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Combating Unwarranted Phone Surveillance with Biometrics and Voice Control

1 Mar

Amidst the introduction of a new mobile tracking bill, targeting the existence of warrants— there has been a sudden rise in the number of frightened consumers. Most handset owners are dealing with skepticism, concerning lack of mobile security and other malicious activities.

In this post, we will be talking about the possible security loopholes in the existing arena in addition to certain methodologies or rather technologies for combating the same. Before we move any further into this post, it is fitting enough to understand how phone surveillance works, regardless of the legalities associated with the same.

Decoding Mobile Tracking

Phone Surveillance

In simpler terms, mobile tracking is an undesirable act of sabotaging someone’s privacy. While many government organizations have already resorted to these methods for averting security threats, more often than not phone surveillance is an unwarranted and unauthorized affair— leading to catastrophic outcomes.

Existent of Consumer Spyware

When it comes to malware targeting mobile tracking, consumer spyware is the latest fad. This is one of the most effective techniques— used by fraudulent organizations for getting inside the handset of any user. Usually, this form of malware comes as a mobile application or a separate, downloadable entity. Once allowed access, the spyware easy takes control of images, data, phone log and everything that’s inside the device.

The worst part about consumer spyware is that it can be installed within a few seconds and starts working in the background. While physical access to the handset is required, a skilled hacker can easily install the bug without the owner even noticing the instantaneous sabotage. That said, malicious applications can also embed the spyware with minimal hassles.

Lastly, consumer spyware can even access the phone audio and microphone, allowing hackers gain complete access to every word spoken.

This form of malware is mostly used by firms with nefarious intentions who look to sell over the acquired details to other parties for financial perks.


stingrays and Phone Surveillance

While malicious applications and malware can be detected by being vigilant, there are certain newly devised techniques which are nearly impossible to identify. Stingrays are the newest techniques used by hackers for getting unwarranted access to any mobile. These entities sit on the mobile towers or act as authorized establishments— luring users into addressing them as legit ones. Mobile users, unknowingly, send data via these towers and allow malicious sources right into the device.

Safeguarding Handsets with Biometrics

Biometrics are some of the more desirable techniques, targeting mobile safety and privacy. While the existing solutions are great, we are expecting a more granular approach towards secured devices. The concept of biometric protection has already been taken seriously by several authorities— across the globe— integrated with global bank statements and other confidential documents. Some of the developing nations have also identified the importance of biometric solutions— integrating the likes of national cards and associated details with the respective handsets.

However, the amalgamation of identity card biometrics with mobile solutions need to be country-specific as different nations have different rules regarding their ID segregations. We have country-specific biometric-spruced ID proofs for the developed and even developing nations— biding the likes of retina scans, fingerprints and even digital signage with the smartphones.

biometrics and Phone Surveillance

This is a more granular approach towards biometric solutions and is expected to curb the inadvertent growth of unwarranted phone surveillance.

Certain AI empowered smartphones are also being considered for amalgamating biometrics with voice and other kinds of authentication schemes.

Combating Fraud with Voice Control

Although getting access to the phone mic isn’t as hard as it seems, consumer spyware can still be kept at bay via authorized voice control. While accessing any electronic device via voice seems to be a far-fetched idea, it seems scientists have already established certain measures leading to the same.

Quite recently, scientists have developed a low-cost chip which could change the way we handle our electronic gadgets— especially the mobiles.

Closing in on the chip, it is a great tool for automatic voice recognition— featuring a low-power console, courtesy the adaptable form factor. If used in a cellphone, the existing chip requires a mere 1W to get activated. Moreover, the usage pattern actually determines the amount of power needed to keep the chip activated.

When it comes to safety, the existing chip can sit on any given cellphone and prevent unauthorized access. This feature is one aspect of looking at Internet of Things for mobiles— instrumental in safeguarding the same from unwarranted surveillance.

The reason why we are upbeat for voice recognition as a pillar of safety is that speech input, in years to come, is expected to be a natural interface for more intelligent devices— making hacking a less-visited arena.

In the upcoming years, voice recognition chips are expected to make use of neural architecture and other aspects of human intelligence— making safety an obvious concept and not a selective one. However, power consumption remains to be one of the major limitations. At present one chip works on a single neural node of a given network— passing 32 increments of 10-milliseconds each.


Unethical tracking isn’t going to stop with the introduction of voice recognition techniques and biometrics. However, perfect application of the same seems to have lowered down the instances and we can just be hopeful of a more transparent future. There has been a lot of work going on in the field of speech recognition for every smartphone and we might soon see a pathbreaking innovation in the concerned field.

That said, biometrics have found their way into our lives, documents and even smartphones and their usage has also skyrocketed. There were times when users hardly made use of a fingerprint scanner but the current scenario suggests that iPhone’s Touch ID is used at least 84 times a day— on an average. This shows users are slowly adopting technology as their weapon towards safety and privacy.


Comparing the mobile data networks of Europe in OpenSignal’s newest report

18 Aug

Today, OpenSignal released its new Global State of Mobile Networks report, our first worldwide report that looks beyond 4G technology to examine the overall mobile data prowess of nearly 100 different countries. While you can see the overall conclusions and analysis in the report itself, we’re also drilling down to specific regions in a short series of blog posts. Today we’re starting with Europe.

The chart below shows how 33 European countries stack up in mobile data performance, plotting combined 3G and 4G availability on the vertical axis and average 3G/4G speed on the horizontal axis.

3G/4G speed vs. 3G/4G availability

3G/4G speed vs. 3G/4G availability

Europe does quite well in general in both speed availability, reflecting not only their investments in LTE but the mature state of their LTE infrastructures. Most of them are clustered in the upper central portion of the chart with speeds between 10 and 20 Mbps and high levels of mobile data signal availability. The vast majority of European users can latch onto a 3G or better signal more 80% of the time, according to our data.

Outside of that main cluster, we do see clumps of countries in similar stages of development. We find several Eastern European countries that haven’t quite caught up with the rest of the region in either speed or availability (sometimes both), though Germany falls in the underperforming category as well. Being a former member of the eastern bloc isn’t always indicative of poorer mobile data performance, though. Both Lithuania and Hungary are well to the right of Europe’s main cluster, joining the Nordic states and the Netherlands in an exclusive club of outperformers. These are the rare countries that are able to offer a consistent mobile data connection greater than 20 Mbps.

