Monthly Archives July 2018

Canadians use half the data Americans do, study says

Victoria, BC-based mobile data company Tutela recently did a study that found the average Canadian uses 56 percent less mobile data per month than their American counterparts. According to Mobile Syrup, “The study collected data from over 48 million mobile data users across 10 countries during May 2018, including over 100,000 users in Canada.”

Of the ten countries studied, Canada and Brazil tied for last place in terms of average amount of monthly data. The average Canadian and Brazilian uses 2.7GB per month, where the average U.S user consumes 6.1GB of cellular data per month. The highest usage that Tutela found was actually India, with a monthly average of 6.8GB.

Tutela’s study also examined monthly WiFi usage in its ten selected countries. It turns out Canadians and Americans are about the same on this metric; Canadians use a monthly average of 8.4GB of WiFI on their mobile devices, and Americans use about 8.3 GB.

So it looks like both Canadians and Americans want to be connected – but the difference lies in data. Why don’t Canadians use the same amount of data as their neighbours? Vice President of Tutela, Tom Luke, believes the issue is pricing.

Luke cited a report from Rewheel, which Mobile Syrup says “assessed how many LTE gigabytes could be purchased at different pricing levels in countries across the world. The report indicated that while €30 (roughly $50 CAD) purchases a monthly plan with approximately 100GB in the U.K. — or 10GB in the U.S. — it only provides Canadians with approximately 2GB.”

In a press statement regarding the study, Luke said, “It is possible that price could be a key factor in Canada’s low cellular data consumption, particularly when you consider that they use the same amount of data on Wi-Fi as their American counterparts.”

Looking into this trend, Tutela broke down data consumption – as a percentage of overall internet usage – between the Big Three Canadian telecoms and Freedom Mobile. The study found that “Rogers customers consume the most data on average — 26.5 percent cellular (73.5 percent on Wi-Fi). Bell customers use the least, with 18.5 percent.”

Source: mobilesyrup.com – Canadians use less than half the cellular data Americans do: Tutela report
Published: July 5, 2018

Just how much does your phone spy on you?

Researchers from Northeastern University have recently embarked on a quest to “[look into] the zombie conspiracy which no one ever seems to be able to kill over whether our phones are secretly listening to us to know which ads to present to us.”

You might be familiar with this conspiracy – in fact, you might believe in it. Take, for example, a personal anecdote. You’re at a bar and order a pitcher of Belgian Moon beer to share with friends. The next morning, Belgian Moon is all over your Facebook and Instagram ads. Maybe you’ve experienced something like this. In fact, Facebook and other social media sites are so connected to this conspiracy that Mark Zuckerberg was grilled about it during his Congressional testimony, and tried his best to dismiss it.

What these researchers found is that while it doesn’t seem like audio is being recorded from your phone – that doesn’t mean spying isn’t happening.

The study took 17,260 Android apps and looked at the media files being sent from them. According to Business Insider, “The researchers found no instance in which these apps turned on the phone’s microphone unprompted and sent audio. But they did find that some apps were sending screen recordings and screenshots to third parties.”

In other words, your phone is spying on you… just not via unprompted microphone access. Or, more accurately, the results Northeastern researchers found did not include microphone eavesdropping, which is not to say it absolutely doesn’t happen.

The study’s results have not been officially presented yet – this will happen next month at the Privacy Enhancing Technology Symposium Conference in Barcelona, according to BGR – but the researchers did provide us with some examples. Take junk food delivery app GoPuff; the study explains that this site monitors “user interactions with the app and send[s] them to a mobile analytics company called Appsee.”

The Northeastern researchers have stated in their study that: “Our study reveals several alarming privacy risks in the Android app ecosystem, including apps that over-provision their media permissions and apps that share image and video data with other parties in unexpected ways, without user knowledge or consent. We also identify a previously unreported privacy risk that arises from third party libraries that record and upload screenshots and videos of the screen without informing the user. This can occur without needing any permissions from the user.”

Source: bgr.com – Yes, your phone is spying on you and these researchers proved it
Published: July 4, 2018

Finnish telecom Elisa is the first to commercially use a 5G network

We finally have a winner in the race to the first commercial 5G network. It’s not Verizon or AT&T, nor a powerhouse provider from China or South Korea. It’s Elisa! Who’s Elisa you ask? Elisa is a Finnish carrier that has recently partnered with Huawei to make the goal of many operators a reality.

Elisa is actually a pretty big player in reaching these land marks. According to Fierce Wireless, “This isn’t the first time Elisa has staked a big first in wireless. The first GSM telephone call in the world was made using Elisa’s network.”

Elisa says it just became the first to use a 5G network when Anne Berner, minister of Transport and Communications, made a video call from Tampere, Finland, to Kadri Simson, minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, who was in Tallinn, Estonia. This video call was made using what Elisa’s head of mobile technology, Eetu Prieur, described as “wireless 5G routers.” These routers bring coverage to the city centers of Tampere and Tallin.

Fierce Wireless says that Elisa is “using 100 MHz of 3.5 GHz spectrum. The Ministry of Communications is preparing to allocate the first 5G licenses to the 3,400–3,800 MHz frequency band this fall.”

Elisa’s aim “is to make Finland the leading nation as a developer of 5G mobile services.”

Source: Finland’s Elise claims world’s first commercial use of 5G
Published:
June 28, 2018