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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

We’re not replacing Android yet, Huawei says

HongMeng is not the replacement system

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Amidst the long-standing Trump saga, Huawei has quietly developed its own operating system. Or so we thought.

Weeks earlier, Google blacklisted Huawei from its services, heralding a premature end to the latter’s Android support. Naturally, Huawei needed a more reliable replacement. Besides third-party replacements, the company supposedly started developing a completely new operating system. According to rumors, the future system will carry the name “Ark” or “HongMeng.”


Of course, as we know now, Huawei’s landmark ban as short-lived. Recently, Trump reversed his decision. Huawei’s Android support lives on — at least, for the immediate future. However, despite the optimism, Huawei isn’t resting on its laurels. HongMeng’s rumor mill kept grinding news every day. Most notably, Huawei was reportedly gearing for a late 2019 launch.

Out of nowhere, Huawei has finally addressed the torrent of rumors. HongMeng isn’t an Android replacement. At least, not yet.

According to senior vice president Catherine Chen, the operating system is not designed for smartphone use. For the meantime, Huawei is working closely with Google for continued support.

In another report, chairman Liang Hua comments on the company’s indecision regarding the operating system. Huawei still hasn’t decided if HongMeng can fit into the Android ecosystem. Further, he clarifies the system’s true nature. Apparently, HongMeng is software meant for industrial IoT devices. Whatever Huawei’s replacement operating system is, it’s not HongMeng.

Regardless, Huawei’s HongMeng system should be a lessened priority for the company. Huawei is still riding on both optimism and a need for damage control. If anything, Huawei is tying up its loose ends before its next big move.

SEE ALSO: Huawei can still get banned again in the future

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These are the best cities for women entrepreneurs to thrive

Singapore ranks third in Asia Pacific, behind Sydney and Melbourne

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At the 10th annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit in Singapore, Dell announced findings of the 2019 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, ranking 50 global cities on their ability to foster growth for women entrepreneurs. Dell ranks cities based on the impact of local policies, programs, and characteristics in addition to national laws and customs to help improve support for women entrepreneurs and the overall economy.

Building on 10 years of research on women entrepreneurs, Dell partnered with IHS Markit to research and rank 50 cities on five important characteristics, including access to Capital, Technology, Talent, Culture and Markets.


The San Francisco Bay Area outranked New York for the No. 1 spot this year, mostly due to the city being one of the best places for women to gain access to capital. It also moved from 6th place to 2nd place in Culture, showing that the number of role models and public dialogue around eliminating the “bro culture” is making an impact.

Lack of funding, high cost of living, low representation of women in leadership roles and the lack of government-led policies that support women entrepreneurs were among the barriers globally.

Cities in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are improving alongside all other cities globally, but still have a long way to go. Singapore, one of the only three cities from Southeast Asia to make it to the top 50, saw the highest improvement in the Talent pillar, as it benefitted from increasing its top school and business school rankings, as well as its pool of professionals needed to help scale businesses.

APAC cities mainly fell behind in the pillars for Culture and Markets. Despite making the top 50, Singapore’s Culture score was relatively low due to fewer female role models or leaders, although it’s still more advanced than majority of its neighbors in addressing gender parity issues.

Singapore ranks only No. 47 globally for the Markets pillar, because of the high cost of living in the city despite the lack of accelerators and relatively few female board members.

The WE Cities Index serves as a diagnostic tool to advise policy-makers on how to better support women in business.

“By arming city leaders and policymakers with actionable, data-driven research on the landscape for women entrepreneurs, we can collectively accelerate the success of women-owned businesses by removing financial, cultural and political barriers,” says Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell Technologies.

The same way US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in her landmark cases that gender discrimination hurts men and women alike, Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu also emphasized at the summit that it’s not only women who want a better work life balance; men also want to be able to spend more time with their families.

This is where technology comes in. Technology, as a gender-neutral enabler, helps drive progress in gender equality by creating a level playing field, says Amit Midha, President of Asia Pacific & Japan, Global Digital Cities at Dell Technologies. It’s important to empower and invest in women not just because it’s been proven time and again that women help economies grow, but also because doing so benefits men and society as a whole.

SEE ALSO: Inspiring quotes from Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit 2019

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Qualcomm found guilty of unfair pricing

Ordered to pay hundreds of millions of euros

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For a while now, Qualcomm has waged a legal war against Apple over ambiguous copyright claims. The battle emboldened the chipmaker, leading to quirkier means to keep competitors at bay. To its credit, Qualcomm successfully squeezed out substantial money from its battles. However, karma can come in unexpected forms.

Recently, Qualcomm found itself on the receiving end of a similar legal strife. The European Commission has ruled the company guilty of unfair pricing schemes.


From 2009 to 2011, Qualcomm became a market leader in the 3G modem business. The win practically ensured the company’s dominance in future eras. At the time, Qualcomm’s only major competitor was fellow 3G chipset manufacturer, Nvidia’s Icera.

According to the EU Commission, Qualcomm used antitrust pricing to ensure its win against Icera. Particularly, Qualcomm’s prices were way below cost, drawing more competition towards them. Then-growing companies Huawei and ZTE bought into Qualcomm’s cheaper chips. Icera would eventually fold in 2015.

Of course, cheaper pricing schemes aren’t illegal outright. However, Qualcomm purposely set its prices below the cost to produce them — which is illegal. In effect, they were selling at a loss to block out the competition. Qualcomm’s current dominance draws from its past practices.

Because of the unfair practice, the Commission is fining the company a hefty EUR 242 million. The huge amount totals to 1.27 percent of Qualcomm’s 2018 revenue.

Despite the weight, the fine is only a drop in Qualcomm’s huge bucket. At the very least, the ruling is a warning against unfair business practices. Qualcomm isn’t immune to the same strategies that it employs against its competitors.

SEE ALSO: Qualcomm drops all charges against Apple

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