3G signals are plentiful around the world

3G has definitely taken hold in most countries. On the 95 countries in our sample, 93 of them had 3G or better signal availability more than half the time, while the vast majority had availability greater than 75%, according to our data.

Big differences remain in average consumer data speeds

Though 3G or 4G connections may be the norm, there are some sizable gaps country-to-country in our overall speed metric, which measures the average download performance across all networks. South Korea had the fastest overall speed of 41.3 Mbps, while the slowest average we measured was 2.2 Mbps in Afghanistan.

The dominant connection type is (surprise!) Wifi

We found high levels of mobile Wifi connections both in countries where mobile broadband is ubiquitous and in countries where mobile data infrastructure is more limited. The most mobile-Wifi-hungry country in the world was the Netherlands, where Wifi accounted for 70% of all of the smartphone connections we measured.

LTE development patterns are clearly emerging

When we correlated overall speeds with 3G/4G availability, we found distinct clusters of countries in similar stages of mobile development. Examining 3G and 4G together paints a much clearer picture of a country’s network progress than measuring 4G alone.


Is 2016 Half Empty or Half Full?

11 Aug

With 2016 crossing the half way point, let’s take a look at some technology trends thus far.

Breaches: Well, many databases are half empty due to the continued rash of intrusions while the crooks are half full with our personal information. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), there have been 522 breaches thus far in 2016 exposing almost 13,000,000 records. Many are health care providers as our medical information is becoming the gold mine of stolen info. Not really surprising since the health care wearable market is set to explode in the coming years. Many of those wearables will be transmitting our health data back to providers. There were also a bunch of very recognizable names getting blasted in the media: IRS, Snapchat, Wendy’s and LinkedIn. And the best advice we got? Don’t use the same password across multiple sites. Updating passwords is a huge trend in 2016.

Cloud Computing: According to IDC, public cloud IaaS revenues are on pace to more than triple by 2020. From $12.6 billion in 2015 to $43.6 billion in 2020. The public cloud IaaS market grew 51% in 2015 but will slightly slow after 2017 as enterprises get past the wonder and move more towards cloud optimization rather than simply testing the waters. IDC also noted that four out of five IT organizations will be committed to hybrid architectures by 2018. While hybrid is the new normalremember, The Cloud is Still just a Datacenter Somewhere. Cloud seems to be more than half full and this comes at a time when ISO compliance in the cloud is becoming even more important.

DNS: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, DNS is one of the most important components of a functioning internet. With that, it presents unique challenges to organizations. Recently, Infoblox released its Q1 2016 Security Assessment Report and off the bat said, ‘In the first quarter of 2016, 519 files capturing DNS traffic were uploaded by 235 customers and prospects for security assessments by Infoblox. The results: 83% of all files uploaded showed evidence of suspicious activity (429 files).’ They list the specific threats from botnets to protocol anomalies to Zeus and DDoS. A 2014 vulnerability, Heartbleed, still appears around 11% of the time. DevOps is even in the DNS game. In half full news,VeriSign filed two patent applications describing the use of various DNS components to manage IoT devices. One is for systems and methods for establishing ownership and delegation of IoT devices using DNS services and the other is for systems and methods for registering, managing, and communicating with IoT devices using DNS processes. Find that half full smart mug…by name!

IoT: What can I say? The cup runneth over. Wearables are expected to close in on 215 million units shipped by 2020 with 102 million this year alone. I think that number is conservative with smart eyewear, watches and clothing grabbing consumer’s attention. Then there’s the whole realm of industrial solutions like smart tractors, HVAC systems and other sensors tied to smart offices, factories and cities. In fact, utilities are among the largest IoT spenders and will be the third-largest industry by expenditure in IoT products and services. Over $69 billion has already been spent worldwide, according to the IDC Energy Insights/Ericsson report. And we haven’t even touched on all the smart appliances, robots and media devices finding spots our homes. Get ready for Big Data regulations as more of our personal (and bodily) data gets pushed to the cloud. And we’re talking a lot of data.

Mobile: We are mobile, our devices are mobile and the applications we access are mobile. Mobility, in all its iterations, is a huge enabler and concern for enterprises and it’ll only get worse as we start wearing our connected clothing to the office. The Digital Dress Code has emerged. With 5G on the way, mobile is certainly half full and there is no empting it now.
Of course, F5 has solutions to address many of these challenges whether you’re boiling over or bone dry. Oursecurity solutions, including Silverline, can protect against malicious attacks; no matter the cloud –  private, public or hybrid – our Cloud solutions can get you there and back;BIG-IP DNS, particularly DNS Express, can handle the incredible name request boom as more ‘things’ get connected; and speaking of things, your data center will need to be agile enough to handle all the nouns requesting access; and check out how TCP Fast Open can optimize your mobile communications.

That’s what I got so far and I’m sure 2016’s second half will bring more amazement, questions and wonders. We’ll do our year-end reviews and predictions for 2017 as we all lament, where did the Year of the Monkey go?

There’s that old notion that if you see a glass half full, you’re an optimist and if you see it half empty you are a pessimist. I think you need to understand what state the glass itself was before the question. Was it empty and filled half way or was it full and poured out? There’s your answer!


Back to the Future with Push-to-Talk

5 Aug

The Perfect Bathroom Concept

Before the era when cell phones became permanently glued to our hands and our ears, walkie talkies were the fastest and most efficient way of communicating over a short distance. As mobile technology advanced both the devices and the service, field workers such as construction companies and police departments became synonymous with the chunky phones and scenarios depicted in the Nextel advertisements of the late 1990’s. After the demise of the original iDEN Nextel National Network just a short year ago, some may think that the “push-to-talk” movement is over, but that is far from the truth.

Not Your Father’s Push-to-Talk

Today’s push-to-talk functionality has expanded beyond the bulky boxes associated with walkie talkies, and instead is provisioned through applications running over the nation’s most advanced cellular networks. These apps can be downloaded to a variety of mobile devices, ranging from Samsung’s rugged Galaxy Rugby Pro to Apple’s sleek and sexy iPhone, as well as across operating systems including Android, iOS and BlackBerry.

So what can push-to-talk do for your business? Think of it as a voice text message and it’s easy to see the benefits the real-time collaboration tool can provide. If you are part of a group, push-to-talk can provide quick and easy communication at the push of a button, with no dialing involved. It provides a faster connection across devices, offers close to hands-free operation and conveys a sense of urgency that most text messages cannot.

