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.
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.
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.
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:
Huawei pledges $2 billion to secure cybersecurity of hardware
It starts in Britain for now
Throughout the past few weeks, Sinophobia has reached an all-time high. Various countries have started banning Chinese telecommunications companies from taking over their technology market. Huawei and ZTE have faced tremendous adversity while expanding their 5G operations. Of note, the US, the UK, and Australia have stopped Huawei’s 5G plans before they could start.
It was only a matter of time before Huawei responds. Now, the company has finally promised to solve these crucial cybersecurity issues. In Britain, Huawei has met with government officials regarding their ban. Like the rest of the Western world, Britain criticized Huawei’s technology as potential backdoors for Chinese espionage.
Both parties have agreed to a compromise. To alleviate Britain’s fears, Huawei will pledge US$ 2 billion for cybersecurity. The company will then attempt to solve whatever Britain found in cybersecurity investigations.
While the United Kingdom is more forgiving, other countries are still very wary. After the initial lineup of banning countries, Japan has joined the conversation. The country is working to ban both Huawei and ZTE from 5G development as well. With that, Japan will be the first Asian country to ban both companies. Western fears are now invading the East.
At the other end of the world, Huawei is also facing another crisis. The company’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was recently arrested for allegedly violating embargo regulations. According to Huawei, their retaliation plans in Britain were made before the arrest. Thus, the arrest is another separate battle that awaits the company after issues of cybersecurity.
Huawei is in a world of pain. Despite offering amazing products, the company can’t find any traction in hardware development. Geopolitical fears have and will continue to bog down the company throughout the rise of 5G networking.
UK’s largest telco removes all Huawei equipment from core 4G network
The Chinese company continues to take hits
Huawei smartphones are selling like hotcakes and are well-received by consumers and reviewers alike, although things are not looking good on the enterprise side. Earlier this year, the US started to make things hard for the Chinese company by labeling them as a threat. More countries have considered the warning, and everything has gone haywire ever since.
The latest related news is from the United Kingdom. The region’s largest mobile provider BT Group Plc plans to remove Huawei’s technologies and equipment from their core 4G network, according to a Financial Times report.
But, this doesn’t mean Huawei will be 100 percent wiped from the network. The report mentioned that BT will continue to use Huawei’s kit in what they consider to be benign parts of the network.
The telco’s move comes after the head of MI6 foreign intelligence service singled out the Chinese company as a potential security risk because of its alleged close ties with the Chinese government, something both parties deny.
BT said they have been in the process of removing Huawei equipment from instrumental parts of their 3G and 4G networks since 2016.
Furthermore, BT has decided to not include Huawei’s services in building the next-generation 5G network.
Huawei executive arrested in Canada, faces charges in US
Exec is daughter of Huawei founder
After much ado on the US front, Huawei’s multi-chapter drama finally reached foreign soil. Recently, more countries are contemplating a ban on the company’s hardware. Despite celebrating a multitude of new launches, Huawei’s distribution is facing a potential crisis.
With all the hullaballoo, one can forget how this all started. About a year ago, the company was caught illegally trading with Iran. The United States government quickly lambasted them for breaking the law. Over the past year, the initial controversy morphed into distrust over China’s government. Now, it’s come full circle.
Last week, Canadian authorities have arrested Huawei’s chief financial officer, Wanzhou Meng. The Huawei official was in the country only briefly, switching flights at an airport in Vancouver. During this brief time, US officials requested Canada for Meng’s arrest.
According to The Globe and Mail, Meng was arrested for evading the States’ current embargo against Iran. Huawei’s past comes back to bite the company. Meng is expected to be extradited in New York where she will face the US judiciary system.
Of note, Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei. In turn, Zhengfei is a known member of the Communist Party.
The arrest comes at a very interesting time. Currently, Huawei is in the middle of a global expansion in preparation for the rise of 5G networks. Going against this, other countries are vehemently preventing China from taking over the next generation of networking.
Further, President Trump was recently considering increased tariffs for Chinese products. Sinophobia is at an all-time high.
In response, Huawei has asked to limit the arrest’s public details. Likewise, the Chinese embassy in Canada has asked for Meng’s release, saying that she didn’t break any Canadian or US laws. Canada’s steadfast actions, however, clearly places the country behind the US in the feud.
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