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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.
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.