Philippines improves 4G LTE availability but falls short at rankings

Still one of the slowest in the world



It’s no surprise that internet in Southeast Asia hasn’t caught up with 2018 standards. Based on several OpenSignal reports throughout the years, the region still rattles out poor ratings in 4G availability and speed.

Sadly, the most recent report shows more of the same. Though improving in reliability, internet in the region is still the slowest in the world.

The data was collected from over 4.8 million devices and almost 59 billion measurements throughout October to December last year.

The latest findings, which show definite improvements over last year’s results, offers eye-opening insights about the current state of 4G internet and its uncertain future.

South Korea still on top, but stumbles in speed


As with previous years, it’s no surprise that Singapore and South Korea dominate the boards once again. The world’s prime destination for eSports tops 4G availability; internet users in South Korea enjoy 4G connections for 97.49 percent of the time — a huge feat when around half of the recorded nations struggle to move past the 75 percent mark. Unfortunately, the country falls off a bit in terms of speed. Whereas the previous report clocked speeds of 43.46Mbps, this report measures a lower but still speedy 40.44Mbps.

On the other hand, Singapore tops the rankings for speed again with 44.31Mbps. Also, the country slightly improved their reliability at 84.43 percent.

The Philippines improves, but still a lower-tier country

Learning from their years-long stint at the bottom of the rankings, the Philippines finally improves their rankings with a marked upgrade on reliability. From a paltry 52.77 percent last year, the archipelagic nation now enjoys 63.73 percent 4G availability. As a result, the Philippines is no longer in the bottom 10 nations of the world, but is still the third lowest in Asia.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the country’s speed. Despite an upgrade (from 8.59Mbps to 9.49Mbps), the Philippines is the fourth slowest country in the world (and third slowest in Asia). This year’s ranking is also slightly worse than last year’s list where the country placed as only the fifth slowest.

India barely moves up

Despite a brilliant showing in 4G availability, India still holds the unfortunate title of “slowest 4G internet in the world.” Indian internet speeds average only 6.07Mbps. The sub-par speeds slightly improved from last year’s showing, which only clocked in 5.14Mbps. This may be attributed to India’s status as one of the most populous nations in the world. On the bright side, the South Asian country marginally improved its reach — 86.26 percent from 81.56 percent last year.

4G internet speeds are plateauing

4G technology started in 2010. Since then, countries continue to edge closer but miss the vaunted 50Mbps mark. As of 2018, it’s safe to assume that everyone’s hitting the hay in the hunt for speed. Most, if not all, upgrades in speed this year were marginal at best. With the apparent plateau, the world focused on providing more reliable 4G internet across the globe. Countries fared better in improving their 4G reliability.

Too little, too late?

5G is just on the horizon. Tech companies are already pushing for 5G-compatible devices; 5G will soon obliterate the 4G speed plateau. With a more efficient solution coming, we should ask whether the race for the best 4G service shows an alarming trend.

Before we know it, the race to the best 5G network will kick off. Developed countries already have a leg up. Unfortunately, those who trailed in the 4G race will fall behind even further as 5G passes them by. Even if 5G will be easy to implement, the lack of reliable 4G in developing countries will only widen the gap between 5G-ready and 4G-ready countries.

SEE ALSO: Philippines still ranks near bottom for 4G LTE speeds and availability


Google faces anti-competition case against Android in Europe

Could pay more than EUR 2.4 billion in fines



For almost a year, Android has dominated the mobile operating system market alongside Apple’s iOS. Unfortunately, Android’s dominance has earned the ire of governments in Europe. Google is now facing a critical case that threatens to break apart Android from the company.

According to the region’s regulators, Google’s actions are stifling healthy competition in the mobile industry.

These actions include requiring phones to have Chrome and Google Search pre-installed to access the Google Play Store. The regulators have also claimed that Google offers financial incentives to implement Google’s software.

So far, Google has pleaded innocent across all allegations. Regardless, regulators — headed by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager — will call their verdicts next month.

