ITU Newsletter

Hello, ITU Newsletter readers!

This week, ITU is at UN Habitat III talking about Smart Sustainable Cities. Read ITU Secretary General, Houlin Zhao’s thoughts on why broadband is vital for sustainable development, and keep an eye on the ITU Blog for more analysis and insight from our staff on the ground.

In the meantime, here are your key ICT trends and insights this week: Google and Facebook team up for trans-Pacific connectivity; VR’s new role in e-commerce; and Apple shifts driverless car focus, but for those still in the game, a recent investment hopes to cut the cost of LIDAR technology.


ITU Newsletter Are Airpods pivotal to Apple’s AI push? The iPhone 7’s AirPods wireless headphones have divided analyst opinion, but the larger importance could be in how they help accelerate Apple’s artificial intelligence (AI) push. Carolyn Mathas investigates for ITU News.

ICT Trends

Broadband: Ericsson’s low Q3 earnings could be due to weaker demand for broadband networks – a similar situation the company faced in 2007-2009 when it was waiting for demand for 4G technology to kick in. The wait for 5G, weakening emerging market economies (BRICS and Middle East) and European markets having completed mobile broadband projects may force Ericsson to rethink their competitive niche in the new digital economy, according to one analyst.

Connectivity: Google and Facebook have teamed up to build a 120 Tbps undersea cable from Los Angeles to Hong Kong – the highest-capacity trans-Pacific cable yet. Both companies have invested in similar projects before. Meanwhile, Nokia says its technology could improve the capacity of global submarine telecommunications networks to help meet growing broadband demand after achieving a record transmission rate of 65Tbps.


Connected Car: Project Titan re-focus Apple is reportedly scaling back its driverless car ambitions, shifting focus from hardware to software which will give them the flexibility to partner with existing carmakers. Google made a similar move earlier this year. Meanwhile, Vodafone became the first telco to join the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), and Germany’s Transport Minister has asked Tesla to stop using the term ‘Autopilot’ in its advertising.

Cybersecurity and digital transformations: Verizon's doubts about their planned USD4.8 billion Yahoo acquisition represents a high-profile example of the difficulties mature telcos face when undertaking digital transformation strategies that many are forced to make for their survival. Meanwhile, the G7 released cybersecurity guidelines aimed at protecting the global financial system, including cyber-readiness monitoring and threat sharing. [Learn more about ITU’s National CIRT Programme here.]



Scaling LIDAR for driverless future LIDAR is becoming a key technology in the driverless vehicle race, so where does radar fit into the equation? Carolyn Mathas investigates Ford and Baidu’s recent USD 150 million investment in Velodyne.

The importance of DFS Digital financial services (DFS) can be a pathway to move and remain out of poverty for people in low- and middle-income countries. Sacha Polverini looks at how we can spread these benefits to the estimated 2 billion unbanked globally – and how ITU can help.

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