This Week in Global Mobile | February 18, 2011

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

  • Yesterday Alec Ross, Senior Advisor on Innovation for Secretary Clinton, held an online discussion hosted by Facebook DC to discuss the role of social media and reflect on Secretary Clinton’s “Internet Rights and Wrongs” speech given earlier this week.
  • In support of the people of the soon-to-be-formed Southern Sudan, Google launched an initiative to build a better map of Sudan using Google Map Maker.
  • Working with U.C. Berkeley, the State Department launched Opinion Space 3.0, a social media technology that helps communities exchange viewpoints and ideas.
  • Today the Obama administration released the National Broadband Map, a useful tool to help Americans learn about their Internet options and check their connection speeds.
  • A Thai webmaster was charged for allowing an anonymous user to post anti-royal family comments on her independent forum in a case that will test the country’s Web censorship policies.
  • Cyber crime in the U.K. costs the economy £27bn each year, reported the Cabinet Office yesterday.
  • At the Mobile World Congress, a high-profile showcase of the mobile industry’s progress and innovation, Google C.E.O. Eric Schmidt hailed mobile phones as “the new PC.”
  • To increase public transparency, the Government of Chile posted to YouTube a series of presentations by the president and other ministers outlining their goals for 2011.
  • Social networking accounts for 1 in every 5 minutes spent online in Australia, reported ComScore, representing an increase of over 5 percent from 2009.
  • Mobile banking subscribers in South Africa rose 17 percent in 2010 to 44%, with the 26-34 age group dominating usage, explained IT News Africa.
  • Two Zimbabwean telecom companies connected to an undersea fiber-optic cable in an effort to boost broadband connectivity and improve the country’s infrastructure.
  • In an attempt to reduce crime and identity theft, the mobile regulator of Nigeria banned all new unregistered SIM cards as it attempts to register 80 million active lines in the country.
  • Facing increased anti-government protests, the Algerian authorities blocked access to various websites including Facebook for the second time this month.
  • A French tech company announced a SIM card with built-in Facebook access, which could play a major role in connecting low-income users around the world to the social network using only basic features like SMS.
  • Nokia C.E.O. Stephen Elop announced his company’s intentions of bringing 3 billion more people online through Internet-connected mobile phones.
  • A new undersea telecommunications cable reached Cuba this week, enabling the country to increase its Internet capacity by a factor of 3,000.