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Jio’s 4G availability ‘hugely impressive’: OpenSignal

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(Image: OpenSignal)

OpenSignal has published a report on Indian mobile telecommunications, with Reliance Jio winning on 4G availability and latency while Airtel clocked the fastest download speeds and Vodafone’s Idea was the fastest for uploads.

For its Indian Mobile Network Experience Report: November 2018 [PDF], the network coverage mapping company recorded 10.5 billion measurements across 1.8 million unique devices between June 1 and August, 29, 2018.

Calling Jio “remarkable” and “hugely impressive” with its rapid rate of customer growth, OpenSignal said it scored 96.7 percent on 4G availability, trailed by more than 20 percentage points by Airtel, on 73.99 percent; Idea, on 73.17 percent; and Vodafone, on 72.59 percent.

“The operator has managed to achieve availability scores of over 95 percent in all of India’s regions, despite huge variations in topography, and in the face of massive increases in subscribers and data consumption,” OpenSignal said.

“4G Availability scores of over 95 percent are very rare, particularly remarkable in a relatively new LTE market like India … Jio has recently secured infrastructure assets from now-defunct rival RCOM, while it is now turning its attention to the fixed-line sector, meaning we expect to see no let-up in the Jio success story.”

Jio also won across latency, with an average of 72.2 milliseconds. Vodafone followed, on 80.42ms; Airtel on 86.53ms; Idea on 88.78ms; and BSNL on 114.48ms.

Jio additionally tied first with Airtel and Vodafone on the new category of “video experience”, which analyses how customers experience video streaming including load time, stalling rates, and picture quality.

However, Airtel remained the winner across download speeds, providing an average of 7.53Mbps on average for its customers — 9.96Mbps on its 4G network and 2.53Mbps on 3G.

“The operator continues to raise the stakes through extensive network investment, recently unveiling some wide-ranging expansion plans in Karnataka, the Uttar Pradesh East and West telecoms regions, and Rajasthan, as well as deploying Massive MIMO mobile technology in urban Kolkata,” OpenSignal said.

“Competition in India’s mobile market remains at fever pitch, and Airtel seems determined to remain a serious contender.”

It was followed on download speeds by Jio, on 5.47Mbps; Vodafone, on 5.2Mbps; Idea, on 4.92Mbps; and BSNL, on 2.7Mbps.

Across upload speeds, however, Idea was the fastest with speeds of 2.88Mbps. It was followed by Vodafone, on 2.31Mbps; Airtel, on 1.9Mbps; Jio, on 1.58Mbps; and BSNL, on 0.78Mbps — although OpenSignal noted that BSNL has been approved by the regulator to deploy a nationwide LTE network across its holdings in the 2100MHz spectrum band.

“The Indian mobile competitive landscape is set for further upheaval with the merger of Idea and Vodafone,” OpenSignal added.

“The merged Vodafone Idea will be India’s largest operator in terms of subscriber share, and the company’s combined customer bases, and network and infrastructure assets, will undoubtedly make it a force to be reckoned with.”

Despite this, OpenSignal said it is predicting the Indian telco price war to end soon, saying there are questions over whether Jio’s aggressive price offerings are sustainable.

“With a major 5G spectrum auction expected within the next couple of years, India’s mobile operators face some tough decisions about where to focus their investment … India has already seen a savage round of mergers and exits in the past few years, and competition does not appear to be subsiding,” OpenSignal said.

“Quite simply put, something has to give. And Jio is signalling the beginning of the end with its move away from unsustainable free offerings towards tiered paid data models that are more familiar in the rest of the mobile world.

“This will hopefully take some of the pressure off operator margins, and as fierce competition and subscriber growth begins to plateau as the market matures, India’s operators will have more breathing space to focus on other ways to differentiate, such as bundling and service quality, as opposed to a race to the bottom on price.”

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Check out the 2+2 Chevrolet Corvette that never was

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The 60s was an iconic era in the automotive realm in the United States, with some incredibly popular cars getting their start then Vehicles like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Charger, to name a few. Sometimes it takes one vehicle to change the industry and spawn many similar products from the other automakers. Case in point is Ford and its Mustang, which kicked off the pony car era eliciting responses with other iconic vehicles.

