This Week In Tech And Telco: Koreans Love 5G

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Anyyyyway. It's FriYAY! Here's what you've missed from this week.

Huawei gets another 90-day US trade extension

US consumers are getting another 90 days to use Huawei devices hassle-free, while businesses are also allowed to continue working with the Chinese tech company for the same period.

The US blacklisted the company in May because of national security concerns, but then granted it a temporary permit in order to ease the transition, which was due to expire next week. The long-term fate of Huawei and its involvement in both core and trivial elements of 5G infrastructure is still unknown.

  • While the tech giant may still be battling with US sanctions, it is reportedly already moving on to 6G. ABC News reports revealed the company is doing a lot of research on how 6G could help society, and how the tech should be handled.

It appears that there's no stopping the Chinese telco, which continues to release next-gen tech.

Facebook to give users more control over off-platform data

Facebook users will soon have more control over their data, as well as the company being more transparent as to what data is collected via browsing habits, according to a blog post written by Erin Egan, the company’s Chief Privacy Officer for Policy, and Product Management Director David Baser.

When Facebook receives information about a user from another website or general browsing activity it now classes this as “Off-Facebook Activity.”

For example, if a person is searching for a pair of shoes on a website. Facebook is sent that information and uses it to sell targeted advertising. Now users will have the opportunity to see and control this kind of data collection.

Users will find an Off-Facebook Activity section within their settings, where tracking and consent can be adjusted.

This will initially be rolled out in Ireland, South Korea, and Spain, with other countries to follow “in coming months,” the company said.

But will it stick?

SK Telecom first to hit 1 million 5G subscribers

SK Telecom, Korea’s biggest telco, has become the first telco in the world to exceed 1 million 5G subscribers, as uptake in Korea soars.

Demand for 5G services is currently double what it was for LTE, SK said.

The company, alongside KT and LGU+ were the first telcos in the world to launch 5G, with operators launching their network services at the same time.

The latest figures show that SK Telecom has just over a million of those subscribers, KT has 630,000 and LGU+ has 540,000.

Waymo releases data set for autonomous vehicle researchers

Waymo, the self-driving arm of Google’s Alphabet, has offered up datasets to aid autonomous vehicle research.

Waymo isn’t the first to do this: Lyft, Argo AI, and others have already open-sourced some data sets, but Waymo’s insight is significant as its vehicles have already covered millions of miles on roads.

The data allows researchers to train AI models to track and predict behaviours on roads and simulate different environments to ensure the most appropriate outcome is found.

The richer the dataset used to train such vehicles, the quicker autonomous vehicles will become a reality and the safer they’ll actually be.

tech giant Google releases Waymo data
Waymo has released its dataset for researchers, both commercial and otherwise, to use in training models.

Finnish carrier testing facial recognition payments

Mobile network operator Telia is working with OP Bank to explore using a high speed 5G network for facial recognition payments for mobile vendors without wired connections.

A test took place at an ice cream van in the car park at one of Telia’s premises.

The technology compares the customer’s face with a biometric template uploaded through a camera; the customer accepts the payment using pre-saved credit card details and the transaction is completed.

Want more tech and telco?

  • Gizmodo’s alternative internet series is really interesting. With features so far covering what would happen if the internet just shut down, why social networks are failing and quantum computing, this is a great ongoing series for leaders looking to flex an extra brain cell or two and look to the past, present and future. (Gizmodo)
  • Apple’s former Siri boss Bill Stasior has joined Microsoft’s AI Group. This month, Stasior will become a corporate vice president of technology, reporting to Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott. (The Information)
  • Russia has sent a humanoid robot to space. The Skybot F850 android, named Fedor, will land on the International Space Station, where it will stay for two weeks, and test out new tools in zero-gravity. Fredor will be commanded by cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov via an exoskeleton and VR headset. (DW.com)
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