Survey: North American mobile networks at 80 pct capacity

Credit Suisse HQ (New York)

North American mobile operators have for years been complaining about the impacts heavy data users and network congestion, and have repeatedly revised their service plans and data offerings to encourage mobile users to snarf less data over 3G and 4G connections—to the point where only one carrier (Sprint) offers unlimited data service. It turns out carriers might have something to complain about: a new survey from investment bank Credit Suisse finds that mobile networks in North America are running at about 80 percent capacity, with more than a third of base stations facing significant capacity constraints. The figures are far above the global average of 65 percent utilization on mobile networks worldwide—and significantly higher than the 72 percent utilization North American networks were seeing just two years ago.

The Credit-Suisse report is compiled as an indicator of future sales from mobile telecom gear makers like Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Siemens Networks, and Ericsson. And, at least in the near-term, the future is looking bright for those companies, as mobile operators struggle to expand their capacity to retain customers and embrace new mobile technologies.

North America isn’t the only region seeing significant growth: two years ago, Asia’s mobile networks were running at an average of 54 percent utilization, and that’s jumped to 62 percent in 2011. The report also forecasts that Latin America’s mobile network utilization will ready 85 percent within a year.

However, Western Europe—one of the world’s most mobile-saturated regions—is actually seeing network conditions become less constrained, dropping from 66 percent capacity to 56 percent capacity in the last two years.

The report notes that mobile data services are one of the primary driving factors in mobile network usage, but they’re also responsible for most of the per-subscriber revenue growth mobile operators have been seeing. Credit-Suisse forecasts that worldwide data revenue collected by mobile operators will increase by 11.7 percent in 2011, while voice and SMS revenue will decline by 4.4 and 3.3 percent, respectively.

Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.

Many adults believe fully self-driving cars are already traversing U.S. highways

The American Automobile Association tested cars with features such as lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control and found them lacking in real-world conditions. Forty percent of surveyed U.S. adults think self-driving cars exist now.
Emerging Tech

Believe it or not, this fire-proof exoskeleton isn’t designed for space marines

A company called Levitate Technologies has developed a fire-resistant upper body exoskeleton that’s capable of lowering exertion levels by up to 80 percent when you carry out manual work.

The LG V30+ gets a huge price cut on Amazon, today only

Though Amazon early Black Friday deals began at the start of November, the discounts are only just now starting to get good. Today only, Amazon is offering a whopping 40 percent off the unlocked LG V30+.

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.