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5G needed to ease 4G LTE congestion: OpenSignal

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(Image: OpenSignal)

Download speeds across 4G LTE mobile networks “vary tremendously” during the day due to increasing congestion, a new report from OpenSignal has said, with 5G networks primed to ease this traffic.

“Across 77 countries studied, 4G download speeds are between 31.2 Mbps and 5.8 Mbps faster at the best hour of day compared with the slowest hour of the day,” the mobile analytics company’s report said.

“5G will add new capacities to help with these wide time-of-day speed variations … 5G won’t just deliver faster speeds; 5G will provide a blanket of capacity, built using new high-bandwidth, high-frequency spectrum bands that will help mitigate the daily cycle of congestion we see on today’s 4G networks. These 5G services will support more simultaneous users at very fast speeds.

“Even the fastest 4G countries need 5G to counter big drops in speeds at busy times.”

According to the report, during the fastest hour of the day, Australia ranked seventh globally with 4G speeds of 50.3Mbps.

Ahead of Australia were South Korea and Switzerland, with both around the 55Mbps mark; the Netherlands and Singapore at around 54Mbps; and Norway and Denmark, at 53Mbps. New Zealand sat in ninth place, at fastest hour speeds of 45Mbps; and Canada in 10th, at 43Mbps.

Trailing these countries was the UK in 30th place, with close to 35Mbps speeds during the fastest hour of the day; and the United States in 47th, with speeds of almost 29Mbps.

In comparison of fastest hour speeds, Australia ranked fifth on average 4G speeds with just over 38Mbps. South Korea, Singapore, Norway, and the Netherlands scored 47Mbps, 45Mbps, 44Mbps, and 43Mbps, respectively, to round out the top five.

Canada was just under 38Mbps; Denmark at 37Mbps; New Zealand and Switzerland around 36Mbps; the UK at 22.5Mbps; and the US at 18Mbps.

“The US will be an interesting bellwether of 5G’s impact on congestion and speed consistency because it sits smack dab in the middle rank of countries for average 4G download speeds and in its range of speed variation by time of day,” OpenSignal said.

“Any improvements we see in the US mobile consumer experience due to 5G, we’ll likely see reflected in many other parts of the world.”

The times at which 4G download speeds are slowest also vary between countries, with the Netherlands reported as seeing its slowest speeds at 4pm; the UK at 5pm; Singapore and Norway at 6pm; Switzerland and the US at 8pm; Australia, New Zealand, and Denmark at 9pm; Canada at 10pm; and South Korea at 11pm.

Cities will benefit the most from 5G, according to OpenSignal, because this is where users see the most widely varying speeds throughout the day. For instance, Sydney sees fastest hour speeds of 56Mbps, average speeds of around 41Mbps, and slowest hour speeds of 33Mbps.

Similarly, Seoul has fastest hour speeds of 59Mbps, average speeds of 48Mbps, and slowest hour speeds of just under 41Mbps.

“Cities often have the latest 4G technologies deployed, and so should deliver the fastest speeds. And our measurements show they do, but only in the late hours night, when most users aren’t seeking a fast mobile experience. During the day and evening, speeds drop dramatically, highlighting the failure of current 4G networks to deliver a consistent experience,” OpenSignal said.

“Many of the new 5G-only spectrum bands are ideally suited to cities — such as mmWave — because of their short range and extremely high capacities.

“The new 5G bands will open up hundreds of megahertz of new extremely high-frequency spectrum for mobile broadband use, delivering much greater capacity to minimise the effect of congestion.”

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Ram unveils limited 1500 TRX Ignition Edition, Longhorn SouthFork, and 1500 (RED) Edition

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The 2022 Ram 1500 TRX is getting a trio of limited-edition models with custom features and unique exterior appointments. The 1500 TRX Ignition Edition, 1500 Longhorn SouthFork, and 1500 Ram (RED) Edition recently made their first appearances at the State Fair of Texas. The latter is particularly worth mentioning as Jeep, Fiat, and Ram cemented with U2 frontman Bono’s (RED) organization to fight global health crises.

“Ram customers demand even more, and our new models deliver that with a selection of exterior and interior appointments and content for greater personalization,” said Mike Koval Jr., Ram Brand Chief Executive Officer – Stellantis.

The 2022 Ram 1500 TRX Ignition has the TRX Level 2 Equipment Group. The package includes custom Ignition paint and body graphics, a panoramic sunroof, a spray-in bed liner, a bed step, cargo tie-downs, a cab-mounted LED brake light, and bespoke 18-inch machine face black wheels. Under the hood is the same 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 motor pumping out 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.

Other goodies include orange interior stitching, embroidered TRX logos on the seatbacks, copper carbon fiber trimmings, a heads-up display, and an orange center console badge. The Ram TRX Ignition starts at $91,585 (plus $1,695 destination), and only 875 units will arrive at US dealerships near the end of 2021.

Meanwhile, the 2022 Ram 1500 Longhorn SouthFork is all about luxury. It replaces the Limited Longhorn 10th Anniversary model and has an impressive lineup of standard kits like a multi-function tailgate, metal pedals, a deployable bed step, LED bed lighting, a spray-in bed liner, and a cargo divider.