Imagine you’re a visiting nurse and need to report back to your superior from a patient’s bedside. With one hand you are able to connect through push-to-talk, leaving your other hand free to check the patient’s pulse or program a machine. The same goes for an IT team fanned out across a corporate campus during a service outage. While working to fix the problem, push-to-talk allows the team to connect with their peers seamlessly.

For anyone who has been along for the ride as mobile devices changed from the Nokia bricks of past, to flip phones and now touch screens, learning how to use the new technology can be a tricky and extends the learning curve. Push-to-talk requires minimal training, allowing even the least tech-savvy employee to master the communication tool in seconds.

The Evolution of Push-to-Talk Services

In 1996, Nextel launched its iDEN service, followed by the major cellular carriers coming to market with the first cellular push-to-talk solutions in 2003. Two years later, Sprint acquired Nextel, inheriting nearly nine million push-to-talk customers who had to migrate to Sprint’s CDMA Direct Connect network. By June 2013, quality-of-service issues, the burden of maintaining multiple networks and the need for spectrum to offer more profitable and newer data services ultimately led to the shutdown of the Nextel push-to-talk network.

While some companies were able to move forward without a glitch, others that relied heavily on push-to-talk services found themselves in a tough situation. Some companies had to accept the situation and move on, while others looked for a new option. Fortunately for the latter, the new push-to-talk app has provided the same level of connectivity with more advanced and reliable technology and service.

A New Generation of Enhanced Push-to-Talk

Push-to-talk has gone up and down over the last decade, but with newer, more advanced services now available for traditional and non-traditional apps it’s definitely on an upswing. When properly deployed, this “voice text message” service can increase efficiency, save time and enhance the productivity of any workforce. Forget about the walkie talkies of lore, companies should consider adding push-to-talk solutions to meet their total communications needs.


Healthcare’s digital future

4 Aug
Insights from our international survey can help healthcare organizations plan their next moves in the journey toward full digitization.
The adoption of IT in healthcare systems has, in general, followed the same pattern as other industries. In the 1950s, when institutions began using new technology to automate highly standardized and repetitive tasks such as accounting and payroll, healthcare payors and other industry stakeholders also began using IT to process vast amounts of statistical data. Twenty years later, the second wave of IT adoption arrived. It did two things: it helped integrate different parts of core processes (manufacturing and HR, for example) within individual organizations, and it supported B2B processes such as supply-chain management for different institutions within and outside individual industries. As for its effects on the healthcare sector, this second wave of IT adoption helped bring about, for example, the electronic health card in Germany. It was also a catalyst for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act in the United States—an effort to promote the adoption of health-information technology—and the National Programme for IT in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. Regardless of their immediate impact, these programs helped create an important and powerful infrastructure that certainly will be useful in the future.

Many institutions in the private and public sector have already moved to the third wave of IT adoption—full digitization of their entire enterprise, including digital products, channels, and processes, as well as advanced analytics that enable entirely new operating models. No longer limited to helping organizations do a certain task better or more efficiently, digital technology has the potential to affect every aspect of business and private life, enabling smarter choices, allowing people to spend more time on tasks they deem valuable, and often fundamentally transforming the way value is created. What will this third wave of IT adoption look like for healthcare?

Players in the healthcare industry were relatively successful at—and benefited from—the first and second waves of IT adoption. But they struggled to successfully manage the myriad stakeholders, regulations, and privacy concerns required to build a fully integrated healthcare IT system. This is partly because the first and second wave of IT adoption focused more on processes and less on patient needs. Still, programs like the N3 communication network in the United Kingdom and the secure telematics platform in Germany have created powerful infrastructures that have the potential to support the third wave of digital services in healthcare—but only if stakeholders take the appropriate next steps.

Now that patients around the world have grown more comfortable using digital networks and services, even for complex and sensitive issues such as healthcare (successful websites DrEd, PatientsLikeMe, and ZocDoc are just three examples of this trend), we believe the time has come for healthcare systems, payors, and providers to go “all in” on their digital strategies. The question is, where should they start?

Nonhealthcare organizations that pioneered the third wave of digitization began by trying to understand what their customers really wanted; they then built their initial digital products and services based on that information and methodically expanded their offerings and customer base from there. We believe this model would work for healthcare as well. Success in the third wave of digital depends very much on first understanding patients’ digital preferences in both channel and service. But many digital healthcare strategies are still driven by myths or information that is no longer true. We interviewed thousands of patients from different age groups, countries, genders, and incomes; respondents had varying levels of digital savvy. Our research revealed surprising and actionable insights about what patients really want, which can in turn inform how healthcare organizations begin their digital patient-enablement journey. Here, we present five of those insights.

Myth 1: People don’t want to use digital services for healthcare

Many healthcare executives believe that, due to the sensitive nature of medical care, patients don’t want to use digital services except in a few specific situations; decision makers often cite data that point to relatively low usage of digital healthcare services. In fact, the results of our survey reveal something quite different. The reason patients are slow to adopt digital healthcare is primarily because existing services don’t meet their needs or because they are of poor quality. Across all the countries in our survey,1 1. The McKinsey Digital Patient Survey was conducted in 2014, in Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, with a sample size greater than 1,000. more than 75 percent of respondents would like to use digital healthcare services, as long as those services meet their needs and provide the level of quality they expect (Exhibit 1). Of course, nondigital channels will continue to be relevant and important, so digital channels will have to be embedded in a well-thought-through multichannel concept.

Exhibit 1


More than 75% of all patients expect to use digital services in the future.



Myth 2: Only young people want to use digital services

One of the more prevalent myths about healthcare is that only younger generations want to use digital services, and therefore digitized healthcare would not reach many of the system’s core stakeholders. Our survey shows, however, that patients from all age groups are more than willing to use digital services for healthcare (Exhibit 2). In fact, older patients (those over 50) want digital healthcare services nearly as much as their younger counterparts. More than 70 percent of all older patients in the United Kingdom and Germany want to use digital healthcare services; in Singapore, that number is even higher. There is a difference between the kinds of digital channels older and younger patients want to use, though. Older patients prefer traditional digital channels such as websites and e-mail, while younger patients are, unsurprisingly, more open to newer channels such as social media. A recent report from the European Union2 2. Fabienne Abadie, Francisco Lupiañez, and Ioannis Maghiros, Citizens and ICT for Health in 14 European Countries: Results from an Online Panel, European Commission Joint Research Centre, 2013, suggests that service type—not just channel—should be segmented by age; younger patients, of course, want access to health-promotion and prevention services, whereas older patients need information about services for acute and chronic conditions. But both groups seek information at the same rates.

