“5G Playground” Opens the Door for Warp Speeds

Internet connection speeds have been somewhat of a hot topic over the last decade or so, consumers who demand ever-increasing speeds while internet service providers have been particularly lagging in certain regions of the world. Well, researchers who are developing new super-super-fast standard 5G mobile technologies have what has been described as a “playground” which they can visit in South Korea.

It has been reported that Service provider SK Telecom (South Korean wireless telecommunications operator) has unveiled its Research and Development “5G Playground” on Thursday with partners including Ericsson, Nokia, Intel and Samsung Electronics, it was also announced that a collection of regional standard bodies would host a series of events with the aim of building a global consensus on the emergence of 5G.

5G is potentially an important breakthrough after SK Telecom and Nokia demonstrated the possible capabilities of this network which ran at a super quick 19.1 Gbps (per second), SK plans to launch a 5G trial service in 2017.

As technology is becoming more advanced so is certainly the need for a turbo charged infrastructure, this new standard is expected to be completed by 2020, although it might vary as to the rollout progression speed per country. Until at least then, many people will have to make do with current speeds.

Image courtesy of thenextsiliconvalley

 

“2G Tuesdays” Arrives For Facebook Employees.

Facebook is launching a new initiative by the name of 2G Tuesdays, sounds like a tech version of TFI Friday, which will give all employees a taste of a super slow connection to better emphasize the current speeds in countries including the developing market place of India. While this implementation is certainly essential to a better understanding of the parameters for designing and testing the Facebook App in areas that offer atrocious speeds, I can see a text-book example of slow connection rage.

Surely the speeds cannot be that slow, well engineering director Tom Alison remembers the first time he opened Facebook on a phone with a 2G connection, he exclaimed that “It definitely tested my patience — it felt like parts of the product were just broken”. While US citizens are accustomed to a faster 3G or even 4G, millions of people are accessing the World Wide Web with 2G where a single webpage can take around 2 minutes to load, or as western audiences would say $@%$@.

This is why Facebook’s team of “emerging market engineers”, yes, apparently they have a division dedicated to this, have spent an extensive amount of time re working Facebook’s News Feed for slow connections.

So, how will 2G Tuesday work? Well, when a Facebook employee logs into the app on a Tuesday of every week, “they’ll see a prompt at the top of their News Feed asking whether they want to try out the slower connection for an hour”. For that hour their computer experience will be akin to a person residing in India or any other slow connected country.

A better understanding of varying speeds throughout the world has led to some fascinating projects including an Open-Sourced Network Connection Class System, (sounds like a citizen reviewed social class status), that lets Facebook and its app figure out how fast your connection is with the aim of then conveying a different news feed depending on the speed.

Facebook reckons a large proportion of employees will opt into this experiment, what mood they will be in by the end is another matter. On a side note, while many tech employees enjoy the freedom to develop with a comparable connection for their area, they may fall into the mindset that the whole world is the same, by slowing them down it speeds up a unique process with the aim of benefiting consumers who suffer from appalling speeds to the web.

European ISPs Aren’t Delivering on Advertised Download Speeds

European internet service providers have been caught exaggerating the typical download speeds for end-users according to a study released by the European Commission. The report says:

“The difference between advertised and actual broadband speed in Europe remains the same: in October 2014 consumers received 76% of the advertised speed (the same as a year ago). Differences were smaller in cable (86.5%) and FTTx (83%) than in DSL (63.3%). Advertised and actual speeds have increased since 2013.”

Interestingly, USA service providers were much more honest about the advertised speeds but in general, faster internet incurs a higher price compared to Europeans. As bandwidth demands increase due to 4K video streaming, and detailed games, ISPs have to offer a better quality of service. In the UK, Virgin Media and BT are investing to produce the fastest mainstream lines. At the moment, Virgin’s premium 200Mb package destroys anything currently offered by BT. Although, this could change in the near future.

Many internet service providers engage in network traffic management and often reduce download speeds during peak hours. Additionally, the connection can be throttled when exceeding a certain amount of data in a 24-hour period. Ironically, the term unlimited is usually extremely limited and bound by a number of restrictions.

Who is your current ISP?

ISP Promotes Higher Broadband Deal for ‘Ideal’ Streaming

We all know the basics that a better internet connection means better internet experience. Well, it seems that this is all Verizon customer service employees know too and it’s over Netflix streaming again.

Netflix offers two standard streaming qualities, standard at approximately 3Mbps and High Definition at approximately 5Mbps, but Verizon sales reps told one customer he should upgrade from his 50Mbps Fibre Optic service due to it not being able to provide the smoothest experience. Industry analyst Day Rayburn had a small run in with multiple sales reps who tried palming this pitching this to him.