It also has a Mountain Brown interior, bucket seats, suede door bolsters, and leather interior trim. The Ram 1500 Longhorn SouthFork starts at $61,620 (plus $1,695 destination) and arrives at dealerships later this year.“Buyers demand a good-looking truck with easy-to-use features. They tell us their Ram trucks are an extension of their personality, and they want to stand out from the crowd,” added Koval.

Finally, the 2022 Ram 1500 (RAM) RED Edition is available in a crew cab body style and starts at $63,250 (plus $1,695 destination). The (RAM) RED model has red RAM letters on the front grille and a (RED) badge on the center console lid. Engine choices include a 5.7-liter V8 with 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque or Ram’s 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoDiesel V6 with 260 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.

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2022 Honda Passport arrives with a fresh face and new rugged TrailSport trim

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Honda is fortifying its SUV lineup with the redesigned 2022 Passport five-seat crossover. The new Passport comes with an outdoorsy TrailSport trim with chunkier bumpers, a wider track, and 18-inch wheels with chunky tires. Standard across the board is a more rugged façade (derived from the Honda Ridgeline) and a mild splattering of technology updates.

Honda has yet to show the standard 2022 Passport, so let’s focus on the off-road-ready TrailSport version. “Some may not realize the true rugged, off-road capabilities of our light trucks,” said Dave Gardner, executive vice president of National Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Now they’re getting tough, rugged looks to match, and the addition of TrailSport will further enhance the off-road capability of our vehicles in the future.”

The 2022 Honda Passport TrailSport has chunkier front and rear bumpers, a unique grille, and silver skid plates. It also has special Orange TrailSport badges on the grille and tailgate. In addition, TrailSport has a 10 millimeter wider front and rear track for a burlier stance and better stability. It also offers more room to accommodate all-new machine-finished 18-inch wheels wrapped in TrailSport-specific off-road tires.

Under the hood remains a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Power goes to a nine-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. However, standard in Passport TrailSport and Elite is Honda’s i-VTM4 torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. The drivetrain can automatically send up to 70-percent of engine torque to the rear wheels in rugged terrain. It can also send 100-percent of that torque to either the left or right rear wheels to keep you going.

All AWD Passport models have 8.1-inches of ground clearance and can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. All trims also get 50.5 cubic feet of cargo space and a power tailgate. Passport also has under-floor storage compartments in the back to keep wet clothes and dirty boots from mingling with your precious cargo.

Meanwhile, every 2022 Honda Passport has standard Honda Sensing. The package includes a collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Additional standard safety equipment includes LED headlights, smart entry with push-button start, a rear-seat reminder, and a rear seatbelt reminder.

Inside, the 2022 Honda Passport gets an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Furthermore, the EX-L trim has perforated leather seats and contrasting stitching, while Passport TrailSport has amber interior ambient lighting, rubber floor mats, orange stitching. Pricing remains forthcoming, but the new Passport arrives at dealerships this winter.

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Aura EV Concept is a collaboration of brilliant British minds

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The Aura EV Concept is a long-range, all-electric speedster boasting 400 to 500 miles of driving range. It may not have the supercar-styling of a Bugatti Chiron or McLaren Elva. Still, the Aura EV is more about substance than style and results from a collaboration between four British companies: BAMD Composites, Conjure, Astheimer, and Potenza Technologies.

The four companies also got help from the UK Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles, with a common goal of creating the first homegrown long-range British EV. And when it comes to electric vehicles, aerodynamics is critical in squeezing out every ounce of driving range from the batteries, and the brainiacs behind Aura EV know this all too well.

But the future of Britain’s EV industry should not only have a more extended range. It needs to be sustainable as well, reducing every ounce of carbon footprints along the way. Aura EV has a lightweight composite body derived from natural fibers. In addition, its svelte yet minimalist silhouette is the result of computational fluid dynamics to make it as slippery as a fish in the water. And if those covered rear wheels are any indication, Aura EV can slice the wind almost effortlessly.

Unfortunately, some details are pretty scarce, but we were lucky to receive more information about Aura EV. According to sources, the car has two 44 kWh battery packs. One of them is on the floor, while there’s also a battery pack under the hood, enough to propel Aura EV to 400 miles (643 km) on a single full charge. If you came here looking for numbers, we’re sorry to disappoint. We’re expecting performance to be peppy for your weekend excursions, but don’t expect it to outrun a Rimac Nevera or Lotus Evija.

One of the central premises behind Aura EV is to reduce people’s perceptions of range anxiety, enabling buyers to adopt the EV lifestyle without further hesitations. Other quirks include a custom steering wheel with a self-positioning screen and a hi-tech human-machine interface with 3D visualization. Meanwhile, Aura EV’s Android-sourced battery and charging software can monitor the state of charge within 0.5-percent for superior accuracy, ensuring drivers will never unexpectedly run out of juice or wait unnecessarily at a charging station.

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