Saturday, March 30, 2019

OpenSignal report and Korea's lead in network speed

As readers of this blog will know, the speed of digital data processing and transmission was one of my recurrent concerns in earlier posts (see these for example).  A new (February 2019) report by OpenSignal confirms that Korea's 4G mobile networks are still the world's fastest.   The report makes interesting reading.  One of its main findings is that 4G speeds around the world "...vary tremendously across the day, showing the impact of congestion on daytime speeds."   (click on the graphic for a full size version)
The OpenSignal report indicated that Korea ranked number one in the world in average download speed, but it broke this down into 4G speed at the slowest hour of the day compared with speed at the fastest hour of the day.  Part of the graphic is shown at left.  Currently, 4G users around the world experience a wide range of download speeds between the slowest and fastest hours of the day.  Furthermore, cities see the greatest speed swings, indicating daytime congestion that might be relieved by 5G.  As noted in the report, "Users in Paris experienced the greatest range of 4G Download Speeds, fluctuating between 21.5 Mbps and 51.4 Mbps in a 24-hour period, followed by Sydney and Santiago. Worryingly, New York's fastest hour for 4G speed of 40.8 Mbps was in a virtual dead heat with the 40.6 Mbps Seoul’s inhabitants experience at their slowest hour of the day. But Seoul’s slowest hour of day is still faster than the fastest hour of day in Taipei (38.2 Mbps), London (38.3 Mbps) and 21 other cities analyzed." (My emphasis added in the quote)

Thursday, March 28, 2019

2013 Daejon presentation on "Innovation Clusters in the Creative Economy"

I just ran across this video of a presentation I gave at a Daejon conference in 2013 and thought I'd share it here.  My thinking has evolved somewhat since then.

Heated competition to build 5G networks

The nation's mobile service providers, KT, SKT and LG U+ are engaged in cut-throat competition to install 5G base stations, in order to achieve the widest possible network coverage when the service starts in April.  As reported by The Korea Times, "The three companies have competitively announced or plan to make known the number of base stations they have built, vowing to offer the fastest mobile network service with the widest coverage."  For example, "...LG Uplus said Wednesday that it has built 18,000 5G base stations in Seoul and surrounding areas as well as some metropolitan cities, noting that it plans to build 50,000 base stations within the first half of the year."
The engineers shown in the photographs (click for a full size version) accompanying The Korea Times article are hard at work adding to the already ubiquitous mobile base stations on rooftops and towers all around the nation.   The work they do is a reminder that the installation of next generation mobile network infrastructure is a long-term and expensive project.  The initial installations will take place in expressway rest stops, airports, conference centers and other locations that are densely populated or frequently full of visitors.  There is also the challenge of ensuring good 5G signals inside buildings.  As noted in the article,"Industry officials expect construction of nationwide 5G networks to be completed sometime in 2022 or 2023, given that it took about four years for third-generation and fourth-generation, or LTE networks to be set up nationwide."

Monday, March 25, 2019

Korea's smartphone zombies--a solution?

This Reuters video documents a new solution being proposed for South Korea's "smart phone zombies." I would only add a couple of points for context.   In practice, the rules of the road in Korea place very little stress on the "pedestrian has the right-of-way" which is so basic too driver education and related laws in the United States.  Second, my casual observation indicates that a very high percentage of pedestrians are multitasking -- texting, talking or doing something else on their smart phone while walking.   The statistics cited in the video on pedestrian casualties in traffic accidents should bring attention to this matter.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Samsung develops 3rd-generation 10nm-class DRAM

As reported by The Korea Times, Samsung Electronics has developed a new, more powerful memory chip.  The new chip's productivity is 20 percent higher than previous chips and is also the smallest such chip produced to date.