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US temporarily ease restrictions on Huawei

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PHOTO: Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei and Chinese President Xi Jinping – SCMP

The US has temporarily eased some of the restrictions on China’s Huawei, the world’s largest phone and telecom equipment maker, to minimise disruption to its customers. But Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, says it means little because the company was well prepared for any US restrictions to their trading.

The US government has blocked Huawei Technologies from buying US goods last week, claiming the firm was involved in activities contrary to national security.

The targeted spat aimed at the one Chinese telecom company comes amid the escalating dispute over trade practices between the US and China.

But yesterday the Commerce Department granted Huawei a license to purchase US goods until August 19 to maintain existing Huawei-based networks and provide software updates to Huawei smartphone customers. The reprieve is intended to give telecom operators that rely on Huawei equipment time to make other arrangements.

Speaking about the matter, Huawei’s founder says the reprieve meant little for the telecom manufacturer as it had been making preparations for such a scenario.

“The U.S. government’s actions at the moment underestimate our capabilities.”

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Thailand

Thailand’s broadband internet speed ranks #1

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Thailand’s broadband internet speed ranks #1 | The Thaiger

Thailand’s broadband internet speed is ranking number 1 after a speed test was conducted in December of last year. It’s ranking climbed 2 spots from the previous speed test out of 176 countries by the Speedtest Global Index, beating out the stiff competition.

Singapore and Hong Kong are now at 2nd and 3rd place according to the test, which is measured monthly. The test uses millions of data from real people who use Speedtest tools. The test was developed by Ookla, which is a Seattle, Washington headquartered company that has pioneered fixed broadband and mobile network testing apps, analysis and data. Despite the tests being originated by a US company, the US ranks 10th on the list.

Thailand clocked an average fixed broadband speed of 308.35 megabits per second for downloads last month, beating out Singapore for the top spot. It ranked 3rd in November 2020. The global average fixed broadband speed was 96.43 megabits per second for downloads and 52.31 megabits per second for uploads in December.

On his Facebook page, Digital Economy and Society Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta attributed the top ranking to the country’s fast development of telecom infrastructure and competition by local operators.

After AIS Fibre entered the market in 2015, it sparked more rivals to join in the race to install fibre optics for internet services, a move that replaced the older technology of ADSL network. AIS Fibre is a home broadband unit of mobile operator Advanced Info Service.

Pisut Ngamvijitvong, senior director of the analysis department at Kasikorn Securities says some operators still provide fixed broadband services through the old ADSL technology, but that every year the internet is getting faster and cheaper.

“Triple T Broadband provides around 30-40% of its service on ADSL and True Internet has around 20%.”

Thailand’s fixed broadband service sector has been increasing every year. In 2019, there were 10.1 million household subscribers to fixed broadband services. And, in 2020, the number was estimated at 11 million.

The Speedtest Global Index also ranks the mobile internet speed of 139 countries in which Thailand currently ranks 33rd as of December 2020. It moved up 11 spots in 1 month from November 2020 testing at 51.75 megabits per second for downloads. The UAE and South Korea followed in the rankings with 2nd and 3rd place respectively. The global average for mobile internet speed was 47.2 megabits per second for downloads and 12.67 megabits per second for uploads.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Technology

Mor Chana app – what you need to know

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Mor Chana app – what you need to know | The Thaiger

So what’s going on with the new Mor Chana app?

As far as the Thai Government is concerned, it’s part of their fight to track and trace the Covid-19 virus during this current outbreak. More Chana is a contact tracing tool.

In essence, the app will allow you to check in when you go to different locations around Thailand, enter shops and buildings. As guests in the country, expats and travellers here should acknowledge that we have a role and responsibility to play in getting this current situation under control, as well as the Thais.

Of course you are well entitled to decide NOT to download and activate the app but the narrative from the government is that they see More Chana as an important part of their strategy. The app will also alert you when you are entering areas or provinces of potentially high risk. Being alert to these situations is like being alert to any other type of news.

So far, the application has been downloaded more than 3 million times

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Welcome to 2021 – Digital Covid Passports | VIDEO

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Welcome to 2021 – Digital Covid Passports | VIDEO | The Thaiger

Documentation, including your current Covid status and vaccination details, will become 2021’s biggest challenge as governments, businesses, and the travel industry try and re-establish some sort of workable way forward.

Several companies and technology groups are developing smartphone apps or systems for individuals to upload details of their Covid-19 tests and vaccinations, creating digital credentials that could be shown in order to enter public building, sports stadiums, movie theatres, or even other countries.

One is the Common Trust Network, an initiative by Geneva-based non-profit The Commons Project and the World Economic Forum.

The new app will allow users to upload medical data and generate a QR code ‘health certificate’ without revealing sensitive information.

For travel, the app can lists health pass requirements relating to the countries you intend to visit.

The next challenge facing the world after populations become more widely inoculated will be privacy issues and representing the effectiveness of the different vaccines.

Are you worried about privacy? Do you think all countries will require such documentation for travel? How about entering public buildings or shops? Let’s hear your comments below…

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