Another of the iconic Ford vehicles in the era that sold extremely well was the Thunderbird. The Thunderbird routinely outsold the Chevrolet Corvette. Early in its production, the Thunderbird was a two-seat sports car very similar to the Corvette. It grew in later generations, becoming a 2+2, offering a back seat to carry more passengers. The vehicle in the image above looks like the iconic 60s split-window Corvettes that are so valuable today, but there’s a key difference.

The difference is readily apparent when you look at the side view image in the Instagram post below, where General Motors Design shared photos of a one-off design buck. A design buck is essentially the shell of the vehicle used by automotive designers of the day to get the vehicle’s design just right. This particular example was never powered and never cruised the streets.

The car was a response to the Thunderbird, adding backseats to the Corvette in 1962. Sadly, the 2+2 Corvette was never built, and reports indicate the design buck was later crushed. Another interesting tidbit is that GM reportedly brought in a Ferrari to help with the styling and proportions of the car.

As for what finally became of the project, a GM executive named Bunkie Knudsen, who was part of the styling team but wasn’t a fan of the project, reportedly worked to get the project scrapped. He believed it would taint the Corvette brand and wouldn’t sell in large enough numbers to justify building it. The only Corvettes ever sold by GM have all been two-seat sports cars.

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Alpha Motors Superwolf is a completely decked out electric pickup

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Alpha Motors unveiled a new version of its all-electric pickup called the Superwolf. The difference between this particular version of the truck and the ones that have been shown before is that the Superwolf is completely decked out with all sorts of accessories you might expect to find only on the aftermarket. One of the more interesting accessories seen on the truck is tube doors similar to what you commonly see on Jeeps.

Superwolf also has custom KMC wheels with large off-road tires, a custom front bumper with tow rings and skid plates, as well as a complete roof rack featuring an LED light bar and large locking case. In the bed of the truck is a rack that adds more style to the truck and supports the roof basket.

Under the doors are also compact step rails that look like they are intended to protect the vehicle’s body while off-roading. The truck also features wide fender flares and looks fantastic in general. Other interesting features of the truck include a bed cover that appears to be made out of aluminum and a rack that spans the bed allowing for items to be attached on top of the bed itself.

Several other accessories are available for the truck, including a bed extension and more. Other than the accessories, Superwolf features a driving range of up to 300 miles per charge. It has two motors for four-wheel drive and can reach 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The truck has a tow rating of 6724 pounds and features a rapid charger with battery cooling and heating.

The truck’s interior can hold four passengers and has a digital display for the driver along with the wide-format center display. Bluetooth connectivity and premium sound are also featured. Superwolf can be reserved now with a starting MSRP listed at between $48,000 and $56,000.

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Classic 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am racer heads to auction

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When it comes to muscle cars of the 60s, one of the most iconic is the Chevrolet Camaro. The value of a normal Chevrolet Camaro from the era is often very high. The value of this 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Trans Am is even higher as it’s an actual successful racing car from the era. This vehicle is the first of six Sunoco Trans Am Camaros that Penske Racing built.

This particular car has an extensive racing history with drivers Mark Donohue and George Follmer behind the wheel. The car has been completely restored by Kevin McKay in its iconic Sunoco racing livery. The car is said to be one of the most significant Chevrolet-powered racing cars ever built. Because of its rarity and racing pedigree, the car is expected to bring as much as $2 million at auction in Pebble Beach.

The car features a 302 cubic inch overhead valve V-8 engine and a single four-barrel carburetor. It’s estimated to produce 450 horsepower and has a four-speed manual gearbox along with four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. The front suspension is independent wishbone with coil springs, while the rear has a live axle with leaf springs, a setup common in the era.

The racing series the car was built for required a 302 cubic-inch engine. The Z/28 was born due to the need to produce examples for homologation. The Z/28 became the Camaro performance production model, with 602 examples being built in 1967. The first 25 of those cars off the assembly line were sent to racers. This particular car was the 14th produced and was sent to Roger Penske.

This car is the first of only six Penske Camaros built between 1967 and 1969. The auction house says that over $330,000 was spent to restore the iconic car completely. The car comes with a file documenting its extensive racing history and photos of the car as it was discovered and during its restoration.

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