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

Intel can legally supply Huawei with chips

Application approved

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Since last week, Huawei can no longer legally work with American companies or companies using American technologies. As such, the Chinese company is in total survival mode, stockpiling supplies to mitigate the losses. However, outside of their control, other companies are also working to restore balance to Huawei’s businesses. For one, Intel can legally supply Huawei with chips starting today.

Since the start of the Huawei debacle, barred companies can continue operations with Huawei through a government-sanctioned operating license. To get one, the companies must still apply for one. And the government hasn’t exactly rushed to approve applications.

Now, Intel’s application has officially passed approval from the government, according to a Reuters report. With the license, the chipmaking company can legally ship components for Huawei. The approval might help Huawei fill its stockpile for near-future smartphones or even find a permanent supplier for the long run.

Besides Intel, other component companies have also applied for similar licenses. Currently, China’s Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation is pending approval to continue business with Huawei. According to another report, Qualcomm has also applied for such a license.

Without a doubt, component companies are also feeling the sting of Huawei’s ban. Though Intel received its approval, the successes of other companies are still shrouded in mystery. At this point, no one knows how the Huawei debacle will finally end.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Store is your one-stop shop for everything Huawei

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Facebook took down pro-China, pro-Duterte accounts

Reportedly China-sponsored and inauthentic accounts

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With the American presidential elections fast approaching, Facebook is taking an active approach against potential election interference. For one, the social media platform is moderating its content more stringently for misinformation. Now, erring accounts are on the chopping block. Today, Facebook took down pro-China, pro-Duterte accounts in the Philippines.

If you’re worried about a potential violation of the right to free speech, the platform claims that the ban affects “inauthentic Chinese accounts,” according to a new security report. In a list containing more than 200 accounts, most were potentially interfering in Asian and American politics. Facebook also included more than 40 pages, nine groups, and more than 20 Instagram accounts.

Most of the accounts were based in the Philippines, commenting (and supporting) China’s claims on the West Philippine Sea and President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions. They also criticized Rappler. Posts were in English, Filipino, and Chinese.

On the flip side, the smaller chunk of suspended accounts is in the United States, showing support for both Democrats and Republicans.

Whereas the American-based accounts have only around 3,000 followers, the Philippines-based accounts have amassed more than 376,000 followers at the time of suspension. Meanwhile, the implicated groups drew in more than 60,000 followers. The accounts spent US$ 60 on ad spending in Chinese yuan. They also spent a whopping US$ 1,100 in Philippine peso.

Undoubtedly, Facebook is taking a more active approach against political interference. It marks a renewed approach compared to its efforts in 2016. Back then, the platform received a lot of flak for affecting the elections in both the United States and in Southeast Asia.

SEE ALSO: Facebook is paying users to delete their accounts

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PeopleCount by Bosch is made for social distancing

Another smart solution to the challenges of the pandemic

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Tech has played a key role in the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic. While we wait with bated breath for a vaccine, tech companies have given us ways to detect the virus, properly contact trace, and limit its spread. Now, Bosch, in partnership with Globaltronics and Philips, launches PeopleCount for social distancing.

PeopleCount is a customizable security system. It lets facility managers track, control, and manage the number of people entering a particular area. This lets them operate efficiently while guiding people to follow and maintain social distancing measures.

What is it exactly?

It uses Bosch’s intelligent camera solution and Philips’ Android System on Chip (SoC) display that allows real-time monitoring  and analysis of people flow with minimal human intervention.

The system can be used for single entrance or multiple entrances simultaneously and displays the data through a simple traffic light system. PeopleCount also keeps customers informed and engaged through both promotional and safety messaging displayed on its system.

Bosch and Philips believe this system can be an effective tool for enforcing social distancing protocols. They see it as a solution that requires minimum investment, is quick and easy to deploy, can be operated remotely, is customer-friendly, and has the ability to record data and statistics.

How does it work?

It functions with three main components: a standalone application as the main control, a camera to track and analyze movements, and a monitor that displays communication for customers.

Bosch’s intelligent camera counts the number of people entering and exiting the facility using its video analytics features. Meanwwhile, the Philips Android SoC display keeps the customers informed with visual alerts prior to entering a facility.

Users can install single or multiple cameras and monitors across different entries or individual stores. The cameras can process information and able to generate the status of occupancy real-time.

This, then will be displayed in any browser-enabled display such as tablet or an android TV. This gives users the advantage of controlling access to various points of a building.

When using multiple cameras, the system can also aggregate the counts from different cameras to monitor the occupancy of individual shops, floors, and even areas covered by multiple entries and exits.

Comes with an alert system

When the occupancy has reached its maximum number, the system can alert or trigger the facility’s building access control system to secure the entrance until the occupancy is reduced.

The system also delivers real time information to the display for customer queue communications, alerting visitors whether they must wait or if they can enter.

The screen display can be used in three formats:

  • The entire screen can be used to signal individuals to wait or enter.
  • It can also be divided 50/50, where one part is used for entry instructions and the other may include promotional or instructional videos and even special products on discount.
  • The third option is the use of a traffic light display for entry management while having a large area of the monitor to display other content.

Bosch and Philips are actively marketing this to private companies. During the launch, they also said they have projects lined up with the Philippine government to rollout this tech.

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