Exhibit 2


Digital-service use is expected to increase across all age groups.



Myth 3: Mobile health is the game changer

Mobile health—the practice of healthcare supported by mobile devices—is often hailed as the future of digital services in healthcare. Still, our survey shows that demand for mobile healthcare is not universal. It is therefore not the single critical factor in the future of healthcare digitization.

Of course, there is certainly demand for mobile healthcare applications, and it is strongest among younger people. Health systems should therefore create mobile solutions that target this audience—for example, apps that focus on prenatal health or those that could be classified as lifestyle apps. Beware of solutions that could have a lot of impact but are not of interest to the segment in question—digital applications to manage chronic conditions typically found in older people, for example.

Myth 4: Patients want innovative features and apps

Health systems, payors, and providers often think they need to be innovative when designing their digital-service offerings. But the core features patients expect from their health system are surprisingly mundane: efficiency, better access to information, integration with other channels, and the availability of a real person if the digital service doesn’t give them what they need. Highly innovative services, better apps, and more social media are far less important to most patients (Exhibit 3).

Exhibit 3


Awareness and process execution are the core drivers of digital-service adoption for patients.



Myth 5: A comprehensive platform of service offerings is a prerequisite for creating value

When going digital, many institutions—not only those in healthcare—think it is necessary to “go big” before they can achieve anything; they believe they must build a comprehensive platform with offerings along the entire spectrum of customer services. But our survey finds that it can be smarter to start small and act fast (Exhibit 4).

Exhibit 4


The services that Singaporean patients request most show it’s not always necessary to start big.



Surprisingly, across the globe, most people want the same thing: assistance with routine tasks and navigating the often-complex healthcare system. In Germany, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, for example—three very different countries with three very different health systems—patients most often cite “finding and scheduling physician appointments” as the service with which they need assistance. Other commonly cited needs include help selecting the right specialist and support for repetitive administrative tasks such as prescription refills. What most of these services have in common is that they do not require massive IT investments to get started.

The third wave of digitization in healthcare: Getting started

Understanding the myths and realities about what patients want from digital healthcare is vital to capturing its value—but where should healthcare organizations go from there? Three steps can help healthcare companies begin their journey toward the third wave of digitization.

The first step is to understand what it is that patients really want and the best way to give it to them. Surveys and focus groups can help here, as can an assessment of what competitors are offering. Healthcare organizations can combine this information by taking stock of what kinds of services they already have in place or could easily offer—many organizations are surprised to see how much they can do with their existing technological capabilities.

Next, organizations should segment their services according to basic criteria such as the amount of investment required, estimated patient demand, and value created through the service. Companies should also consider the “change need”—does the service fundamentally improve some aspect of healthcare delivery? ZocDoc created a simple application for scheduling appointments and won millions of users in only a few years; clearly, this organization discovered a profound unmet need within the healthcare community. Once an organization has analyzed the basic criteria—as well as the more complex question of change need—it can implement one or two “quick wins” that, ideally, generate patient momentum and build a significant user base.

And finally, just like organizations in other industries, healthcare companies should continually add new services to keep patient attention and build value. Once patients are familiar with the general idea of digital-service provision, organizations can begin offering more complex, high-value services, such as integrated-care companion apps or mobile health records. This follows the model of digital champions such as Google3 3. Jeff Jarvis. What Would Google Do?, first edition, New York, NY: HarperCollins, 2009. and Facebook, which succeeded by using their core service to build a significant user base and then offered more services, thus continuously increasing the familiarity of their users with their services—and in turn the intensity with which they use them.


We believe the healthcare industry is on the cusp of a third wave of IT adoption, and that now is the time for it to go all in on digital strategies. Understanding what patients want—and what is purely myth—can help pave the way.


Will mobile kill the video star?

10 Apr

Will the wave of new formats aimed at mobile video augment or simply replace traditional TV viewing? Oisin Lunny explores how mobile could determine the future of video consumption.

Can Smart TV win back audiences from mobile? Emphatically no according to Sean McKnight.

Can Smart TV win back audiences from mobile? Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The gogglebox, beloved of politicians and advertisers alike for its effortless inducement of states of suggestibility, could be losing its most valuable asset: captive eyeballs. Social media is increasingly the hangout of choice and “off-portal” eyeballs can be hard to quantify and directly monetise. So how serious is the fight to coax the public back in front of the original “small screen”?

To put this into context, while mobile is breaking unprecedented ground in terms of broadcast consumption and interaction, broadcast TV seems to be retaining the lions share of eyeballs: for now. A recent Ofcom report stated, “Despite the hype, the available data does not support the view that the ‘battle for eyeballs’ is yet particularly intense. If X-Factor has an audience of 11 million and its app has around 550,000 downloads, then 95% of eyeballs are still on the first screen.”

Overall though, the trend towards mobile media consumption is clear. While TV is still top dog in the UK, in the US, media consumption is now predominantly digital, with the fastest growth being driven from mobile devices, according to eMarketer.

Martin Ogden, senior strategist at broadcast engagement specialists Spoke, says the slow migration of viewers to mobile and social platforms is a worry for broadcasters. “The broadcasters have realised that they have lost control of the audience conversation, so the broadcasters are fighting to bring them back. It’s working but it’s early days. We are in a transition stage. Broadcasters have to offer a connection with the audience across web, companion apps, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter posts etc.”

Ogden can also see a similar change in attitudes within ad agencies which will impact the wider industry. “The brands want to have all-pervasive ‘trojan horse’ content marketing – in other words, they want to be woven into the whole entertainment format experience. The big ad agencies are starting to become the predominant investors for new broadcast programming. Once the agencies are funding the production companies and new content is reaching consumers OTT (over the top), for example via YouTube, the traditional ‘walled-garden’ model of broadcast media starts to crumble.” Indeed, in this post-Facebook age, the concept of walled gardens seems to go against the grain of the effortlessly cross-platform consumer.

Ray Mia, CEO of Streamworks International says broadcasters have to stop thinking linear, they have to think outside of the (set top) box: “TV is not TV anymore; it’s not just about live or on demand, it’s about content on everything, available anywhere, at any time. Content is king, but delivery is King Kong.” Mia believes radical innovation is urgently needed, because while TV is working for now, unless they place mobile at the centre of their strategies, they’re going to plateau.

