The fibre broadband wars for this week’s computer bazaar have begun with ViewQwest offering a new service that promises smooth gameplay through low latency connections to game servers worldwide.
The service, called FiberNet Raptor, is the first in Singapore to claim a low latency of less than 200 milliseconds for online games such as Diablio III. Such connections mean that characters in an online game don’t freeze up and gameplay doesn’t end up jerky.
The disclaimer, of course, is that there is nothing a service provider here can do if the servers run by game publishers go down or are saturated with too many users.
ViewQwest CEO Vignesa Moothy told Techgoondu that the company could offer the service because it has taken some of the “best routes” online to reach the popular destinations that many gamers go to. The service provider has tested connections to Diablo III, for example, before making the claims, he added.
As the competition heats up for fibre broadband services, service providers have turned to premium offerings to capture high-end users, usually gamers or heavy Net users, with promises of better connections. M1 came up with its GamePro plan last month, while MyRepublic also promised a low latency link for gamers in Singapore.
Just last week, ViewQwest became the first to provide static IP addresses, a feature previously offered only to corporate users, to all its consumer users to easily run servers from home. It also released a service last month that lets users watch TV programmes from the United States.
For its current gaming service, ViewQwest says it connects to four international transit providers, which help it hook up to overseas servers. It also has over 60 peering partners. These connections essentially boost its connectivity with other service providers around the world at a cost-effective but efficient manner, it claims.
Just like going to work each day, there are several routes that can bring you to a destination without being stuck in a jam on the Internet, and ViewQwest is basically promising that it is able to find a faster route to game servers than its rivals.
It’s a new way of selling a broadband service to a more sophisticated audience. While users were previously content with advertised top speeds, now savvy ones prefer that service providers give them an idea of how fast the real speeds are.
Not that players like ViewQwest are backing away from the numbers game, of course. For its gaming service, it is also promising a free speed boost during the peak hours of 7pm to 7am. Users of its 100Mbps service will get as much as 150Mbps download speeds, for example.
The prices are not cheap though. While many basic 100Mbps services are going for under S$50 a month, ViewQwest’s new plans will cost S$69.95 for a 100Mbps service, while a 200Mbps option will go for S$105.95. Existing ViewQwest subscribers can upgrade their current plans by topping up their monthly fees, the company says.