Logitech is bringing back the trackball mouse

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Cherlynn Low

Logitech is going back to reinventing the trackball mouse. The MX ERGO apparently marks the company’s first new trackball in almost ten years, pairing a more subtler color scheme with an adjustable hinge for better wrist posture and pronation. This means that unlike the MX ERGO’s wide-bodied predecessors, you shouldn’t get so much hand cramp — or at least that’s the sales pitch. Cursor speed and accuracy can be changed with a button-press, while the wireless mouse should work up to four months on a full charge, with a fast-charge option to ensure you make it through an entire day with as little as a minute of charging.

Logitech is turning back to analog input: its latest keyboard channels some Microsoft Dial vibes to the traditional key layout. Its mouse, however, looks to the past for its inspiration.

While I’m not sure how I feel about a trackball that isn’t dressed up in stupidly loud shades, the Logitech MX ERGO launches this month for $100, while Best Buy shoppers will be able to pick up the MX ERGO Plus — a limited-edition version that includes an extra 30-degree wedge for even creakier wrists.

 

 

The internet has finally killed off the Yellow Pages

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PA Archive/PA Images

If you’re after a plumber you look on Checkatrade, if you need a cab you fire up the Uber app, and if you’re craving pizza you simply ask Alexa to order one. With all the conveniences the internet affords, it was inevitable the local listings tome that is the Yellow Pages would go the way of the dodo eventually. Yell has announced that the large paper doorstop is indeed approaching its final hour. After distributing a penultimate edition in Kingston in January next year, Yell will officially say goodbye to the Yellow Pages in January 2019, when the last ever copies will hit doorsteps in Brighton — back where it all began in 1966.

Yell embraced online many moons ago, of course, with a listings site and mobile apps, but this will mark “the company’s full transition to a purely digital business.” The Yellow Pages is a British institution, but even icons have to roll with the times. Take telephone boxes, for example, which are being ripped out and replaced left, right and centre on account of them being obsolete in the mobile age. The internet has had a particularly broad impact on publishing, causing the closure or moving online of various print publications over the years. Playboy even scrapped nudity because of all the nakedness available online — well, for a year at least.

 

 

India wants it own, 27-mile Hyperloop

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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Dirk Ahlborn’s crowdsourced Hyperloop project, has signed another deal in another country. The company has shaken hands with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board in India with the aim of building a loop connecting the two cities of Vijaywada and Amaravati.

The two have, as usual, agreed a memorandum of understanding, giving HTT the freedom to investigate potential routes for the system. An initial phase, where the route will be planned, will take six months, after which it’s hoped that construction will begin.

It’s a good place to begin building a Hyperloop, with the distance between the two cities only being around 27-miles. Journey times right now are around the 70 minute mark, but the company claims that it can shrink that to just six minutes when finished.

The deal is structured as a public-private partnership, although nobody’s revealing just how much cash (and concessions) Andhra Pradesh is offering. The release does mention, explicitly, that the majority of the money will come “primarily from private investors,” although these things have a habit of costing the taxpayer in the end.

If completed, however, it would serve as a big win for India to boast that it has the world’s first operating Hyperloop and should provide an economic boon to the region. It will also provide a useful proving ground for a country that has its own deep attachment to the railway and its future.

 

 

Hulu recruits Chris Pine for Bobby Kennedy miniseries

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PA Archive/PA Images

Hulu is in the midst of a banner year for original programming, mainly due to the success of The Handmaid’s Tale. The acclaimed series put the streaming service on the peak TV map, and helped secure the majority of its 18 Emmy nods. Armed with that acclaim, Hulu is setting to work on its next high-profile show. And, this time it’s roping in a Hollywood A-lister to help out. The platform is reportedly developing a miniseries about US senator Robert F. Kennedy starring Chris Pine as the politician, reports Deadline.

The untitled show is based on Larry Tye’s bestselling biography Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon. Seasoned TV veteran Todd E. Kessler (whose production credits include The Good Wife and The Unit) will reportedly write the adaptation. Pine himself is coming off the record-breaking success of Wonder Woman, which just so happens to be the summer’s biggest film.

The Kennedys are still hot property in Hollywood. Jackie, the Natalie Portman-starring drama about First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy picked up three Oscar nominations in January. Then there’s The Kennedys: After Camelot, the follow-up to the 2011 miniseries about the political family, which hit Reelz earlier this year. Even Netflix got in on the act, with JFK and wife Jackie making an appearance on the latest season of The Crown. For Hulu, the new project is also a (sort of) return to the Kennedy dynasty — its limited series about the JFK assassination, 11.22.63, marked its first major foray into original content.

