Enterprise

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

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OpenSignal released its latest crowdsourced 4G LTE report for June, and the data doesn’t look good for India and the Philippines. South Korea is doing better than ever, however.

Compared to the data we looked over last November, 4G LTE mobile data has been experiencing greater availability and speeds around the world, but that’s a given with the growing ubiquity of the technology. Check out the graphs below to see how each country ranks worldwide:

Click the image for a closer look

Based on data collected from over 550,000 devices from January 1 to March 31, 2017, there’s no beating around the bush on how to approach these findings.

Here are our most noteworthy observations for Asian nations:

South Korea continues to dominate

Ranking on top for 4G availability (96.38 percent) and second for 4G speeds (43.46Mbps), South Korea is once again the destination for nationwide mobile data convenience. Only Singapore was able to best South Korea with slightly faster connectivity (45.62Mbps), but remember that the former has only a tenth of the latter’s population, making the airwaves less congested.

The Philippines ranks in the bottom five for both

The Southeast Asian archipelago is once again near the bottom for both 4G availability (52.77 percent) and average speed (8.59Mbps). This is no better than the showing the Philippines had last year, when it was also at the bottom of the barrel for each chart. However, there are still marginal improvements: The republic previously had an availability of only 44.8 percent and average speed of 7.27Mbps.

India improved in one aspect, failed the other

The most interesting information is India’s rise and fall for each statistic. The country now has a 4G availability of 81.56 percent, which is a great improvement over the 71.6 percent from last November. Unfortunately, the average 4G speed didn’t experience the same boost. In fact, the average speed went down to 5.14Mbps from the 6.39Mbps we saw last time — you can barely call that faster than the average 3G speed of 4.4Mbps.

4G LTE is steadily improving, but 5G is fast approaching

It’s easy to forget, but 4G LTE came out when 3G and its advancements didn’t fully mature yet. The same case may be happening soon, with companies like Qualcomm and Google already testing 5G connectivity in the United States. We have to hope that 4G and LTE technologies don’t go through the same fate, and that local mobile service providers maximize them before jumping on the newer generation.

SEE ALSO: LTE-A Explained

Source: OpenSignal

Enterprise

US government will be banned from using Huawei and ZTE tech

Not a total ban, though

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The president of the United States has just imposed a major ban against two Chinese tech giants, Huawei and ZTE, from working with the US government. The ban is a component of the Defense Authorization Act which US President Donald Trump has just signed after months of discussions.

We first heard news about the bill earlier this month followed by reports of Huawei spying on people and ZTE getting banned after getting accused of selling merchandise to US rivals. The fiasco hindered Huawei phones from getting sold through US carriers. ZTE, on the other hand, was saved by Trump as confirmed by his tweet.

In the end, though, both Chinese companies now have the same fate. The US Congress worked on a measure that will essentially ban the US government and soon-to-be allies from using components and availing services from Huawei, ZTE, and a number of other Chinese communications companies.

The ban, which will go into effect over the next two years, doesn’t completely cut the ties of the US with Huawei and ZTE. The Chinese companies are not allowed to be part of any “essential” or “critical” systems of the US government, but they can still work with the US government as long as they will not be used to route or view data.

Huawei is not happy about the ban, of course, and calls it a “random addition” to the defense bill which is “ineffective, misguided, and unconstitutional.” The company also said that the ban will increase cost for consumers and businesses.

Via: The Verge

SEE ALSO: ZTE faces ban from using Qualcomm, Android on their phones

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Samsung falls to less than one percent market share in China

Might pull out of Chinese market by next year

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Recently, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 9 to worldwide acclaim. Ironically, despite the positive response, the company is still slogging through one of its most dismal years to date. Previously, the Galaxy S9 opened to tepid, abysmal sales.

Now, with the dawn of more capable competitors, Samsung is falling more drastically than ever before. Formerly a stalwart in China, the company has now fallen to less than one percent market share in one of the world’s biggest markets.

Just a few years ago, Samsung’s phones captured a comfortable market share lead at 20 percent. The huge lead accurately represented Samsung’s grip on the market at the time.

However, with the recent developments (or lack thereof), the balance of power is steadily shifting. This year, gigantic (but more affordable) outings from smaller companies — Huawei, OnePlus, OPPO, Xiaomi — have taken the market by storm.

Besides the downpour of competitive rivals, Samsung has cited the decline of the smartphone market at large as a reason. From the lack of revolutionary features, adoption and upgrade rates have declined, causing an overall plateauing of phone sales.

According to Reuters, Samsung is considering drastic measures to alleviate the slump in sales. Most radically, the company might pull out of the Chinese market entirely.

Specifically, the plan affects Samsung’s Tianjin factory in Northern China. On its own, the facility manufactures 36 million phones per year. Additionally, Samsung has other plants nearby in Huizhou and Vietnam.

Currently, Samsung officials have yet to decide on the Chinese market’s ultimate fate. However, the pull-out is still a tempting move to improve efficiency.

Regardless, Samsung will remain as a global powerhouse even if it withdraws from the Chinese market. If anything, the move will dictate the company’s (and its Chinese competitors’) trajectory for the future.

Besides Samsung, Apple has also fared similarly, bowing out to Chinese brands in multiple markets.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Price and pre-order details in the Philippines

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EU might force Apple to abandon the Lightning cable

Voting yes for a USB-powered iPhone

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Recently, the EU has gone on a mass crusade against the world’s biggest tech firms. To the benefit of the region’s consumers, the European Commission is trying to create a universally competitive industry.

Over the past few months, they have hammered in guilty verdicts against big companies for stifling competition. After fining giants like Google and ASUS, the region has now set its sights on Apple.

In 2009, the EU has urged tech firms to create a more universal standard for smartphone charging. At the time, fourteen companies including Apple and Samsung signed the pledge.

However, as you can probably guess, these efforts fell terribly flat. Companies have still segmented the industry into a plethora of charger options — micro-USB, USB Type-C, and Lightning, for starters.

Irked by the lack of results, EU Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager has taken matters into her own hands. The Commission is researching if additional regulations can rescue the industry.

Currently, the EU is concerned over the rising number of wasted chargers and cables. Because of the different standards, users are forced to shelve their old cables to accommodate phone upgrades.

Among the affected companies, Apple has created the most disparity. Notoriously, the company has stuck with its own exclusive cables. Whereas its competitors have relied on USB standards, Apple has used FireWire, the dock connector, and the Lightning cable.

Apple’s exclusivity creates an advantageous but unfair revenue stream for the company. Users are forced to source their cables from the company directly (or indirectly through licensed products).

As such, any future EU regulations will likely affect Apple the most. From a consumer’s standpoint, Apple switching to USB will please users the most.

Even without the regulation, a USB-powered iPhone is still plausible. Previously, Apple had already considered a break from Lightning before releasing the iPhone X.

SEE ALSO: Battle of the reversibles: USB-C vs Lightning connector

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