Part of the response from broadcasters has been developing apps for smart TVs. Sean McKnight, CEO of startup Roll TV emphatically disagrees with this approach and favours mobile-centric strategies: “Mobile devices are already more powerful than the processors in smart TVs and mobile touch screens are a better interface. Smart TV is also a nightmare to develop for compared to mobile platforms.”

Some broadcasters are responding, developing new show formats to include more social interaction on mobile devices. Jason George, CEO of broadcast interaction specialists Telescope, saw their “Instant Save” feature of The Voice (US) double traffic across the entire Twitter ecosystem. “We have seen a huge shift towards mobiles and social interactivity in the last year, over 75% of the Instant Save interactivity was made from a smartphone or tablet. We see this on all our shows we measure.”

Jason can also see mobile relentlessly driving new business models. “In the next two years we will see the brands innovating much more around 30 seconds spots, for example, by seeing how people can interact in real time via mobile. More and more, broadcasters will display social interactions live on screen. Research will turn into a real-time engagement piece with the audience and a real-time feedback loop, largely driven by the mobile and social experience.”

UK broadcasters have been pushing mobile interaction and companion apps to viewers throughout 2013, with spectacular levels of adoption. ITV’s X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent apps racked up over 2.5 million downloads in 2013, while mobiles and tablets now account for 43% of unique browsers to the BBC’s flagship news website, and a record 72% of UK BBC Sports traffic last Boxing Day.

Looking forward to 2015, Elaine Bedell, ITV’s director of entertainment and comedy, has high hopes for Rising Star, their forthcoming interactive, musical talent format where viewers vote in real-time during performances via an app which is fully integrated in the show. “The bold real-time voting element means that viewers’ votes control every twist and turn of the live programme, making for an incredibly dramatic, emotional and exciting show.” Crucially it also brings viewers mobile interactions back into the ITV ecosystem.

But will walled gardens for interaction be received well by a social savvy viewing public, used to Facebook connect and open interaction? The tech graveyard is littered with failed branded social spaces. Consumers prefer to hang out where all of their peers hang out, in buzzing digital spaces like Facebook and Twitter. In contrast, branded “walled gardens” can end up as sophisticated but empty interactive billboards, such as Disney’s Virtual Magic Kingdom. Without mass participation they are a ghost town. More recent arrivals to the tech graveyard are several social TV brands such as Intonow and GetGlue, underlining that open social integration has to genuinely add value to the consumer experience to succeed.

So will mobile kill the video star? Judging by the current wave of innovation and new commissioning models, a disruptive new interactive mobile video star could be just around the corner. But all we can be sure of is change; the writing is on the walled garden. Consumers are pushing the future agenda of TV via their mobiles, and it remains to be seen which broadcasters and tech companies will keep up.


Intel Touts New Ultra-High-Speed Wireless Data Technology

27 Feb

Small base stations could achieve huge data capacity increases using Intel’s modular antenna arrays.

Intel says it has prototyped a chip-based antenna array that can sit in a milk-carton-sized cellular base station. The technology could turbocharge future wireless networks by using ultrahigh frequencies.

Intel’s technology, known as a millimeter wave modular antenna array, is expected to be demonstrated today at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain, says Ali Sadri, director of the millimeter wave standards and advanced technology group at Intel.

Any one such cell could send and receive data at speeds of more than a gigabit per second over up to few hundred meters—and far more at shorter distances—compared to about 75 megabits per second for the latest standard, known as 4G LTE.

For mobile cellular communications, both the Intel and Samsung technologies could eventually use frequencies of 28 or 39 gigahertz or higher. These frequencies are known as millimeter wave and carry far more data than those used in cellular networks today. But they are easily blocked by objects in the environment—and even water droplets in the air. So they’ve traditionally been seen as impractical for mobile devices.

To get around the blockage problem, processors dynamically shape how a signal is combined among 64, 128, or even more antenna elements, controlling the direction in which a beam is sent from each antenna array, making changes on the fly in response to changing conditions.

Several groups are working on such antenna arrays, but Intel says its version is more efficient. “We can scale up the number of modular arrays as high as practical to increase transmission and reception sensitivity. The barrier is only regulatory issues, not technological ones,” Sadri says.

A major problem is finding a way to get so many antennas into a mobile device. The NYU technology used a benchtop gadget hauled around the sidewalks of Manhattan for testing. It steers beams mechanically toward intended users. The Intel chip does the same thing by shaping the direction of the signal electronically, and is now packaged in a gadget smaller than a shoebox.

A number of companies are betting next-generation wireless technologies will need to use millimeter wave links to deliver all the data people want. The European Commission, for example, last year launched a $1.8 billion 5G research effort to help develop this and other technologies.



Telecoms & Media’s top predictions for 2014

22 Jan

Informa Telecoms & Media today revealed its predictions and trends for 2014 for the telecoms and media sectors.

Telecoms operator consolidation will be a recurring theme throughout 2014. In addition to in-market consolidation – Informa Telecoms & Media is seeing a slow but steady transition to three-operator mobile markets – they expect to see regional and global telecoms operator groups entering into discussions and potential deals. One potential move in particular would significantly change the telecoms landscape. AT&T’s reported interest in Vodafone has echoes of US telcos’ expansion into European cable TV and mobile markets in the 1990s. Those European forays brought mixed success.

The telecoms business generally will see a further refinement of operator strategy towards OTT players and diversification. Rather than trying to build separate digital businesses for the consumer market, telecoms operators will increasingly focus on bundling digital content, communications services and publications with their core services. New revenue opportunities will be around selling connectivity – both on a retail and wholesale basis – to devices such as tablets and in cars.

Video and streaming will be two important themes in the media and entertainment business in 2014. The World Cup will be the first where live, streamed viewing captures a significant share of total viewing. And in music, streaming revenues will grow rapidly at the expense of downloads.

Highlights from Informa Telecoms & Media 2014 predictions:

  • A pursuit of Vodafone will be expensive and risky for AT&T
    When Vodafone completes the sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon in February, we expect AT&T to make initial approaches with a view to bidding for the entirety of the company. But we are not convinced that – if successful with its courtship – AT&T will find that married life is a bed of roses. US mobile operators AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless are brimming with confidence because of their successful LTE launches. They see LTE as a game changer and as the driver for the Internet of Things (IoT). But the European perspective is different. Operators there are struggling to charge a premium over 3G for LTE and it is not seen as being of fundamental importance for IoT and M2M where connectivity will only capture a small part of future value. Furthermore, Vodafone’s shares have appreciated by 24% over the last six months and a significant premium will be needed to persuade shareholders to sell. Informa believes that AT&T may be better advised to strengthen its position in the US fixed and converged market rather than pursuing Vodafone.
  • Bluetooth will drive innovation and growth in IoT and mobile commerce
    Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) will come to the fore as a key technology driver for new mobile services and applications in 2014. In mobile commerce, Apple’s iBeacon, PayPal’s Beacon and other BLE services like them will become widespread as an ecosystem of hardware and service providers grows around the BLE technology incorporated into iOS and Android devices. BLE’s potential to deliver a more effortless and truly contactless way of paying in-store makes it a particularly compelling technology – and a potential NFC killer.