 

 

You have 30 more days to tell Ajit Pai not to neuter broadband

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Aaron Bernstein / Reuters

While it’s attacking net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is pushing a second proposal that could also limit internet freedom. Under Tom Wheeler, broadband was redefined to mean 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds, but Pai’s FCC wants to change that to include mobile networks with meager 10Mbps/1Mbps speeds. That hasn’t been as well-publicized as the Title II issue, so many folks aren’t aware that the comment period expires tomorrow. After a letter from 12 Democrat Senators urging an extension, however, the FCC agreed to prolong it by 30 days.

“Such a striking change in policy would significantly and disproportionately disadvantage Americans in rural, tribal, and low income communities across the nation,” the letter from Al Franken, Elizabeth Warran and other Senators reads. “The lack of service or high-speed internet is preventing individuals in these communities from applying for jobs; their children from doing their homework; and many small business owners from running businesses out of their homes.”

Such a striking change in policy would significantly and disproportionately disadvantage Americans in rural, tribal, and low income communities across the nation.

The new deadline for initial comments is now September 21st, and the response deadline October 6th. The extension is just a symbolic victory, however, as Pai seems intent on pushing through the new rules regardless. Neither the White House under Trump, nor the carrier-friendly Republican-heavy legislature and Senate are likely to stop him, and Pai himself has said that public comments are pretty much irrelevant.

Unless you have an expensive data plan, it’s hard to see how mobile internet can substitute as broadband. In the US, tethering is often not included, making it impossible to work on a PC via a mobile connection. Data caps are also much lower, generally topping out at a pathetic 20GB, after which users are throttled. And unlike wired internet, data connections can be spotty throughout the US, with LTE unavailable in many places.

In case you’re wondering why Pai settled on 10Mbps/1Mbps for mobile, it’s likely because LTE speeds in the US average just under 15Mbps, giving carriers a cushion. That dismal rate ranks the nation 59th on Open Signal’s global LTE speed charts, behind such nations like Kazakhstan, Slovenia and Ecuador.

 

 

Taking ‘upskirt’ photos isn’t technically illegal, but it soon could be

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eclipse_images via Getty Images

This is a baffling one. You’d think that laws governing sexual offenses or rights to privacy or something would make it very obviously illegal to point a camera lens up a woman’s skirt and snap a pic without their consent. But as it stands, anyone can do this without too much fear of punishment, at least in England and Wales. (Scotland included a specific voyeurism offence covering activities such as “upskirting” and “downblousing” in its Sexual Offences Act 2009.) Justice Secretary David Lidington told MPs yesterday he was taking legal advice on the matter, effectively preempting a potential, formal change to legislation to make upskirting illegal.

Lidington’s comments are in response to an online petition requesting upskirting be made a specific offence, which at time of writing has almost 64,000 signatures. The petition was started by Gina Martin, who was recently a victim of upskirting at a music festival in London’s Hyde Park. Despite having evidence of the photos and speaking to police, nobody was prosecuted as the images weren’t considered graphic.

People have been convicted under similar circumstances in the past, but therein lies the problem: The interpretation of the law isn’t consistent. The Sexual Offences Act 2003, applicable to England and Wales, does include a voyeurism offence. However, it’s primarily concerned with people watching or documenting a “private act” without consent.

“I have asked for detailed advice on this. Before proceeding to a commitment to new legislation, I want to be absolutely certain that this would be the right course to take,” Lidington said yesterday. His comments are kind of understandable. Changing the law is complicated and all consequences need to be considered. But given we all carry cameras around in our pockets these days, it’s surprising upskirting hasn’t been named as a specific offence before now, or at least prosecuted consistently on the basis it’s just common sense that the practice is a serious violation.

 

 

The Trainline is using big data to predict when ticket prices rise

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Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just like flights, hotels and Uber rides, train ticket prices rise when rail operators anticipate there will be increased demand for their services. It often leaves passengers scrambling to find a combination of tickets that won’t break the bank, even when they’re booking weeks before they travel. Train companies obviously want to protect profits by keeping their pricing structures a secret, but independent ticket retailer The Trainline believes it can now accurately predict when things will start to get expensive.

Appearing in The Trainline app from today, the Price Prediction tool uses the company’s “billions of data points” to suggest when ticket prices will rise. When a user performs a search for a specific route, the app will list the cheapest price, indicate when the route could sell out and then list incremental price changes depending on the date of booking.

