Wii U Forum

Topic: Does the Wii U support wireless 4G broadband?

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GameLord08

1. Posted:

I had someone ask me this (he's planning on upgrading his router) and after a few quick minutes with Google, I couldn't find an actual answer. Could somebody confirm this for us, if possible?

Let us not judge a man by the colour of his skin, but by the character he chooses to battle with in Brawl.

Twitter: FaridaKYusuf

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Sean_Aaron

2. Posted:

I assume you're talking about HDPSA+? If so I'd be seriously surprised. I'm pretty sure like most networked consumer electronics it's strictly your bog-standard 802.11b/g/n.

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

BLOG, mail: sean@seanswiiworld.co.uk
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GameLord08

3. Posted:

@Sean_Aaron: I actually have no idea which it is, but judging by what is most likely in this area, I think it's the latter. I'll be honest though, I'm near clueless which it may be.

EDIT: Apparently, I've found the router complies with IEEE 802.16e WiMAX. Anybody know anything of this?

Edited on by GameLord08

Let us not judge a man by the colour of his skin, but by the character he chooses to battle with in Brawl.

Twitter: FaridaKYusuf

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Sean_Aaron

4. Posted:

WiMAX is a long-distance wireless LAN standard - a technology competing with HSPA+. It's something you would be using for your home broadband and then devices would connect to via a local WiFi access point; not likely a consumer device would connect to directly. A decision to buy a Wii U wouldn't have any bearing on whether or not you were having your broadband link provided by WiMAX - it would still be connecting via WiFi to that router or some kind of access point in front of it.

The successor to the current 802.11n WiFi standard is 802.11ac, but that's not due to be formally standardised until next February so you're only seeing computers and modems being announced now. A few routers based upon the preliminary specifications have reached market, but again, it's too soon for you to find consumer devices like Wii U supporting that.

BLOG, mail: sean@seanswiiworld.co.uk
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GameLord08

5. Posted:

Thought as much when I read deeper into it. Thanks for the insight.

Let us not judge a man by the colour of his skin, but by the character he chooses to battle with in Brawl.

Twitter: FaridaKYusuf

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Sean_Aaron

6. Posted:

It's been very educational researching answers to these for me as well.

I'm actually rather surprised about 802.11ac speeds given that it will be some time before home broadband links are fast enough to effectively make use of it. I guess it would help offset the overhead you have in a multi-node household where you'd never achieve full throughput just because you had so many devices sharing 802.11n, but practically speaking I think it'll be another couple of years before we see that as the default in wireless consumer devices.

Which of the competing 4G wireless broadband standards comes out on top remains to be seen, but right now the major limitation - if my experience of HSPA+ is anything to go by - is overheads preventing even realising %50 of the stated max throughput (I'm within 1/2 mile of the nearest mast and the HSPA+ router/WiFI point I have only gives me 6-8Mbps at best of a stated max of 20Mbps) and a rather conservative usage cap of 15GB/mo. (carrier is Hutchison 3G). Given my wired link from BT (fibre to the exchange; copper to the house) is 15-18Mbps with no usage cap, it's worth it even at double the price considering how quickly 15GB gets used up streaming video online; let alone downloading games (which I'll be doing a lot more of on Wii U). I really wouldn't be bothered about adopting any of these next-gen technologies unless it offered you the best available link in your area.

Edited to add: I just remembered something about WiMAX - Intel is the big booster of this technology because I think they own a lot of patents behind it. They were pitching it as the next-gen mobile broadband for smartphones and other mobile devices, however most carriers (at least in Europe) seem to be backing HSPA+ because it's building upon the existing 3G networks. Mobile Phone companies are just starting to offer devices for home use to leverage this service as an alternative to fixed-line broadband over the past year. WiMAX seems to be trying to target mobile computing platforms, though whether or not that succeeds remains to be seen. Mobile companies are selling small battery-powered devices which act like wifi points so you don't need any new hardware in your laptop or other mobile device to link up so I'm not convinced WiMAX will go beyond corporations looking for alternatives to fixed-line broadband and possibly home users. In fact I don't know of any companies offering WiMAX service in Britain and according to my research WiMAX failed to get any fixed radio spectrum assigned to it in Europe so I'm not convinced it's going to go anywhere over here - at least from a consumer perspective.

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

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skywake

7. Posted:

@Sean_Aaron
Interesting to hear what the UK situation is with BT and their FTTC/N solution and how well it and your wireless alternatives perform. We have a government here in Australia pushing for full FTTH (Fibre to the Home, 100Mbps+) and an opposition saying we should instead copy what BT has done. Its either a case of "the grass is always greener" or our cultural cringe showing it's ugly head again. Not sure which.

Anywho, here in Aussieland you can get upto 80Mbps on LTE if you're lucky but most of the time you're more likely to get closer to 20Mbps. There are WiFi access points for it and most of them are portable. You can probably use your smartphone to act as an access point if you really wanted to. Latency is pretty unpredictable though and the quota would be chewed up in a day if you wanted to do any updates. Not ideal by any stretch especially when quota on a 8-20Mbps ADSL2+ service is a good 20x cheaper or more... or the same again for a guaranteed 25Mbps if you have FTTH already...

About 802.11ac. The speeds IRL aren't as good as the quoted speeds. You get something along the lines of 150Mbps max for a single link and 500Mbps total throughput (up and down through multiple clients). Which means nothing because the Wii U is an 802.11n device and is probably limited to something closer to 50Mbps if that. All of these wireless standards introduce some latency but nothing drastic and only work at those speeds in the same scenarios the GamePad works well because it's the same frequency. Best way to connect it would be via the LAN adapter, connect it your router that way and you'll get <1ms latency to your router and 100Mbps. If I had FTTH already that would actually make a difference :)

Edited on by skywake

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Sean_Aaron

8. Posted:

I'm not holding my breath on fibre to the home, but I can't say I have any complaints about my speed right now. The UK's main issue is a lack of real competition. Practically speaking your only choices for physical networks are Virgin Media (cable) which isn't even an option throughout urban areas (I couldn't get anything but DSL2 from them and I live 20min walk from the centre of the biggest city in Scotland) and BT. Honestly we might as well re-nationalise BT - I cannot imagine a state-run enterprise rolling out high-speed broadband any slower!

Nice to see mobile options appearing that don't require signing on for unneeded phone service (it's bundled, but paying "line rental" charges when I don't even have a phone plugged in rankles), but the technology promises what it cannot deliver and packages that compete with BT and cable offerings would be nice. I'm quite glad I didn't dump BT in the end and having a backup broadband service isn't a bad thing (though I've only leveraged it once this past year). I cannot imagine downloading multi-gigabyte files with a DSL link!

BLOG, mail: sean@seanswiiworld.co.uk
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skywake

9. Posted:

Yeah, infrastructure competition is a pretty terrible idea but privatisation is a debate I don't want to get into. Personally I don't think it makes that much of a difference either way assuming the infrastructure monopoly sells it's infrastructure wholesale only and not to end users directly. Vertical monopolies don't end well.

They have a three year rolling construction schedule and I'm not on it so I've got anywhere from 4-9 years to wait before I get FTTH assuming the gov' plan as it is doesn't change. Chances are I won't see 100Mbps during the life of the Wii U. Still even the 8Mbps ADSL2 I'll probably have to put up with 'till then is better for gaming than the wireless options around. Nothing close to the 80Mbps MAX speeds I've seen people getting on LTE near the city where my Wii U is going to live.

Edited on by skywake

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