ITU Newsletter

Hello, ITU Newsletter readers!

Here are your top ICT trends and insights this week: United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in focus ahead of the Broadband Commission’s The State of Broadband 2016 report launch this week; Google’s plans to label HTTP sites ‘non-secure’; and can drones help protect women in India?


ITU Newsletter Achieving the SDGs with ICTs Ahead of The State of Broadband 2016 report’s launch this week, ITU is pre-releasing three key insights on #ICT4SDG: poverty reduction, global partnerships, and Wednesday’s focus, global connectivity. [Share your #ICT4SDG stories here!]

ICT Trends

Digital Financial Inclusion: Madagascar’s three mobile money providers – Airtel Money, mVola and Orange Money – will roll out nationwide interoperable services, making Madagascar only the second African nation to do so. Meanwhile, Orange Money has expanded operations in Africa, receiving electronic money licenses from Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea. [Read ITU News’ recent article on Orange’s investment in PayJoy.]

Drones for Development? Qualcomm and AT&T will test flying drones on AT&T’s 4G cellular network to see if it could easily transmit data (e.g. aerial photography) back to data centres. And can a wearable flying drone help protect India’s women?


Cybersecurity: Google Chrome will begin marking all HTTP websites as ‘non-secure’ from 2017, favouring HTTPS in a bid to increase user data security. Meanwhile, HSBC will allow UK businesses to open new accounts using ‘selfie’ verification. And the US appointed the first-ever federal chief information security officer to boost government digital defences.


  • QoE: Apple’s new headphone jack-less devices may encourage audio developers to create innovative ways to listen to music with better sound quality. [Read about ITU’s work on QoE]
  • Connectivity: Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development will become the sole owner of Tajikistan telco Tcell, furthering its ICT connectivity activities in developing nations.   
  • Regulation: Nigeria’s telecoms regulator has re-opened Nokia’s office in Lagos after closure due to claims of an unpaid license. This comes three months after MTN agreed to pay USD1.7 billion to Nigeria for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards. [ITU News explored the SIM registration trend earlier this year]
  • VoLTE: The first VoLTE service was launched in Sri Lanka and Movistar launched the ‘first commercial virtual network for VoLTE’ in Colombia
  • Blockchain: Barclays Africa and Barclays plc completed the world’s first trade finance transaction using blockchain technology, between Ireland and the Seychelles.
  • LinkedIn Lite: LinkedIn launched new product in India, LinkedIn Lite, with lower-end handsets and limited data services in mind, similar to Facebook Lite services launched last year.


AI: central to achieving the SDGs? As we approach the ‘AI of Everything’ era, technical standards for Artificial Intelligence will help us achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, writes Stephen Ibaraki.

The struggle to preserve today’s digital archives We create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, but most will be lost forever unless we work to save it, argues Courtney Mumma. [Watch our new ITU Talk on digital archiving here!]

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