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Video Streaming

How are our Video Streaming Habits Changing During Coronavirus?

Online video has taken center stage for many during the coronavirus crisis. The average American now watches at least eight hours of online video every day, which three quarters say is more than they watched before the crisis. People are also spending more time using video conferencing platforms like Zoom and more money on video technology like smartphones.

The current crisis accelerated a trend towards online video content that emerged long before coronavirus. An increase in video content, as well as a shift in the way people watch online videos, triggered a massive uptick in mobile video traffic in the last few years. By the start of 2020, for example, almost two thirds of all traffic over mobile internet were already video content.

But video traffic on mobile networks has only increased as quarantines and lockdowns force more people inside. Video traffic increased by more than a third on Verizon’s 4G LTE network in March, for example. For many people, video streaming helps them stay up to date on the latest coronavirus news and keeps them entertained during the long days stuck at home.

People in rural areas have fewer internet options for video streaming

To watch online video, you need a fast internet connection. To watch standard definition (480p) video, for example, you need an internet connection with a download speedVideo Streaming of at least 3 Mbps. To watch high definition (720p or 1040p) video, you need a download speed of at least 5 Mbps. And to watch ultra-high definition (UHD or 4K) video, you need a download speed of 25 Mbps. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of internet options this fast that are available for people in rural areas: satellite internet and fixed wireless internet (fixed 5G or 4G LTE). The satellite internet video experience is often quite poor since the connection’s high latency causes lags and buffers. A fixed wireless internet connection has faster speeds and lower latency – which provides a better video experience for people who can’t access wired internet like cable.

Mobile networks are staying strong despite coronavirus

From January 27 to March 29, Opensignal measured average 4G LTE download speeds in a handful of countries. The study found that while 4G LTE speeds decreased in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom as the consumption of video data increased in those countries, the average download speed in the United States stayed steady throughout March.

On some networks, internet speeds even increased alongside video traffic. To meet the demands of the crisis, mobile internet providers have been rapidly increasing the capacities of their cell towers. T-Mobile, for example, doubled its 600 MHz 4G LTE download speeds from 10 Mbps to 20 Mbps in just three days in March by adding new frequency bands to its network.

Get fixed wireless internet for your rural quarantine

Are you planning on watching a lot of video during the coronavirus crisis? Fixed wireless internet is the best option for rural areas that don’t have access to wired internet connections. Find out more about 5G and 4G LTE options in your area by starting a chat or giving us a call at (866) 439-6630.

Online Video Gaming

Is Fixed 4G LTE or Satellite Internet Better for Online Gaming?

Fixed wireless internet and satellite internet are often the only internet options in rural areas that don’t have access to wired options like cable internet. For gamers, these two types of wireless internet connection provide two very different user experiences. Let’s take a closer look at how fixed wireless internet and satellite internet compare when it comes to online games.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet speeds

For online gaming, you’ll need a download speed of at least 3 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps. You’ll be able to play virtually all games on fixed wireless internet, even if you live in a rural area with less than optimal coverage. In rural areas, fixed wireless internet has an average download speed of up to 34 Mbps on 600 MHz 5G and 20 Mbps on 4G LTE. 5G has an average upload speed of 14 Mbps and 4G LTE has an average of 16 Mbps.

It’s more complicated when it comes to online gaming on satellite internet. While satellite has a download speed of up to 25 Mbps and an upload speed of up to 3 Movies Mbps, the user experience of online gaming on a satellite connection is often pretty awful due to the connection’s latency, which causes lags. The latency or “ping” is the time in milliseconds it takes for your local network to connect to the internet host and start exchanging online data.

While mobile data has an average latency of around 35 milliseconds, satellite internet has an average latency of around 600 milliseconds. When your internet connection has a lower latency, it can process incoming online data packets more quickly – which is great for fast paced games like first-person shooters. With a fixed wireless connection, you’ll have fewer lags and buffers.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet data limits

Because most of a game’s data is included in the initial download, playing online games typically doesn’t use much bandwidth. While data use varies based on factors like the number of players in the game, the frame rate of your connection, and tick rate of the server, online gaming typically uses less than 100 MB of data per hour (or 1 GB every 10 hours).

While there are data plans with enough bandwidth for gaming available for both fixed mobile broadband and satellite internet, satellite networks usually have lower capacities than 5G or 4G LTE networks, so satellite providers control data use more tightly to prevent network congestion. Many satellite internet plans have complicated “fair use” policies that throttle your internet speeds after you use just 15 GB or 30 GB of data.

Get fixed wireless internet for your rural home

Because of its lower latency, fixed wireless internet is a better option than satellite internet for online gaming in rural areas that don’t have access to wired internet connections. Find out more about 5G and 4G LTE options in your area by starting a chat or giving us a call at (866) 439-6630.

Video Streaming

Is Fixed 4G LTE Internet or Satellite Internet Better for Video?

In rural areas without access to wired internet options like cable, fixed wireless internet and satellite internet are often the only two choices. When it comes to online video, these two types of internet connection offer very different user experiences. Let’s take a closer look at how fixed wireless internet and satellite internet compare when it comes to video experience.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet speeds

To watch standard definition (480p) video, you need an internet connection with a download speed of at least 3 Mbps. To watch high definition (720p or 1040p) video, you need a download speed of at least 5 Mbps. And to watch 4K video, you need a download speed of 25 Mbps.

You’ll be able to watch most videos on fixed wireless internet, even if you live in a rural area with less than optimal coverage. In urban areas, 5G has an average download speed of up to 250 Mbps and 4G LTE has an average download speed of more than 30 Mbps. In rural areas, 5G has an average download speed of up to 34 Mbps on 600 MHz 5G and 20 Mbps on 4G LTE.

It’s more complicated with satellite internet. While satellite has a download speed of up to 25 Mbps, the user experience of watching video on a satellite connection Movies is often very poor due to the connection’s high latency. A connection’s latency or “ping” is the time in milliseconds it takes for your local network to connect to the internet host and start exchanging online data.

While mobile data has an average latency of around 35 milliseconds, satellite internet has an average latency of around 600 milliseconds. When your internet connection has a lower latency, it can process incoming online data packets more quickly for a smoother video experience. With a higher latency, you’ll experience more lags and buffers on your videos.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet data limits

Video uses a lot of bandwidth. If you’re watching standard definition video, you’ll use about 700 MB of internet data per hour. If you’re watching high definition video, you’ll use 3 GB per hour. And if you’re watching 4K video, you’ll use 7 GB per hour. These numbers make most plans with data limits impractical if you’re planning on watching a lot of video on your connection.

While there are unlimited data plans available for both fixed mobile broadband and satellite internet, many satellite internet plans have complicated “fair use” policies that throttle internet speeds after only a few hours of watching video. Most satellite networks have lower capacities than 5G or 4G LTE, so they control data use more tightly to prevent network congestion.

Get fixed wireless internet for your rural home

If you plan on watching a lot of video, fixed wireless internet is a better option than satellite internet for rural areas without access to wired internet connections. Find out more about 5G and 4G LTE options in your area by starting a chat or giving us a call at (866) 439-6630.

Rural Internet

How Fast is Your Rural Broadband?

