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Find out the week’s top mobile stories from around the world. Headlines this week include… Apple unveils AirTag safety guide amid stalker fears, Google to invest $1bn in India’s number two mobile operator, Ottawa’s use of our location data raises big surveillance and privacy concerns and much more…

Apple unveils AirTag safety guide amid stalker fears


Apple has released an updated safety guide amid ongoing concerns over the company’s AirTag devices. The company quietly released the safety portal on Monday. The Personal User Safety Guide offers advice on how people can keep themselves and their data safe. AirTags are designed to locate lost items using Apple’s powerful ‘Find My’ network. They are small button-shaped items that can be attached to keys or a wallet. However, the BBC and other outlets have previously found evidence that AirTags have been misused to track people.

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Google to invest $1bn in India’s number two mobile operator

Al Jazeera

Google will invest up to $1bn in India’s second-largest mobile operator, the two companies say, as the Android-maker looks to bolster its presence in the vast nation’s booming telecoms market. The global tech giant will buy a $700m stake in billionaire Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel, giving it 1.28 percent ownership, the firms said in a joint statement on Friday.

The move is part of the “Google for India Digitisation Fund” launched in 2020 and aimed at providing affordable access to smartphones to more than a billion Indians and speeding up use of cloud-based computing for business, the two companies said.

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Ottawa’s use of our location data raises big surveillance and privacy concerns

The Conversation

News recently broke that the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) had been procuring location data from millions of mobile devices to study how COVID-19 lockdowns were working.

Appalled opposition MPs called for an emergency meeting of the ethics committee of the House of Commons, fearing that the pandemic was being used as an excuse to scale up surveillance. At the same time, our group of interdisciplinary experts from around the world convened at a research retreat on the subject of the ethics of mobility data analysis. Computer scientists, together with philosophers and social scientists, looked at the ethical challenges posed by the uses of mobility data, especially those legitimized by the pandemic.

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Huawei taps Curve for mobile payments


Huawei is skirting around US restrictions that prevent it from using Google’s Android software by installing NFC payments functionality across its smart phones with the help of card consolidation app Curve.

All Huawei users in Europe can now download Curve Pay to start making mobile payments, with the added benefit of one percent cashback on all third party purchases made by phone and five percent across Huawei’s online stores in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and the UK.

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Why Turkey is becoming the Silicon Valley of mobile gaming


With mobile gaming activity at an all-time high, Turkey has emerged as a leader in hyper-casual game development.

Mobile gaming has exploded in popularity during the pandemic, with millions of users turning to hypercasual games — think Candy Crush — to while away months of lockdown and working from home. This influx of mobile gamers has led to a flurry of activity in the industry, most recently Take-Two Interactive’s $12.7 billion acquisition of social game developer Zynga earlier this month.

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Newzoo: Mobile esports will continue to grow in 2022

Pocket Gamer

Newzoo has released a new report with its predictions for trends in esports and game-related live streaming throughout this year. The report details that after many years of console and PC games leading in esports, mobile esports have now captured millions of fans worldwide, and are continuing to grow rapidly.

Newzoo suggests that battle royale titles are paving the way for mobile esports and that this form of esport is developing quickly in Latin America and Southeast Asia particularly.

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Connectivity Predictions for 2022: How COVID and IoT Will Impact Telecommunications Growth

The Fast Mode

With the introduction of 5G, telecommunications has shown immense growth over the past year. According to the Telecoms Global Market Report, the market is expected to reach $3461.03 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 6%.

But currently, the industry is at an inflection point. The innovation of the devices themselves have shown very little change in design or technology and everyone who wants a device already owns one, research states the current average is 3.96 devices per person. This begs the question, what will drive this rapid growth over the coming years? The answer is in IoT.

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Mobile-First Blockchain Celo Launches Stablecoin Tied to Brazilian Real

Coin Desk

Phone-focused blockchain Celo launched cREAL, a stablecoin pegged to Brazil’s local currency, the real. As of Thursday, cREAL will be available on Brazil-based crypto exchanges Ripio, FlowBTC and NovaDAX. Crypto wallets Bitfy and Coins will also support the stablecoin.

NovaDAX users will be able to spend cREAL with the prepaid crypto card issued by the crypto exchange. Bitfy customers will be able to use the cREAL throughout the Cielo network, Brazil’s largest credit and debit card operator, the company said in a press release Thursday.

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Helios eyes Africa’s fintech billions

Tech Central

Helios Investment Partners is in talks with African telecommunications operators and banks about ways the private equity firm can help them cash in on their mobile money and digital payments platforms.

Africa’s largest wireless carriers, including MTN Group and Airtel Africa, are among companies exploring how to unlock value from their multibillion-dollar fintech operations. Johannesburg-based MTN is looking to finalise plans to spin off the lucrative unit by the end of March, while Airtel brought in Mastercard has a minority investor in its mobile finance division last year.

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3 key questions brands need to ask when running a mobile advertising strategy


The death of the cookie is just around the corner. But advertising will never die as long as commerce lives. At the cutting edge as always, mobile advertisers need to find alternative ways of delivering relevant ads to specific audiences. But how?

Brands are moving away from personalized ads. Research from analyst firm Gartner found that four out of five digital advertisers will cease all personalization by 2025 – moving on decisively from intrusive solutions based on personal data.

As we edge nearer to an ID-less and cookie-less world, we still need to target relevant ads to interested customers. But regardless of whether the solution is ID-less or ID-based, advertisers should care about one thing and one thing alone: understanding their audiences’ interests.

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