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

Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

You can use Google on Huawei for at least three more months

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For the last 24 hours, the tech world struggled to regain its footing following the huge news about Huawei. In an unprecedented attack, the American government definitively banned the company’s dealings on American soil. As a result, Google has blacklisted Huawei from using its Android services. Other American companies followed suit. Naturally, the quick succession of developments spells an impending doom for the world’s second-best smartphone maker.

Of course, no one really knows how the ban will ultimately affect consumers. Both Google and Huawei have issued comforting statements despite the bad news. Likewise, local telcos have promised continued support for Huawei devices. At the very least, everyone is hunting for a tentative solution for the future.


Thankfully, both parties now have more time. The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a new statement regarding the incident. Instead of an immediate ban, Huawei will enjoy a 90-day extension of its commercial license. The extension will “authorize specific, limited engagement in transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items.” It will allow Huawei, Google, and other affected parties a workable amount of time to find a more long-term solution. For the American government, the extended license will allow them to patch up cybersecurity flaws in existing hardware.

Besides companies, consumers will also benefit from the extension. Existing users can find better app solutions and, at worst, new hardware alternatives. Currently, Huawei users are worrying about continued Google services. Google has ensured continued support in the meantime. Sadly, everyone’s support might eventually run out before a government-led solution. Three months is hopefully enough for a commercially led solution.

SEE ALSO: Huawei and Samsung settle three-year patent dispute

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Huawei and Google release official statements regarding trade blacklist

Existing users shouldn’t worry

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The tech world erupted earlier today when a Reuters report claimed that Google is blacklisting Huawei devices after an executive order by US President Donald Trump imposed a trade ban between Huawei and the US.

To be specific, Huawei may not buy equipment from US companies without the approval of the North American government. At the same time, US companies also aren’t allowed to deal with Huawei for parts and services.


It was the deadly blow dealt after a years of accusations between the two camps. Previously, fellow Chinese brand ZTE experienced similar banning on North American soil because of concerns over security and data breaches.

With this order in action, Google must pull out its apps and services from future Huawei devices. These include YouTube, Gmail, and the Google Play store itself. To add insult to injury, other US-based tech companies have followed suit in the trade ban, namely Intel, Broadcom, and Qualcomm.

Fortunately — and this is the most positive spin to this developing story — Google released a statement explaining that existing Huawei products will continue to function and won’t be affected by this blacklisting.

The keyword here is existing, meaning Google isn’t promising support for future Huawei products. This hopefully doesn’t mean that other Chinese brands like Xiaomi and OnePlus will go through the same fate as Huawei’s.

Huawei had its own statement to share, and it’s just as reassuring to existing users:

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry. Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”

The sentence in bold may be the biggest takeaway here. Not only is Huawei committed to providing promised firmware updates and support for current Huawei device holders, sub-brand Honor is part of the company’s reassurance, as well.

This also confirms that current Huawei and Honor users don’t have to sell or trade away their gadgets. Even a newly bought unit from the companies’ present lineups will work just fine with Google’s services and apps.

In effect, only future products will be affected, which brings into question how Honor will treat the Honor 20 launch in London tomorrow, as well as what the landscape will look like by the time Huawei’s flagship Mate 30 rolls in.

Additional questions at the moment are: How will upcoming Huawei smartphones look and function without an Android operating system? Will Huawei release its own OS in time for the next batch of handsets? Will American companies soon block trades with other Chinese manufacturers, too? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.

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Globe, Smart downplay Huawei ban imposed by US government

Subscribers won’t be affected — at least for now

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In light of recent (and shocking) news about the US government’s ban on Huawei, Philippine telcos have issued their respective statements to guarantee subscribers who are using Huawei devices on their networks.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the PLDTSmart group assured its subscribers that Huawei handsets and other devices availed via official PLDT-Smart channels will continue to work despite the trade ban.


“In light of the recent trade ban of the United States government on Huawei products, PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. wish to assure its customers who have availed of Huawei handsets and devices via its official channels that said products will continue to function normally on the PLDT-Smart network,” the statement read.

Moreover, PLDT and Smart promised to work closely with Huawei to address concerns regarding future firmware and software updates for its devices. Currently, Smart offers Huawei phones and pocket Wi-Fi devices on both postpaid and prepaid services.

Globe also reassured their subscribers about subsequent security updates and after-sales services of Huawei phones and devices. “We wish to assure our customers that the current situation at Huawei will not impact its network services,” the statement added.

Like PLDT and Smart, Globe also sells Huawei phones under their postpaid and prepaid line, plus they offer prepaid home Wi-Fi solutions using Huawei LTE routers.

Additionally, both major Philippine telcos use Huawei infrastructures to deploy their services nationwide. However, the reported Huawei ban mainly affects consumer devices like phones because they rely on software and parts provided by US companies as well.

SEE ALSO: Intel, Broadcom, and Qualcomm reportedly staying away from Huawei

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