“Last week I contacted Verizon to discuss the renewal of my two-year FiOS Triple Play contract which already gives me 50Mbps up/down,” Rayburn wrote. “Three different sales reps via the phone and one via an online chat all tried to convince me to upgrade to 75Mbps, with the false promise that it would give me better quality Netflix streaming, amongst other OTT [over-the-top] streaming services. I was told that with 75Mbps I would get ‘smoother video viewing’ and ‘better quality’ with a higher tier service. Of course, this claim by Verizon is 100 percent false and they know it.”

“During HBO’s Game Of Thrones Season 5 premiere, I had ten separate streams going on at the same time via HBO Now and Sling TV,” Rayburn wrote. “All combined, I consumed just under 29Mbps of my 50Mbps connection and all ten streams had perfect quality. HBO Now’s bitrate maxes out at 4Mbps and some of the streams I had going were to mobile devices. Amongst the ten streams, they averaged 2.9Mbps per second. So even if I had a household of ten people, all streaming at the same time, going from 50Mbps to 75Mbps would not have given me any better video streaming quality over what I already have. Verizon is simply using the average consumer’s lack of knowledge of bitrates and streaming technology to scare them into thinking they need a higher tiered package than they really do.”

Rayburn, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, actually tried defending the ISP last year over the financial dispute with Netflix; I bet he’s changed sides now.

I understand the “make a sale” pitch, but blatantly lying to a customer is just dirty dealings; I wonder how many customers they have falsely snagged with this hook.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information

Sky Now Offering £10 Fibre Broadband – With 25GB Cap

What looks like a groundbreaking deal – £10 per month for fibre broadband – is easily shattered by its abysmal 25GB usage cap.

Yes, Sky have announced they are to offer fibre broadband for what is probably the lowest price in the UK.  Subscribers should receive speeds of up to 38 Mbps, alongside Sky’s promise to “never slow you down at peak times”. In reality though the whole thing should come in at £26.40 per month when you factor in line rental.

That’s still cheap, but can’t remove from the utterly stupid 25GB cap. In the product description, Sky say “you can stream movies” and “play online games” – two things that would most easily burn through that lousy cap.

How can they expect anyone to get by with such a paltry limit in the online world we live in today?

Source: The Next Web

Phone, Tablet Company Linshof Claims a ‘Clean Android’ Device Launch

We’ve recently reported on Linshof’s i8 smartphone offering, allowing users to utilize their 80GB of storage space through an interesting 64GB and 16GB memory module paring technology. Just now, news has come to light that this German manufacturer has announced that they will launch ‘clean Android’ offerings of these smartphones and tablets as soon as the first-quarter of 2015. This is an expanded news article, with more pricing and product information being made available to us.

This new OEM has been officially revealed to the public, utilizing Android’s 5.0 Lollipop software at a reported low price. Linshof claims that their i8 5-inch smartphone and their 10-inch tablet will be released on the market with an unnamed octa-core processor @ 2.1GHz, paired with 3GB of RAM and the aforementioned 80GB storage modules. They sent out an email this last Saturday, further clarifying that their 80GB modules are split up between a 64GB and 16GB chip – with this 16GB chip being a “super-high data rate” device, allowing for SSD-like upgraded performance contained within your mobile phone.

The tablet is set to be listed at $360 US, alongside their Smartphone at $380 US. These sharp-angled products are expected to see a slight change in pricing upon release according to reports, however it will be based around the same mark.

Linshof is looking to prove that Germans have what it takes to enter the phone market globally, can they compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung?

Huawei: 5G Will Be Here By 2020 – Speeds Up To 100X Faster Than 4G

4G has now been implemented around the globe in major cities for just over a year now. Looking for constant advancement in technology, Huawei have claimed that their new 5G infrastructure and technology will reach 100 times the speed of 4G by the year 2020.

As we reported, Huawei have announced their plans for a 4.5G opening in China by 2016, so this information coming to light is quite interesting. Will 4.5G still be worked on, or is Huawei looking to skip it and reach straight for the stars? 4.5G is set to provide the average user with 100Mbps speeds stable and support up to 30,000,000 connections per tower – set to be somewhat of a ‘patch’ for the current 4G offering, which often experiences connectivity, signal and data transfer issues.

In comes 5G, claiming a 10Gps peak transfer speed – quite possibly faster than your phone can process. Coming from backward Australia, I can only dream of a day when internet will out-perform things like your computers HDD speeds or LAN infrastructure – with 5G in the pipeline, it seems like somewhat of a reality.