All over the country, the internet is getting faster and faster. In 2018, the mean download speed of a fixed internet connection increased by more than 35% and the mean upload speed increased by more than 20%. With Rural Broadband these faster internet speeds, internet users can stream better quality video, have more fun playing online games, and start sharing their own online content with the world.

While many rural areas have access to better broadband connections than ever before, other areas still struggle with slow internet speeds. Almost 40% of rural Americans still don’t have access to high-speed broadband with a download speed of at least 25 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 3 Mbps. Rural Americans are ten times more likely to lack access to high speeds broadband than urban Americans.

So, how fast is rural broadband where you live? Let’s take a closer look at a few ways you can find out which internet provider offers the fastest connection in your community.

 

Broadband Speeds Reporting Across the Country

Each year, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and a handful of private companies release broadband reports that outline internet speeds across the country. If you’re looking for the fastest rural broadband connection in your area, these reports are a great place to start:

 

Unfortunately, reports don’t always paint an accurate picture of broadband speeds. For example, while the FCC publishes a list of the broadband speeds in each census block, these numbers don’t always reflect the real speeds of users in that block for two reasons. First, the FCC only considers the fastest internet plan in each block, even though many users may not be able to afford these plans. Second, if one address in the block has access to a fast plan, the FCC considers it an option for the entire block.

Rural Broadband Other reports, like the annual reports by Tom’s Guide and Ookla, also have the same shortcomings. While crowdsourced data is useful when it comes to determining which carrier has the fastest nationwide, statewide, or city-wide networks, they aren’t typically an accurate predictor of internet speeds on a local level. And, with mobile broadband in particular, there are huge variations in internet speeds based on local signal strength.

 

How to Test Your Signal Strength with A Carrier

Because signal strength varies significantly, even within a single region, the best way to determine the rural broadband speeds on your property is to test them yourself. Luckily, it’s easy to conduct a signal strength audit of mobile broadband speeds with just a SIM card and your phone:

 

  1. Insert a SIM card from the carrier into your phone. You don’t need to purchase a plan from the carrier to test their service, instead use a prepaid SIM card or sign up for a free trial.
  2. Switch your phone to field test mode. The signal bars on your phone are just an estimate. For more accurate signal strength readings, switch your phone to field test mode:
    • On iOS, call *3001#12345#*. A signal strength indicator will pop up in the top left. Tap to switch between bars and number readings in decibels relative to one milliwatt (dBm).

    • On Android, navigate to Settings > About Phone > Network or Status to see numerical readings of your signal strength in dBm.

Rural Broadband

Your phone measures 4G LTE signal strength as a factor of Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP) in dBm:

  • A strong signal with clear voice and fast data typically falls between -50dBm and -105dBm.
  • A fair signal with good voice and reliable data typically falls between -106dBm and -125dBm.
  • A bad signal with good voice, but unreliable data typically falls between -126dBm and -136dBm.
  • A terrible signal with voice, but no data typically falls between -136dBm and -140dBm.

3. Test internet speeds across your property. To see where the mobile data is fastest, walk around your property, stopping periodically to take readings on your phone. Where the RSRP reading is high, run a speed test to determine the real download and upload speeds in that spot.

5G Update

The Convergence of 5G, IoT, and AI

Today, emerging internet technology draws from mobile broadband, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create strong wireless networks that support a growing number of wireless devices.Video Streaming This new technology has an almost limitless potential to improve our lives by giving us more control over our environments and boosting our efficiency.

Let’s take a closer look at the convergence of mobile broadband, IoT, and AI and what advancements in internet technology mean for rural people who depend on wireless solutions to connect to the internet.

 

5G Networks Supports a Vast Number of Wireless Devices

The next generation of mobile broadband is almost here. The global standards body for mobile broadband, 3GPP, introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, cellular carriers were excited to show consumers how they’ve been using these specifications to build powerful new networks:

  • In his keynote address, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg spoke enthusiastically about the next generation of mobile broadband. Vestberg and other industry leaders, including AT&T CEO John Donovan, predict that 5G will trigger a second digital revolution that replaces wired internet technology with powerful wireless networks.

  • AT&T CEO John Donovan also delivered a keynote address on 5G. Unfortunately, his address was overshadowed by the widespread industry criticism of AT&T’s “5G E” networks, which do not meet industry specifications for 5G. Sprint is, currently, suing AT&T for deceptive marketing of 5G E.

  • Sprint took CES 2019 as an opportunity to announce that, in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm, it had just completed the world’s first call over a 5G network in San Diego. During the test, researchers were also able to stream YouTube videos and use Skype.

 

Experts predict that 5G will be up to 120 times faster than 4G LTE. The average 4G LTE internet connection from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint has a download speed of between 5 and 12 Mbps and an upload speed of between 2 and 5 Mbps.Video Streaming 5G, then, may overtake the speeds of wired internet connections like cable internet, which typically have download speeds of between 20 and 100 Mbps.

Unfortunately, rural people won’t see these faster internet speeds right away. While Verizon has experimented with installed 5G in smaller cities like Brockton, MA, and Bernardsville, NJ, most carriers are currently focused on bringing 5G to major urban areas. If carriers deploy 5G on the same timeline as 4G LTE, rural areas won’t have access to 5G networks until around 2025.

IoT Rapid Growth is Sparking an Increase in Mobile Data Traffic

The IoT is the network of wireless devices, including self-driving vehicles and devices that use augmented or virtual reality, that connects to the internet over wireless protocols like mobile broadband. Ericsson predicts that, because the IoT is growing so quickly, mobile data traffic will increase 8000% between 2018 and 2023.

In the next decade, 5G will meet much of this growing demand for mobile data. By 2023, Ericsson predicts that 5G networks will carry 20% of mobile data traffic. Hardware manufacturers are already preparing for this shift. At CES 2019, manufacturers showcased a number of IoT devices that already work with 5G:

  • Qualcomm showcased a range of mobile hotspots compatible with wireless 5G networks during CES 2019. Qualcomm is taking a leading role in 5G hardware development, as it’s producing 5G chips for carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

  • Samsung displayed a 5G-compatible prototype of the Galaxy S10 in its booth. This prototype is the first that meets industry specifications for 5G NR. Unfortunately, Samsung has since confirmed that the phone won’t be part of its Galaxy S10 drop this spring.

 

The Newest IoT Devices Use Innovative AI Technology

One of the main purposes of the IoT is to automate routine processes, so that people don’t have to waste time on mundane tasks. The key to automation is AI. AI devices can complete tasks that typically require human intelligence, like planning, problem solving, perceiving, moving, socializing, and learning. Like humans, these devices turn to the internet for answers.

AI programs, like Siri, have limited functionality when they aren’t connected to the internet. For example, Siri only knows who the Patriots play next week because it finds that information on the internet. Video Streaming Many AI devices depend on mobile broadband to function and communicate effectively with humans and other devices. AI, then, converges with 5G and the IoT on an existential level.

Are you ready for the future? Check out our mobile broadband plans to see how you can start using IoT and AI technology, even if you live in a rural area without access to wired internet.

Video Streaming

Grow Your Rural Business with Online Video

Video Streaming At any given moment, most people using the internet on their phone, tablet, or computer are streaming video. In fact, online video now makes up a full 80% of worldwide internet traffic. By including online video in your digital marketing efforts, your rural business can reach the many people looking for video content online.

