This Week in Global Mobile | August 6, 2010

At times its difficult to keep pace with all the latest global mobile developments. I hope this selection of news stories from the past week will help you navigate the ever-growing global network of connectivity:

  • On Monday Vodafone announced the launch of two Nokia handsets in Kenya, which come pre-loaded with text-to-speech software capable of reading aloud everything from texts to battery life data.
  • Our very own Sam DuPont published a must-read piece on the merits of digital diplomacy in Foreign Policy. Read it here.
  • Vonage released a new iPhone and Android app allowing users to make free mobile calls to anyone on the planet through their Facebook account.
  • The New York City subway plans to equip all 277 stations with mobile and wi-fi connectivity by 2016.
  • Saudi Arabia’s BlackBerry ban begins today, concluding a tumultuous week for the device’s manufacturer in which the UAE, Algeria, India, Lebanon, and the European Union also expressed security concerns over the company’s message encryption. Read Secretary Clinton’s reaction here.
  • Partnering with mGive, the U.S. State Department established an SMS short-code program to help Pakistan flood recovery efforts.
  • The Stanford School of Medicine is providing all incoming first-year medical students with iPads to improve the learning process, while BBC plans on doing the same for its U.K. production staff.
  • Apple patended the iBike, a bicycle designed to fully integrate with personal electronics.
  • Sweden and Denmark top The Economist’s just-released “Digital Economy Rankings,” which for the first time place particular emphasis on ICT connectivity, affordability, and quality.
  • Japan mobile manufacturer Sharp plans to introduce 3D smartphones later this year, viewable without special glasses.
  • On Wednesday, Ushahidi’s crowdsourced event-monitoring platform was employed by during Kenya’s constitutional referendum vote, drawing in over 1,000 reports during the peaceful elections. Read our coverage here.
  • Burkina Faso intends to cover the entire country with a 3G network within ten years.
  • Outrage (and confusion) surrounded yesterday’s net neutrality community when Google and Verizon execs met, apparently to discuss tiered-pricing and content-prioritizing (both Google and Verizon denied the claims). The FCC entered the fray by calling a sudden end to closed-doors meetings with industry giants.
  • ABI Research released a study predicting that 60% (3.8 billion) of global mobile phones will have full Internet browsers by 2015.
  • The FDA just cleared WellDoc’s DiabetesManager system, a mobile health monitoring suite billed as the first of its kind to receive FDA approval to enter the market.