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UPDATE2 UK ISP BT Reveal New Smarter Hub 4 Broadband Wireless Router

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 (12:48 pm) - Score 16,594

BT Retail has today unveiled a new Hub 4 wireless broadband router, which will be rolled out to replace its existing HomeHub3 kit from 10th May 2013. Key highlights of the new device are its concurrent dual band wi-fi wireless (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and upgraded Smart Wireless technology, which should improve performance.

The new kit, which measures just 116mm (high) x 236mm (wide) x 31mm (deep) and is thus apparently small enough to fit through most letter boxes (i.e. BT specifically claims that anybody who missed the delivery now won’t need to pick it up from the local mail depot), will be supplied to the operators new Total broadband (ADSL2+) and superfast broadband BTInfinity (FTTC/P) subscribers.

BT Hub 4 also includes the latest version of the operators Smart Wireless technology, which first showed up in their HomeHub3 and works by automatically checking for and selecting the best WiFi (802.11n) channel (i.e. one with the least interference). On top of that it also includes a faster process and two Gigabit Ethernet ports (WAN and LAN), which are designed to get the most out of the operators up to 80Mbps FTTC Infinity service. More details below.

John Petter, MD of BT’s Consumer Division, said:

This is our best ever home hub. We’re once again providing our customers with cutting edge technology to give them a better connection than any other major UK broadband provider. BT’s the first major ISP in the UK to offer such innovative smart dual-band technology that avoids interference for an ultra-reliable connection. It’s at the heart of our broadband packages.”

BT Hub 4 Specification

Ports and Sockets
ADSL network interface for BT Broadband
• 1x RJ45 Gigabit WAN interface for BT Infinity
• 4x RJ45 Ethernet LAN ports
• 1x Gigabit Ethernet
• 3x 10/100 Base T Ethernet
• 1x USB 2.0 master socket x1

• Wireless: WPS
• Reset (Pinhole)
• Restart
• On/Off power button

• Power
• Broadband
• Wireless

Weight & dimensions
• 301 (gms)
• 116 high x 236 wide x 31 deep (mm)

• Dual band concurrent wireless
• 2.4GHz: 802.11n dual-stream 2×2 MIMO. Back compatible with 802.11 b/g
• 5GHz: 802.11n dual-stream 2×2 MIMO. Back compatible with 802.11a
• WPS wireless connection
• Smart Wireless – automated channel selection in 2.4 & 5GHz
• Wireless channel operation
• 2.4GHz: 20MHz (default), 40MHz supported
• 5GHz: 40MHz (default), 20MHz supported
• Up to 64 simultaneous wireless users supported

Wireless encryption
• 2.4GHz: WPA & WPA2 (default), WPA, WPA2 and WEP 64/40
• 5GHz: WPA2

Wireless Transmission speed
• 2.4GHz wireless: up to 300Mbps
• 5 GHz wireless: up to 300Mbps
• Up to 150 Mbps (20MHz)
• Up to 300 Mbps (40MHz)

Power consumption
• Latest intelligent power management; hub functions are monitored and individually put into power save mode when not in use.

Other features
• Packaging designed to fit through typical UK letter box
• Smart set up – new CD-less installation
• Support for BT Wifi
• Packaging is 100 per cent recycled card with non-petrochemical inks

ISPreview.co.uk understands that the new Hub 4 router has been in trial since the start of this year (we first heard about trials taking place in early February 2013) and will initially be offered to new customers. Meanwhile existing subscribers will be able to upgrade for free, albeit only if they take out a new contract. Otherwise the router can be purchased separately for £35 inc. VAT.

Sadly BT didn’t take the opportunity to build a VDSL2 modem into the Hub 4, although this would probably have been too expensive since not everybody will order the related FTTC service (i.e. easier and cheaper to keep supplying a separate Openreach VDSL modem with FTTC orders).

Separately there are reports that BT Retail may soon offer free access to its new sports channels, which will be showing live Premier League football matches, to customers who also take their superfast broadband BTInfinity service (here). Precise details and confirmation are expected to surface on Friday and alongside the operators latest financial results.

UPDATE 1:11pm

Here’s a picture from the back of the Hub 4.

bt hub 4 backside

UPDATE 6:08pm

In case anybody wants to know. The BT Hub 4 is based on a Lantiq ARX368 which provides the main gateway functions and the 5GHz radio. The 2.4GHz part is a Lantiq Wave 300.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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