ITU Newsletter

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As we prepare to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the ITU Radio Regulations (1906-2016), here are your key ICT trends and insights this week: Five West African countries agree to implement free roaming as Europe gears up for roaming negotiations; big news for the autonomous car industry; and can privacy policies evolve with Smart City technology?


ITU Newsletter
Digital finance: consumer protection The 2 billion global unbanked have the most to gain from digital financial services, but how do we ensure trust and protect these vulnerable users? [The last meeting of ITU-T’s Focus Group on Digital Financial Services is being held this week to review several reports and new recommendations.]

ICT Trends

Cybersecurity: Intel, Microsoft, IBM and various Chinese companies have voiced concerns about China’s new cybersecurity bill, which requires companies to share their source code with Beijing.

Roaming: Five West African nations will implement free roaming effective from 31 March 2017, according to reports. Meanwhile, the European Council proposed higher wholesale data roaming caps ahead of negotiations to take place later this month. [Download ITU’s Guide for NRAs on International Mobile Roaming Cost analysis here.]


Mobile: Thailand’s mobile operators will be required to introduce an online fingerprint ID system to complement existing mandatory SIM registration, as Thailand transitions to a cashless society. Can they replicate the success of India’s biometric ID programme?

E-health: Google published a paper outlining a new deep learning algorithm to detect signs of diabetic eye disease - and commercial wearables may soon detect health issues before they happen. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation has announced a mobile-based HIV programme in Lesotho.


  • Driverless cars: Big news for the autonomous car industry: Apple acknowledges its investment in self-driving car tech, and they already have some suggestions on proposed regulation. Meanwhile, Uber’s landmark European court case is underway as the company invests in an AI start-up.
  • Connectivity in India: Facebook’s latest attempt to expand connectivity to remote locations, Express WiFi, has begun tests in India. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel will spend USD 9 billion to improve India’s mobile network.
  • Food: Need to increase the food supply? There is a drone for that! China’s growing UAV industry is working to address rising agricultural demands.
  • Employment: An innovative new job website in Berlin specializes in supporting refugees prepare job applications, while aiming to help solve German labor shortages in key areas.


Addressing today’s ICT security challenges ICTs are vital to realizing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – but trust is key. ITU Deputy Secretary-General, Malcolm Johnson, outlines why cooperation is crucial to achieve a trusted cyberspace that will help drive a sustainable future.

Can privacy policies evolve with Smart City technology? Smart Cities bring new challenges for citizens' privacy and protection. ITU News investigated how Kansas City is studying the dynamic relationship between technology, privacy law and public policy.

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