area of the spectrum will give customers not only the change to avoid interference, but a serious injection of speed.
802.11-2012 is expected to hit 600Mbps throughout, with the PHY (physical layer) and MAC (software layer) components of the new wireless standard to be reworked in order to provide that insane speed. These changes will allow allow for new additions such as "mesh" networking, direct-link setup, changes in security, broadcast/multicast/unicast data delivery and additional network management features.
Netgear are ready to pull the curtain from their latest networking product, its first 802.11ac-compatible Wi-Fi router, which is capable of pushing out gigabit speeds up to three times faster than current 802.11n routers. The Netgear R6300 router would top out at 1300Mbps in 5GHz mode and 450MHz in 2.4GHz and will launch next month for $199.99.
Apple are rumored to be close to introducing support for faster technology in their AirPort range of products, so this will come as a note to Apple observers. Broadcom have already launched their first set of 802.11ac 5G Wi-Fi chips, even though the standard probably won't be finalized until the end of this year.
I'll be thinking of picking one of these bad boys up, Netgear. 1300Mbps in 5Ghz is insane, and I look forward to Wi-Fi everything being upgraded over time.
Qualcomm Atheros has released two new networking devices today which promise to provide "unprecedented performance and advanced control for a superior online gaming experience." These two new devices are the Qualcomm Atheros Killer Technology E2200 and Wireless-N 1202. The former is an Ethernet controller and the latter a wireless adapter that has Bluetooth built in.
I am a fan of online gaming, so anything that can give me an edge when playing is definitely appreciated. If these cards can lower my ping, or provide a better, uninterrupted connection, I'll take them. According to the press release, which is in full-text below, the chips "prioritize gaming, video and audio network data." Only reviews and user experience will tell if this makes a difference.
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Huawei have claimed that they've tested a new networking technology that is capable of transfer speeds exceeding 30Gbps, which they dub "Beyond LTE". Beyond LTE technology achieves these insane transfer speeds by improving antenna structure, radio frequency architecture, algorithms and multi-user multi-input multi-output (MIMO) management.
Huawei haven't given a full rundown on the network technology, but the system is said to "meet wideband requirements". But, at 30Gbps, one would begin to wonder if the potential range limitations would hit, if the higher data speeds rely on wideband communication.
If it's true, and representative of real-world peak download speeds, then Beyond LTE would completely smash current LTE deployments by a huge margin, and is even 10 times faster than the theoretical peak speeds of LTE-Advanced.
Softbank, Japan's third-largest mobile carrier is set to enable a new high-speed mobile data service this week, with a portable Wi-Fi router capable of download speeds of 76Mbps. Softbank have also stated that its 4G network will eventually support devices with speeds of up to 110Mbps.
The official launch of Softbank 4G will be held this Friday, where the first 4G-capable Wi-Fi router will reportedly be the size of a "soap-bar", and is from Seiko Instruments. This device will allow up to 10 Wi-Fi users to share the mobile connection, with the aforementioned download speeds of up to 76Mbps down, and 10Mbps up.
Softbank's high-speed network is based on a format called AXGP, which is an advanced version of an older Japanese standard, Personal Handy-phone System (PHS). Softbank has said that they are "highly compatible" with TD-LTE, a Chinese standard otherwise known as LTD TDD, which is growing in popularity throughout Asia. There are also reports floating around that Apple are said to be baking in support for the standard in future devices.
The service is not that expensive (when compared to here in Australia) with monthly prices of ¥5,505 ($US70) or ¥3,880 for users that also have a smartphone or tablet on contract. Download limits are quite bad, with just 5GB available, and download speeds are capped to just 128kbps once this 5GB has been reached. The limit can be increased for an additional fee, of course.