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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.