ITU Newsletter

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Here are your key ICT trends and insights this week: Facebook is testing Express Wifi in India; ZTE launched a crowd-sourcing programme for mobile hardware; and e-commerce startups get renewed hope following Jet acquisition.


ITU Newsletter A promising route to promote women in ICTs Intellectual Property law and open innovation, as well as open education programmes, are particularly promising to help women and girls take part in the digital transformation of their societies, argues Ayesha Dawood

ICT Trends

Renewable energy: Tech invests in clean energy Apple has been granted approval to sell energy from renewable sources directly to customers in the US, the latest venture into the energy business by a technology company. [Learn more about #ICT4SDG here.]

AI: The race is on Apple acquired machine learning startup Turi for roughly USD 200 million, its latest in a series of AI purchases to boost Siri and other AI-enabled applications – the AI race between Facebook, Google and Apple is heating up.


Bitcoin: Nearly 120,000 Bitcoin units worth USD 72 million were stolen from Hong Kong exchange platform, Bitfinex – but blockchain, the underlying tech behind bitcoin, will revolutionize Wall Street, argues Chain CEO.

Cybersecurity: Data on millions of Android phones is at risk after serious security flaws have been found in Quadrooter chips. Meanwhile, Telefonica is the only telco on the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) board, a continent-wide initiative which aims to stimulate EUR1.8 billion investment in cybersecurity research by 2020. [Learn more about ITU’s Cybersecurity activities.]


  • Connectivity: Facebook is testing its Express Wifi service in India, where mobile phone users can purchase data from local ISPs which can then be accessed via public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • E-commerce: Walmart acquired, a two-year-old online market retailer, for USD3.3 billion – the largest-ever acquisition of an e-commerce company – which could renew hope for e-commerce startups.  
  • Standards: Japan's public broadcaster NHK has begun broadcasting satellite TV in 8k resolution; highlights include the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. [Learn more about ITU’s new UHDTV standard]
  • Satellites: China launched its first dedicated satellite, Tiantong-0, for its national mobile satellite communications system which will help provide communications in the aftermath of a disaster and in hard to reach areas.
  • Open-source: ZTE launched Project CSX (Crowd Sourced X) to develop a crowd-sourced mobile device, and will build the winning product design by 2017.
  • Digital Finance: WorldRemit has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to restore money transfer services to the country as new rules leave many Money Transfer Operators unable to provide services.


Will Pokémon Go help AR leapfrog VR? The augmented reality market will quickly surpass virtual reality, thanks to untethered portability – and telcos are set to win big, writes Carolyn Mathas.

Championing interoperability for financial inclusion: carrot or stick? Digital financial interoperability has many benefits which can only be realized if the public and private sector work together, argues Thomas Lammer.

Why do we still make it so hard to be a female entrepreneur? Ashish J. Thakkar lays out a plan to help drive more capital to female entrepreneurs, which, in turn, will boost the global economy.

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