As with all new major advancements in technology from 4K cable streaming to 10km data “fricken lasers”, the cost of the research, installment and implementation is always something to consider. Taking a look at 4G speeds currently, they’re amazing and offer the user with speeds that are likely much faster than their current ADSL2+ offering, but are extremely expensive. An Australian eSports group called ACL PRO often experience issues with venue internet being poor in Australia – meaning that they have to run their StarCraft II tournaments via multiple 4G ‘wireless sticks’ – seeing hundreds of dollars worth of data transfer flushed down the drain per event. Wouldn’t it be amazing if one day, we could do away with home line ADSL style internet and simply power our whole houses infrastructure simply by walking inside with our mobile phone? Until then, enjoy thousands of dollars a month in downloads of shareware programs and creative commons music through your 4G connection – if you can even get one.

Back to the topic at hand, 5G is set to allow you to reach speeds of up to 10Gpbs, we’ve decided to list out the speeds below to give you an easily viewable comparison of past and future technology.

  • 2G: A few hundred k per second
  • 3G: Up to a few M per second
  • 4G: Two hundred M per second
  • 5G:  10Gbps

Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Chief Engineer Zhang Feng has announced that the global information and communications industry is ushering in a new wave of innovation, cloud computing, networking and other technologies alongside the rapid redevelopment of new applications. All said to be supported by an amazing 5G mobile internet infrastructure.

We will continue to report as the story develops.

Image courtesy of TNW

China’s 4G now Capable of Double Speeds

Domestic 4G standard TD-LTE offerings in China have undergone a massive improvement in network speed. Testing sponsored by Shenzhen Mobile has come back with positive results about TD-LTE’s ‘enhanced version’ technology, allowing for 4G transfer rates to be doubled under field testing conditions.

These results were tested throughout various regions in China including Huaqiang North, Sakata, Lo Wu and Shenzhen. Results from these tests came back with a peak 218 M/sec rating, doubling the peak rate of data transfer from their old 4G testing. Reports claim that this was achieved through Shenzhen Mobile utilizing carrier aggregation technology, which is a global 4G advancement project – designed to carry out improvements as seen above.

These results are made more impressive by the fact that these speeds were reached even whilst in the shopping district of Shenzhen, surrounded by old buildings and containing a crowded mess of people, storefronts and dense infrastructure. This carrier aggregation technology hasn’t yet been placed into all handsets however. Samsung, ZTE and many other manufacturers are developing launch terminals to support this technology, whereas many major brands already have this support installed.

All of this news is quite exciting, 218 M/sec ratings whilst contained within a crowded environment is nothing to sniff at. But unfortunately for countries such as Australia, 4G still isn’t’ widely available. Not only do some carriers chose not to support 4G’s infrastructure in the first place, the signal strength and distance is rather poor – rendering the ability to use 4G practicality useless unless you’re located within a major cities CBD.

Here’s hoping that 4G signal technology is improved, or skipped entirely and moved to 4.5G – as we’ve already reported on.

Image courtesy of Blogspot

Huawei Set 4.5G Mobile Network for 2016 Release

Being subbed as the “all things internet”, Huawei Wireless Network Business Unit LTE Product Line President ‘Wang’ is looking to use his company to push us into the future. He recently spoke to a Bejing Youth Daily reporter, claiming that as part of our future, everyday people may use 4.5G technology to talk to medical drones and administer treatment, all via their hand-held smartphone. While it all sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, he’s set to make it a reality.

Currently, the 4G network platform is used in the US, Europe, China, Japan, Korea and Australia – 4.5G is said to take the current advancements up another level. Offering 100Mbps speeds, delays of 10ms (ping), support up to 30,000,000,000 connections per tower and easier connection protocols – we’re looking at something that will make our mobile phones much faster than internet offered in some technology-backward countries such as Australia.

Speaking from Australian experience, something like 4.5G may only be offered in the center of capital cities and charged at a rather inflated price by telecom companies, as is seen through many 4G connection plans available today. We’re interested to see if and when 4.5G will be a viable and economical alternative for the common consumer.

Wang from Huawei has hinted that this technology shall be made commercially available in 2016, rolling out firstly in Mainland China. Not only is this new technology said to be fast and efficient, it’s apparently going to fix many connectivity, range and bandwidth issues that 4G currently offers us.

Information thanks to Chiphell
Image courtesy of
Linked In

New Fibre Technology – 1TB Transferred in 3 millieconds

Do you remember when 10 megabit networks were the crux of our networking technology? Transferring your 500mb back-ups over from one computer to another took an age, let alone downloading something large off the internet.

