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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

[irp posts=”2500" name=”LTE-A Explained”]

Source: OpenSignal

Enterprise

Former Twitter employees reportedly spied on users for Saudi Arabia

More than 6,000 accounts hacked

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Image source: Twitter

Absolutely no one is safe from drama these days. Facebook, Huawei, Blizzard; for the past year, these companies have found themselves on the receiving end of today’s negative headlines. Though a hotspot for its own controversies, Twitter is relatively steering clear from this year’s drama. In fact, the social media giant recently banned all political ads on its platform, inciting a round of applause from a lot of users.

Unfortunately, here’s a slight tarnish on Twitter’s relatively clean record. Announced today, two former Twitter employees have allegedly spied on numerous Twitter accounts for the Saudi Arabian government. All of the suspects are being (or have been) pursued by the American government.

According to the suit, one of the suspects, Ahmad Abouammo supposedly accessed only three accounts. However, another former employee, Ali Alzabarah, accessed over 6,000 accounts. Taking place between 2014 and 2015, the breach targeted individuals who were overtly critical of the Saudi Arabian government — including Jamal Khashoggi, a murdered Saudi Arabian journalist from last year.

“We will not allow U.S. companies or U.S. technology to become tools of foreign repression in violation of U.S. law,” said US Attorney David L. Anderson, according to The Washington Post. For the first time in a while, the American government is taking a strong stance against Saudi Arabia, a country controversially supported by US President Donald Trump.

In Twitter’s defense, the company is decrying the blatant invasion of privacy. According to a spokesman, Twitter’s sensitive data is accessed only by “a limited group of trained and vetted employees.” For what it’s worth, Twitter values the importance of dissenting opinions. “We understand the incredible risks faced by many who use Twitter to share their perspectives with the world and to hold those in power accountable. We have tools in place to protect their privacy and their ability to do their vital work.”

SEE ALSO: Twitter is finally getting a dark mode for Android!

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Second GNI Innovation Challenge is now accepting applicants

Winners get a US$ 250,000 funding

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Google News Initiative hosts the annual Innovation Challenge to support projects in journalism and for its second year, they are now accepting applicants from the Asia-Pacific region.

This year’s Innovation Challenge will focus on projects that increase audience engagement for news providers. Everyone can apply as long as they commit to an authentic and trustworthy news ecosystem.

To apply, applicants must come from eligible countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Google will ask for project descriptions and budget information on its online application form. All projects must have clear indicators showing its impact from a user and/or business perspective. Also, there is a one-year deadline for delivering the project.

There are four criteria for judging: impact on news ecosystem, innovation, feasibility, and inspiration. Winners of the challenge will receive a funding of up to US$ 250,000 and 70% financing for all the projects’ costs.

To know more about the Innovation Challenge, visit Google News Initiative website.

The Google News initiative is Google’s effort to help the news industry. It builds products, partner with organizations, and conducts programs to help journalism thrive in the digital age.

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Huawei can officially trade with the US again ‘very shortly’

Exemptions are coming!

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It’s been a while since our last major update on Huawei’s situation in the US. For weeks, we’ve only received slight developments from minor sources. Now, Huawei is finally on the verge of a huge breakthrough.

Last weekend, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross explained the ongoing progress for the country’s deal with China and its companies. “We’re making good progress,” Ross told Bloomberg.

“Phase One” of the deal will likely begin this week, according to the report. The development will come with a series of changes for both China and the US. Most notably, the US government will finally approve several operating licenses for Huawei.

To start with, both sides will finally agree on tariffs on imported products including smartphones. Both countries want to eliminate tariffs on any products they want. Agreed upon, imported products might be cheaper for either side.

Additionally, the US will finally go through its prohibited entity list. Currently, several Chinese companies are forbidden from dealing business with American companies. However, the government allowed American companies to apply for an operating license to trade with the entities. Unfortunately, the applications haven’t gotten anywhere. As of this writing, the government has not approved a single application.

This will soon change with the deal. The licenses “will be forthcoming very shortly,” Ross said.

Trump is also optimistic about the deal’s eventual outcome, eyeing an inking on American soil this month. “I want to get the deal,” he said.

Of course, the deal has always been up in the air since its inception. According to Ross, the eventual deal will still depend on China’s participation.

SEE ALSO: UK could allow Huawei to build its 5G network

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