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Virgin Media’s new Super Hub leaves competitors in the dust

Tags: Virgin (NASDAQ:VMED)

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PRESS RELEASE

  • Rigorous independent tests reveal new Super Hub to be fastest in UK
  • New hub is proven to be around 30% faster than closest competitor

Virgin Media has published the results of independent testing that put its new Super Hub well and truly through its paces and found it to be faster than BT's Home Hub 4 and hubs from Sky and TalkTalk.

The testing was carried out by Farncombe in partnership with the WiFi centre of excellence at the University of Bristol and looked at how the various hubs performed in a variety of different environments.

When it came to testing wireless speeds across different locations in the home1 the new Super Hub knocked the spots of the competition, proving to be 30% faster than the closest rival hub. A summary of the test results is as follows2

 

 

Average download speed (Mbps)

New Super Hub is faster by (%)

2.4GHz (default mode)

5GHz (default mode)

2.4GHz (default mode)

5GHz (default mode)

New Super Hub average

80.8Mbps

128.9Mbps

-

-

BT Home Hub 4 average

62.0Mbps

78.2Mbps

30%

65%

Sky Hub average

13.5Mbps

No 5GHz mode

498%

No 5GHz mode

TalkTalk Hub average

44.3Mbps

No 5GHz mode

82%

No 5GHz mode

 

Joe Lathan, director of broadband at Virgin Media said: "Our new Super Hub is designed to deliver a best-in-breed WiFi experience and it's great to see the results of the testing by Farncombe and the University of Bristol reflect this. Our hub is clearly head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to speed, delivering the fastest wireless connections throughout the home compared to kit from our competitors."

Packed with the latest dual-band concurrent technology, the new Super Hub works on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency, making it ideal for homes where more than three devices are connected to the network at any one time and ensuring customers get the best possible experience from their WiFi connections.

The new hub boasts an unrivalled technical specification3 thanks to an extra antenna on the 5GHz channel that improves range as well as speed. It joins Virgin Media's wireless hub family alongside the original Super Hub, which will continue to be supplied to customers on up to 30Mb speeds.

The full results of the wireless download speed tests conducted by Farncombe are as follows4:

 

 

Hub Location

Lounge

Bedroom 3

Average

2.4GHz (default mode)

5GHz (default mode)

2.4GHz (default mode)

5GHz (default mode)

2.4GHz (default mode)

5GHz (default mode)

New Super Hub

Easy

82.1Mbps

211.3Mbps

88.5Mbps

178.3Mbps

85.3 Mbps

194.8 Mbps

Mid

80.9Mbps

104.5Mbps

86.6Mbps

192.6Mbps

83.8 Mbps

148.6 Mbps

Hard

65.3Mbps

57.8Mbps

81.3Mbps

29.1Mbps

73.3 Mbps

43.5

Mbps

Average

76.1Mbps

124.5Mbps

85.5Mbps

133.3Mbps

80.8 Mbps

128.9 Mbps

BT Home Hub 4

Easy

69.8Mbps

125.9Mbps

79.6Mbps

94.4Mbps

74.7Mbps

110.2Mbps

Mid

55.8Mbps

62.8Mbps

71.4Mbps

127.9Mbps

63.6Mbps

79.1Mbps

Hard

47.7Mbps

43.0Mbps

47.6Mbps

0.0Mbps

47.7Mbps

21.5Mbps

Average

57.8Mbps

82.3Mbps

66.2Mbps

74.1Mbps

62.0Mbps

78.2Mbps

Sky Hub

Easy

8.6Mbps

No 5GHz mode

22.8Mbps

No 5GHz mode

15.7Mbps

No 5GHz mode

Mid

14.5Mbps

No 5GHz mode

9.5Mbps

No 5GHz mode

12.0Mbps

No 5GHz mode

Hard

12.2Mbps

No 5GHz mode

13.3Mbps

No 5GHz mode

12.8Mbps

No 5GHz mode

Average

11.8Mbps

No 5GHz mode

15.2Mbps

No 5GHz mode

13.5Mbps

No 5GHz mode

TalkTalk Hub

Easy

72.8Mbps

No 5GHz mode

75.1Mbps

No 5GHz mode

74Mbps

No 5GHz mode

Mid

28.4Mbps

No 5GHz mode

64.5Mbps

No 5GHz mode

46.5Mbps

No 5GHz mode

Hard

24.1Mbps

No 5GHz mode

0.9Mbps

No 5GHz mode

12.5Mbps

No 5GHz mode

Average

41.8Mbps

No 5GHz mode

46.8Mbps

No 5GHz mode

44.3Mbps

No 5GHz mode

 

1 Images of the in-home testing layouts are included in the report.

Empirical testing undertaken by Farncombe Technology Ltd, June / July 2013.  Hubs tested from Sky and TalkTalk can only transmit in the 2.4GHz band so cannot be tested for 5GHz performance. Tests were carried out across multiple ranges using specially built Windows 7 testing environments and file sizes optimised for download speed. Default channel bandwidth for 2.4GHz was HT20 and for 5GHz was HT40

3 Product specifications for the new Super Hub can be found below:

  • Cable Chipset: Intel Puma 5
  • Maximum: 8x4 DOCSIS 3.0 channels
  • 2.4GHz Wifi Radio: Qualcom Atheros AR9344
  • 2.4 GHz Antennas: Two Spatial streams (2x2)
  • 5GHz Wifi Radio: Qualcomm Atheros AR9580
  • 5 GHz Antennas: Three Spatial streams (3x3)*
  • 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports**
  • 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Size: 215mm high x 69mm Wide (at widest point) x 195mm Long
  • Weight: 520g (unit without PSU)

* BT's Home Hub 4 has two spatial streams

** BT's Home Hub 4 has 3x 100Mbps Fast Ethernet Ports and 1x Gigabit Ethernet port

4 Empirical testing undertaken by Farncombe Technology Ltd, June / July 2013.  Hubs tested from Sky and TalkTalk can only transmit in the 2.4GHz single band and hence cannot be tested for 5GHz performance. Testing was carried out across multiple ranges using specially built Windows 7 testing environments and file sizes optimised for download speed. ‘Easy', ‘Mid' and ‘Hard' refer to testing client location relative to the wireless access point (hub)

About Virgin Media

Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.

The company's cable network - the result of multi-billion pound private investment - delivers ultrafast broadband to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 120Mb, as well as market leading connectivity to thousands of public and private sector organisations across the country.

Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of British households.

The world's first virtual mobile network was launched by Virgin Media and it is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.

Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world's largest international cable company. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.