 

Online Video to Grow Brand Awareness and Make Sales

There are many ways to utilize online video in your rural business’s marketing efforts:

  • Place promotional videos and testimonials on a platform like YouTube to bring new customers to your business from that platform. These customers will likely find your content through search, so make sure you search-engine optimize the text descriptions for your videos.

    Video Streaming Boost your online conversion rate by integrating video content into your business’s website. Websites with video content have an average conversion rate of 4.9%, which is almost 100% higher than the 2.9% average for websites without video content.

     

    Video Streaming Link to video in your promotional emails to improve your click-through rate. A video link in an email increases the click-through rate of that email by between 100% (for an introductory email) and 300%.

    Drum up excitement for an event with live video on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Four in five of internet users watch video on Facebook Live and two in three live-video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a future event after watching a live video of a similar event.

 

Brand awareness is often an issue for isolated rural businesses, since fewer customers encounter your business daily compared to urban businesses. Increase brand awareness and conversions by utilizing online video in different ways.

Create Quality Video Content by Telling Compelling Stories

Video Streaming Before anyone makes an online purchase or visits your rural business, they need to know that your brand exists. In your online videos, tell a compelling and consistent brand story that shows people what their lives could look like if they purchased your product, service, or solution.

 

There are many ways to tell your brand story, but video is probably the most effective way. In fact, four in five people would rather watch a video about your business than read a blog post about it. Four in five people would also rather watch a live video about your business than read your business’s social media posts.

 

Video Streaming People also like to learn about your products, services, or solutions with exploratory videos. A potential customer is 400% more likely to prefer watching a video about a product than to prefer reading about a product.

While people generally prefer video to other online content, the quality of the video’s content and production matter a lot. People only spend their time watching live video if the content is compelling and two in three people say the production quality of a live video is the most important thing about it.

A poor-quality video is often worse than no video at all. In fact, one in four people are actually less likely to purchase from your business if you produce poor-quality video content.

Help Your Online Video Content Go Viral

As many as 92% of people who watch online video on their phones share that content with others, so the right content can end up going far. Whether your business is looking to reach a local audience or a global one, there are a few things that you can do to help your online videos resonate with the people they reach:

  • Video Streaming Think about the relevance and timeliness of your videos. Target certain videos to certain people through email marketing and, whenever possible, stream video live. Live video is often more interesting to people than video on demand because it’s happening right now.

    Your videos don’t necessarily have to be short, but, if they’re long, make sure they’re engrossing. The optimal length for a video depends on both the video content and the platform people watch your video on. People will, for example, spend far more time watching a live stream on a desktop computer than looking at a video on their phone.

 

A great internet connection is key to producing quality online video. Get in contact with us today to learn more about our 4G LTE solutions for rural businesses.

Online Video Gaming

10 Best-Selling Video Games to Check Out in 2019

video games 2019 Are you looking for a new game to spend your time on in the new year? From Red Dead Redemption II to Marvel’s Spider-Man, last year was full of exciting new video game releases that deserve a second look in 2019.

 

Amazon’s “Best Sellers of 2018 in Video Games” is as good a place as any to start looking for your next big distraction. The list includes a wide range of video games with varying target audiences, online modes, and multiplayer capabilities. Here are the top 10 games from that list.

video games 2019 1. In Super Smash Bros Ultimate, gaming icons like PacMan, Mario, and Pikachu face off in 1-on-1 battles and multiplayer free-for-alls. While most of the modes in this game are offline, it also includes online modes that pair you with random players.

 

2. In Red Dead Redemption II, the bandit Arthur Morgan and his gang rob, steal, and fight their way through the Wild West. In late 2018, Rockstar released the online multiplayer version of the game as a public beta. The popular beta is now a full-fledged online mode available to anyone who owns the game.

3. In Super Mario Party, players race across the board to find Stars before the other players get to them. The online mode, Online Mariothon, pairs you with random players from around the world.

4. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, Spider-Man must save New York from another malicious plot from the city’s criminal elements. While there’s no online multiplayer for this game, it does include some online features and updates.

5. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, players race each other on new and classic battle courses. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode where you can compete against either friends or random players.

6. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario explores new environments in his classic quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser’s clutches. The game includes some online modes, such as Luigi’s Balloon World.

7. In Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, the player teams up with Pikachu to become a top Pokemon Trainer by battling other trainers. The game includes online modes where you can battle and trade with friends as well as with random players.

video games 2019 8. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, players compete in combat scenarios. In the online multiplayer mode, you team up with friends and random players to compete against other teams in the complex and expansive world of Black Ops.

 

9. In God of War, Kratos navigates the lands of Norse Gods and monsters with his son in tow. This game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda travels through an exciting and expansive world as she discovers what’s become of the kingdom of Hyrule. Like God of War, this game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

Gaming on a 4G LTE Connection

Some of the games above have more online modes than others. The minimum internet speed requirements for video games 2019 online gaming are a download speed of 3 Mbps and an upload speed of 500 Kbps. For standard definition (SD) video streaming, you likely need a download speed of 1 Mbps and, for high definition (HD) video streaming, 3.5 Mbps. When it comes to gaming, the latency of your internet connection is often more critical than the speed of your connection. Latency, or ping time, is the time it takes, in milliseconds, for your network to connect to the internet host and start uploading or downloading game data.

A latency of more than 100 milliseconds can cause noticeable lags in your game. Latency is particularly important in games that require close to real-time responses from players, like first-person shooters. In these games, lags make a huge difference in performance.

 

Minimum internet speeds for online gaming

Download speed

3 Mbps

Upload speed

500 Kbps

Latency

150 milliseconds

 

Average 4G LTE internet speeds

Download speed

5-12 Mbps

Upload speed

2-5 Mbps

Latency

70 milliseconds

5G Update

When Will Mobile Networks Switch to 5G?

This week, technology innovators from around the world convened at CES 2019 to discuss, among other things, the future of mobile broadband. At the event, the cellular manufacturers Qualcomm and Intel both debuted impressive 5G-capable devices. These devices, and others, give us a preview of what 5G will look like when it’s finally implemented.

5G Update The global standards body 3GPP introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. Now it’s time for carriers and cellular manufacturers to realize these standards in their devices and networks. While the future of 5G is still mostly potential, we know more about the new mobile broadband technology now than ever before.

 

Here’s the latest:

Mobile Devices Will Be Compatible With 5G in 2019

At CES 2019, Qualcomm showcased several 5G-capable hotspots. Samsung, too, showcased a prototype of its first 5G-compatible smartphone. Samsung plans to release this model, which Verizon and AT&T will both offer customers, this spring. As 2020 approaches, we’ll likely see more and more 5G-capable devices popping up from cutting-edge manufacturers like Samsung.

5G Update Because mmWave antennas are larger than the antennas that wireless devices currently use, devices that are compatible with 5G will be thicker and bigger than current devices. For example, new 5G-capable smartphones will probably be about as thick as the iPhone 4 (about 9.3 mm).

