Ease of access to high speed mobile data still varies around the world

We live in the age of information

  • High speed mobile data democratizes access to information and digital services – thus reducing socio-economic inequality
  • The more competitive a country’s telecom industry, the cheaper the price of high speed mobile data in that country

Why it’s hot: Governments must do all they can to ease access to information and digital services as one of the means to reduce socio-economic inequality.

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Ending FOMO with Google

Google News will start to display hyperlocal events and localized community updates from bloggers to help people stay in the loop of what’s happening in their backyard.

To help people get information about their own communities, Google uses machine learning techniques to source information from hyperlocal bloggers and high school newspapers.

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Why it’s hot: Google Community Updates could be a useful communications medium for products/services that need to be targeted on a hyperlocal level, e.g. telecom services, Small Businesses and their desire to be deeply rooted in their communities because the health of their businesses depend on it.

Google Launches Wireless Service, Project Fi

Google announced its plans to offer a formal wireless service called Project Fi. Some key facts here:

  • It’s for Nexus 6 owners only, at first.
  • It’s invite only right now. You can sign up for an invite here.
  • It’s built on top of Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks
  • No contracts
  • Subscribers pay $20 for unlimited talk/text, and then pay $10 per gig of data. So a 3GB plan would be $30 on top of that $20, coming out to a total of $50.
  • You only pay for what you use, but in sort of a strange way: if you pay for 3GB of data per month ($30) but only use 1.5GB, you’ll get $15 back at the end of the month.
  • It’s all tied into Google Hangouts, which will allow you to place calls from your number on any Hangouts-enabled tablet or laptop in addition to your phone.
  • WiFi Tethering is included.
  • This is what their US Coverage map currently looks like (Montana gets basically no love):

Why It’s Hot: As seen in the video, Google is taking the direction of a democratic approach to wireless service. The fact that the company will return money to users who do not use the full data they buy for the month feels very transformative in the industry. However, some of the promotional aspects are clear as well, leveraging Google Hangouts and Nexus phones as the chosen platforms. It will be interesting to see how the product evolves and impacts the industry.

T-Mobile #DataStash Campaign

January marked the launch of T-Mobile’s #DataStash campaign, which they kicked off at CES with the #DataStash Dash Contest scavenger hunt. They held another #DataStash Dash Scavenger Hunt this week in Seattle (T-Mobile’s hometown) with a grand prize package to the Super Bowl.

The biggest buzz worthy moment happened this week when Kim Kardashian teased her T-Mobile Super Bowl commercial that supports the campaign, which of course leaked online. You can watch Kim being Kim below. #KimsDataStash

Why It’s Hot:
This demonstrates a well-orchestrated integrated campaign that consistently introduces new elements to keep it interesting and keep the buzz alive.