Category Archives: IoT

Pakistan’s digital revolution is happening faster than you think

CPEC

The digital power of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) is slowly unfolding and shaping into a whole new area of opportunity.

When the BRI took global centre stage in 2013, most conversations revolved around traditional infrastructure: building roads, railways, power sources and linking borders. However, the digital awakening that BRI brings, and the associated development of human capital and innovation, is much more powerful.

The global map is being altered at a much faster rate than anticipated due to the disruption created by digital infrastructure, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and blockchain. Further digital and technological disruption is now set to mend fractures in society – leading to improved living conditions and enhanced economic empowerment.

This disruption has given new life to e-commerce and the start-up scene in BRI countries. In light of the Global Competitiveness Index 4.0, it is extremely important that economies grow in all areas, overcoming challenges and making investment in human capital and innovation. Resilience and agility are key.

Looking at the South Asian region, some of the traditional deterrents to growth have been inadequate transport facilities, patchy power supplies and lack of financial inclusion. As we have seen in the past, industrial revolutions take their time to reach developing countries but the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been quick to reach all corners of the world.

Billions of dollars of investment are bridging the infrastructure and power supply gap while improving technology – the goal is to look past the problems that have hindered the road to progress in countries along the BRI.

The flagship project of the BRI, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a major collaboration between China and Pakistan, has been rapidly progressing and the impact of the project can be seen in the lives of Pakistani people, as reflected in an improving human development index.

Pakistan, which is emerging from many years of the war on terror, is now on a decent path to progress, with economic growth of 5.8% and improved investor confidence. At the World Economic Forum in 2017, Ebay’s chief executive, Devin Wenig, highlighted Pakistan as one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world. In 2018, Alibaba bought Pakistan’s largest e-commerce platform, Daraz.pk.

Growth is being accelerated by other major investments in power and connectivity infrastructure, technology and digital infrastructure. Ant Financial Services, China’s biggest online payment service provider, recently bought a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank, in a deal that valued the Pakistani bank at $410 million.

Irfan Wahab, chief executive of Telenor Pakistan, called the deal a “game changer”; while Eric Jing, chief executive of Ant Financial, said it would provide “inclusive financial services in a transparent, safe, low-cost and efficient way to a largely unbanked and underbanked population in Pakistan”.

This kind of investment will benefit from the significant demographic dividend in Pakistan, targeting the largely unbanked young population, and providing not only financial inclusion but also a base on which to build digital businesses.

What the country needs now is to improve its position on the innovation and financial inclusion indices, currently at 89 and 75 respectively, on the World Economic Forum’s Competitiveness Index 2018.

source and more: www.weforum.org

Simplilearn to Train College Recruits on Digital Economy Skills (India)

Mission-critical skills such as big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and digital marketing are ones that enterprises are increasingly turning to fresh graduates to fill

Campus and entry level recruiting is a critical component of every corporate HR strategy but often involves many months of onboarding and mentoring to get these employees productive. Simplilearn offers a New-Hire Training Initiative that significantly shortens this time-to-productivity via a structured training curriculum for campus recruits that they can complete before their first day on the job, or within their first couple of weeks.

Simplilearn focuses exclusively on digital-economy skills such as big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and digital marketing. These mission-critical skills are also ones that enterprises are increasingly turning to fresh graduates to fill.

Simplilearn’s new program enables organizations to help their recent on-campus recruits become job-ready (and even certified) with necessary technology skills, gained through Simplilearn’s online training courses prior to onboarding of the new employee.

“Campus hiring has never been more critical. With today’s rapid technology changes, it has become essential to ensure young professionals are up-to-date with the digital skills they will need to have an immediate impact at their new companies,” said Krishna Kumar, Founder and CEO of Simplilearn.

“Offering our vast experience in the latest technologies, Simplilearn is well-suited and proud to help Fortune 500 companies and other organizations bridge the gaps in skills and productivity that often come when onboarding new employees fresh from academia,” he added.

During their final semester in their college or university degree programs, recruits will undertake this training, following predefined learning paths that match their upcoming job roles. In addition to online videos and instructor-led lessons, the courses also include practical applied projects and assessments that are relevant in the high-demand fields such as data analysts, programmers, developers,

Simplilearn has partnered with leading IT/ITes, consulting, internet retail companies and Global System Integrators to support their new hire training initiatives. Also, as part of the company’s core offerings, the Simplilearn Digital Transformation Academy covers all aspects of people, process and technology to help organizations achieve competencies in digital technologies and applications.

The Digital Transformation Academy is designed to be customizable across a wide variety of industries and for all employee and management levels and roles while delivering on Simplilearn’ s outcome-centric, high engagement learning approach.

source: www.dqindia.com

China will invest US$14.6 bil to develop digital economy

chinaChina will invest 100 billion yuan (about US$14.6 billion) for developing the digital economy in the next five years, according an agreement signed at the International Conference on the Digital Economy and the Digital Silk Road.

