ITU Newsletter

Hello ITU Newsletter readers!

Here are your key ICT trends this week: Google to boost AI and VR platforms to prepare for next phase of computing; Paytm strengthens its bid to disrupt banking in India; and why is cybersecurity so hard?


ITU Newsletter
Profile of a local-content entrepreneur Kevin Saw is connecting Malaysia’s diverse communities with locally relevant content. His video-streaming service, DailyTV, gained 1 million users within one year of launching. [Watch the video.]

ICT Trends

All things Google: Key takeaways in the wake of Google’s developer conference, I/O, highlight the tech industry's move away from gadgets and toward strengthening platforms such as VR and AI. This includes a soon-to-launch cloud computing service that provides access to a new artificial-intelligence chip.

Speaking of AI: Salesforce, Intel and eBay joined the Partnership on AI group which aims to share best practices and discuss the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence research. The group plans to launch a series of challenges to boost research in the field. [ITU’s AI for Good Global Summit will be held from 6-7 June 2017!]


Content: New content portability rules will allow EU citizens to access online film and TV subscriptions such as Netflix and Spotify while visiting other EU countries. The move furthers the EU's digital single market goals that began with the abolishment of roaming charges within the EU. But the move has received some mixed reviews, and questions over cost and technology remain.

Connected cars: Ford's move to appoint Jim Hackett, who oversees the Ford subsidiary that works on autonomous vehicles, to replace Ford chief executive, Mark Fields, highlights the importance of tech for the auto industry. Meanwhile, Telefonica joined the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), a group of operators and car manufacturers committed to accelerating development of autonomous and connected cars. [ITU News explores The Power of Connected Cars, and Forging Paths to 5G.]  


  • Politics: A millennial will take office as France’s new digital minister. 33-year-old Parisien entrepreneur, Mounir Mahjoubi, will help accelerate development of France’s startup economy.
  • Digital Finance: SoftBank’s Vision Fund closed with USD 93 billion in confirmed backing, making it the largest tech-focused investment fund ever raised. Meanwhile, Paytm strengthened its bid to disrupt banking in India following a USD 1.4 billion investment from SoftBank, and soon-to-launch payments bank. [Watch the new ITU News video of how digital payments are changing millions of lives in rural India.]
  • Internet: Could WeChat’s new search function spell the end for Baidu’s search engine dominance in China?
  • Industry 4.0: Over 100 partners from 19 European countries joined Productive 4.0, the largest European research initiative in the field of Industry 4.0 to date, to work on digitizing and networking the manufacturing industry.
  • VR for health: A Swiss start-up got FDA approval for a VR device described as an ‘operating system for the brain.’ It maps a patient’s movements and brain function, which is then displayed via a 3D avatar on the video-game-like platform.


Why are mobile payment point-of-sale transaction rates so low? A recent study showed low consumer adoption of using mobile wallets for retail purchases. Matthew Cochrane looks at what is holding mobile wallets back. [Watch the new ITU News video of how digital payments are changing millions of lives in rural India.]

Cybersecurity is difficult After 20 years and billions of dollars in investment, why is cybersecurity so hard? The reason is threefold, according to Michael Daniel, president of The Cyber Threat Alliance: the Internet is borderless; cyberspace is still very new from a legal and policy point of view; and the reality is, cybersecurity is more than just a technical problem.

How Facebook skyrocketed after going public From the third-largest U.S. IPO ever to the fifth-largest company by market capitalization, Sara Fischer and Kim Hart look at Facebook’s incredible growth story.  

Keep up to date with ITU


AI for Good Global Summit; Geneva, Switzerland, 7-9 June 2017  

- WSIS Forum 2017; Geneva, Switzerland​, ​​​12-16 June 2017

- Global Symposium for Regulators 2017 (GSR-17); Nassau, Bahamas, 11 - 14 July 2017


- New blogs! Read interviews with industry leaders, insights into the latest tech news and other ICT stories from around the world on the ITU Blog

- New videos! On ITU’s YouTube channel

- Read the latest ITU News Magazine here

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