Last Week in Global Mobile | January 28, 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:

  • In his State of the Union address, President Obama promised high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans.
  • Nigeria’s Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion promised to create over one million jobs in the ICT sector to boost the country’s economy.
  • As Sam reported last week, Internet and mobile were shut down across Egypt following unprecedented protests crisis-mapped online here.
  • The IRS launched a mobile app that allows users to safely access their tax information and track the status of their refunds.
  • More than 200 million YouTube videos are viewed on mobile devices each day, reported the company’s mobile product manager Andrew Doronichev.
  • 390 million handsets and smart phones were shipped world-wide in 4Q-2010, up nearly 16 percent year-on-year, bringing the 2010 total to 1.36 billion, reported ABI Research.
  • Pew released a study indicating how social media has evolved into “a standard tool for engagement with the political world” in America, with nearly a quarter of online adults using social networking sites to access election information last November.
  • The World Bank announced three major initiatives to improve broadband services in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Sao Tome and Principe in a $71.5 million plan.
  • Low-cost smart phones will reach 185 million in 2015, while prices for these entry-level devices will drop from $150 to $80 in that time, reported Juniper Research.
  • Obama Administration officials engaged in a web chat with a group of Chinese bloggers based in Beijing to discuss President Hu’s visit to the U.S.
  • In the Philippines, a senator pushed for mandatory SIM card registration after it was discovered that a terrorist used a mobile phone to detonate a bomb remotely last week.
  • Huyen Chip at Global Voices recapped the rapidly transforming state of social media in Vietnam one year following a contentious ban of Facebook in the country.
  • In an order released on Wednesday, the FCC granted administrative powers for white space spectrum to nine companies, including Google, to develop “super wi-fi.”
  • Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch announced that his iPad-specific newspaper The Daily will launch on February 2 at an event at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
  • Apple announced that it plans to include Near Field Communication technology in its new iPad and iPhone, allowing consumers to use the devices as mobile payment platforms.
  • British researchers unveiled a prototype “smart house” that allows occupants to monitor and control home settings from their mobile phones.
  • Facebook’s CTO Bret Taylor announced that the social media giant’s 2011 focus will on mobile, adding that mobile usage has been “the fastest-growing part of the Facebook experience.”
  • Worldwide mobile app downloads will more than double between 2010 and 2015 to nearly 18 billion, while revenue will increase from $5bn to $15bn, reported Gartner.