This Week in Global Mobile | January 7, 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:

  • Skype processed 45 billion minutes of international traffic in 2010 -- that’s more than twice the combined volume of all the world’s phone companies.
  • Luke Bozier, former e-campaigns manager for the British Labour party, called for the use of iPads and other tablet devices in Parliament to help MPs access information.
  • AT&T began offering a pill bottle cap that alerts patients’ family members when the bottle is opened, reminds users to take medicine, and automatically orders refills.
  • Yesterday eBay announced that global sales on mobile devices grew from $600 million to $2 billion in 2010, with its mobile apps were downloaded 30 million times in 190 countries.
  • Africa crossed the 500 million mobile subscription milestone, according to research by Informa.
  • The worldwide health-related mobile app market doubled in 2010 over the previous year,, reported Kalorama Information. The study also showed that over half of all U.S. physicians regularly used a smart phone.
  • At 12:04 a.m. on January 1st in Japan, Twitterers set an all-time traffic record of nearly 7,000 tweets per second -- more than double the record set last summer during Japan’s World Cup game against Denmark.
  • With 60 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population online, American Hispanics are more receptive to new technology than non-Hispanics, indicated research firm comScore.
  • Although they’re outlawed in American prisons, smart phones are “the most lethal weapon you can get inside a prison,” reported the NY Times.
  • On Monday the Hungarian government enacted a controversial media law which establishes a communications authority responsible for censoring “unbalanced” media outlets.
  • Google is developing a mobile payment service based on NFC technology (which I blogged about earlier) which allows consumers to swipe their phones near a receiver to complete payments.
  • On Monday the Californian Supreme Court ruled that police can seize and search a suspect’s phone, including e-mails and photos stored within, without a warrant.
  • Electronics companies Samsung, Mobi, and Withings all announced market-ready wireless baby monitors at CES, part of a strong showing of “mommy tech” at the convention.
  • On Wednesday Facebook streamed the opening of the 112th Congress for the first time in U.S. history, while C-SPAN promised to expand social media coverage of the Hill.
  • Via Twitter, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez praised the Internet as a key player in the growth of his country.
  • Winnie Hu at NY Times explained how a pilot program on Long Island administers iPads to high school students in order to “extend the classroom beyond these four walls.”
  • Mong Palatino at Global Voices reported about last month’s launch of Agromart, Vietnam’s first e-market featuring agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products.
  • Internet surpassed TV as the primary source of news for 18-29 year-olds in the United States, reported Pew Research Center in a new study.