Sadly, Google’s previous track record with the EU indicates that the case will not favor the US company. In 2016, Google also faced a similar case in the region. In that case, the company suffered a record-breaking EUR 2.4 billion in fines.

With this current case’s progress, Google will likely fall under a heavier fine.

More than a financial setback, additional violations might force Google to separate Android from Search. Fortunately for others, the case will open the industry for smaller competitors, as demonstrated by previous instances of anti-competition cases.

Years before, Microsoft suffered the same case when it required certain apps to come installed with Windows. Likewise, the case enabled competitors to encroach into Microsoft’s territory. Ironically, one of the competitors who benefited from Microsoft’s legal troubles was Google.

SEE ALSO: Oreo is now in almost 5 percent of Android phones globally

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Microsoft acquires GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock

Promises to retain GitHub’s developer-first policy



Today, software development remains one of the most valuable career opportunities in the workforce. Thousands of startups have made their impacts felt throughout the world already. With that in mind, Microsoft has forged a partnership that brings the industry to new heights.

Following a set of rumors from the past couple of weeks, Microsoft has announced that it has acquired the world’s largest software development platform, GitHub.

Together, the two parties hope to empower developers with a combination of their individual services.

Since its inception in 2008, GitHub has maintained a sprawling network of developers with its open platform. The network supports several programming languages, devices, and operating systems.

Despite the acquisition, Microsoft promises to keep GitHub developer-first. In fact, the company pledges to add support for its own services for developers, a potentially new market for them. This includes Microsoft’s global cloud services and wide marketplace.

Additionally, Microsoft will help accelerate startups and developers from early stages to eventual investment seeding. If anything, Microsoft’s global reach is fully capable of acting as a startup accelerator.

Other than that, the acquisition brings a change in Github’s leadership. After the deal closes, former Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman assumes leadership responsibilities from incumbent GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath. Instead, Wanstrath will assume a new role as a technical fellow with Microsoft. Friedman, on the other hand, will report to Microsoft Cloud and AI Group EVP Scott Guthrie.

The deal will conclude by the end of the calendar year. Besides the flurry of leadership and service changes, it will conclude for US$ 7.5 billion in Microsoft’s stock.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft’s new app links your iPhone to a PC

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Microsoft Surface Hub 2 is like a digital whiteboard from the future

We’ll have one for our office, please



Are you familiar with the Microsoft Surface Hub? Well, we can’t blame if you’re not because that huge piece of touchscreen computer didn’t make its way to homes, but rather to offices. Unlike other Surface products, the Surface Hub was meant for workplace collaboration to practically replace the good old whiteboard.

Despite being a crazy expensive digital whiteboard, here we are now with its second version. The Microsoft Surface Hub 2 is a much improved gigantic touchscreen designed to be placed on a wall or on wheels.

Compared to the first version, the Surface Hub 2 has drastically reduced bezels. It basically looks like a 50.5-inch 4K+ modern TV in 3:2 aspect ratio that can be rotated with a slight push. Surprisingly, the video camera is now gone from the main device and you’ll need to plug a webcam above or beside (depending on the orientation) the display for video conferences. As for the stylus, it magnetically attaches to the sides of the panel.

It’s quite hard to put our awe into words, so we’ll show you the concept video of what you can do with the new Surface Hub 2:

You can see that the device is so fluid in the office. You can hook it up to a wall, put it on a rolling case, or create a wall of Surface Hubs and transform it into an art piece when not in use.

Since the device is designed to be used by multiple people, users can easily log in using the side fingerprint reader and pull up their account. They’ll be able to find all their documents, data, and accept calls through the Surface Hub 2.

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 used for video conference | Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 used for collaboration in workspaces | Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft will start testing the Surface Hub 2 with partners later this year. You can expect to see these in corporate offices and maybe commercial spaces in 2019. Pricing details were not announced, but it’ll not come cheap just like its predecessor which goes for US$ 9,000.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft introduces more powerful Surface Book 2 in two sizes

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