“Our data scientists have used historical pricing trends from billions of customer journey searches to predict when the price of an Advance ticket will expire. We now share this information in our app to allow our customers to get the best price possible for their journey,” Jon Moore, Chief Product Officer at Trainline said. “We’re introducing more advanced machine learning every day so naturally our predictions will get increasingly accurate. Our mission is to make train travel as simple as possible and price prediction is the first in a long line of predictive features we have planned to help customers save time and money.”

Trainline Train Prices

To demonstrate its tool, the company took an Advance single fare between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly. If booked 80 days before the day of travel, that ticket will cost £32, rising to £38 at 41 days before. Wait until 13 days before and the price rises again to £42, then more than doubles 48 hours beforehand. On the day, that 160 mile journey will cost a whopping £126.

The feature isn’t particularly groundbreaking, lots of companies provide similar tools for travel and accommodation all over the world. However, The Trainline is the UK’s biggest independent ticket retailer and processes 125,000 customer journeys across Europe every day, meaning it has a better understanding of the nation’s train travel habits than most.

Booking months in advance will always deliver the most value, but if you’re umming and ahhing over whether to book that ticket, the company’s new tool could provide some further clarity on the situation.

 

 

Intel escapes €1.06bn antitrust fine… for the time being

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jejim via Getty Images

The highest court in the European Union has ordered a €1.06 billion ($1.4 billion) antitrust fine against Intel be re-examined, heralding a victory for other technology companies currently facing similar investigations from Europe. In 2009, the European Commission found that Intel had “harmed” its rivals by giving incentives to computer makers Dell, Lenovo and HP for using its microprocessor chips instead of those from rival AMD. Intel appealed, but the fine was upheld in 2014.

Now, the ruling from the Court Justice of the European Union (ECJ) will see the case sent back to a lower court, with the ECJ claiming the original court had not properly considered the “efficient competitor test”, a technical assessment of how Intel’s activity impacted on a rival’s ability to compete against it. The verdict means Intel has escaped the original fine for now, although the case could drag on for many more years.

The initial penalty, which represented around 4.15 percent of Intel’s 2008 revenues, was record-breaking at the time, but has recently been overtaken by a €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) penalty against Google in June. In a case similar to Intel’s, Google was accused of abusing the dominance of its search engine to promote its own services at the expense of rivals. It’s not clear yet if the ECJ’s decision will have any impact on this case, or indeed any cases going forward, but it nonetheless represents a victory for American technology companies which claim they are unfairly targeted by European antitrust regulators.

 

 

The Morning After: Wednesday, September 6th 2017

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Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.

It’s time to find out how the Galaxy Note 8 matches up, and to take a look at Google’s new Street View cameras. Congratulations, it’s already Wednesday.


Its best big phone yet isn’t a huge leap forward.Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review: excellent, but still a tough sell

With its exceptional screen, solid performance and an improved S Pen, it’s no surprise that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is its best big phone ever. It also doesn’t hurt that it has one of the best dual camera setups we’ve ever seen. The problem is Samsung’s second-biggest phone, the Galaxy S8 Plus, is nearly as good, and merely lacks the gimmicks that make the Note 8 more expensive. If you’ve always wanted to sketch or write on a phone, the Galaxy Note 8 is exactly what you’ve been looking for. For the vast majority of people, though, the Note 8 remains a tough sell.


The Mi A1 is the priciest budget handset to make it on to Google’s program.Google taps Xiaomi for its most powerful Android One phone

You’d be forgiven for thinking Android One was dead and gone. Google’s initiative to bring stock Android to emerging nations through cheap, local handsets roared to life in 2014. By 2015, however, it was already being rebooted, with the tech giant promising to further lower prices. That same year, it arrived in Africa, and is currently available in Japan, Turkey and the Netherlands, among other regions. Now, Android One is getting fitted with upgraded hardware, courtesy of Xiaomi. The Mi A1 handset was just announced in India and will cost $234 — significantly more than the $50 Android One phones we’re used to.


Let’s try that one again.‘Destiny 2’ gives Bungie’s online shooter the narrative it deserves

The second Destiny game is finally available, and if you haven’t already dived in with your clan (or are just waiting for a free moment), Sean Buckley is ready with impressions of its campaign. Even though we don’t have much to go on for the game’s other content, like strikes and raids, at least this time around the storytelling isn’t left to confusing Grimoire cards. By showing rather than telling what’s going on, Destiny 2 “is a space opera that makes full use of the interactive medium of gaming.”


Bring some Icy Hot.Inside the Essential phone

Now that the Essential PH-1 is available, naturally the crew at iFixit has taken time to tear one apart. Unfortunately, that minimalist, big-screen design makes for a phone that’s tough to pry open and cuts down many avenues for potential repair by end users. Of course, if you just want to take a peek inside you can do that right here.


