ITU Newsletter

Hello, ITU Newsletter readers!

This week and next, ITU-T is running its quadrennial World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (#ITUWTSA) in Hammamet, Tunisia. Follow the action on the WTSA newsroom, Twitter and YouTube

In the meantime, here are your key ICT trends and insights this week: Swisscom launches the first European commercial; once again, IoT cybersecurity is in focus following a large scale DDoS attack; and Tesla’s big autonomous announcement – but when will regulation catch up? 


ITU Newsletter How standards foster innovation As part of the kick off of WTSA16 in Tunisia, ICT executives met for ITU’s first CxO Meeting in the Arab and Africa Regions, and top industry thought leaders shared key insights on how to align cyber trust, privacy and security needs at the Global Standards Symposium (GSS).  

ICT Trends

Tesla’s autopilot ambitions – ready but waiting All new Tesla electric car models will have the necessary hardware to become fully autonomous vehicles, but how long before the necessary regulation can converge with Elon Musk's ambitions? Does Tesla also plan to launch its own ride-hailing service? Meanwhile, Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, said, "We're at the very beginning stages of becoming a robotics company." [Learn about ITU’s annual Symposium on the Future Networked Car here.]

Competition: Consolidation under scrutiny AT&T’s USD 85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner has raised competition concerns, with regulators due to meet next month. The deal, which comes as AT&T reported its sixth straight quarter of video customer losses, could mark a new trend of consolidation.


Cybersecurity: Mirai’s IoT DDoS A large-scale DDoS attack on DNS provider Dyn knocked out popular websites including Twitter, Amazon, Netflix and Spotify on Friday. The “very smart attack” is potentially the largest concentrated botnet attack on record, involved "10s of millions" of unique IP addresses. What does this mean for the future IoT security? Can we expect more of these attacks in the near future? [Are cyber criminals really outpacing cyber defenders? Read our analysis here.]

Blockchain: The first cross-border transaction between banks using multiple blockchain applications took place on Monday. Meanwhile, IBM, Walmart and Tsinghua University used blockchain technology to improve the way food is tracked, transported and sold to consumers across China. And can blockchain technology help save the lives of millions of refugees? Finally, why blockchain start-ups are more vulnerable to hackers and how the crypto-currencies’ mechanisms can help.


  • deployment: Swisscom announced that it launched the first European commercial deployment of ITU’s technology. Meanwhile, ITU standards experts have now doubled the access speeds achievable with the ITU broadband standard.
  • Broadband: Nokia and SK Broadband achieved speeds of up to 52.5Gbps to apartments in Seoul, South Korea – the fastest-ever fibre internet speed to residential buildings. [Read about Europe’s Gigabit Society rollout here.]
  • Apps: China has overtaken the US as the biggest spender on the iOS app store in the world – looks like Apple’s efforts in the country are paying off.
  • Connectivity: The Dominican Republic will set up 5,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas to improve communications across the country, especially in rural regions and poorer areas.
  • Competition: The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (EcTel) approved new legislation aimed at boosting competition in the region, addressing issues such as consumer protection, submarine cable access, network infrastructure access, and wholesale services rules. 


The New Urban Agenda and Smart Cities With urbanization set to reach 70% of the global population by 2050, how will our urban ecosystems cope? Gary Fowlie shares his thoughts from #Habitat3.

The best, or the worst thing Stephen Hawking recently expressed his thoughts on Artificial Intelligence: “success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation.” ITU’s contributions to AI are working to make sure of that!

New fund tips the balance? Is Soft Bank’s partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund a game changer for tech investment? Lachlan Colquhoun explores the USD 100 billion implications.

Keep up to date with ITU


- ITU Symposium and Workshop on small satellite regulation and communication systems; Santiago de Chile, Chile, 7-9 November 2016

- Second Annual Sub-Sahara Spectrum Management Conference and Workshop on to Digital Broadcasting Funding Mechanisms; Dakar, Senegal, 7-10 November 2016

- ITU Telecom World 2016; Bangkok, Thailand, 14-17 November 2016 


- Recent blogs: Maximising access to broadband; #ITUDATA: key to achieve socio-economic development

- New videos! On ITU’s YouTube channel

- Read the latest ITU News Magazine here




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