Carriers Will Debut 5G Networks in 2020

While competitors are ragging on AT&T for rolling out “fake” 5G networks that don’t conform to the 5G NR standard, other carriers are planning to roll out their 5G NR networks in 2020. Intel, for example, is currently at work developing a 5G network for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

  • Sprint seems to be putting 5G on the backburner as it negotiates a merger with T-Mobile. Nevertheless, the carrier plans to provide 5G NR to major cities–including New York, NY, Phoenix, AZ, Kansas City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, LA, and Washington, DC–this year.
  • T-Mobile plans to launch 5G NR networks in an impressive 30 cities–including Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, and Dallas, TX–this year. The carrier promises that, by 2020, it will offer nationwide 5G coverage to its customers.

Asia is Taking the Lead in 5G Development

In December 2018, Korean telecoms SK Telecom, LG Uplus, and KT simultaneously launched installed 5G in South Korea. These installed connections, like Verizon’s 5G networks, aren’t mobile. Nevertheless, a government report predicts that 5% of the country’s population will use 5G by 2020, 30% by 2021, and 90% by 2026.

5G Update China, too, is aggressively building and testing new 5G networks. The government’s “Made in China 2025 Plan” outlines the country’s dedication to mobile broadband development on a national level. As an industrial leader, the country no longer wants to play catch up when it comes to wireless internet technology. Instead, it wants to beat the US to 5G deployment.

In the 1990s, European countries took the lead in adopting 2G mobile broadband. Then, Japan took the reins in the 2000s when 3G took over. In the early 2010s, the US played a leading role in 4G development and implementation. Now, South Korea and China are taking a leading role in the development and implementation of 5G technology.

4G LTE / Patriots over Eagles

Mobile Broadband Puts Super Bowl LII online

 
As Super Bowl LII fast approaches, network engineers at U.S. Bank Stadium are updating the stadium’s wireless networks. The stadium is
 

increasing both its Wi-Fi and mobile broadband bandwidth, so that dozens of news outlets and thousands of football fans can enjoy seamlessly internet connectivity on football’s biggest night.

 
These network updates offer a peek at the latest wireless hardware innovations and at the future of mobile broadband in general. Mobile broadband applications, like this one, demonstrate the power and the potential of the rapidly evolving internet technology.

 

Hardware Supports Stadium-sized Capacity

 
For years, a powerful system of cellular antennas and Wi-Fi extenders has lined the railings at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The cellular antennas, supplied by Verizon, increase the strength of the local Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks inside the stadium. The Wi-Fi extenders support the stadium’s public Wi-Fi network.

 
 
5G™

In preparation for this year’s Super Bowl, cellular carriers installed a number of new multi-beam base station antennas in the stadium. These base stations, known as MatSings, are clusters of a dozen cellular antennas that increase the strength of the local cellular networks exponentially, allowing for greater mobile broadband bandwidth. These base stations increase internet connectivity for, especially, the field and outdoor plaza.

 
 

Verizon leads the pack in mobile broadband connectivity inside U.S. Bank Stadium. This year, the carrier increased the number of cellular antennas from 900 to 1,200 units, to AT&T and  Sprint’ s 800 units. In the city of Minneapolis, too, the carrier increased its network capacity by 500%

 

Bandwidth extends Super Bowl Reach, Meets Spectator Demand

 
The stadium’s increased bandwidth supports two stadium and league goals: extending the online and social reach of Super Bowl and meeting the growing demand, from spectators, for internet data and bandwidth.
 
  • Goal 1: Extend the online and social reach of Super Bowl LII.
 

Today, online and social media play an essential role in marketing any sports event. For football players, news outlets, and fans to utilize theses mediums, a reliable internet connection is essential.

 
  • Goal 2: Meet growing demand for internet data and bandwidth from spectators.
 

The demand for mobile data has nearly doubled every year since 2015. Verizon predicts that, this Super Bowl, it will see double the network traffic it did in 2017. This means that fans will, likely, use close to 20 terabytes of data over the course of the game. Mobile broadband networks need to be strong enough to support this unprecedented demand.

 

Sports Stadiums Offer 5G Previews

 
5G™

Connecting thousands of spectators to the internet at a jam-packed sporting event is the perfect way to showcase the potential of 5G. For many working on the next generation of mobile broadband, increasing network capacity is a top priority.

 

The Super Bowl isn’t the only sporting event where 5G prototypes will make a debut this year. Huawei and MegaFon, for example, will introduce a 5G prototype at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Before that, South Korean telecom KT will launch a separate 5G prototype at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

 

Online Video Gaming

Nintendo Switch just Keeps Getting Bigger

It’s been almost two years since Nintendo launched its successful, first-generation Switch console. They’ve been two years of relatively


steady growth for Nintendo’s hardware branch. The console has gathered a loyal following of users, putting Switch on par with predecessors like the Wii U and, some say, the revolutionary Wii console itself.



If you aren’t already on the Switch bandwagon, now’s the time to explore Nintendo’s newest hardware product. The console puts retro games, like Mario Kart, and new titles, like Splatoon, at your fingertips. The console also uses a relatively low amount of bandwidth, which makes the console a real possibility for mobile broadband users.


Console’s Retro Appeal is Driving its Popularity


5G™

While Nintendo has had success with new games like Splatoon, Rocket League, and Darkest Dungeon, the console really embraces classic games like Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic. The console’s retro appeal drives much of its popularity. About half of Switch’s top-selling titles, for example, are retro reboot

 

Wireless Specifications for Nintendo Switch


Switch has a set of pretty standard wireless specifications:



  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac).
  • Bluetooth 4.1



You don’t need to go wireless with Switch. You can also connect Nintendo Switch with a wired LAN adapter in TV mode, although you’ll have to purchase the adapter separately.



Nintendo Switch on Mobile Broadband


While, officially, Nintendo recommends that you connect your Switch to a reliable cable or DSL internet connection, the console’s specifications don’t rule out 4G LTE. Like other gaming platforms,


Switch requires a download and upload speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher, speeds that 4G LTE regularly achieves.



Here’s what Nintendo says, on its troubleshooting page, about connecting your Switch console to the internet:

We recommend use of a high-speed, wired Internet connection such as a Cable, DSL, or Fiber Optics Internet connection. Use of other services, such as cellular or satellite Internet, may result in lag, latency, or slow download speeds that prevent use of some online features. If you’re experiencing an issue that may be related to use of these services, try another type of Internet connection if possible.



Luckily, lags don’t ruin retro games the same way they ruin the real-time multiplayers that are so popular on the PS4 and Xbox One

 

consoles. Given the low-bandwidth requirements of its top-selling games, Switch is one of the better consoles to purchase if you use mobile broadband.



Track Your Mobile Data Usage


If you use mobile broadband, you’re probably also worried about wasting tons of data on Switch. No worries. To help you track your data usage, the carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint all offer streamlined online and text services. These services give you easy access to useful information about your data use.



While carrier services are useful, they aren’t particularly specific. To determine how much data you spend on Switch specifically, use a free traffic monitoring application like PRTG Network Monitor or Netlimiter 4. These applications generate exact numbers that you can use to estimate your long-term data usage with greater accuracy.

Video Streaming

How are our Video Streaming Habits Changing During Coronavirus?