The investments will go to projects on big data, internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, smart cities and the digital Silk Road, according to an agreement signed by China Development Bank and the National Development and Reform Commission.

The development of the digital economy has been listed as an important task for building modern economic set up in China and to achieve high quality development.

China has achieved much progress in this area over the past few years, by way of rolling out a raft of measures, which included a national big data strategy.

A report released by Cyberspace Administration of China said the country’s digital economy grew to 27.2 trillion yuan last year, up 20.3% year-on-year, and accounted for 32.9% of  its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The two-day International Conference on the Digital Economy and the Digital Silk Road, held in Hangzhou, a scenic city in east China’s Zhejiang Province, opened  on Tuesday.

source: ww.theedgemarkets.com

Vodafone claims UK’s first live holographic 5G call

vodafone efVodafone showed off its 5G prowess on Thursday by conducting what it claims is the U.K.’s first ever live holographic call using 5G technology.

The call was carried out between the telco’s Manchester office and Newbury headquarters, and featured England women’s football captain Steph Houghton appearing on stage in hologram form to give football tips to a young fan.

It would be easy to dismiss the demonstration as a gimmick, but Vodafone insisted that it points to exciting possibilities that next-generation mobile technology can bring to sport, such as remote coaching and training, as well as opportunities for richer interaction with fans.

“Vodafone has a history of firsts in UK telecoms – we made the nation’s first mobile call, sent the first text and now we’ve conducted the U.K.’s first holographic call using 5G,” said Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery, in a statement.

Of course, holographic 5G calling is only possible when there is a network in place, and with that in mind, Vodafone shared plans to roll out infrastructure in Cornwall and the Lake District next year, and to have 1,000 5G sites up and running nationwide by 2020.

In addition to showcasing 5G, Vodafone also launched new initiatives and tariffs targeted at small businesses and entrepreneurs.

These include a new digital incubator in Manchester; a £300,000 Techstarter award for innovative technology with a social purpose; and a mentorship programme in partnership with Oxford University Innovation called Bright Sparks.

Meanwhile, Vodafone UK’s retail and contact centre staff will be given the opportunity to learn coding via the operator’s new Code Ready scheme. The company is also launching the Vodafone Digital Degree, which combines a computer science degree from the University of Birmingham with a tech apprenticeship at Vodafone.

For small business customers, Vodafone on Thursday launched what it calls a self-optimising tariff that automatically moves subscribers to the most cost-effective plan. It also unveiled Gigacube, a mobile WiFi hotspot that supports up to 20 connections. Vodafone is pitching it to pop-up businesses like shops and restaurants, and companies setting up temporary satellite offices.

“The initiatives we’ve launched today are designed to ensure that everyone can benefit from the digital technologies transforming how we live and work. From our customers and employees, to university students, digital entrepreneurs and businesses, we want to help people across the UK get ready for a digital future,” Jeffery said.

source: www.totaltele.com

GSMA: Free Flow of Data across Borders Essential for Asia’s Digital Economies

GSMAGovernments in Asia can expand the region’s digital economy and unlock further socio-economic benefits for their citizens by removing unnecessary restrictions on the movement of data internationally, according to a new report released by the GSMA today at the Mobile 360 – Digital Societies conference in Bangkok. The study, ‘Regional Privacy Frameworks and Cross-Border Data Flows’, reveals that striking the right balance in the region’s data privacy regulations could significantly enhance economic activity and future innovation in 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Over the past decade, international data flows have increased global GDP by 10.1 per cent, and their annual contribution to global GDP has already surpassed US $2.8 trillion1 – a larger share than the global trade in goods. The ability to transfer, store and process data enables commerce, spurs innovation, and drives the development of new technologies, platforms, services and infrastructure.

Although the Asia Pacific region has made good progress in the development of data privacy frameworks that protect consumers while also allowing data to flow across borders, the report highlights that variances in data privacy laws across countries is holding back trade and innovation. The report also calls for better links at a regional level between Asia’s two main privacy frameworks – the ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection and the APEC Privacy Framework – to enable cross-border data flows.

“The immense economic opportunities arising from the digital economy and data flows are indisputable,” said Boris Wojtan, Director of Privacy, GSMA. “Working towards a pan-Asian approach to data privacy is critical to protecting the rights of individuals and unlocking this economic potential, not only in Asia, but around the world. Regulating people’s personal information by a patchwork of geographically bound privacy laws will only restrict how Asian companies can innovate and bring better products and services to consumers in the future. Now is an important time for all countries to take actions to bridge the differences in their privacy regulation and achieve greater alignment.”