Bluetooth Smart combines the power efficiency of BLE with the functionality of lightweight software “profiles” which specify how sensors of a certain type should perform using BLE. There is an ever-increasing list of profiles being written to enable an ever-increasing variety of application-specific, sensor-based devices – from heart-rate monitors, to door locks, to treadmills. At the start of 2014, there were more than 160 Bluetooth Smart devices in production, divisible into more than 70 different categories of device type. This astonishing level of innovation will only increase during 2014.

  • New ‘connected tablet’ business models will emerge
    The relatively low proportion of tablets that are connected to cellular networks is a major disappointment to the mobile industry. Despite the rapid growth in volume of shipments, only a small percentage – approximately 20% – of these devices connect to the macro cellular network meaning that a huge opportunity for access revenues is being lost. In 2014, we will finally see a number of new initiatives to sell more “cellular” tablets. These will often involve the use of MVNO-type business models. We see a new hybrid wholesale model emerging. In some cases, OEMs will purchase wholesale data and bundling the cost of access into the device. In other cases, mobile operators will create “ready to sell” white-label packages for OEMs.
  • Three’s company, four’s a crowd
    A consensus is emerging in the mobile communications industry that three is the optimum number of mobile operators for any given market. A number of countries in Europe (Germany, Austria, Ireland) have already started to move towards the three-operator paradigm but in other parts of the world too (the US, Colombia), proposed and actual mergers and takeovers will result in the creation of three strong players. In 2014, national regulators will play a crucial role in determining whether to give the green light to market consolidation. Informa Telecoms & Media believes that regulators are now warming to the idea that three-operator markets – plus competition from mobile virtual network operators – provide the right balance between maximizing competition and building sustainable mobile sectors.
  • Telcos will give up trying to be like OTT communications companies
    The window of opportunity for telecoms operators to develop “copycat” OTT voice and messaging services has closed. Such is the dominance of OTT service providers such as WhatsApp and Skype that it is extremely difficult for any new providers to develop similar propositions unless they offer new features and capabilities. Telefonica closed down its TuMe in 2013 and other similar operator initiatives are struggling to gain traction. Rather than building services that are designed to compete with OTT service providers, we expect to see operators developing OTT capabilities and services for their existing customers. 2014 will also be a crucial year in the future of Joyn, the OTT-like service that has been launched by a number of operators in Europe and Asia. Unless operators can demonstrate strong take-up for their services, it will be difficult to persuade device vendors that they need to include Joyn capabilities in their new models.
  • Telco mobile wallet initiatives will flicker but ultimately fail
    2014 will see a proliferation of mobile wallets in developed markets, especially Europe, and largely led by mobile operators. Most of these wallets will be prepaid and focused on NFC payments. But we predict that the year will close without any operator-wallet success stories. The operator wallets that have been launched in the West so far have yet to make an impact and in early January the UK operator Telefonica O2 announced that it was closing its mobile-wallet service because of poor take-up. Banks and payment brands such as PayPal are much more likely to gain traction with mobile wallets. The operators can only hope that there will be a role for them as enablers, charging fees to secure mobile payment transactions via SIMs.
  • Tablets, wearables and the cloud will make out-of-home content rights even hotter in 2014
    With wearables, tablets and cloud storage dominating headlines for video consumption, the missing element has always been the rights to the quality content. Many 3-5 year rights deals finish in 2014 and new deals will include “Internet” and “out-of-home” access to content. In an ideal world, these rights will be acquired by existing consumer TV services and allow seamless integration with TV and in-home viewing.
  • “Ephemeral media” will be offered by well-known content creators
    “Ephemeral media”– i.e. content with a short shelf life, such as that spread via Snapchat – has been associated with user-generated content but in 2014 it will be offered by some well-known content creators and distributors as a way of creating scarcity amid the firehose of new content. It will cause temporary panic among traditional content players which still hope (as with UltraViolet) that users will treat digital content in the same way we treated physical media. They won’t.
  • Small cells will come to the aid of congested LTE networks
    In late 2013, Verizon Wireless, the world’s largest LTE operator, admitted that it was starting to see pockets of congestion in major cities. In 2014, other “early” LTE networks, particularly those that operate in the lower (700MHz) frequency bands will start to face congestion. Those operators that have secured higher frequencies will start to use them to deploy public-area small cells in 2014. These deployments will provide critical operational and practical lessons for the whole industry, as power, backhaul, planning and maintenance issues are still to be completely solved for mass-market small cells. Operators that do not have immediate access to spectrum – either through auctions or refarming – may end up in a seriously challenged position.
  • Service providers will bundle digital publications into their broadband offerings
    Not all broadband providers can follow the lead of UK incumbent BT by spending huge sums on exclusive TV sports rights. But in order to attract and retain broadband customers, especially in mature markets where churn is a more pressing issue, we expect ISPs to partner with publishers to include subscriptions to newspaper services, magazines and e-books, as well as music and video services, in their broadband offerings in 2014.


Mobile Programming is Commodity

27 Dec

Mobiles are no more novelty.

Mobiles are substituting PCs. As we programmed in VB and Delphi 15 years ago, the same way we will program in Objective-C and Java today.  Because adoption rate for cell phone as technology (in USA) is fastest from other technologies, and the scale of adoption surpassed 80% in 2005. Smart phones are being adopted at same pace, surpassing 35% in 2011, just in several years since iPhone revolution happened in 2007. Go check out the evidence from New York Times since 2008 forcell phones , evidence from Technology Review since 2010 for smart phones , more details by Harvard Business Review on accelerated technology adoption.

Visionaries look further. O’Reilly.