Online video has taken center stage for many during the coronavirus crisis. The average American now watches at least eight hours of online video every day, which three quarters say is more than they watched before the crisis. People are also spending more time using video conferencing platforms like Zoom and more money on video technology like smartphones.

The current crisis accelerated a trend towards online video content that emerged long before coronavirus. An increase in video content, as well as a shift in the way people watch online videos, triggered a massive uptick in mobile video traffic in the last few years. By the start of 2020, for example, almost two thirds of all traffic over mobile internet were already video content.

But video traffic on mobile networks has only increased as quarantines and lockdowns force more people inside. Video traffic increased by more than a third on Verizon’s 4G LTE network in March, for example. For many people, video streaming helps them stay up to date on the latest coronavirus news and keeps them entertained during the long days stuck at home.

People in rural areas have fewer internet options for video streaming

To watch online video, you need a fast internet connection. To watch standard definition (480p) video, for example, you need an internet connection with a download speedVideo Streaming of at least 3 Mbps. To watch high definition (720p or 1040p) video, you need a download speed of at least 5 Mbps. And to watch ultra-high definition (UHD or 4K) video, you need a download speed of 25 Mbps. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of internet options this fast that are available for people in rural areas: satellite internet and fixed wireless internet (fixed 5G or 4G LTE). The satellite internet video experience is often quite poor since the connection’s high latency causes lags and buffers. A fixed wireless internet connection has faster speeds and lower latency – which provides a better video experience for people who can’t access wired internet like cable.

Mobile networks are staying strong despite coronavirus

From January 27 to March 29, Opensignal measured average 4G LTE download speeds in a handful of countries. The study found that while 4G LTE speeds decreased in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom as the consumption of video data increased in those countries, the average download speed in the United States stayed steady throughout March.

On some networks, internet speeds even increased alongside video traffic. To meet the demands of the crisis, mobile internet providers have been rapidly increasing the capacities of their cell towers. T-Mobile, for example, doubled its 600 MHz 4G LTE download speeds from 10 Mbps to 20 Mbps in just three days in March by adding new frequency bands to its network.

Get fixed wireless internet for your rural quarantine

Are you planning on watching a lot of video during the coronavirus crisis? Fixed wireless internet is the best option for rural areas that don’t have access to wired internet connections. Find out more about 5G and 4G LTE options in your area by starting a chat or giving us a call at (866) 439-6630.

Online Video Gaming

Is Fixed 4G LTE or Satellite Internet Better for Online Gaming?

Fixed wireless internet and satellite internet are often the only internet options in rural areas that don’t have access to wired options like cable internet. For gamers, these two types of wireless internet connection provide two very different user experiences. Let’s take a closer look at how fixed wireless internet and satellite internet compare when it comes to online games.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet speeds

For online gaming, you’ll need a download speed of at least 3 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps. You’ll be able to play virtually all games on fixed wireless internet, even if you live in a rural area with less than optimal coverage. In rural areas, fixed wireless internet has an average download speed of up to 34 Mbps on 600 MHz 5G and 20 Mbps on 4G LTE. 5G has an average upload speed of 14 Mbps and 4G LTE has an average of 16 Mbps.

It’s more complicated when it comes to online gaming on satellite internet. While satellite has a download speed of up to 25 Mbps and an upload speed of up to 3 Movies Mbps, the user experience of online gaming on a satellite connection is often pretty awful due to the connection’s latency, which causes lags. The latency or “ping” is the time in milliseconds it takes for your local network to connect to the internet host and start exchanging online data.

While mobile data has an average latency of around 35 milliseconds, satellite internet has an average latency of around 600 milliseconds. When your internet connection has a lower latency, it can process incoming online data packets more quickly – which is great for fast paced games like first-person shooters. With a fixed wireless connection, you’ll have fewer lags and buffers.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet data limits

Because most of a game’s data is included in the initial download, playing online games typically doesn’t use much bandwidth. While data use varies based on factors like the number of players in the game, the frame rate of your connection, and tick rate of the server, online gaming typically uses less than 100 MB of data per hour (or 1 GB every 10 hours).

While there are data plans with enough bandwidth for gaming available for both fixed mobile broadband and satellite internet, satellite networks usually have lower capacities than 5G or 4G LTE networks, so satellite providers control data use more tightly to prevent network congestion. Many satellite internet plans have complicated “fair use” policies that throttle your internet speeds after you use just 15 GB or 30 GB of data.

Get fixed wireless internet for your rural home

Because of its lower latency, fixed wireless internet is a better option than satellite internet for online gaming in rural areas that don’t have access to wired internet connections. Find out more about 5G and 4G LTE options in your area by starting a chat or giving us a call at (866) 439-6630.

Video Streaming

Is Fixed 4G LTE Internet or Satellite Internet Better for Video?

In rural areas without access to wired internet options like cable, fixed wireless internet and satellite internet are often the only two choices. When it comes to online video, these two types of internet connection offer very different user experiences. Let’s take a closer look at how fixed wireless internet and satellite internet compare when it comes to video experience.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet speeds

To watch standard definition (480p) video, you need an internet connection with a download speed of at least 3 Mbps. To watch high definition (720p or 1040p) video, you need a download speed of at least 5 Mbps. And to watch 4K video, you need a download speed of 25 Mbps.

You’ll be able to watch most videos on fixed wireless internet, even if you live in a rural area with less than optimal coverage. In urban areas, 5G has an average download speed of up to 250 Mbps and 4G LTE has an average download speed of more than 30 Mbps. In rural areas, 5G has an average download speed of up to 34 Mbps on 600 MHz 5G and 20 Mbps on 4G LTE.

It’s more complicated with satellite internet. While satellite has a download speed of up to 25 Mbps, the user experience of watching video on a satellite connection Movies is often very poor due to the connection’s high latency. A connection’s latency or “ping” is the time in milliseconds it takes for your local network to connect to the internet host and start exchanging online data.

While mobile data has an average latency of around 35 milliseconds, satellite internet has an average latency of around 600 milliseconds. When your internet connection has a lower latency, it can process incoming online data packets more quickly for a smoother video experience. With a higher latency, you’ll experience more lags and buffers on your videos.

Fixed wireless internet vs. satellite internet data limits

Video uses a lot of bandwidth. If you’re watching standard definition video, you’ll use about 700 MB of internet data per hour. If you’re watching high definition video, you’ll use 3 GB per hour. And if you’re watching 4K video, you’ll use 7 GB per hour. These numbers make most plans with data limits impractical if you’re planning on watching a lot of video on your connection.

While there are unlimited data plans available for both fixed mobile broadband and satellite internet, many satellite internet plans have complicated “fair use” policies that throttle internet speeds after only a few hours of watching video. Most satellite networks have lower capacities than 5G or 4G LTE, so they control data use more tightly to prevent network congestion.

Get fixed wireless internet for your rural home

If you plan on watching a lot of video, fixed wireless internet is a better option than satellite internet for rural areas without access to wired internet connections. Find out more about 5G and 4G LTE options in your area by starting a chat or giving us a call at (866) 439-6630.

Rural Internet

How Fast is Your Rural Broadband?

All over the country, the internet is getting faster and faster. In 2018, the mean download speed of a fixed internet connection increased by more than 35% and the mean upload speed increased by more than 20%. With Rural Broadband these faster internet speeds, internet users can stream better quality video, have more fun playing online games, and start sharing their own online content with the world.

