Enterprise

Singapore, S. Korea dominate 4G LTE rankings, Philippines struggles

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Crowdsourced mobile data from OpenSignal revealed some interesting figures for the third quarter of 2016. Based on statistics published today, Singapore and South Korea have the best 4G data speeds and nationwide availability, respectively. Asian neighbors India, Indonesia, and the Philippines didn’t do nearly as well.

4G LTE connectivity is expanding at an exponential rate across the globe, and gradually eclipsing the older 3G technologies from a generation ago. Unfortunately, not every country is experiencing equal opportunities, and some are left wondering where all the bandwidth is going.

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Singapore gets top honors for 4G speeds in the world, averaging a blistering 45.86 megabits per second (Mbps). This means you can wirelessly download files at 5.7 megabytes per second (MBps — notice the uppercase B). Remember that a megabyte is equal to eight megabits.

The city-state is followed closely by South Korea at 45.77Mbps, Hungary at 40.61Mbps, and Romania at 35.61Mbps. You have to go all the way down to 25.75Mbps to discover the next-fastest East Asian nation, Taiwan. How about high-tech Japan? Its citizens are enjoying 22.38Mbps.

Even though the majority of the included countries averaged more than 20Mbps, the global average is only 17.4Mbps. We can the blame the terribly low speeds of developing nations for dropping the number.

Indonesia, the Philippines, and India were particularly bad for Asia, averaging only 8.79Mbps, 7.27Mbps, and 6.39Mbps, respectively. It gets even more embarrassing when you combine the three, giving you a total of 22.45Mbps, just above the global norm.

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For nationwide availability, OpenSignal doesn’t measure geographic reach; rather, the metric tracks the “proportion of time users have access to a particular network.” This places indoor connections and moments of high network congestion into consideration, putting all participants on a more level playing field. Garnering a score of 50 percent means users have 4G access half of the time.

South Korea has a near perfect score of 95.71 percent, followed by Japan’s 92.03 percent and Lithuania’s 84.73 percent. The worst-performing countries are Sri Lanka (40.27%), Lebanon (41.53%), Ecuador (42.56%), Ireland (43.45%), and the Philippines (44.8%).

Notice something? Yeah, the Philippines ranks in the bottom five for both 4G speeds and availability. Fingers can be pointed at multiple excuses, such as the difficulty in covering an archipelago and the country’s mobile network duopoly, but the fact remains that the Pacific-based republic struggles to keep up with evolving wireless standards.

Take note, however, that even though this is a global survey comprising 78 countries, numerous African and Asian regions are excluded because they lack test data for fair analysis.

OpenSignal 4G LTE graph

Click the image for a closer look

You can find the complete set of statistics on OpenSignal’s website, complete with interactive maps and graphs. It’s all quite fascinating, and will either enlighten or frustrate you, depending on where you live.

If you want to contribute to the cause, you can download OpenSignal’s app for Android or iOS. On top of collecting data, it can also help you find more stable network connections and nearby Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe.

Confused by some of the terminology? Watch our LTE-A explainer video to bring you up to speed:

Enterprise

Samsung is selling the Galaxy Z Flip’s screen to competitors

Despite all the negative criticism

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Do you believe in the power of foldable smartphones? Today’s biggest foldable phone makers want you to buy into the new technology — whether it’s the pioneering Galaxy Fold or the refreshed Motorola razr. However, as you might have seen recently, foldable technology is still miles away from perfection. Touted as the next revolution of smartphones, the flexible display still suffers issues in durability.

Despite all that, Samsung is cashing in all its chips on the imperfect technology. Announced today, the South Korean tech giant is selling its new technology — dubbed as Ultra-Thin Glass (or UTG) — to competitors. The patented technology is up for grabs to anyone willing to pay Samsung for it.

The company is selling the display under the tagline “Tough, yet Tender.” The branding alludes to the 30μm panel that supposedly goes beyond the capabilities of last year’s model — at least, according to Samsung.

Currently, the UTG is still exclusive to the Galaxy Z Flip — which is getting some flak of its own. It will likely make its way to other Samsung devices in the future as well.

