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164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 752361 29-Jan-2013 05:38 Send private message

It's been quite a week..  or month really.  We spent 6 weeks in Asia around the new year.  Compared to the around the world trips we did back in 2008-2009, I was really happy with the state of internet access today.  Every accommodation we had included it in the price and it was fast enough everywhere, up to 40 Mbit/s we had at the Ritz Carlton in Hong Kong and 65 Mbit/s (over WiFi) in Seoul (serviced apartment).

The last week we've been moving to the new place.  Quite a task after 13 years in the same house, sigh.

Last monday I ordered the 100/10 internet access.  They said it would take couple of days to be delivered but no sign of it yet after a week.

What really makes me mad is the cabinet they've installed in the house for the internet access.  It's a small metal cabinet with two RJ45's coming in to the house, fiber for future extensions, two power sockets and two RJ45's that go to one wall in the living room.  What exactly are the installers thinking?  The cabinet is too thin for most devices and power supplies.  It's relatively small.   It's metal so you don't really want to install an WiFi access point inside it -- and the thick stone walls require best possible WiFi AP's anyway.  And what's the use of RJ45's in the centre of the living room exactly?  They are by the window so not even good for the TV.

While the external connectivity is now great (two carriers with fiber, fast LTE) the connectivity inside the home is pretty challenging.

Luckily the 4G/LTE reception is fine here.  4 (of 5) bars on the Huawei USB stick giving me the full 50 Mbit/s I've paid for.  Upstream is 10 Mbit/s currently.  Pretty amazing to be able to browse cat photos at such a speed over a cellular network!

Back in a few days with more information how I'm finally entering this century :)




164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 753008 30-Jan-2013 06:26 Send private message

Sometimes it's good that old colleagues from the 90's internet era are still in the business :)

Carrier D is coming tomorrow morning to fix the 100/10 fixed broadband (it's supposed to work) but yesterday I gave thumbs up in Facebook to my wireless carrier E for their 50/10 LTE performance.

This morning?



.. they comp'ed the subscription to full-rate LTE.  100 Mbit/s over cellular network, to my living room inside this 100-year-old stone building to this small USB stick.  Pretty amazing!

Back in 2004 the first 3G network was opened here, providing a "fast" 384 kbit/s mobile broadband.  Less than 10 years later, mobile broadband has turned into 100 Mbit/s beast.


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  Reply # 753009 30-Jan-2013 07:24 Send private message

Very niceeee

Cyril



164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 753451 30-Jan-2013 19:38 Send private message



The fixed broadband is up and running.  They had some misunderstanding due to the number in the address.

The upstream seems to allow short bursts to up to 30 Mbit/s before settling to the 10-15 Mbit/s (it's a 100/10 service).   For 14 nzd/month I'm happy so far, let's see how stable the service is.

The bandwidth is the same all the way to London (1150 miles), drops to about ~50 Mbit/s when going to east coast US (just tried a few speedtest servers, not really sure what are the best targets there yet).

But still pretty amazing that mobile broadband can give the same performance as the fixed :)


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  Reply # 753468 30-Jan-2013 20:47 Send private message

ojala:

The upstream seems to allow short bursts to up to 30 Mbit/s before settling to the 10-15 Mbit/s (it's a 100/10 service).   For 14 nzd/month I'm happy so far, let's see how stable the service is.

But still pretty amazing that mobile broadband can give the same performance as the fixed :)



Sounds like typical bucket packet pacing /rate limiting technique.

Very confusing to have your fibre and mobile run at the same speed :)

Cyril

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  Reply # 753507 30-Jan-2013 21:58 Send private message

cyril7:
ojala:

The upstream seems to allow short bursts to up to 30 Mbit/s before settling to the 10-15 Mbit/s (it's a 100/10 service).   For 14 nzd/month I'm happy so far, let's see how stable the service is.

But still pretty amazing that mobile broadband can give the same performance as the fixed :)



Sounds like typical bucket packet pacing /rate limiting technique.

Very confusing to have your fibre and mobile run at the same speed :)

Cyril


actually, it could just be huge buffers, and speedtest.net relying on how much it's sent rather than how much data the other end has received.  speedtest.net isn't generally reliable.  and their upload speed seems extra broken, but overestimating, and understimating connections.



164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 753583 31-Jan-2013 05:09 Send private message

mercutio: 

actually, it could just be huge buffers, and speedtest.net relying on how much it's sent rather than how much data the other end has received.  speedtest.net isn't generally reliable.  and their upload speed seems extra broken, but overestimating, and understimating connections.