While many rural areas have access to better broadband connections than ever before, other areas still struggle with slow internet speeds. Almost 40% of rural Americans still don’t have access to high-speed broadband with a download speed of at least 25 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 3 Mbps. Rural Americans are ten times more likely to lack access to high speeds broadband than urban Americans.

So, how fast is rural broadband where you live? Let’s take a closer look at a few ways you can find out which internet provider offers the fastest connection in your community.

 

Broadband Speeds Reporting Across the Country

Each year, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and a handful of private companies release broadband reports that outline internet speeds across the country. If you’re looking for the fastest rural broadband connection in your area, these reports are a great place to start:

 

Unfortunately, reports don’t always paint an accurate picture of broadband speeds. For example, while the FCC publishes a list of the broadband speeds in each census block, these numbers don’t always reflect the real speeds of users in that block for two reasons. First, the FCC only considers the fastest internet plan in each block, even though many users may not be able to afford these plans. Second, if one address in the block has access to a fast plan, the FCC considers it an option for the entire block.

Rural Broadband Other reports, like the annual reports by Tom’s Guide and Ookla, also have the same shortcomings. While crowdsourced data is useful when it comes to determining which carrier has the fastest nationwide, statewide, or city-wide networks, they aren’t typically an accurate predictor of internet speeds on a local level. And, with mobile broadband in particular, there are huge variations in internet speeds based on local signal strength.

 

How to Test Your Signal Strength with A Carrier

Because signal strength varies significantly, even within a single region, the best way to determine the rural broadband speeds on your property is to test them yourself. Luckily, it’s easy to conduct a signal strength audit of mobile broadband speeds with just a SIM card and your phone:

 

  1. Insert a SIM card from the carrier into your phone. You don’t need to purchase a plan from the carrier to test their service, instead use a prepaid SIM card or sign up for a free trial.
  2. Switch your phone to field test mode. The signal bars on your phone are just an estimate. For more accurate signal strength readings, switch your phone to field test mode:
    • On iOS, call *3001#12345#*. A signal strength indicator will pop up in the top left. Tap to switch between bars and number readings in decibels relative to one milliwatt (dBm).

    • On Android, navigate to Settings > About Phone > Network or Status to see numerical readings of your signal strength in dBm.

Rural Broadband

Your phone measures 4G LTE signal strength as a factor of Reference Signal Received Power (RSRP) in dBm:

  • A strong signal with clear voice and fast data typically falls between -50dBm and -105dBm.
  • A fair signal with good voice and reliable data typically falls between -106dBm and -125dBm.
  • A bad signal with good voice, but unreliable data typically falls between -126dBm and -136dBm.
  • A terrible signal with voice, but no data typically falls between -136dBm and -140dBm.

3. Test internet speeds across your property. To see where the mobile data is fastest, walk around your property, stopping periodically to take readings on your phone. Where the RSRP reading is high, run a speed test to determine the real download and upload speeds in that spot.

5G Update

The Convergence of 5G, IoT, and AI

Today, emerging internet technology draws from mobile broadband, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create strong wireless networks that support a growing number of wireless devices.Video Streaming This new technology has an almost limitless potential to improve our lives by giving us more control over our environments and boosting our efficiency.

Let’s take a closer look at the convergence of mobile broadband, IoT, and AI and what advancements in internet technology mean for rural people who depend on wireless solutions to connect to the internet.

 

5G Networks Supports a Vast Number of Wireless Devices

The next generation of mobile broadband is almost here. The global standards body for mobile broadband, 3GPP, introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, cellular carriers were excited to show consumers how they’ve been using these specifications to build powerful new networks:

  • In his keynote address, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg spoke enthusiastically about the next generation of mobile broadband. Vestberg and other industry leaders, including AT&T CEO John Donovan, predict that 5G will trigger a second digital revolution that replaces wired internet technology with powerful wireless networks.

  • AT&T CEO John Donovan also delivered a keynote address on 5G. Unfortunately, his address was overshadowed by the widespread industry criticism of AT&T’s “5G E” networks, which do not meet industry specifications for 5G. Sprint is, currently, suing AT&T for deceptive marketing of 5G E.

  • Sprint took CES 2019 as an opportunity to announce that, in partnership with Nokia and Qualcomm, it had just completed the world’s first call over a 5G network in San Diego. During the test, researchers were also able to stream YouTube videos and use Skype.

 

Experts predict that 5G will be up to 120 times faster than 4G LTE. The average 4G LTE internet connection from Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint has a download speed of between 5 and 12 Mbps and an upload speed of between 2 and 5 Mbps.Video Streaming 5G, then, may overtake the speeds of wired internet connections like cable internet, which typically have download speeds of between 20 and 100 Mbps.

Unfortunately, rural people won’t see these faster internet speeds right away. While Verizon has experimented with installed 5G in smaller cities like Brockton, MA, and Bernardsville, NJ, most carriers are currently focused on bringing 5G to major urban areas. If carriers deploy 5G on the same timeline as 4G LTE, rural areas won’t have access to 5G networks until around 2025.

IoT Rapid Growth is Sparking an Increase in Mobile Data Traffic

The IoT is the network of wireless devices, including self-driving vehicles and devices that use augmented or virtual reality, that connects to the internet over wireless protocols like mobile broadband. Ericsson predicts that, because the IoT is growing so quickly, mobile data traffic will increase 8000% between 2018 and 2023.

In the next decade, 5G will meet much of this growing demand for mobile data. By 2023, Ericsson predicts that 5G networks will carry 20% of mobile data traffic. Hardware manufacturers are already preparing for this shift. At CES 2019, manufacturers showcased a number of IoT devices that already work with 5G:

  • Qualcomm showcased a range of mobile hotspots compatible with wireless 5G networks during CES 2019. Qualcomm is taking a leading role in 5G hardware development, as it’s producing 5G chips for carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.

  • Samsung displayed a 5G-compatible prototype of the Galaxy S10 in its booth. This prototype is the first that meets industry specifications for 5G NR. Unfortunately, Samsung has since confirmed that the phone won’t be part of its Galaxy S10 drop this spring.

 

The Newest IoT Devices Use Innovative AI Technology

One of the main purposes of the IoT is to automate routine processes, so that people don’t have to waste time on mundane tasks. The key to automation is AI. AI devices can complete tasks that typically require human intelligence, like planning, problem solving, perceiving, moving, socializing, and learning. Like humans, these devices turn to the internet for answers.

AI programs, like Siri, have limited functionality when they aren’t connected to the internet. For example, Siri only knows who the Patriots play next week because it finds that information on the internet. Video Streaming Many AI devices depend on mobile broadband to function and communicate effectively with humans and other devices. AI, then, converges with 5G and the IoT on an existential level.

Are you ready for the future? Check out our mobile broadband plans to see how you can start using IoT and AI technology, even if you live in a rural area without access to wired internet.

Video Streaming

Grow Your Rural Business with Online Video

Video Streaming At any given moment, most people using the internet on their phone, tablet, or computer are streaming video. In fact, online video now makes up a full 80% of worldwide internet traffic. By including online video in your digital marketing efforts, your rural business can reach the many people looking for video content online.