The list of hottest conferences by direction from visionary O’Reilly:

  • BigData
  • New Web
  • SW+HW
  • DevOps

BigData still matters, matching approach to Gartner’s “peak of inflated expectations”. Strata, Strata Rx (Healthcare flavor), Strata Hadoop Tap into the collective intelligence of the leading minds in data—decision makers using the power of big data to drive business strategy, and practitioners who collect, analyze, and manipulate data. Strata gives you the skills, tools, and technologies you need to make data work today—and the insights and visionary thinking O’Reilly is known for.

JavaScript got out of the web browser and penetrated all domains of programming. Expectations and progress for HTML5 .Web 2.0 abandoned, fluent created. Emerging technologies for new Web Platform and new SaaS. O’Reilly’s Fluent Conference was created to give developers working with JavaScript a place to gather and learn from each other. As JavaScript has become a significant tool for all kinds of development, there’s a lot of new information to wrap your head around. And the best way to learn is to spend time with people who are actually working with JavaScript and related technologies, inventing ways to apply its power, scalability, and platform independence to new products and services.

“The barriers between software and physical worlds are falling”. “Hardware startups are looking like the software startups of the previous digital age”. Internet of Things has longer cycle (according to Gartner’s hype cycle), but it is coming indeed. With connected machines, machine-to-machine, smart machines, embedded programming, 3D printing and DIY to assemble them (machines). Solid. The programmable world is creating disruptive innovation as profound as the Internet itself. As barriers blur between software and the manufacture of physical things, industries and individuals are scrambling to turn this disruption into opportunity.

DevOps & Performance is popular. Velocity. Most companies with outward-facing dynamic websites face the same challenges: pages must load quickly, infrastructure must scale efficiently, and sites and services must be reliable, without burning out the team or breaking the budget. Velocity is the best place on the planet for web ops and performance professionals like you to learn from your peers, exchange ideas with experts, and share best practices and lessons

Open Source matters more and more. Open Source is about sharing partial IP for free according toWikinomicsOSCON. OSCON is where all of the pieces come together: developers, innovators, business people, and investors. In the early days, this trailblazing O’Reilly event was focused on changing mainstream business thinking and practices; today OSCON is about how the close partnership between business and the open source community is building the future. That future is everywhere you look.

Digitization of conent continues. TOC.

Innovation in leadership and processes. cultivate.

Visionaries look further. GigaOM.

The list of conferences by direction from GigaOM:

  • BigData
  • UX
  • IoT
  • Cloud

BigData. STRUCTURE DATA From smarter cars to savvier healthcare, today’s data strategies are driving business in compelling new directions.

User Experience. ROADMAP As data and connectivity shape our world, experience design is now as important as the technology itself. It covers (and will cover) ubiquitous UI, wearables and HCI with all those new smarter machines (3D printed & DIY & embedded programming).

Internet of Things. MOBILIZE Five years ago, Mobilize was the first conference of its kind to outline the future of mobility after Apple’s iPhone exploded onto the scene. We continue to track the hottest early adopters, the bold visionaries and those about to disrupt the ecosystem. We hope that you will join us at Mobilize and be the first in line to ride this next wave of innovation. This year we’ll cover: The internet of things and industrial internet; Mobile big data and new product alchemy; Wearable devices; BYOD and mobile security.

Cloud. STRUCTURE Structure 2013 focused on how real-time business needs are shaping IT architectures, hyper-distributed infrastructure and creating a cloud that will look completely different from everything that’s come before. Questions we answered at Structure 2013 included: Which architects are choosing open source solutions, and what are the advantages? Will to-the-minute cloud availability be an advantage for Azure? What are the lessons learned in building a customized enterprise PaaS? Where is there still space to innovate for next-generation leaders?


To be strong programmer for today you have to be able to design and code for smart phones and tablets as your father and mother did 20 years ago for PC and workstations. Mobile programming is shaped by the trends, described in Mobile Trends for 2014.

To be strong programmer for tomorrow you have to tame the philosophy, technologies and tools of BigData (despite Gartners prediction of inflated expectations), Cloud,  Embedded and Internet of Things. It is much less Objective-C but probably still plenty of Java. Seems like the future is better suited for Android developers. IoT is positioned last in the list because its adoption rate is significantly lower than for cell phones (after 2000 dotcom burst).


ITU releases latest tech figures & global rankings

31 Oct

  • 250 million additional people came online in 2012
  • Republic of Korea tops ICT ranking for 3rd year in a row
  • By end 2013 40% of the world will be online – but 1.1 billion households – or 4.4 billion people – remain unconnected
  • Mobile broadband is now more affordable than fixed broadband
  • Almost the whole world is now within reach of mobile cellular service
  • 30% of the world’s young population are ‘digital natives’
  • Broadband is getting faster; 2Mbps now most popular basic package
  • Telco operator CAPEX peaked in 2008; despite economic upturn investment levels have not returned

Mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets has become the fastest growing segment of the global ICT market, according to ITU’s flagship annual report Measuring the Information Society 2013.

New figures released today show buoyant global demand for information and communication technology (ICT) products and services, steadily declining prices for both cellular and broadband services, and unprecedented growth in 3G uptake.

By end 2013 there will be 6.8 billion total mobile-cellular subscriptions – almost as many as there are people on the planet.

An estimated 2.7 billion people will also be connected to the Internet – though speeds and prices vary widely, both across and within regions.

Mobile broadband connections over 3G and 3G+ networks are growing at an average annual rate of 40 per cent, equating to 2.1 billion mobile-broadband subscriptions and a global penetration rate of almost 30 per cent. Almost 50 per cent of all people worldwide are now covered by a 3G network.

ICT Development Index country rankings

New data from the 2013 edition of Measuring the Information Society reveal that the Republic of Korea leads the world in terms of overall ICT development for the third consecutive year, followed closely by Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Norway.

The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Hong Kong (China) also rank in the top 10, with the UK nudging into the top 10 group from 11th position last year.

ITU’s ICT Development Index (IDI)* ranks 157 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills, and compares 2011 and 2012 scores. It is widely recognized by government, UN agencies and industry as the most accurate and impartial measure of overall national ICT development.

Top performers – and connectivity challenges

All countries in the IDI top 30 are high-income countries, underlining the strong link between income and ICT progress.

There are large differences between developed and developing countries, with IDI values on average twice as high in the developed world compared with developing countries.

The report identifies a group of ‘most dynamic countries’, which have recorded above-average improvements in their IDI rank or value over the past 12 months. These include (in order of most improved): United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Barbados, Seychelles, Belarus, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Zambia, Australia, Bangladesh, Oman and Zimbabwe.