Yes, wouldn't trust Speedtest that much.  Ookla has managed to sell their speed test application to 2 of the 3 biggest carriers here, and they can be used as a proof for underperformance.  You can't sell a 100/10 connection wiith 30/5 performance unless you say so, for example the description for the full-rate 4G subscription says that "maximum speed is 100 Mbit/s, typical speed range in 3G network is 0.4 - 15 Mbit/s, in Dual Carrier network 0.4 - 25 Mbit/s, and in LTE network 5-80 Mbit/s".

I like what they have done in Sweden, http://www.bredbandskollen.se/

There's a speed test that is locally made and has been adapted to the infrastructure in Sweden, most likely connected to every carrier's infrastructure at the right place.  The results have been categorized to different connection methods and geographically.  For example across the country people with 10-80 Mbit/s 4G subscription are receiving, on average, 8 Mbit/s up, 18 Mbit/s down, rtt 47 ms, and the test has been run 78181 times in January 2013.

http://www.bredbandskollen.se/statistik/?section=3&month=012013 gives a nice colours how well various connections types (across the country, all carriers) are delivering the promised performance.  Not surprisingly fiber and 4G are the most red.

PS. People and technology are already killing my joy; friends say that the 200M cable-tv internet actually does deliver 200 Mbit/s most of the time, and 5 GHz 802.11n doesn't penetrate the walls across the new home.   :-)




164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 756384 6-Feb-2013 05:22 Send private message

As some may remember, in the past I've mentioned that here most people don't buy "mobile plans" but simple basic subscription, which may include some voice/text/data, and sometimes packages that work similarly to plans.  There are plenty of customers who don't pay anything if they don't use the phone (useful for receive-only applications) and most people have just a few NZD monthly basic fee.

The largest carrier is changing their billing policy across most of the customers in May.

They will add 1.99 € (3.20 NZD) to most subscription's basic monthly fee.  With 4.5 million subscriptions, they'll obviously loose many of the non-revenue subscriptions but add some ~50 million € revenue annually (the change will not effect the corporate customers as they have special deals anyway).  The ARPU was 17.30 € in October (down from 18 €) so the goal is quite obvious; to increase the ARPU.

Do the customers get anything?  Yes.  All customers will get a daily cap of voice charges, 0.99 € (1.60 NZD).  The customer will not be charged more than 0.99€ per day for ordinary calls.  This has been available as a add-on in the past but now it's standard.

Other new features is unlimited data at 256 kbit/s.  All customers will get uncapped data, slow but quite fine for simple apps like news, banking and e-mail.  The goal is clearly get people more hooked on mobile data and upgrade to faster speeds.

They will also start charging customers 1.90 € for paper invoices.  E-invoices to the on-line bank are free.


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  Reply # 756413 6-Feb-2013 08:06 Send private message

I will once again thank you for providing this global insight on mainly how far behind we are ;)
Sometimes it is hard to get a true insight of global broadband as we do not know what is popular and what most people use. All we can see is the websites - so a global voice like you is awesome!




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  Reply # 756431 6-Feb-2013 08:49 Send private message

ojala:
mercutio: 

actually, it could just be huge buffers, and speedtest.net relying on how much it's sent rather than how much data the other end has received.  speedtest.net isn't generally reliable.  and their upload speed seems extra broken, but overestimating, and understimating connections.


Yes, wouldn't trust Speedtest that much.  Ookla has managed to sell their speed test application to 2 of the 3 biggest carriers here, and they can be used as a proof for underperformance.  You can't sell a 100/10 connection wiith 30/5 performance unless you say so, for example the description for the full-rate 4G subscription says that "maximum speed is 100 Mbit/s, typical speed range in 3G network is 0.4 - 15 Mbit/s, in Dual Carrier network 0.4 - 25 Mbit/s, and in LTE network 5-80 Mbit/s".

I like what they have done in Sweden, http://www.bredbandskollen.se/

There's a speed test that is locally made and has been adapted to the infrastructure in Sweden, most likely connected to every carrier's infrastructure at the right place.  The results have been categorized to different connection methods and geographically.  For example across the country people with 10-80 Mbit/s 4G subscription are receiving, on average, 8 Mbit/s up, 18 Mbit/s down, rtt 47 ms, and the test has been run 78181 times in January 2013.


that looks like the ookla app with someone parsing the data.




164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 766791 21-Feb-2013 06:24 Send private message

mercutio: 

that looks like the ookla app with someone parsing the data.



Nope, they use their own TPTEST application.  The old v3 version is available as a source as well (https://github.com/dotse/bbk) and one can download the current v5 for Win/OSX and there's a mobile version for iOS and Android.