 

Online Video to Grow Brand Awareness and Make Sales

There are many ways to utilize online video in your rural business’s marketing efforts:

  • Place promotional videos and testimonials on a platform like YouTube to bring new customers to your business from that platform. These customers will likely find your content through search, so make sure you search-engine optimize the text descriptions for your videos.

    Video Streaming Boost your online conversion rate by integrating video content into your business’s website. Websites with video content have an average conversion rate of 4.9%, which is almost 100% higher than the 2.9% average for websites without video content.

     

    Video Streaming Link to video in your promotional emails to improve your click-through rate. A video link in an email increases the click-through rate of that email by between 100% (for an introductory email) and 300%.

    Drum up excitement for an event with live video on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Four in five of internet users watch video on Facebook Live and two in three live-video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a future event after watching a live video of a similar event.

 

Brand awareness is often an issue for isolated rural businesses, since fewer customers encounter your business daily compared to urban businesses. Increase brand awareness and conversions by utilizing online video in different ways.

Create Quality Video Content by Telling Compelling Stories

Video Streaming Before anyone makes an online purchase or visits your rural business, they need to know that your brand exists. In your online videos, tell a compelling and consistent brand story that shows people what their lives could look like if they purchased your product, service, or solution.

 

There are many ways to tell your brand story, but video is probably the most effective way. In fact, four in five people would rather watch a video about your business than read a blog post about it. Four in five people would also rather watch a live video about your business than read your business’s social media posts.

 

Video Streaming People also like to learn about your products, services, or solutions with exploratory videos. A potential customer is 400% more likely to prefer watching a video about a product than to prefer reading about a product.

While people generally prefer video to other online content, the quality of the video’s content and production matter a lot. People only spend their time watching live video if the content is compelling and two in three people say the production quality of a live video is the most important thing about it.

A poor-quality video is often worse than no video at all. In fact, one in four people are actually less likely to purchase from your business if you produce poor-quality video content.

Help Your Online Video Content Go Viral

As many as 92% of people who watch online video on their phones share that content with others, so the right content can end up going far. Whether your business is looking to reach a local audience or a global one, there are a few things that you can do to help your online videos resonate with the people they reach:

  • Video Streaming Think about the relevance and timeliness of your videos. Target certain videos to certain people through email marketing and, whenever possible, stream video live. Live video is often more interesting to people than video on demand because it’s happening right now.

    Your videos don’t necessarily have to be short, but, if they’re long, make sure they’re engrossing. The optimal length for a video depends on both the video content and the platform people watch your video on. People will, for example, spend far more time watching a live stream on a desktop computer than looking at a video on their phone.

 

A great internet connection is key to producing quality online video. Get in contact with us today to learn more about our 4G LTE solutions for rural businesses.

Online Video Gaming

10 Best-Selling Video Games to Check Out in 2019

video games 2019 Are you looking for a new game to spend your time on in the new year? From Red Dead Redemption II to Marvel’s Spider-Man, last year was full of exciting new video game releases that deserve a second look in 2019.

 

Amazon’s “Best Sellers of 2018 in Video Games” is as good a place as any to start looking for your next big distraction. The list includes a wide range of video games with varying target audiences, online modes, and multiplayer capabilities. Here are the top 10 games from that list.

video games 2019 1. In Super Smash Bros Ultimate, gaming icons like PacMan, Mario, and Pikachu face off in 1-on-1 battles and multiplayer free-for-alls. While most of the modes in this game are offline, it also includes online modes that pair you with random players.

 

2. In Red Dead Redemption II, the bandit Arthur Morgan and his gang rob, steal, and fight their way through the Wild West. In late 2018, Rockstar released the online multiplayer version of the game as a public beta. The popular beta is now a full-fledged online mode available to anyone who owns the game.

3. In Super Mario Party, players race across the board to find Stars before the other players get to them. The online mode, Online Mariothon, pairs you with random players from around the world.

4. In Marvel’s Spider-Man, Spider-Man must save New York from another malicious plot from the city’s criminal elements. While there’s no online multiplayer for this game, it does include some online features and updates.

5. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, players race each other on new and classic battle courses. The game also includes an online multiplayer mode where you can compete against either friends or random players.

6. In Super Mario Odyssey, Mario explores new environments in his classic quest to save Princess Peach from Bowser’s clutches. The game includes some online modes, such as Luigi’s Balloon World.

7. In Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!, the player teams up with Pikachu to become a top Pokemon Trainer by battling other trainers. The game includes online modes where you can battle and trade with friends as well as with random players.

video games 2019 8. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, players compete in combat scenarios. In the online multiplayer mode, you team up with friends and random players to compete against other teams in the complex and expansive world of Black Ops.

 

9. In God of War, Kratos navigates the lands of Norse Gods and monsters with his son in tow. This game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda travels through an exciting and expansive world as she discovers what’s become of the kingdom of Hyrule. Like God of War, this game doesn’t have any online modes, although players need to be connected to the internet to download patches and updates.

Gaming on a 4G LTE Connection

Some of the games above have more online modes than others. The minimum internet speed requirements for video games 2019 online gaming are a download speed of 3 Mbps and an upload speed of 500 Kbps. For standard definition (SD) video streaming, you likely need a download speed of 1 Mbps and, for high definition (HD) video streaming, 3.5 Mbps. When it comes to gaming, the latency of your internet connection is often more critical than the speed of your connection. Latency, or ping time, is the time it takes, in milliseconds, for your network to connect to the internet host and start uploading or downloading game data.

A latency of more than 100 milliseconds can cause noticeable lags in your game. Latency is particularly important in games that require close to real-time responses from players, like first-person shooters. In these games, lags make a huge difference in performance.

 

Minimum internet speeds for online gaming

Download speed

3 Mbps

Upload speed

500 Kbps

Latency

150 milliseconds

 

Average 4G LTE internet speeds

Download speed

5-12 Mbps

Upload speed

2-5 Mbps

Latency

70 milliseconds

5G Update

When Will Mobile Networks Switch to 5G?

This week, technology innovators from around the world convened at CES 2019 to discuss, among other things, the future of mobile broadband. At the event, the cellular manufacturers Qualcomm and Intel both debuted impressive 5G-capable devices. These devices, and others, give us a preview of what 5G will look like when it’s finally implemented.

5G Update The global standards body 3GPP introduced the first 5G NR mobile data specifications at the end of 2017. Now it’s time for carriers and cellular manufacturers to realize these standards in their devices and networks. While the future of 5G is still mostly potential, we know more about the new mobile broadband technology now than ever before.

 

Here’s the latest:

Mobile Devices Will Be Compatible With 5G in 2019

At CES 2019, Qualcomm showcased several 5G-capable hotspots. Samsung, too, showcased a prototype of its first 5G-compatible smartphone. Samsung plans to release this model, which Verizon and AT&T will both offer customers, this spring. As 2020 approaches, we’ll likely see more and more 5G-capable devices popping up from cutting-edge manufacturers like Samsung.

5G Update Because mmWave antennas are larger than the antennas that wireless devices currently use, devices that are compatible with 5G will be thicker and bigger than current devices. For example, new 5G-capable smartphones will probably be about as thick as the iPhone 4 (about 9.3 mm).

