ITU Newsletter

Hello ITU Newsletter readers!

The ITU Newsletter is back with this week’s key ICT trends and insights: China's first cargo spacecraft launch marks a new milestone, ITU approves a new standard on Information-Centric Networking (ICN) and can Thailand boost its bid to become Southeast Asia's digital hub with new plans for a subsea cable? That and much more. 


ITU Newsletter
Changing lives with DFS Digital Financial Services (DFS) -- including 'fintech' startups' -- are a key weapon in the fight against poverty. ITU News recently chronicled how India's low-cost, scalable model for financial inclusion is changing lives on a massive scale. [Last week, ITU organised a Workshop on DFS and Financial Inclusion in partnership with the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.]

ICT Trends

E-commerce: Speaking of DFS changing lives, KOKO Networks has just launched a smart e-commerce platform in Kenya that includes a cooking fuel solution powered by a network of physical, cloud-connected e-commerce kiosks. Meanwhile, e-commerce giant Amazon has just patented an automated on-demand clothing factory. [ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao and Alibaba Chaiman Jack Ma both spoke about how e-commerce can boost sustainable development at an event in Geneva this week. Follow the ITU Blog for more.]

Connectivity boost: Thailand is drawing up plans to build a new subsea cable linking China, Bangkok and Hong Kong as part of its efforts to transform Thailand into Southeast Asia's digital hub. This builds on a USD 1.1 billion investment to strengthen the nation’s broadband services and boost rural connectivity last year. 


Infrastructure and AI: Telefonica launched three service operation centres that will use AI to analyse data to anticipate potential faults and outages. AI-enhanced predictive network maintenance will take on an important role as operators virtualise their infrastructures. Meanwhile, Babylon is investing GBP 50 million to build the ‘world's most advanced’ AI healthcare platform available as a smartphone app. [AI expert Stephen Ibaraki briefed the UN ahead of the AI for Good Global Summit that ITU is co-hosting in June with XPrize.]

Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR): Facebook’s developer conference was chock-full of VR/AR announcements, including: the Camera Effects Platform to build AR tools for cameras; new 360-degree digital cameras that could be used in VR apps; and a VR app for Oculus Rift. Meanwhile, Nokia seems to be pinning a core part of its future business strategy on VR, having recently launched OZO Reality.   


  • 5G: ITU approved a new standard on information-centric networking (ICN), a promising approach to achieving ultra-low-latency communications in the IMT-2020 (5G) environment. 
  • 4G: Airtel Networks Limited and ZTE have announced a strategic partnership to launch 4G in Nigeria which is expected to dramatically improve mobile Internet experience for consumers across the country. 
  • Tech jobs: Nearly 16% of India’s undergraduate students are enrolled in engineering and tech-related courses, but fewer than 5% of Indian engineering students are adequately trained to be employed in software development jobs, a new study finds.
  • Cybersecurity: Are your headphones listening? A lawsuit claims that Bose collected data on customer’s listening habits and provided it to third parties. [Marijana Kremic asks, is your dishwasher leaking your data? Learn more on the ITU Blog]
  • Cargo (in space!): China launched its first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, to test refueling and resupply technologies needed for the country's upcoming space station.


Mini Silicon Valley in the Baltics Estonia is the most entrepreneurial country in Europe, says a new report. How did Estonia realize success? Theadora Mills investigates how the government fostered ICT entrepreneurship in this startup hotspot.

Cows and Somalia's digital economy How did bring Somalia’s nomadic farmers into the tech scene? Simplify the technology. The ‘crowd-farming’ digital platform is a first-of-its-kind mobile application that allows anyone with a smartphone to invest in livestock in Somalia, writes ITU News

Keep up to date with ITU


- International Girls in ICT Day; Worldwide, 27 April 2017 

- World Telecommunication and Information Society Day; Global, 17 May 2017

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