ITU International Telecommunications Union [to 23 January 2016]

ITU International Telecommunications Union [to 23 January 2016]
http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/index.aspx?lang=en#.VF8FYcl4WF8

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21 January 2016
Global partners join forces at Davos to connect the unconnected by 2020
Estimated cost of connecting next 1.5 billion is USD 450 billion
Davos,– A new global dialogue focused on getting the next 1.5 billion unconnected people online was forged at a special session of the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development held at the World Economic Forum in Davos today…

A new Discussion Paper developed by ITU as a contribution to the work of the Commission presented at the session estimates that it will take global investment of USD 450 billion in network infrastructure to connect the next 1.5 billion unconnected people worldwide…

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Internet of Things could be the low-cost ‘connectivity key’ that transforms lives in developing countries
New report from ITU and Cisco Systems throws spotlight on exciting development potential of hyper-connected world
Honolulu, 19 January 2016 – A new report from ITU and networking giant, Cisco, identifies the Internet of Things (IoT) as a major global development opportunity that has the potential to improve the lives of millions and dramatically accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Launched today at the Pacific Telecommunications Council annual meeting in Hawaii, “Harnessing the Internet of Things for Global Development” outlines how IoT could have a major impact in areas such as grassroots delivery of health care and education, positively transforming communities within a time frame that would have been unimaginable even a few years ago.

The joint report argues that strong demand for IoT technologies has created a huge array of IoT devices that are readily available, affordable and scalable for developing countries, providing an ideal platform to energize growth in emerging economies and improve people’s quality of life significantly – all with minimal investment.
The IoT concept refers broadly to the growing number of devices – from computers and smartphones to simple sensors and RFID chips – that are connected to the Internet and able to communicate with other devices, often without the need for human intervention. IoT is already extensively deployed in stock and inventory systems, fleet management, environmental monitoring and many industrial processes.

The ITU/Cisco report points to evidence of IoT already having an important impact on health, education and livelihood programmes (such as agricultural productivity) in developing countries. It cites three prime drivers that, if supported, could create an ‘IoT revolution’ in the developing world:

Availability:
:: IoT devices are already common, cheap and easy replaceable in developing markets. Basic infrastructure to support IoT (Wi-Fi, Internet cafés, etc.) is already in place in many developing communities, with near-ubiquitous basic mobile connectivity (95% global 2G coverage, according to ITU’s latest statistics) and growing levels of 3G coverage (89% of the world’s urban dwellers – but only 29% of rural inhabitants).
:: IoT devices are increasingly being used in rugged, remote and inhospitable environments. ‘Extreme conditions’ operating parameters are now being built into IoT specs as more and more devices are required to operate outside in varying conditions and climates – making them well-adapted for challenging environments.
Affordability:
:: IoT R&D costs continue to be absorbed by strong demand in developed world markets, and there is little cost associated with ‘tweaking’ IoT devices for the developing world. The report also notes that in many cases, more complex developed world infrastructure is not required or necessary for developing markets; ‘core IoT’ is readily available and provides a digital backbone to build upon.

Scalability:
:: IoT devices are designed to be scalable. Many devices already offer very simple ‘plug & play’ functionality and do not require skilled technicians for installation or maintenance. Reduced and alternate power supplies (such as solar) can maintain sensors and networks where there is no consistent electricity supply, making them ideal for countries struggling with irregular or unavailable grid power. Finally, IoT devices also tend to be highly flexible, offering short- or long-term solutions and expansion at the household’s, the community’s or the country’s ‘own’ speed.

“The Internet of Things is one of the most exciting areas of our fast-evolving ICT industry, offering huge potential for disruption and transformation. In the context of global development challenges, this means we have the potential to surmount long-standing hurdles in basic services like health care, both quickly and affordably. IoT could prove the long-awaited new approach that will help turn-around developing economies and greatly improve millions of people’s day-to-day lives,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao…

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New global platform to assist development of Smart Sustainable Cities
International standards to help achieve smart-city ambitions
Geneva, 18 January 2016 – The first World Smart City online community was launched today to assist city stakeholders in their efforts to develop Smart Sustainable Cities. The new community aims to identify the top ‘pain points’ presenting challenges to city development.

The community launch is part of the build-up to the first World Smart City Forum, organized by IEC in partnership with ISO and ITU. The Forum will be held in Singapore on 13 July 2016, co-located with the World Cities Summit http://www.worldcitiessummit.com.sg/