Carriers Will Debut 5G Networks in 2020

While competitors are ragging on AT&T for rolling out “fake” 5G networks that don’t conform to the 5G NR standard, other carriers are planning to roll out their 5G NR networks in 2020. Intel, for example, is currently at work developing a 5G network for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

  • Sprint seems to be putting 5G on the backburner as it negotiates a merger with T-Mobile. Nevertheless, the carrier plans to provide 5G NR to major cities–including New York, NY, Phoenix, AZ, Kansas City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, LA, and Washington, DC–this year.
  • T-Mobile plans to launch 5G NR networks in an impressive 30 cities–including Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, and Dallas, TX–this year. The carrier promises that, by 2020, it will offer nationwide 5G coverage to its customers.

Asia is Taking the Lead in 5G Development

In December 2018, Korean telecoms SK Telecom, LG Uplus, and KT simultaneously launched installed 5G in South Korea. These installed connections, like Verizon’s 5G networks, aren’t mobile. Nevertheless, a government report predicts that 5% of the country’s population will use 5G by 2020, 30% by 2021, and 90% by 2026.

5G Update China, too, is aggressively building and testing new 5G networks. The government’s “Made in China 2025 Plan” outlines the country’s dedication to mobile broadband development on a national level. As an industrial leader, the country no longer wants to play catch up when it comes to wireless internet technology. Instead, it wants to beat the US to 5G deployment.

In the 1990s, European countries took the lead in adopting 2G mobile broadband. Then, Japan took the reins in the 2000s when 3G took over. In the early 2010s, the US played a leading role in 4G development and implementation. Now, South Korea and China are taking a leading role in the development and implementation of 5G technology.

4G LTE / Patriots over Eagles

Mobile Broadband Puts Super Bowl LII online

 
As Super Bowl LII fast approaches, network engineers at U.S. Bank Stadium are updating the stadium’s wireless networks. The stadium is
 

increasing both its Wi-Fi and mobile broadband bandwidth, so that dozens of news outlets and thousands of football fans can enjoy seamlessly internet connectivity on football’s biggest night.

 
These network updates offer a peek at the latest wireless hardware innovations and at the future of mobile broadband in general. Mobile broadband applications, like this one, demonstrate the power and the potential of the rapidly evolving internet technology.

 

Hardware Supports Stadium-sized Capacity

 
For years, a powerful system of cellular antennas and Wi-Fi extenders has lined the railings at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The cellular antennas, supplied by Verizon, increase the strength of the local Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks inside the stadium. The Wi-Fi extenders support the stadium’s public Wi-Fi network.

 
 
5G™

In preparation for this year’s Super Bowl, cellular carriers installed a number of new multi-beam base station antennas in the stadium. These base stations, known as MatSings, are clusters of a dozen cellular antennas that increase the strength of the local cellular networks exponentially, allowing for greater mobile broadband bandwidth. These base stations increase internet connectivity for, especially, the field and outdoor plaza.

 
 

Verizon leads the pack in mobile broadband connectivity inside U.S. Bank Stadium. This year, the carrier increased the number of cellular antennas from 900 to 1,200 units, to AT&T and  Sprint’ s 800 units. In the city of Minneapolis, too, the carrier increased its network capacity by 500%

 

Bandwidth extends Super Bowl Reach, Meets Spectator Demand

 
The stadium’s increased bandwidth supports two stadium and league goals: extending the online and social reach of Super Bowl and meeting the growing demand, from spectators, for internet data and bandwidth.
 
  • Goal 1: Extend the online and social reach of Super Bowl LII.
 

Today, online and social media play an essential role in marketing any sports event. For football players, news outlets, and fans to utilize theses mediums, a reliable internet connection is essential.

 
  • Goal 2: Meet growing demand for internet data and bandwidth from spectators.
 

The demand for mobile data has nearly doubled every year since 2015. Verizon predicts that, this Super Bowl, it will see double the network traffic it did in 2017. This means that fans will, likely, use close to 20 terabytes of data over the course of the game. Mobile broadband networks need to be strong enough to support this unprecedented demand.

 

Sports Stadiums Offer 5G Previews

 
5G™

Connecting thousands of spectators to the internet at a jam-packed sporting event is the perfect way to showcase the potential of 5G. For many working on the next generation of mobile broadband, increasing network capacity is a top priority.

 

The Super Bowl isn’t the only sporting event where 5G prototypes will make a debut this year. Huawei and MegaFon, for example, will introduce a 5G prototype at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Before that, South Korean telecom KT will launch a separate 5G prototype at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

 

Online Video Gaming

Nintendo Switch just Keeps Getting Bigger

It’s been almost two years since Nintendo launched its successful, first-generation Switch console. They’ve been two years of relatively


steady growth for Nintendo’s hardware branch. The console has gathered a loyal following of users, putting Switch on par with predecessors like the Wii U and, some say, the revolutionary Wii console itself.



If you aren’t already on the Switch bandwagon, now’s the time to explore Nintendo’s newest hardware product. The console puts retro games, like Mario Kart, and new titles, like Splatoon, at your fingertips. The console also uses a relatively low amount of bandwidth, which makes the console a real possibility for mobile broadband users.


Console’s Retro Appeal is Driving its Popularity


5G™

While Nintendo has had success with new games like Splatoon, Rocket League, and Darkest Dungeon, the console really embraces classic games like Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, and Sonic. The console’s retro appeal drives much of its popularity. About half of Switch’s top-selling titles, for example, are retro reboot

 

Wireless Specifications for Nintendo Switch


Switch has a set of pretty standard wireless specifications:



  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac).
  • Bluetooth 4.1



You don’t need to go wireless with Switch. You can also connect Nintendo Switch with a wired LAN adapter in TV mode, although you’ll have to purchase the adapter separately.



Nintendo Switch on Mobile Broadband


While, officially, Nintendo recommends that you connect your Switch to a reliable cable or DSL internet connection, the console’s specifications don’t rule out 4G LTE. Like other gaming platforms,


Switch requires a download and upload speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher, speeds that 4G LTE regularly achieves.



Here’s what Nintendo says, on its troubleshooting page, about connecting your Switch console to the internet:

We recommend use of a high-speed, wired Internet connection such as a Cable, DSL, or Fiber Optics Internet connection. Use of other services, such as cellular or satellite Internet, may result in lag, latency, or slow download speeds that prevent use of some online features. If you’re experiencing an issue that may be related to use of these services, try another type of Internet connection if possible.



Luckily, lags don’t ruin retro games the same way they ruin the real-time multiplayers that are so popular on the PS4 and Xbox One

 

consoles. Given the low-bandwidth requirements of its top-selling games, Switch is one of the better consoles to purchase if you use mobile broadband.



Track Your Mobile Data Usage


If you use mobile broadband, you’re probably also worried about wasting tons of data on Switch. No worries. To help you track your data usage, the carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint all offer streamlined online and text services. These services give you easy access to useful information about your data use.



While carrier services are useful, they aren’t particularly specific. To determine how much data you spend on Switch specifically, use a free traffic monitoring application like PRTG Network Monitor or Netlimiter 4. These applications generate exact numbers that you can use to estimate your long-term data usage with greater accuracy.

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