Expect them to be everywhere soon.Truly wireless earbuds for your headphones are coming

The slow (and contentious) demise of the smartphone’s headphone jack is prompting a wave of interest in wireless audio. And as consumers are gently encouraged to ditch the wire connecting them to their phones, they might as well abandon the ones found in traditional Bluetooth headphones, too. At IFA, the truly wireless revolution kickstarted by Bragi and embraced by Samsung and Apple is now a bandwagon that everyone is jumping on.


Fitbit and Adidas are just the latest addition.Sports brands are giving wearables another shot at success

Companies making health-focused products, like smartwatches, fitness bands and even hybrids of these two, are starting to realize that their products live and die by the apps and features offered. But to have applications that lure people to your platform, whether you’re Apple, Samsung or Fitbit, often it’s better if you have a hand in developing them. That’s why, especially at IFA 2017, many tech firms are teaming up with brands from different industries to add a new element of usefulness to their wearables. In some cases, that includes special-edition products created between two companies.


Take your time.Microsoft extends the free Windows 10 S upgrade period through March

If you’re thinking about buying a Surface Laptop, you now have three extra months to decide between Windows 10 S and regular Windows 10. Microsoft previously said owners had until the end of the year to upgrade its Windows Store apps-only setup for free, but now it’s extending the free upgrade period to March 2018. After that, if you decide it’s too restrictive then switching will cost $49.


Now in HD.Google’s new Street View cameras help map the real world

For the first time in eight years, Google has revamped its Street View camera rigs. As Wired found out, the new hardware captures high-res images that will suck up more data about the world for the company’s algorithms.

But wait, there’s more…

The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t subscribe.

 

 

US might soon reveal its revised self-driving car guidelines

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Waymo

We might finally get to see how the Trump administration has tweaked the Obama-era self-driving vehicle guidelines next week. According to Reuters, the Department of Transportation is slated to unveil the revised guidelines on September 12th at an autonomous vehicle testing facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That’s a bit over three months after DOT secretary Elaine Chao announced that she has begun reviewing the existing guidelines in response to automakers’ requests for the right to put more autonomous vehicles on the road for testing. By being able to test more vehicles, the companies have a much better chance of adhering to their plans of releasing autonomous cars in the next few years.

Apparently, the White House already approved the revisions the DOT made back on August 31st. It’s unclear how much the guidelines will change, but Ford’s chief technology officer Ken Washington once said that those changes are needed because automakers want a “more concrete regulatory framework.” They were requesting for a clearer set of rules to be able to certify an autonomous vehicle’s safety on their own, as they can for conventional vehicles. We’ll just have to wait for the official announcement to find out what those revisions are exactly.

In addition to the revised guidelines, the US House of Representatives is also slated to vote on the SELF DRIVE Act on Wednesday. If the bill becomes a law, it will speed up the deployment of self-driving cars without steering wheels and pedals. Several companies are currently developing cars like those, including Waymo, which plans to collaborate with other automakers to make its vision a reality.

 

 

Delayed European 'Pokémon Go' events are back on the schedule

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Women take a selfie in front of a large Pikachu figure at a Pokemon Go Park event in Yokohama, Japan August 9, 2017 Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

Sure, the Pokémon Go Fest in Chicago didn’t quite go to plan, but Niantic apparently has things back on track looking forward to events in Europe. France, Spain and Germany are all ready for Safari Zone get-togethers on the 16th, while the four delayed events from August are now scheduled for October.

October 7th, 2017

  • Fisketorvet—Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Centrum Černý Most—Prague, The Czech Republic

October 14th, 2017

  • Mall of Scandinavia—Stockholm, Sweden
  • Stadshart Amstelveen—Amstelveen, The Netherlands

For these events, participants can expect special eggs from Pokéstops as well as activated lures and hard-to-find Pokémon like Unown. Players can reserve tickets at each shopping center’s Facebook page to join in and pick up their QR code (as long as they’re older than 13 and have a valid photo ID), although unregistered players can still play throughout the city and find some of the featured Pokémon.

 

 

Now the free Windows 10 S upgrade period runs through March

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Engadget

Today Microsoft announced the availability of different colors of its Surface Laptop in 20 more countries, but that’s not the biggest news. Tucked in at the end is a note that buyers will be able to upgrade its Chrome OS-fighting Windows 10 S operating system to standard Windows 10 through March 2018. Originally the upgrade period only ran through the end of 2017, but Raphael Aquino Jose says this should provide extra flexibility for back to school and holiday gift buyers.

