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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.
Optus have just announced they've acquired Vivid Wireless for a tidy little sum of $230 million, with full intent on using Vivid's existing spectrum to boost its 4G network using LTE-TDD. The full announcement is below:
Optus today announced that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Vividwireless Group Limited (which operates under the vividwireless and unwired brands) from Seven Group Holdings (SGH), for an expected cash consideration of A$230 million.
- Through the acquisition, Optus will also gain access to up to 98MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band, a band already used by some of the world's leading operators to provide 4G services.
- Optus plans to use this spectrum to build a new 4G network using LTE-TDD technology.
- This new network will deliver wireless broadband to households and businesses in metropolitan Australia with typical download speeds ranging from 25Mbps to 87Mbps - twice as fast as existing competitive 4G services. It will be integrated with Optus' 1800MHz 4G network, which will be launched in Newcastle and the Hunter region of New South Wales in April 2012.
So, Optus, you'll be delivering 4G services "twice as fast as existing competitive 4G services", such as those with Telstra? We'll see just how fast your 4G download speeds are when you deliver it. I could almost put money on it not beating Telstra. But, here we have it, folks. 4G is coming from Optus.
Internode have today begun its first program to rent industry-leading FRITZ!Box broadband routers and accessories to customers, and at the same time, have slashed pricing across its range of FRITZ!Box equipment. Internode customers can save themselves up-front costs from the AVM FRITZ!Box 7270 and 7390 routers, and FRITZ!Fon DECT handsets, by opting to pay a monthly rental fee within a 24-month contract.
Internode will then rent customers the 7270 for $9.95 per month, the 7390 for $14.95 per month, and the DECT handset for $4.95 per month. If customers choose to purchase the equipment outright, Internode has slashed pricing of the two FRITZ!Box routers by $50, and taken $20 off the FRITZ!Fon handset.
Internode product manager, Philip Dempster has said:
Many customers prefer the affordability and convenience of renting their broadband hardware. This has proved popular with the Set Top Box for Internode's FetchTV IPTV service, so we've introduced it as an option for customers who prefer to rent FRITZ!Box routers and hardware.
QNAP Systems, Ind. have just announced V3.6 Beta NAS management software for its Turbo NAS series, which provides some highly anticipated features such as a VPN Server, LDAP Server, and Proxy Server, cloud music and photo sharing with a web browser, enhanced backup features, and more. Firmware V3.6 beta also includes a new version of MyCloudNAS 1.2, QPKG center and more compatible IP camera.
Firmware V3.6 beta also bakes in some new business-class features, such as VPN Server. VPN Server offers businesses with a cost-saving way to create a secure and private network. LDAP Server simplifies mass account management and saves business' IT hardware expenditure, time, and stress. The Proxy Server provided with the "Squid" QPKG provides the IT administrator a great solution to manage network loading, yet maintain network security.
Jason Hsu, product manager for QNAP says:
Firmware V3.6 beta proves the Turbo NAS firmware is business-ready. Backup enhancements take an important role in this release, too.
A Google executive has said that they are 'pondering' a fiber network for Europe, perhaps based on its experience building out a gigbit fiber to the home network in the U.S. Google's dedication ot better infrastructure is essential to the success of many arms of its business, and it seems to understand what people and businesses will do with more bandwidth.
Marketwatch is reporting that David Drummond, a senior vice president said that Google were interested in building out a fiber network in Europe:
During a meeting at the French Industry Ministry, Drummond said that Google was "looking very closely" at a potential project in Europe, without specifying where this project would be launched or when.
This news story is short on details, but with Google looking at building a fiber network in Europe this means great things for broadband customers. It would force ISPs to offer faster or cheaper services when compared to Google's fiber rollout. Europe is fast becoming one of the most advanced broadband countries, with places like The Netherlands and portions of Scandinavia rolling out fiber to the home.
Telstra has confirmed the existence of Project Top Hat, its plan to make ADSL2+ services available to an additional 200,000 phone lines presently limited to just ADSL1 services, because there is no space in street-side cabinets to add ADSL2+ equipment. Telstra plan to rollout the upgrade by implementing an additional box on top of existing cabinets and will be available through both Telstra Retail and Wholesale customers. Telstra says:
In the past, to permanently increase the broadband capacity of a street side cabinet, we had to build another cabinet alongside the existing one. This could take months of planning and network construction.
Telstra plans to roll out its LTE network fast and is said to maintain this speed into 2012. Over the next year or so, more and more traffic will flow onto the LTE, especially into 2013 when the digital dividend 700MHz spectrum is made available. Speed-leader Telstra wants to soak itself in the LTE-goodness, and are vowing to make the transition as seamless as possible. So instead of marketing LTE as a separate service, it will issue one with the same 3G/4G dongles so that the 3G and 4G networks work seamlessly.
Most users won't be aware of which network they're using. LTE will also be more expensive, but only $10 more per month. So the extra speed is not too much of a jump in the wrong direction.
National Broadband Network access is said to be as low as $50 a month, according to iiNet, who have just revealed their NBN packages. iiNet have announced premium packages including speeds of 100Mbps with 1TB of data, costing just $100 a month. This is $90 less than Internode's premium service that was revealed earlier in the year. iiNet also announced a $49.95 plan that will include 40GB of data with speeds at 12Mbps.
The 200GB plans will cost $59.95 and sport the same 12Mbps speed, with customers having the option of paying $5 extra a month to increase speeds to 25Mbps. 50Mbps will cost an additional $15 per month with 100Mbps costing an extra $20.
American internet users rejoice! YouTube requests might get delivered faster today with Google, OpenDNS and several content delivery networks announcing the Global Internet Speed Up effort. Finding ways to speed up the internet and deliver ever-increasing high quality streaming and downloads to users across the globe is getting harder. The Speed Up effort tries to dodge around this by making sure a user's request for content goes to a server near it, making delivery faster and more efficient from a bandwidth perspective.
At the center of this new wonderful speed up is the creation of a standard that attached location data to a DNS request so a user's request for content goes to a server nearby. This is definitely an upgrade as usually the content comes from the address of the DNS server and not the user's location. For example, an Austin, Texas-based customer who types in the URL for a YouTube video will share part of his IP address as part of the DNS request.
This way, the domain system server can route the request to a Google data center in Dallas, as opposed to one in Ireland. A simple solution, but would net great gains for people who have servers close to them. The new code goes into effect on Tuesday with 30 million OpenDNS users and Google's Public DNS service users visiting content hosted on the participating CDNs will immediately benefit.
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