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We take a weekly look at mobile and tech stories from around the world. Headlines include… Google to build first subsea fibre optic cable connecting Africa with Australia,  UK targets Microsoft over Copilot+ PC privacy, Vodafone leverages AI to adapt to the post-cookie era and much more…

Google to build first subsea fibre optic cable connecting Africa with Australia

Tech Crunch

Google is set to construct the first subsea fiber optic cable linking Africa and Australia, named “Umoja.” The move is part of Google’s efforts to compete with AWS and Microsoft’s Azure in the cloud services market. The decision follows recent connectivity issues in Africa attributed to undersea cable faults. “Umoja” will originate in Kenya and traverse several African countries before reaching South Africa, where Google’s first African data center region is located.

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UK targets Microsoft over Copilot+ PC privacy

Mobile World Live

Microsoft’s new Copilot+ PCs, featuring the Recall memory function, have drawn immediate regulatory attention from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), seeking clarity on privacy safeguards. Recall allows virtual access to past PC activity, resembling photographic memory. The ICO is probing the privacy measures in place, especially regarding the use of screenshots, which could pose risks with sensitive information. Microsoft assures users retain control over stored data and can disable the feature.

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Vodafone leverages AI to adapt to the post-cookie era

Mobile Marketing Magazine

Vodafone’s Media Lead, Vanisha Vaghela, discussed the company’s strategy for adapting to the post-cookie era by utilizing AI for enhanced measurement strategies. At Advertising Week Europe 2024, Vaghela emphasized the importance of accurate measurement in a context of budget constraints, increased sales targets, and inflation. Vodafone aims to optimize advertising efficiency by integrating its own first-party data and reducing reliance on third-party data, particularly as the industry prepares for cookie deprecation.

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Android Pay moves in to mobile banking

Yahoo news

Android Pay is expanding its reach through integrations within mobile banking apps of several major banks, including Bank of America, Bank of New Zealand, Discover, mBank, and USAA, as announced in a Google blog post. This upgrade enables mobile banking users to easily enroll cards into Android Pay with a single tap within their banking app, eliminating the need for manual input or scanning of card information. Additionally, select banks will allow users to make payments in stores and online using Android Pay without the necessity of downloading the app separately. These partnerships are aimed at addressing security concerns and driving adoption of Android Pay, which has lagged behind competitors like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay in user numbers.

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The impact of 5G on mobile gaming: Faster, better, stronger

The Up Coming

The surge in mobile gaming revenue, exceeding $90 billion in 2023, underscores the booming trend in the industry, fueled by billions of gamers worldwide. This growth is accompanied by a rising demand for better-quality games, which is being met by advancements in 5G technology and smartphone capabilities. With its remarkable speed, improved connectivity, and enhanced performance, 5G is enabling smoother gameplay experiences, facilitating real-time interactions, and providing uninterrupted access to the latest features. These developments are reshaping the landscape of mobile gaming, revolutionizing the way people engage with and enjoy games on their smartphones.

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GlobalData: Mobile wallets dominate China payment landscape

The Paypers

GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey reveals that China is among the top countries globally in terms of mobile wallet adoption, with 84.4% survey respondents indicating that they had a mobile wallet and used in a shop in the past 12 months.

Asian markets are spearheading the adoption of mobile wallets, with eight among the top 10 markets with high mobile wallet adoption being from this the region.

Officials from GlobalData said the availability of low-cost smartphones and high-speed internet provided the necessary digital infrastructure for the growth of mobile wallets. This was also supported by the increasing adoption of QR code-based payments among merchants from street vendors to retail chains. The consumer preference for domestic mobile wallet brands including Alipay and WeChat Pay is also significantly contributing to this growth.

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New Omdia research states that cellular IoT data traffic will comprise 4.2% of total cellular data traffic in 2028

PR Newswire

Omdia’s latest research indicates that cellular IoT data traffic is projected to reach 110.8 exabytes (EB) by 2028, driven by increasing demand for data analytics to enhance operational efficiency and create new revenue streams.

The automotive vertical is expected to contribute the most to cellular IoT data traffic, primarily through infotainment use cases like streaming video and audio, as well as firmware over-the-air updates. Over the 2023 to 2028 period, automotive data traffic is predicted to grow from 18.6 EB to 59.4 EB, propelled by the integration of infotainment systems in newer vehicles and the adoption of 5G connectivity.

Transport and logistics are identified as the next significant vertical for cellular IoT data traffic, while all other verticals combined are forecasted to account for less than 25% of the total traffic after 2024, according to the report.

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LinkedIn Expands Into Mobile Gaming With Fun, Habitual Mini-Games

Forbes

It’s becoming increasingly common for platforms like the New York Times, Duolingo, and LinkedIn to incorporate gaming elements into their offerings, but this trend highlights that even free games can have a significant impact. For example, Duolingo, a language-learning app with over 50 million users, heavily utilizes gamification mechanics that can be addictive, such as XP boosts and league rankings.

Other companies, such as the New York Times, have also embraced gaming during the pandemic, and it seems to be paying off financially. Most recently, LinkedIn introduced three mini-games, Pinpoint, Crossclimb, and Queens, designed to be played for short durations each day.

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