The study evaluated various regional data privacy frameworks and their key principles, while diving down into individual countries to identify national approaches to privacy regulation. It highlights specific steps that all countries, including less developed states, can take to support greater alignment across Asia. Some of the key recommendations included in the report are:

  • APEC and ASEAN governments should consider the options outlined in the study to bridge the differences between their respective privacy frameworks and seek interoperability with other regional frameworks;
  • Countries should advance the alignment of national-level privacy regimes by conducting a landscape analysis to see where they stand in terms of data privacy and reviewing the experience of other governments in the region to understand common paths forward;
  • Policymakers in government and privacy enforcement authorities should support deeper collaboration and cross-learning across the region; and
  • Governments should also draw on non-government privacy experts in the private sector and academia to inform their approaches.

The GSMA also today released its report, ‘Cross-Border Data Flows: Realising Benefits and Removing Barriers’, which describes the benefits of global data flows for individuals, businesses and governments, and explores the damaging impact of increased data localisation measures, which can either require companies to store data locally, or even prohibit companies from transferring personal data altogether. The report calls for governments globally to commit to removing unnecessary localisation measures and enable data to flow cross-border through improved approaches to protecting people’s data.

The ‘Regional Privacy Frameworks and Cross-Border Data Flows’ report is available here in English.

The ‘Cross-Border Data Flows: Realising Benefits and Removing Barriers’ report is available here in English.

source: https://business.financialpost.com

Library

New Vision for A Global Digital Economy Emerges At Smart China Expo (event)

smart china expoIndustry leaders attending the first Smart China Expo (SCE 2018) in China’s western city of Chongqing have articulated a new vision for how the world’s digital economy will evolve at the event’s Global Digital Economy Summit, a forum that brought together 650 participants under the theme “New Digital Economy, New Growth Engine.” Speakers projected a future in which Big Data reshapes the way businesses and governments operate, cooperate, and compete.

New forces being unleashed by current innovations threaten to disrupt the existing economic growth models of many industries, as digital information will rise to the same status as land and capital as a key element of productivity. Meanwhile, governments around the world are building “smart infrastructure” as they seek to use technology to upgrade power grids, railways, ports and toll roads, and seek to integrate everything. Big Data technology also helps build “smart cities,” boost consumption, and improve social welfare programs ranging from education to philanthropy to healthcare.

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be a big contributor to healthcare,” said Piero Scaruffi, a cognitive scientist, AI expert and writer of A History of Silicon Valley. Piero, believes that technology will make a better society and that AI will slash the cost of healthcare. “When we talk about machines saving lives, that’s real progress,” he said.

Kate Garman, smart city policy adviser to the Mayor of Seattle, shared insights into smart city management at SCE 2018. “Smart cities have challenged cities to be innovative. It has been the inspiration for cities to jump forward using technology,” she said.

Despite huge progress, China still faces many hurdles in developing a digital economy, said Li Yizhong, former head of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). “Chinese manufacturers lag in the application of smart manufacturing, and businesses need to accelerate their digitalization process.” Li pointed out that “issues like how to balance improving efficiency and protecting jobs, and how to protect commercial secretes in the age of Internet also remain challenging.”

Alibaba Vice President Liu Song predicted that over the next 10 years, AI and the Internet of Thongs (IoT) will replace mobile technologies as the world’s defining digital technologies, which is why Alibaba is heavily investing in three areas: Big Data, network synergy and smart data. Liu’s view was echoed by Cai Yongzhong, Chairman of Deloitte China, who urged traditional businesses to actively embrace innovation in the face of the upcoming digital revolution.

For more information, please visit http://www.ichongqing.info/smart-china-expo/.

About Smart China Expo (SCE)

Held Chongqing, the Smart China Expo (SCE) is a world-class, national-level Expo that supports the development of Big Data and smart technologies in Western China. High-profiled guests joined the event including 4 political heavyweights, 22 national government officials that above ministerial-level, 58 persons who are in charge of institutions under national departments, and 407 senior representatives from top tier global brands such as Siemens, IBM, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and more.

source: www.multivu.com

Regulating a Digital Economy: An Indian Perspective

The “fourth industrial revolution” which has been characterised by end-to-end digitalisation has led to unprecedented increases in connectivity and data flows. By 2017, Asia had the largest number of internet users in the world, with 1.9 billion people online.

Joshua Meltzer, Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, spoke about regulating the digital economy at a Brookings India Development Seminar on April 20, 2018.

In 2014 cross-border data flows were 45 times larger than in 2005, raising global gross domestic product (GDP) by approximately 3.5 per cent, equivalent to $2.8 trillion dollars in 2014. According to the World Bank, it is expected that a 10 per cent increase in internet penetration in the exporting country would lead to a 1.9 per cent increase in exports. In fact, in the U.S. alone internet and data use increased GDP by 3.4-4.8 per cent, as per estimates of the United States International Trade Commission.

