This week we’re talking about global mobile users growth, Youtube vs Netflix?, UPS drone delivery, Bitcoin getting a corporate boost


Number of global mobile users to pass 5 billion this year

A new GSMA study states that by mid-2017, there will be 5 billion unique mobile subscribers. That will be a little more than 70% of the world population. It is expected to hit 75% by 2020, primarily driven by large Asian markets. India itself is expecting to have 310 million new mobile subscribers by 2020. Yes, that is as if the entire population of the United States got their first mobile phone in a 3 year span.

It is estimated that since 2010 mobile operators have invested over 1 trillion dollars into their networks. The investment is clearly paying off. They anticipate commercially available 5G networks to roll out in 2019, and 4G network coverage to double by 2020.


Youtube launches its own TV-streaming service!

Is anyone actually surprised? Cable companies are expected to lose $1 billion next year because of Netflix, et al., with the average consumer saving $104 a month switching to subscription services. So this is what Youtube is offering:
  • It’s a standalone app, called Youtube TV
  • For $35 a month, subscribers get all four major networks — ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC — and roughly 35 cable channels.
  • Like other streaming services, the monthly fee covers the use of several accounts, in this case six. 3 accounts can watch different streams at the same time.

And it’s not actually live yet, but will be released in the next few months. Looks like a new kid is on the block!


UPS tests first residential drone delivery
Amazon has been getting all the attention in drone delivery. This past December, the Amazon Prime Air drone delivered a bag of popcorn and an Amazon Fire TV in rural United Kingdom. That month the company also secured an ambitious patent for a flying warehouse that would hypothetically dispatch armies of delivery drones.
What has everyone else been up to? Last week UPS made its own first commercial drone delivery in Lithia, Florida. The drone launched from on top of a UPS van, which was driving to separate delivery.
Looks like UPS should be getting some of the spotlight as well. UPS has itself been using drones to deliver vaccines and blood to hard-to-reach locations in Rwanda. The recent commercial delivery now makes it seem we are right around the corner from a drone-filled delivery future, but the industry still needs regulation to be enacted in order to fully proceed. A recent executive order that restricts the issuing of new regulation could keep companies like Amazon and UPS hovering in place…


Bitcoin gets a big thumbs up from big business

It has been a killer week for bitcoin. Tuesday, the cost of 1 bitcoin reached an all-time high of $1210. And it keeps rising, at this moment it is $1258. This time last year 1 bitcoin was around $400, and $270 in the previous year.

Potentially securing bitcoin’s future in main-stream business is a new alliance of 28 major corporations. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was announced yesterday, including businesses such as Accenture, Intel, and Microsoft, and over two dozen banks including J.P. Morgan, UBS Group, and Santander. They are uniting their efforts to improve the Ethereum blockchain. Blockchain is the crucial technology that underpins bitcoin, yet there are still questions regarding its scalability and security when applied to business applications. By agreeing to collaborate on improving the Ethereum blockchain they hope to streamline some of their business processes in the future, and may indirectly help many non-Alliance businesses as well.

Augmented reality meets smartwatch? It’s a prototype, but still 😯

As always, check out our blog for more. That’s it for this week.✌️