I ran the TPTEST on my Mac and it does TCP traffic test to referens3.sth.ip-performance.se, starting from small amount of data (50kB) and grows to ~100MB of data.   I got ~44 Mbit/s to Stockholm and using speedtest with a server in Stockholm I get ~51 Mbit/s.  My WiFi caps the performance at 65 Mbit/s for the time being.

The work is being financed by .se domain registry.




164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 766797 21-Feb-2013 07:08 Send private message

A few weeks now with the 100/10 fiber connection.

Overall I'm quite pleased and although I don't need to bandwidth as such, it makes a big difference compared to the old 15/1 ADSL2+.   Everything is such smoother, faster, snappier, and pretty much all the web services have no trouble serving high-speed customers.

Part of the experience is of course due to the lower latency, which is quite visible on the RIPE Atlas probe graph:



The connection has been pretty stable.  I've had a few 1-2 minute outages and one ~1 hour outage when the carrier's DHCP server was not responding (they have 1 hour lease time).


The biggest challenges are the network inside the home and wireless performance.

To make the offer for preparing a home for high-speed broadband the amount of actual cabling inside is limited, typically just one dual-RJ45 to the living room.  Relatively cheap and easy to sell, "it's a bit like TV antenna".  If you know something about networking, you can get it done right, but most people don't -- or they think that wireless is enough, let's save some money.

In other words I can't do decent wired networking around the house.  Even at the old house it was easier as the cat3 telephone cabling was good enough for 100M ethernet.


The other problem is wireless performance in this ~100 year old place.  I can put AP just to two places, both equally bad.  And obviously with 100/10 uplink I'd prefer the WiFi to perform 100M as well.

Some of the 50 cm thick stone walls inside the house don't help.  I used to run 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi with the same SSID but it's a problem here, for example the iPad may prefer 5 GHz because it's heard but the performance is really crappy while the 2.4 GHz still works quite ok.  Need to put them on different SSID.

I tried PLC (Netgear's XAV5001) but it's a hit and miss here.  In the previous house it worked like a charm but here I can see up to 100/200 raw performance but sometimes the other end is not found at all.  I think part of the power cabling has been upgraded recently but some is still a few decades old.




164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 768837 25-Feb-2013 12:27 Send private message

Some tidbits from the telco market here in general;

Late January one of the  bigger newspapers reported that the fixed phone line charges are being increased a lot.  The remaining lines are really turning into a milking machine to the carriers.

For example the largest carrier is increasing the basic monthly fee 15% in March.  The newspaper calculates that today it's 2.5x times more expensive to call on a fixed phone than on a mobile phone.  Between 2007 and 2011 the charges have increased almost 60%.

In the last 7 years over 1 million fixed phone lines have been disconnected and only 14% of the people use a fixed phone line.


About a year ago the government announced that they are giving up fixed phone lines.  They are expecting to save up to 16 million euros (25 million nzd) due to this change, mainly because the deal with the carrier includes free calls between the government employee's mobile phones.


The consumer broadcast report for 1H2012 shows some interesting development;
below 10Mbit/s, down 17% to 805.000
10-25 Mbit/s (ADSL2+), up 16% to 614.000
25-99 Mbit/s, up 22% to 74.000
100- Mbit/s, up 26% to 121.000

However although the number of NGA speeds (cable-tv/fiber/ethernet/vdsl (*) is just 195.000, the total number of such a connections is already at 456.600.  This puts almost third of the country into category that could, if they wanted, subscribe to a service that gives you 100 Mbit/s or more.

*) vdsl is only used locally to deliver 100/10 over the local copper.  Typically the options for high-speed broadband are fiber with different colors (up/downstream on different color), cat6 right to the wall, or very short vdsl local loop to a nearby cabinet.   AFAIK they will not do <100/10 vdsl2.

Anyway 20+% growth numbers for high-speed interweb are pretty good.

I believe the carriers are partially responsible for this.   For example I could get 10/10 for free and many people will choose that over 50/10 or 100/10 because it's "free" (you pay something for it somehow).   Part of the reason for such a behaviour in the market is that the copper market is pretty much dead and the regulation doesn't cover fiber connections yet (at consumer level, carriers must rent national/regional capacity to each other) so they are playing a time game by building as much coverage as possible before the regulator wakes up.




164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 789499 30-Mar-2013 07:55 Send private message

We are travelling from beginning of March until mid June in North America so might be a bit quieter..  

Now after a ~month going through the islands in Hawaii I can say that the interweb connections at hotels, even the more expensive ones, have been pretty bad -- worse than anything we had in Asia in December/January.

