What's the Top Technology Issues This Week?

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Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
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ITU News focused on the connected car last week and going on looking at the 'connected cow' and other AgriTech stories from around the globe in this week. ITU News also dive into tech startup news as preparing for ITU Telecom World in Busan South Korea.

Spotlight

Tech SMEs and startup growth:

GoGoVan becomes Hong Kong’s first $1 billion startup. But what is the role of the public sector in supporting tech micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups? Read what 8 ICT ministries are doing to build effective startup ecosystems in their countries. Meanwhile, preparations are underway for ITU Telecom World in Busan, Rep. of South Korea, with a dedicated track to support startups and SMEs along with the Telecom Awards for best startups.


ICT Trends

Mobile Money:

Alipay expands their services in South Africa and Airtel Payments Bank reaches 2 million card milestone. But do farmers really want to be paid in mobile money? Here are 3 ways to improve mobile money adoption in agriculture.

AgriTech:

Fujitsu bets on 'Connected Cow Technology' to transform farms and make big impacts on the global food supply. In Ghana, two startups win $100,000 at the Kosmos AgriTech Competition for their best agritech solutions. FAO estimates that by 2050, we will need to produce 70% more food than ten years ago to feed the global population. Innovative tech solutions will be needed to meet the demands.

Internet of Things:

IoT is disrupting the logistics industry – and spurring opportunities. It's estimated that IoT in India may end up contributing 15 per cent to telcos' revenue. But a global skills shortage puts IoT development at risk, says a new Inmarsat report.

Crypto currencies:

"Initial coin offerings" (ICOs) are becoming a big trend in tech startup funding -- and the first ICO unicorns are here, but what does $1 billion in total coinage actually mean? China has officially banned ICO funding while Estonia is proposing to launch its own cryptocurrency, 'estcoins,' which could make it the first country with an Initial Coin Offering. [In May, ITU created a new focus group to investigate digital currency, including digital fiat currency.]

Mobile health:

The newest report on Mobile Health from the World Health Organization-ITU Be He@lthy, Be Mobile programme was launched last week with updates on mTobaccoCessation, mDiabetes, mCervicalCancer, mHealth Monitoring and Evaluation, Digital Health Platforms, mTB programmes and more.
Digital health meets digital finance: Shuidi, a crowdfunding platform within Tencent’s WeChat mobile app, launched a USD 24M fundraising campaign to help people gain financial assistance to cover healthcare bills in China.

Internet slowdown:

Damaged undersea cables are causing Internet slowdowns in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia due to strong typhoons.

Connected car:

ITU held a workshop on Security Aspects of Intelligent Transport Systems which called for more coordinated approach to connected car security.
Virtual assistants: Amazon and Microsoft have teamed up to make their AI assistants Alexa and Cortana talk to each other in hopes to improve the systems and be more competitive in the AI space.

Cameroon's digital expansion:

Vodafone expands 4G service in Cameroon as new OTT and VoIP Voice Services are also introduced in the country.
Water and ICTs: From smart meters to ‘Water ATMs,’ innovative ICT solutions are bringing improved water services to rural Africa.

Robots:

A 'socially aware’ AI robot is making strides to be less awkward on crowded streets. And why is it so difficult to ban 'killer robots'?

Insights

Visualizing gender inequality:

Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver, shows us 7 charts that demonstrate gender inequality around the world.

Blockchain for refugees:

How is blockchain kickstarting the financial lives of refugees? Finland's use of a digital money system for asylum seekers shows what blockchain technology can offer the unbanked.

 

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