Unfortunately, Samsung has not confirmed any willing customers at the moment. However, the company is also enjoying a modicum of market leadership, owing to its early adoption (and development) of the technology. With the sale announcement, they can capitalize on other companies’ desires to build their own foldable phone.

Regardless, foldable technology is still an imperfect art. Though the Galaxy Z Flip allegedly sold out already, the device’s reception is up in the air. Who knows where foldable technology will fare in the future?

SEE ALSO: Samsung’s customer service offerings you might not know about

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Samsung’s customer service offerings you might not know about

Remote support, 24/7 live chat and more

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One thing you must always consider when buying an electronic device is the scope of warranty and support reliability. Most manufacturers fail in either one, but poor support reliability is a more common issue. Having reliable manufacturer support for your device is critical especially that devices inevitably break down in time.

Samsung recognizes the merits of having reliable support for its devices. As such, it launched three support mechanism where its consumers can choose from when their devices need troubleshooting.

Remote Service

Samsung consumers who bought handheld devices, TVs, and digital appliances can avail of remote support services for help and troubleshooting. By accessing the support app on their devices, consumers can place a secure call to the customer service team. A dedicated team of engineers can then remotely view and control specific device settings, and provide product assistance.

Live Chat

Consumers can also access the live chat feature available on Samsung’s website. This feature is also available through the Samsung Members’ app, which can be downloaded on the Google Play Store. Having a live chat enables consumers to ask the customer service anytime, anywhere. This is handy especially when a Samsung appliance breaks down, and there are no nearby technicians or service centers available.

After-sales services

Apart from offering convenient remote service and a 24/7 live chat, Samsung also offers a variety of after-sales services for the consumer’s peace of mind. These various services make cumbersome troubleshooting a thing of the past and give consumers a sense of security when buying a Samsung device or appliance.

  • Nationwide service network — Samsung has over 150 authorized service branches where they can bring small appliances (40 inches and below) for troubleshooting with dedicated technicians.
  • In-home service — Consumers with bigger appliances can schedule a home visit from dedicated technicians.
  • Support hotline — Those opting to call Samsung’s hotline may do so by dialing #GALAXY or #425299 for mobile devices. For appliances, they can call the toll-free hotline 1-800-10-7267864 (PLDT) or 1-800-8-7267864 (Globe).
  • Online manuals — Samsung also has online tutorials and FAQs for its devices. They are readily available on Samsung’s website or through the Samsung Members’ app.

With a variety of support services available to consumers, Samsung is ensuring its consumers that the company is ready to help them especially when an inevitable breakdown occurs.

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Apple: Coronavirus might cause iPhone shortage

Won’t meet expected revenue by March

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If, during a tense situation, someone say that they are doing okay, there is a slight chance that things are going the opposite way. Today’s coronavirus epidemic, for example, has affected the tech industry more than it has proclaimed. For the most part, China-dependent companies — like Apple — have waved off any adverse effect caused by the rampant virus, despite taking precautions.

Unfortunately for them, deception can only last so long. Recently, Apple has released its quarterly guidance report for investors. Compared to the general populace, investors require utmost transparency. As such, Apple revealed the potential setbacks heading into the second month of the coronavirus situation in China.

Mainly, Apple doesn’t “expect to meet the revenue guidance” expected by March. Both supply and demand are falling especially in China.

On the supply side, Apple’s Chinese manufacturers are reeling from the forced closures enacted both by the Chinese New Year holiday and the coronavirus safety protocols. For now, the factories are remaining open (or have since re-opened). Regardless, Apple is working together with the factories to ensure worker safety. Because of the shifted focus, iPhone supplies will temporarily decrease and will likewise “temporarily affect revenues worldwide.”

On the demand side, Apple is mulling over the closures of their retail stores in affected Chinese regions. Naturally, without a retail store, maintaining adequate supply is useless. To Apple’s fortune, these closures are affecting only Chinese customers. Regardless, China is an important market for the iPhone maker.

As consumers outside China, we won’t likely feel Apple’s pains on the demand side. However, a shift in supply — even a tiny one — will ripple across the globe either through launch delays or delivery shortages. If you’re an Apple fan, you might want to hang on to your old iPhone a bit longer.

SEE ALSO: Apple starts the year with a bang in their latest revenue report

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