That’s probably a good call considering that in our review we found that Windows 10 S is too limited for most, and this way people can give it a fair trial without being pressed for time. The Surface Laptop came off as a great notebook, but the possibility of needing a $50 upgrade to install some critical software that’s not in the Windows Store is a tough restriction. As ZDNet notes, promised apps like iTunes are still missing from the store, which is probably playing into the extension.

 

 

Kobo adds audiobooks along with an Audible-like subscription

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Engadget

Kobo is finally getting into the audiobooks biz. The Canadian company has added audiobooks to its offerings and already has an extensive catalogue sell, including bestsellers like the Harry Potter series. Even better, it has launched $10-per-month Audible-like subscription service, which sounds like a good deal if you regularly purchase audiobooks. The service gives you credits you can use to get any title from Kobo.com, even if its list price costs more than what you paid. You get a free 30-day trial period, so you can check out how it works before committing. But if you know you can go through a single audiobook real fast, you can also just straight up buy a three-pack credit for $30 and keep up to 24 credits in your subscription account.

You can find any audiobook and ebook you buy in one place within Kobo’s iOS and Android apps. Once you’ve chosen what to listen to, the apps’ built-in player will give you the power to choose your preferred narration speed. You can also see how much time you have left and program it to switch off after a certain amount of time if you tend to listen to your books in bed.

Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn says the company decided to get into audiobooks, since “We have more books than time, always. Audiobooks let [the company’s] readers fit the books they love into more parts of their day.” In case you can’t find what you’re looking for in Kobo’s current catalogue, don’t worry: the e-book maker promises to add more titles every week. But if browsing through what’s available gets a bit overwhelming, you can always check out the personalized recommendations based on your previous e-book purchases. In addition to the US, Kobo’s audiobooks subscription offering is now also available in Canada ($13/mo), the UK (£6.99/mo), Australia ($13/mo) and New Zealand ($14/mo).

 

 

Control your own mammograms with new GE tech

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GE

GE introduced a new mammography system that gives patients a remote to control the compression part of the screening themselves. Giving them autonomy over the unpleasant, painful portion of the process ideally makes the whole thing more comfortable, which will hopefully bring in more folks who avoid mammograms — and catch more instances of breast cancer.

“Mammograms can be uncomfortable or even painful,” said Agnes Berzsenyi, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Women’s Health in a press release. “Engineered by a team of women for women, GE Healthcare has transformed mammography with the creation of patient-assisted compression to decrease pain associated with the exam, improve patient experience and increase outcomes for breast cancer screening which we know saves lives.”

The remote, called the Dueta, is the latest part of GE’s Senographe Pristina mammography system that the company launched back in fall 2016. An all-female team at the company’s Healthcare campus in Buc on the outskirts of Paris designed the Senographe Pristina to be far less alienating than the angular, cold metal machines they were used to.

Tech advances that reduce the need for further breast cancer surgeries are great, but so is making the scanning process less intimidating to get more people in the door. One survey found that a third of the US population eligible for screenings skips out on them, so making the screening process more comfortable — and in the remote’s case, more empowering — could literally save lives.

“Patients who used the remote control said the exam was more comfortable and they were visibly more relaxed,” Dr. Kathy Schilling, Medical Director of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Center and the radiologist who reviewed the new remote, said in a press release. “Any breast radiologist knows that when patients are relaxed, we are able to get better images and better images lead to a more confident diagnosis. My hope is that increasing comfort during the exam and giving patients the option of working with the technologist to set their own compression will increase compliance, enable early detection and improve outcomes.”

 

 

ATandamp;T to Webcast Presentation by Randall Stephenson at Goldman Sachs Conference on September 12

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Home >> More Operators news >> This Article

Published on: 5th Sep 2017


AT&T will webcast a presentation by Randall Stephenson, AT&T Inc. chairman and chief executive officer, at the 26th Annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference in New York City on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. ET.

The webcast will be available live and for replay at AT&T Investor Relations. We recommend viewers start the webcast a few minutes before the planned start time in case the conference schedule changes.

*About AT&T AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high speed internet services. We offer the nation’s best data network** and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. We’re one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. Nearly 3.5 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for our highly secure smart solutions.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.

© 2017 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

**Claim based on the Nielsen Certified Data Network Score. Score includes data reported by wireless consumers in the Nielsen Mobile Insights survey, network measurements from Nielsen Mobile Performance and Nielsen Drive Test Benchmarks for Q1 + Q2 2017 across 121 markets.

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