Internet service provider and Internet Network

Just before talking about the speed of internet in Japan, I just want to review the relation between an internet service provider and an internet network.

What you need to prepare to enjoy web-surfing is contracting an internet network company and an internet service provider.

If you can use internet now, that environment is under contract to these companies.

Generally, internet contract is separated into an internet service provider and an internet network company. An internet service provider is a company that provides internet communication infrastructure and an internet network company is the one that authenticates your contracted internet network.

An internet provider and an internet network have unique roles each other. Internet network is often compared to a road to reach internet virtual space. For example, when you use a car to get to where you go, which road you select to get there is equivalent of which internet network you select.

If you follow the road of an internet network, you can find internet virtual space. Entering this internet virtual space, a company that issues ID and PASSWORD as an admission ticket to get into this space is an internet service provider.

I often hear the question “are there any providers that are fast” . However, an internet provider is , what we call, a gate that provides authentication system to go through an internet virtual space.

So internet speed is decided in accordance with an internet network company. A provider and network speed are influenced by stability of network.

This stability influences on lowering speed. Actually, “speed” has strongly something to do with an internet provider but the maximum speed when comparing with network speed has nothing to do with an internet provider.

Relation between speed and an internet provider, an internet network

You may often see advertisement about internet contract that shows us maximum internet speed “1Gbps, 100Mbps” as selling point. Currently the mainstream of optical line except for NURO Hikari (2Gbps) is mostly 1 Gbps so there is no difference about the internet speed provided by each network companies.

Although you contact with a provider and a network company, compared to other companies, there is big difference in its performance. Why does this difference occur?

It is because of the number of people who use internet network. For example, “Flets Hikari” has so many users and naturally there are also so many users who share the network.

In addition, you need to go though a provider to reach the internet virtual space. As I said, there is no difference about the speed in each providers but what makes a difference in the speed is a network stability. This is because a provider is like a toll gate that influences a difference of the speed.

For example, no matter how fast car you drive, if a toll gate is jammed, you cannot help slow your car down. So no matter how fast internet network you use, if a network is jammed as if it is not a highway anymore but a general road because of heavy traffic and if a provider is like a jammed toll gate, the network condition cannot be said it is stability. However, in case of regional limited network, a network company has overwhelming network center in the region so you don’t worry about a heavy traffic.

Each provider has backbone scale which is like traffic capacity that shows us whether it can stabilize network speed even if the number of user increase.

A provider has limitation in its backbone scale. Each provider tries to expand data center not to lower the speed but there is a case that a provider can’t keep on top of user increasing.

Moreover, there is regional difference in a provider. It is not always good to choose a major provider when comparing both of them.

Data limitation

You can often see GB limitation on mobile internet network ads but fixed internet network has also data limitation, whose provider speed limitation is only send data. As I told you, internet network speed is determined by an internet network and network stability is determined by a provider.

Some of providers fix data limit to protect the stability of network speed. It is because although a provider secures the stability of network speed by reinforcing backbone scale, its data capacity is occupied by users transmitting large capacity data

However, this has no limitation to down direction (reception/ read-in pages and download) so if you use internet normally, you don’t have to compare to other one.

But, there might be a case of reaching data limit of a provider because of uploading too many videos and high quality images

Those of who send large capacity of video data to upload on Youtube, play online games and upload so many data as company use need to ask a provider whether or not there is sending limits

Rough standard of internet network speed

Web-surfing, Sending and Receiving email 10Mbps
Watching youtube, downloading music 50Mbps
Watching high-definition video, Playing online games, video chatting 100Mbps

Maximum speed of each internet network

Type of internet network Maximum network speed
Sonet Hikari plus 1Gbps
Biglobe Hikari 1Gbps
Marubeni Hikari 1Gbps
SoftBank Hikari 1Gbps
AU Hikari 1Gbps
Flets Hikari 1Gbps
NURO Hikari 2Gbps

Recommendable network companies

Flets Hikari

This network is managed by NTT which is the largest telecommunication company in Japan. Network providing area is wider than any other network companies and covers mostly all over Japan.

The overwhelming number of users makes you feel secure but the network speed tends to get slower than the same 1 Gbps network. This reason comes from the largest number of users that causes a heavy traffic jam

However, 1Gbps speed is actually very fast. One of the significant factors that traffic concentrates on network by too many users is that apartment owner make blanket contract with one network company for every room.
If you want to avoid this situation, you should move to an apartment that you can choose network company freely.

AU Hikari

Originally, this network was provided by Tepco and its maximum speed is 1Gbps.

Compared between AU Hikari and Flets Hikari, AU Hikari is preferable at the viewpoint of network speed. This is because shared users are much less than Flets HIkari so you hardly face heavy traffic while you use internet.

AU Hikari was winner of RBB Speed Award about usability in the area where there is no regional internet network. AU Hikari is one of the most popular internet network.

NURO Hikari

If you live in Kanto, Kansai, Tokai area and your apartment that deals with NURO, NURO is the best network. This network speed is 2Gbps which is twice larger than any other major networks.

Originally, this service was limited to Kanto area but in January, 2018, this service has also launched in Kansai and Tokai area. If you place importance on network speed without frustration, NURO Hikari is unmistakably best one.

By the way, Nuro Hikari is managed by Sonet which is also a provider. Sonet is one of major providers in Japan and you can have careful support and quick fine response from this service.

Network charge including a provider usage charge comes to be 4,743 monthly.

High speed wireless LAN (1.4Gbps) is also included in this service.

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