Surveys in the U.S. and U.K. put snapping pictures just behind voice calls as most popular use of smartphones, GWS finds

What do snapping pictures of meals, co-workers and cats have in common? People use their smartphones to do it and rank picture-taking as the second most-common way they use their phones, according to surveys commissioned by network benchmarking company Global Wireless Solutions ahead of World Photo Day on Sunday. Snapping pictures ranked ahead of using social media apps or websites, or general internet browsing.

GWS has made understanding how people use their phones and the importance of various apps in the user experience part of how it approaches network performance testing and ranks networks as part of its OneScore rating system. In this care, GWS commissioned a survey in the U.S. of 5,000 people and worked with YouGov in the United Kingdom to gather its data from 2,000 people. The U.S. survey found that an equal number of Americans ranked taking pictures of meals as important as selfies while on vacation — 28%, in both cases. While 74% of Americans reported taking photos with their smartphones on the weekend, 44% said that they “regularly take time to take pictures of colleagues, friends and food during the work week.”

In the U.K., GWS found that 27% of women said that they frequently take pictures of their pets, compared to 12% of men. And pets have equal footing with kids when it comes to pictures: 46% of U.K. adults said they use their phones to snap photos of their kids, with an equal percentage doing so for their pets.

Interestingly, GWS found that in the U.K., far more people prefer to share their photos via private chat apps like WhatsApp an Facebook Messenger (65%) instead of sharing them publicly on social media (33%). GWS found that the three most popular apps for posting photos were Facebook (including Messenger), with 56% of respondents ranking it as a preferred app, WhatsApp (48%) and Instagram (24%).

In other test news:

Dekra’s lab in Sterling, Virginia is now a Citizens Broadband Radio Service test lab authorized by the CBRS Alliance. Dekra says that it is also accredited to perform compliance testing for the Federal Communication Commission’s 47 CFR Part 96 testing, allowing it to offer a full suite of CBRS-related testing for regulatory compliance and certification.

-In addition to its release of analysis of mobile network performance in 125 metro areas around the U.S., benchmarking company RootMetrics also recently released data on the United Kingdom. Carrier EE took home the top ranking for the fifth year in a row.

“EE’s dominance is cemented by the fact the carrier has won the last 10 half-yearly national reports produced by RootMetrics, claiming five consecutive years as the U.K.’s leading network in terms of overall performance,” the test company said.

“EE’s reputation for delivering fast speeds and strong performance is maintained in our testing, while Three’s consistent reliability places it as another leading carrier across the U.K.,” said Kevin Hasley, head of product at RootMetrics and executive director of performance benchmarking at IHS Markit, in a statement. “Although O2 sits fourth, it has also deployed three-carrier aggregation in some UK cities, and if it increases its rollout, it could lead to faster speeds in future testing.”

Vodafone made notable improvements in data performance, RootMetrics said, while O2 trails the other three major U.K. carriers — but, the company said, “the gap in performance is narrow, showing the need for 5G implementation for further differentiation.”

National Technical Systems has opened a new corporate center in Anaheim, California. NTS already has one of its 27 labs in Anaheim, and the new center integrates corporate functions from offices in Calabasas, Fullerton, and Brea offices into a single location, the company said, housing NTS’ finance, marketing, procurement, human resources, contract administration and information technology “in a single environment to support the company’s projected growth.”

Rohde & Schwarz recently introduced an automotive radar echo generator for testing assisted and automated driving systems that use radar sensors. The R&S AREG 100A can beused to test radar sensors in the 24 GHz ISM band and in the E band at 77 GHz or 79 GHz, Rohde & Schwarz said, and simulates echoes of up to four artificial target objects at fixed distances.



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