The report also identifies the countries with the lowest IDI levels – so-called Least Connected Countries (LCCs). Home to 2.4 billion people – one third of the world’s total population – the Least Connected Countries are also the countries that could potentially derive great benefits from better access to and use of ICTs in areas such as health, education and employment.

“This year’s IDI figures show much reason for optimism, with governments clearly prioritizing ICTs as a major lever of socio-economic growth, resulting in better access and lower prices,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. “Our most pressing challenge is to identify ways to enable those countries which are still struggling to connect their populations to deploy the networks and services that will help lift them out of poverty.”

Broadband pricing & affordability

Analysis of trends in broadband pricing in more than 160 countries shows that in the four years between 2008-2012 fixed-broadband prices fell by 82 per cent overall, from 115.1 per cent of average monthly income per capita (GNI p.c.) in 2008 to 22.1 per cent in 2012.

The biggest drop occurred in developing countries, where fixed-broadband prices fell by 30 per cent year on year between 2008 and 2011.

The average price per unit of speed (Mbps) also decreased significantly between 2008 and 2012, with a global median price of USD 19.50 per Mbps in 2012, almost a quarter of the price that was being charged in 2008.

The report also presents for the first time the results of a comprehensive price data collection exercise that was carried out for four different types of mobile-broadband service. Results show that in developing countries mobile broadband is now more affordable than fixed broadband, but still much less affordable than in developed countries.

Austria has the world’s most affordable mobile broadband, while Sao Tomé and Principe, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have the least affordable, with service cost equal to or higher than average monthly gross national income (GNI) per capita. Other countries that rank well for mobile broadband affordability include Qatar, the United Kingdom, Germany, Kuwait and France.

The global broadband affordability target set in 2011 by the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development aims to bring the cost of entry-level broadband service to less than 5% of average monthly income.

Digital natives

A new model developed by ITU for this year’s report estimates the size of the digital native population worldwide, showing that in 2012 there were around 363 million digital natives out of a world population of around 7 billion. This equates to 5.2 per cent of the total global population, and 30 per cent of the global youth population. The model defines digital natives as networked youth aged 15-24 years with five or more years of online experience.

Out of a total of 145 million young Internet users in the developed countries, 86.3 per cent are estimated to be digital natives, compared with less than half of the 503 million young Internet users in the developing world. Within the next five years, the digital native population in the developing countries is forecast to more than double.

The report shows that, globally speaking, young people are almost twice as networked as the global population as a whole, with the age gap more pronounced in the developing world.

“This first-ever global measurement of the number of digital natives is very timely, coming just after the presentation to the UN General Assembly in New York of the Youth Declaration developed at ITU’s BYND2015 Global Youth Summit, by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla. Young people are the most enthusiastic adopters and users of ICTs. They are the ones who will shape the direction of our industry in the coming decades, and their voice needs to be heard,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which produces the MIS report.

Digital divide

At the beginning of 2013 almost 80 per cent of households globally had a TV, compared with 41 per cent of households with a computer and 37 per cent with Internet access.

The report shows that the number of households with Internet access is increasing in all regions, but large differences persist, with penetration rates at the end of this year set to reach almost 80 per cent in the developed world, compared with 28 per cent in the developing world.

An estimated 1.1 billion households worldwide are not yet connected to the Internet, 90 per cent of which are in the developing world.

The trend is strongly positive, however, with the proportion of households with Internet access in developing countries increasing from 12 per cent in 2008 to 28 per cent in 2013 – a remarkable 18 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Internet users as a percentage of the population has been growing on average at double-digit rates over the past ten years. The percentage of the population online in the developed world will reach almost 77 per cent by end 2013, compared with 31 per cent in the developing world.

Telecoms investment

ITU research shows that telecommunication operators’ capital expenditure (CAPEX) peaked in 2008 with global investment totalling USD 290 billion, followed by two consecutive years of decline. Despite the upturn in 2011, 2008 investment levels have not yet been restored.

Sluggish investment levels after 2008 are consistent with an overall economic environment of restricted access to capital markets, which may limit the capacity of operators to raise funds for new investments. With the expansion of global operators into new markets, many operators are active in both developing and developed countries, with the adverse financial environment in the developed world likely impairing investments in the developing world.

See a selection of charts and tables highlighting key findings here.

Measuring the Information Society 2013: Charts and Tables

Chart 1: IDI rankings end 2012
ICT Development Index, Selected economies, 2012
Source: ITU
Table 1: Most dynamic countries – changes between IDI 2012 and 2011
Source: ITU. Note: * Australia, Bangladesh, Oman and Zimbabwe all went up four places
in the IDI rankings between 2011 and 2012.
Figure 1: Least connected countries (LCCs), end 2012
Source: ITU
Chart 2: Fixed-broadband prices, as a percentage of GNI per capita
Source: ITU. GNI p.c. is based on World Bank data. Note: Simple averages. Based on 144 economies
for which 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 fixed-broadband prices were available.
Chart 3: Digital natives as a percentage of total population,
by region and level of development, end 2012
Source: ITU
Chart 4: Digital natives as a percentage of youth (15-24),
by region and level of development, end 2012
Source: ITU
Chart 5: Percentage of households with Internet access by level of development, 2003-2013*
Source: ITU. Note: * Estimate.
Chart 6: Annual Investment (CAPEX) of telecommunication operators, world and by level of development, 2007-2011, total in USD
Source: ITU. Note: ‘World’ includes 67 countries accounting for 87 per cent of world GDP. ‘Developed’ includes 31 developed countries accounting for 96 per cent of total GDP in the developed world. ‘Developing’ includes 36 developing countries accounting for 72 per cent of total GDP in the developing world.

*Note to editors:

The IDI combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally, and at national level, as well as helping track progress in ICT development over time. It measures ICT access, use and skills, and includes such indicators as mobile cellular subscriptions, households with a computer, Internet users, fixed and mobile broadband Internet subscriptions, and basic literacy rates.

ITU statistics are widely recognized as the world’s most reliable and impartial global data on the state of the global ICT industry. They are used extensively by leading intergovernmental agencies, financial institutions and private sector analysts worldwide.

ITU statistics are available at

An Executive Summary of the MIS 2013 report can be found at:

Journalists wishing to receive a free copy of the full report in PDF format should contact Sarah Parkes at the ITU Press Office

Download the MIS 2013 infographics at:

Download the MIS 2013 PowerPoint presentation at:

Download images and photos of the launch at:

Follow the discussion on Twitter at: #ITUdata



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