This Week in Global Mobile | April 1, 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:

  • Writing for Havana Times, Pedro Campos explained how the Internet is due to play an important role as “the great equalizer” in Cuba’s socialist tradition.
  • In a special to Al Jazeera, Jillian York examined how Western tech companies are making big bucks producing the censorship tools being employed in the Arab world.
  • The number of Americans watching mobile video increased 40% in 2010, while smart phone penetration jumped 9 points from 2009 to 31%, reported Nielsen.
  • Three Chinese dissident bloggers, arrested in February, were indicted for “issuing online appeals for a Jasmine Revolution in China,” reported Boxun News.
  • Amazon, Google, and Microsoft both revealed intentions to incorporate Near Field Communication technology in mobile payment services in the near future. More on NFC here and here.
  • In response to data caps imposed by Canadian ISPs, video provider Netflix downgraded its streaming content and compressed its content to keep it accessible in Canada.
  • Google launched +1, a social media service which prioritizes search results based on votes submitted by a user’s contacts and friends.
  • According to ABI Research, shipments of smart phones reached 302 million in 2010, reflecting a shocking 71% increase over 2009 worldwide.
  • MTN, Africa’s largest mobile operator, began offering life insurance to Ghanaian customers via their mobile phones, bringing security to the country’s low-income earners.
  • Nokia began distributing E8 Android-based phones to Egyptian Twitter activists, marketing the devices as important social media tools for activists.
  • Mobile money service M-PESA received a new feature allowing them to transfer funds from any Western Union account from 45 countries and 80,000 agents around the world.