In India, the digital economy is expected to contribute $550bn-$1tr in GDP by 2025, and add 1.5-2 million jobs by 2018 through its Digital India initiative.

The economic opportunities from technologies such as cloud computing, big data and the internet of things are also not limited to the IT sector but are economy-wide, including in sectors such as manufacturing and agriculture, Meltzer argued based on his working paper “Regulating for a digital economy: Understanding the importance of cross-border data flows in Asia”.

Over 40 per cent of India’s goods and services exports consist of software services and IT-enabled services (ITES) from financial analysis, accounting, medical transcription to the provision of applications for smartphones. Cross-border data flows remain vital for India’s exports of services.

Governments, however, are increasingly introducing measures that restrict data flows.

In order to build the digital economy, India will need to determine a fit-for-purpose regulation especially in privacy, consumer protection, intellectual property and financial regulation.

Cross-border data flow restrictions can take one of several forms, from restrictions on data being transferred outside national borders and requiring prior consent for global transfers. According to a study by Bauer et al, the cost of proposed and enacted data localisation measures in India would reduce its GDP by 0.1 per cent.

Meltzer argued that restrictions on cross-border data flows harm both the competitiveness of the country implementing the policies and other countries that rely on that data from those countries.

In India, a few examples of government regulations and rules include the Information Technology Rules (2011) that limits cross-border transfer of sensitive personal data. The National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy (2012) which requires government data be stored in India, particularly for cloud providers. The Companies (Accounts) Rules (2014) which requires backups of financial information, if stored overseas, to be stored in India. The National Telecom M2M roadmap (2015) which requires gateways and app servers that serve Indian customers to be located in India.

Data flow restrictions are enacted with several goals in mind – from protecting citizens’ personal privacy, to ensuring national security and protecting local businesses. The capacity to move large quantities of data seamlessly and rapidly across borders can undermine domestic regulatory standards in areas such as privacy and consumer protection.

Meltzer argued that such data restrictions limit access to digital commerce networks and online resources and the ability of businesses to synthesise large data sets, on a wider scale they affect business models, reduce productivity, innovation as well as business competitiveness by forcing businesses to invest in lower quality data facilities.

So, while this wave of digitisation has massive economy wide positive impacts, data localisation could have massive economic costs, he added.

Meltzer recommended that the realisation of legitimate regulatory goals such as privacy and security must happen alongside maximising the economic and trade opportunities cross-border data flows offer. The focus for regulators needs to be using existing technologies to harness economy-wide benefits.

Robust domestic privacy laws that manage risks and maximise opportunities and the proper enforcement of security protocols through laws offer a way of ensuring data restrictions don’t negatively impact businesses and trade flows.

At the centre of all of this lies building a trustworthy environment where mutual assistance is offered and data-sharing agreements and contracts are negotiated bilaterally and multilaterally. In essence, government backdoors that erode trust in the internet must be avoided under any circumstances.

The discussants during the seminar provided unique perspectives and critiques to some of Meltzer’s arguments.

Former diplomat Asoke Mukerji spoke about how interdependent countries were when it came to data flows. He focused on how in addition to maximising the impact of data flows for economic growth, India also needs to look at data and its flow in terms of its socio-economic sustainable development goals, anchored in its inclusive “Sabka saath, Sabka vikas” policy.

The focus of data and data flows in India remains as much on the citizen as on the market, he said.

Bringing an aspect of human nature as well as the issue of the concentration of data in the hands of a few private players, Mudit Kapoor, associate professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, warned of the pitfalls of this free market of digital data flows.

He pointed out that flow of data is distinct from flow of goods and services across borders. This is largely due to the inter-relationship between industry and security concerns of each country. Given the asymmetry in data-sharing rules between companies and government agencies across the world, we are likely to over-simply the true and complex nature of international data flows by treating it like any other commodity or services.

Kapoor also highlighted the markets for fake news and the limited capacity of the governments to regulate such markets. These can have phenomenal implications on institutions in democratic countries.

Avik Sarkar, OSD of the Data Analytics Cell at NITI Aayog, spoke about the digitisation efforts of the government, giving examples of how machine-learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics could help bring about profound impacts on policies and programmes, especially those in health and early disease prevention.

In order to build the digital economy, India will need to determine a fit-for-purpose regulation especially in privacy, consumer protection, intellectual property and financial regulation. The big push needs to be from the top, ensuring governments at all levels – national, state and local — go digital and consider the delivery of services through digital technologies.

Overall the vibrant debate on this forum and many alike on cross-border data flows in India remains a part of a larger global discussion on the need for an international framework to provide predictability, security and stability of cyberspace.

source:www.brookings.edu