I also bought Verizon's LTE MiFi device and the coverage is pretty good (they use 700 MHz) and the performance is quite decent (typically 2-4 Mbit/s but tops at 20 Mbit/s in good places).  What's interesting is that the traffic is routed to the world on the continent so all traffic within Hawaii will go hawaii - continent - hawaii, no luck getting <100 ms rtt.  Other quirk is that with the prepaid 3GB/month data plan there is no way to check your usage online!


Back at home the ministry of communications have spent the last year preparing a new fiber plan.  Some years ago Sweden introduced a law that their military can snoop all data traffic through Sweden -- and all traffic from Finland goes through Sweden.

The finnish government wants to build a new submarine cable directly from Finland to Germany.  The plan is ready, government has given ok and now it's all about getting the final funding (about 77 million nzd) and who should participate, and if carriers are allowed to participate in the funding as well.

The laws in Sweden are one reason.  The other reasons are more commercial; Google and IBM have built new datacenters here, Russian search giant Yandex announced a new data center here, Facebook goes to Sweden.  More direct route to central Europe would be appealing as the other infrastructure (power, cooling) is already excellent.

The third reason are the new arctic submarine cables north of Russia that will lower the latency from Europe to Asia.  They are supposed to land in the UK but as they have a landing point north of Finland, it would be easy to provide an alternative path through Finland and using the new cable directly to Germany as well.

Interesting to see 1) if the cable will happen, and 2) when and how.




164 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 847290 30-Jun-2013 00:43 Send private message

We got back from a four month trip around North America last week..  I'll get back to that later how interweb looked from a traveller's perspective :)


While we were on the road, my carrier finally closed the old deal.  For 2€/month (3.40 NZD/month) I had had an unlimited, full-rate 3G/HSPA+ subscription and it was going to rise to ~15 €/month.  I changed the subscription to their entry level without anything but the free 256kbit/s data to wait until we returned back to Finland.

Back at home both I and the missus wanted to have a new mobile phone (hers was getting outdated anyway), I swapped from the year old Sony Xperia S to a black HTC One.  She's going for the silver HTC One.

While buying the phone, I needed to upgrade my subscription to something 4G capable.  The carrier(s) have been active during the spring and the message is pretty clear; they want to increase the ARPU to around 25-30 €/month and they don't really care what you do with the phone as long you're paying that.

23€/month will get you 300 minutes, 25 texts, and unlimited, full-speed 4G.  One can add minute or text packages online for a few euros.  30€/month will get you 5000 minutes, 5000 texts, and unlimited, full-speed 4G.  Theoretically the 4G is just a 50 Mbit/s subscription, even the T&C says so, but they don't limit it.  I checked our bills for last autumn and even with the per text and per minute charges it didn't make sense to get the 30€/deal.

"5000" is the magical number for unlimited.  One carrier even says 5000 minutes and unlimited texts.  They just want to put a limit somewhere.  With Skype, WhatsApp and all the non-revenue options out there, I guess it's the carriers way of trying to keep people using their voice and text.

Other change this spring is that pretty much all the subscriptions are now without a term.  Even if there's a 6 or 12 month discount, you can terminate the subscription whenever you want.  Also the subvention for phones has disappear, last year the monthly fee for a phone was lower than the purchase price, now it's the same.  HTC One is 629€ or 17.40€/month for 36 months (total 626.40€).   Up to 21M 3G is 5€/month cheaper.

For tablets they sell 3G subscriptions with per day charge, when you use it, it's 0.99€/day.  This is perfect for summer houses where you'll be spending just your vacation or weekends.  There's no monthly charge.

With the new phone (and visiting the shop again for a new SIM card, my old SIM card was from 2006 when I switched to 3G and it didn't support 4G) I walked back home and checked the performance here and there:



Having seen 384kbit/s 3G 10 years ago and 64kbit/s international Internet trunk lines 20 years ago, there was something special to see over 100 Mbit/s to a phone.

From the results one could easily see the problem of 2600 MHz 4G in the city with buildings blocking the signal.  One bar (out of 5) for 25-35 Mbit/s, 2-3 bars for 50-100 Mbit/s.  They'll start deploying 800 Mhz 4G next year.  I've yet to see >20Mbit/s DC-HSPA+ here.


The fixed broadband (100/10 fiber) at home was up and running during our trip, no changes there.  The Atlas probe from RIPE was quite a nice tool to see how well it had performed over time.

There were total of 10 outages from March to June, totalling 14 hours and 17 minutes.  Most of that comes from a single 12h15m outage in March.  Obviously I don't know if the line was actually down, or if RIPE's Atlas service was down or couldn't be connected for some reason.

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