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’s 5G technologies face potential ban in Europe

This could result in slow 5G rollout

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The controversies and issues surrounding Huawei are far from over. Just last week, the telecommunications giant from China was charged by the US government with bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and theft of technology, among others. Things are not that different in Europe according to Reuters‘ latest report.

You might have heard about Huawei getting banned in certain countries including the US and Australia. These countries have restricted the Chinese company from building next-generation mobile networks or 5G infrastructure due to concerns regarding China’s National Intelligence Law which requires Chinese companies to cooperate willingly to the government when asked.

In Europe, a similar story may soon unfold as the European Commission is considering a de facto ban on Huawei’s 5G technologies within the European Union citing comparable concerns about security.

Huawei’s Executive Director Richard Yu unveiling their latest 5G device | Image credit: Huawei

GSMA, a mobile communications industry body, is open to discuss these issues about Huawei in their next board meeting. The agenda, which was proposed by GSMA Director General Mats Granryd, will take place in late February during Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. MWC is the industry’s biggest annual gathering spearheaded by GSMA.

As a leader in telecommunications equipment, Huawei is already in partnership with a number of operators worldwide to put up 5G infrastructure. This means a ban will make a big impact on the 5G rollout, at least in Europe. As an example, Europe’s largest telecoms company Deutsche Telekom will have to delay their 5G plans by up to three years if they have to take Huawei out of the picture.

Huawei continuously denies the existence of any backdoor granting easy access to the Chinese government. The company and its founder also deny the allegation that they would spy for China.

SEE ALSO: US officially charges Huawei with technology theft

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Enterprise

Data breach affects almost 9,000 Globe prepaid subscribers

All because of free tickets

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Exactly 8,851 prepaid users of Globe Telecom responded to a text promo registration, and now their personal info is available for strangers to see. It appears to be a case of “wrong-send,” but this is something that users shouldn’t ignore.

Globe sent a text blast among its prepaid subscriber base for registration to an “exclusive community of Globe Prepaid customers.” To encourage people to join, the telco is raffling off free tickets to a Blackpink concert, a popular K-pop group, in Manila.

Everything seems to be just another promotional offer. But, once the confirmation email was sent to those who registered, there has been mismatching and users received personal details of another user. The emails contained someone else’s name, full address, and email address.

Globe has already acknowledged the issue with a posted statement via its GlobeICON Facebook page:

Globe Telecom has rectified the issue with affected customers on sending wrong confirmation receipt to another individual and reported the incident to the National Privacy Commission in compliance with regulatory requirements. It was just a case of sending the data registration confirmation receipt to the wrong individual and was not sent en masse or as a group of data. It only affected prepaid customers who have registered to the On The List program to avail of concert tickets and other music venues of Globe events. About 8,851 customers were affected out of 60 million prepaid customers.

Globe Chief Information Security Officer Anton Bonifacio said: “The On The List registration site was taken down immediately to remove access to potential registrants at the time and we have notified all affected prepaid customers of the issue.”

In response, the National Privacy Commission confirmed that Globe has formally notified the concerned government agency regarding the data breach.

The NPC is now “evaluating the incident and verifying the information given to us, following our standard procedure.” They also suggest that affected subscribers monitor their online and offline accounts for any unusual activity while they are looking into the issue.

SEE ALSO: Globe Telecom introduces eSIM in the Philippines

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Enterprise

US officially charges Huawei with technology theft

And 22 other charges

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After a tense year of tug of war, the US Justice Department has finally pressed charges against Huawei. For most of last year, Huawei languished in judicial and geopolitical limbo. Stemming from the US, Huawei’s problems drew from shady Iran deals and cybersecurity concerns. As a result, Huawei found itself on the receiving end of numerous controversies.

Now, the war against Huawei has reached a crossroads. A month ago, Canadian authorities arrested the company’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou. The incident underscored the war’s international reach and political implications. However, Meng has so far tread on relatively safe waters. Both Canada and the US have settled for house arrests. Of course, Meng’s light sentence was only temporary.

Recently, the US government has charged Meng (and Huawei) for bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and technology theft, among others. This tremendous list contains several surprises; so far, the conflict revolved only around the Iran deal and Chinese ties.

Overall, Huawei is facing 23 charges. According to the US government, the company’s fraud case comes from the Iran deal. Allegedly, Huawei misled financial institutions and the government about its relationship with Iran. Additionally, Huawei supposedly stole T-Mobile’s technology for its own purposes. The technology includes finger-mimicking hardware that tests phone durability.

Politically, the US primarily worries about the company’s ties with China’s government. However, America’s latest tactic involves throwing everything apart from the kitchen sink. Among all the US’s strategies so far, the charges will potentially inflict the most damage on US-China relations. All eyes are now on Huawei to pull a miracle against a rampaging US beast.

SEE ALSO: Canada fires Chinese ambassador for supporting Huawei

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