30 Jun

Heard of Lag, Ping and Latency?

Internet speed and latency can be hugely important when practicing online. We look at how it can affect online gaming…

What is ping?

The ping (or latency) of a player is how fast they can send a command to the game and have the game (or its server) display what happened.

So in an environment where the slightest misstep could have disastrous results for you and your teammates, low ping is a necessity.

What’s a good ping?

An acceptable ping is around the 40ms-60ms mark or lower. A speed of over 100ms shows a noticeable delay and over 170 some games will reject your connection entirely.

If you have, say a 10ms ping (0.01 seconds), your gameplay will seem faster and smoother than playing with 100ms, for example.

It really depends on what game you are playing. A game like Hearthstone may not require a low ping, as it is a slower turn-based game. Other titles like Counter-Strike and Street Fighter V require precise inputs and timing, which would require a much lower ping to play at the top level.

What is lag?

Lag is often a result of high ping and/or a low speed internet connection. It’s where the game plays out your commands with a delay. So for example, you press W to move forward in Counter-Strike, but your character doesn’t actually move until a second later, for example.

Sometimes lag can build up, so the game will seemingly freeze for a few moments, then suddenly catch up with all your inputs in one go, or disconnect you from the game entirely.

Gamers can experience lag for a multitude of reasons, the main one being high ping, where your commands are being sent to the game on a delay. Sometimes the problem is instead because of unstable connections, where your device will periodically disconnect and reconnect to the internet, this is called packet loss and occurs when the information you send to the server in packets is not received. This can be due to an over crowded server, low security or internet disconnections.

There’s some more explanations in video form from Riot Games here and here.

Top 10 tips for checking and reducing your ping

1. Check your ping. Most games will be able to measure and display your exact ping to the server you’re playing on. If you’d like to know what your ping is before playing, there are many online tests available (e.g http://www.speedtest.net/)

2. Close any unnecessary programs.

3. When using a wireless connection, ensure your computer is not too far from the router, or consider using a range extender to improve the strength of the connection. The closer to the router, the better.

4. Consider changing your connection to a wired one.

5. Try a powerline adaptor – this is a small plug appliance that can boost your wireless signal power.

6. Check if anyone else is on the same network as you, and if they’re using a ‘web heavy’ service like streaming platforms YouTube, Netflix or Twitch. If you have a low speed internet connection, avoid playing online at the same time as other users in the home.

7. Upgrade your computer’s networks card or home router.

8. We recommend using MyRepublic Gamer broadband for best results.

9. Make sure your game client is the latest version.

10. Check with your internet service provider to find out if there is a reported problem in your area.

21 Jun

MyRepublic Launches Mobile Plans

MyRepublic said during a media briefing that the three plans – Smart, Mega and Xtra – will cost S$35, $55 and $85 a month for 7GB, 12GB and 25GB data, respectively.

The 25GB plan for Xtra subscribers will include 2GB roaming data for seven markets, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Taiwan, said MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues.

To check out the plans, go to http://order.fibrebb.sg/mobile

For existing broadband customers, the company is also dangling incentives for them to sign up, if they haven’t done so. They stand to get 3GB more data for the Smart plan, and 8B more for the Mega and Xtra plans.

The mobile plans all come with features like “boundless data”, which will not penalise consumers for busting their data caps with extra charges but will see surfing speeds lowered instead. This was a feature announced when they launched two mobile plans for its existing customer base back in May.

MyRepublic plans 1

MyRepublic’s chief marketing officer Shivendra Singh said during the briefing that this, among other features, are to “ensure we are trustworthy” to the consumer. Unlimited data plans, he elaborated, are “not honest” as they usually come with hidden provisos, but its boundless data plans means “customers don’t need to worry about excess data charges”.

Mr Rodrigues also told Channel NewsAsia on the sidelines that based on customer response following the launch of Uno and Ultimate for “friends of MyRepublic”, feedback has been “good”, particularly for those who have busted their data caps and had their surfing speeds managed.

“It’s like when we drop from 4G to HSPA today. You probably can’t watch a high-definition video, but you can still do stuff like send WhatsApp messages,” he said.

MyRepublic plans 2

These plans will also have 1,000 minutes of talk time and 1,000 SMS text messages, free local delivery of SIM cards and activation, the company said, adding new customers can sign up from Thursday.

Key to the user experience is the MyRepublic mobile app, available for both iOS and Android devices, said Mr Singh. Users will be able to customise their mobile plan, such as signing up for data boosters or roaming packages on the fly, and track their usage from the app.

The intention behind its design is for users to do what they need within three clicks in the app, he added.

These on-the-go provisioning of services are enabled through the company’s “thick MVNO model”, which it said is first of its kind in Singapore.

CEO Rodrigues said it is a “multimillion-dollar network system” that allows it greater control over the delivery of services to customers compared to traditional MVNO arrangements which sees these operators just resell products from the main telco.

This appeared to be similar to rival MVNO Circles.Life’s platform Circles-X. When asked what’s the difference, Mr Singh declined to comment on its competitor’s products.

CONSUMERS TO BENEFIT FROM LOOMING COMPETITION

Analysts Channel NewsAsia spoke to ahead of the launch on Thursday predicted a period of fierce competition in the local telecoms market, with consumers the main beneficiaries.

Mr Shiv Putcha, contributing analyst at IDC, said the Singapore market is not big enough to support four full-fledged telcos and four MVNOs.

“At roughly 8.5 million subscriptions, the Singapore market is already over-penetrated,” Mr Putcha said. “We expect a period of fierce competitive intensity and there will be some clear winners and losers, with the incumbents, especially the smaller ones, likely to cede ground and market share.”

With the pending entrance of fourth telco TPG Telecom, as well as the introduction of new MVNOs in the past year, consumers will “benefit immensely” from lowered prices, higher data bundles and flexible plans, the analyst said.

He also expects to see the telco incumbents – Singtel, StarHub and M1 – make renewed investments on customer experience.

Canalys research analyst Nguyen TuanAnh echoed similar thoughts, saying that consumers will benefit from the rise of MVNOs.

He pointed to similar developments in Japan last year which suggest that full-fledged telcos, while benefiting from leasing spectrum to MVNOs, will also reduce prices to maintain their subscriber base.

These telcos also have more tools than just reducing costs, as they can turn to digital content for growth, the Canalys analyst said

For instance, while they may not match MVNOs in attractive price packages, bundling data with content such as free streaming of Spotify or Netflix for example, is a “great way” for them to remain subscribers and improve revenue.

Source: CNA/zl
Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/myrepublic-launches-3-mobile-plans-talks-up-customer-focus-10454664