Once again, in comes science to save the day. Researchers from the University of Central Florida and the Eindhoven University of Technology have put their heads together to create a new breed of fiber networking – allowing for up to 255 terabits per second delivery speeds.

Broken down, what do these speeds mean in real-life circumstances? If you’re looking to transfer a high quality 2GB movie file, you’re looking at a lengthy wait of 0.06 milliseconds and a backup of your whole personal photo and movie collection from your family holidays will set you back 31 milliseconds of your precious time. Comparing this to the current 100Gbps offered by fiber on offer, this new technology offers you a 2550 times increase in overall speed.

Unfortunately this blisteringly fast speed is going to be currently capped by the limitations of our network cards, hard drives and solid state devices – but now the technology is there and reachable, there’s no knowing what is going to come out next.

It works by utilizing glass fiber split up into seven different cores arranged in a hexagon pattern. Techspot went into further detail, explaining: “By using spatial multiplexing, they were able to achieve speeds of 5.1 terabits per carrier and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to push 50 carriers down the cores. All said and done, it equaled the magic 255 terabits per second.”

Here’s hoping that sometime in the foreseeable future we can see global internet speeds transcending 100Gbps speeds, making loading times a thing of the past.

A man can dream! But for the moment, this technology is actually faster than the total capacity of every glass fiber cable lining the Atlantic Ocean – which currently number in the hundreds.

Image courtesy of Techspot

NVIDIA GTX980 Breaks Records

NVIDIA’s Maxwell has proven to be quite the performance beast with results already reported of 2050MHz core clock speeds being run through the 3DMark FireStrike testing platform.

Last Friday NVIDIA released their new Maxwell architecture cards, the GTX980 and GTX970. Boasting higher performance results, lower power consumption and a vast range of overclocking options, NVIDIA’s new champion products certainly had something to prove. As expected, the new Maxwell chip has already proven itself in the overclockers field with reports of a 1.35GHz core speed being available through overclocking on air cooling alone – we were excited to see what can be done with a little extra assistance.

NVIDIA claimed before release that the 2GHz core frequency record could be achieved, with overclockers being able to reach this milestone the same day as the cards release. Not only was a record broken for core speeds, but the 3DMark FireStrike points record was also smashed.

As mentioned above, the new Maxwell chip GTX980 was used to break this record, capping at a core frequency of 2050MHz, a memory frequency of 2103MHz and supported by a Core Xeon E5-1660 CPU v3.8 16 threads CPU- running at 5.260GHz. The 3DMark FireStrike score was clocked at 19,040 points with a score of 9,191 points in the ‘extreme scenes’.

We’ve been told that the 2050MHz reading is not the end for the Maxwells overclocking capabilities – we’ll report on any furter advancements in this overclocking journey.

Cover courtesy of WCCF Tech
Inset image courtesy of EXP Review

NASA’s ‘ShadowNet’ Revealed To Be 10x Faster than Google Fiber

Google promised to bring internet speeds 1,000 faster than the current average internet speed found in homes around the US through Google Fiber. The connection, which is around 10 Gigabits per second, might be something seen only in sci-fi movies. However, NASA tends to disagree.

The space agency allegedly uses a shadow internet called ESnet, which is short for Energy Science Network, capable of delivering cross-country speeds of 91 Gigabits per second, deemed the fastest connection ever reported.

However, these speeds will not reach normal home connections anytime soon. NASA is using this shadow network to explore the next wave of computing applications. The U.S. Department of Energy is apparently running ESnet, having it be an important tool for researchers who require large amounts of data handled for projects such as the Large Hadron Collider and Human Genome Project.

The use of such technology leads back to how the Internet was born and eventually became the most important piece of technology used by everyone today. This is why ESnet and Internet2, a non-profit international network built-in 1995 for researchers after the Internet was commercialised, might hold the key of faster internet speeds in the future.

Also, equipment capable of handling high-speed internet, similar to what ESnet currently provides, has been out on the market since 2010. However, the Internet is not a straight line. Each piece of data needs to pass through various nodes before reaching its destination, similar to what a driver has to do when reaching an intersection. As a driver, you are required to slow down and even stop in order to check if you are clear to proceed on your way through the intersection. The same principle applies to data packets through a node.

ESnet is proof that internet speeds which most people only dream of can be achieved. With a lot of effort and probably some luck, similar internet speeds could be available on the commercial market in the future.

Thank you Wired for providing this information
Image courtesy of Wired