global tech trends

A strategic, global perspective on new frontiers in technology and their impact on regulation and policy.

As telecoms, media, the digital economy and world politics converge, it's essential for organisations to have a global perspective on the wide-ranging trends shaping the future of the communications sector.

Our Global Trends service helps leaders understand this bigger picture and set strategic direction for their organisation.

Drawing together on-the-ground expertise from key markets around the world, it provides a unique, high-level view of the latest developments and their implications for decision makers across industry, government and regulation.

key trends covered

Platforms, digital services and content

Understand the complex and shifting roles of online platforms and services in debates around global economics, trade and regulation.

  • Online platforms and OTT
  • Fintech
  • Market power of big tech companies
  • International trade

Stay on top of the latest developments in 5G, mobile and full-fibre coverage worldwide, as well as the wider relationship between global tech trends and internet connectivity.

  • New trends in 5G
  • IoT connectivity
  • Mobile coverage
  • Full fibre
Data economy

Follow the debate around privacy, cybersecurity, cloud and AI, and understand how new developments impact the global data economy.

  • Cloud and cross-border data flows
  • IoT services and applications
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Privacy and cybersecurity

global geographic scope

12 key markets covered in-depth across 5 continents

why subscribe

The future of communications sector regulation hinges on many complex technological, economic and geopolitical factors. Our global trend intelligence is here to help decision makers understand the different forces at work and see the bigger picture for their organisation.

With our own experts in multiple countries across the globe helping to report and benchmark, we offer a razor-sharp focus on the most important trends of the moment - delivered with the clarity and impartiality that have made us a trusted voice in regulation for over three decades.

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your deliverables

stay on top

Keep abreast of the top ten trends of the moment with our short stories from around the world. These monthly 'pills of thought' are all based on original sources, accessible from an interactive map, and link to further research for more in-depth analysis.

get ahead

Get ahead of the latest global developments with our monthly trend reports. Providing a high-level summary of the top trending topics, their drivers and implications across multiple key markets, our reports help you read the pulse of the digital world.


Compare and contrast how different markets are responding to global tech trends shaping policy and regulation in the digital world. Our in-depth benchmarks deliver probing insights on new developments across key markets without losing sight of the bigger picture.

trend news

South Africa reviews its approach to taxing digital services

Economic downturns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are making the review of existing tax regimes more compelling in many countries around the world, including South Africa.

4G spectrum auction and next steps for 5G in India

India’s 4G multi-band spectrum auction closed in March 2021. The three largest mobile operators, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea acquired in total 856 MHz of spectrum for US$10.6bn. However, over 60% of the spectrum offered in the auction remained unassigned, while perspectives for 5G remain uncertain.

Private 5G networks growing in Japan

Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) is making available 4.6-4.8 GHz and 28 GHz spectrum on a local basis for the establishment of private 5G local area networks, including for industrial uses across different economic sectors. One of the early adopters is the Japanese information technology and electronics company NEC.

India investigates WhatsApp’s data sharing policies

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) started an investigation into WhatsApp’s new privacy policy that should go into effect in May 2021. India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with over 500m people using the service.

SOYA launches as the first grain-backed cryptocurrency

Agrotoken, an Argentinian privately-led platform, launched SOYA, the first grain-backed stablecoin enabling soybean producers and investors to save, invest and trade in this commodity.

Appeals against GDPR fines on the rise

Since the entry into force of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in May 2018, EU data protection authorities have levied fines worth millions of euros. However, appeals seem to be a challenge in GDPR enforcement.

Leveraging utilities’ passive infrastructure for fibre deployments

Government-owned Oman Broadband Company (OBC) plans to install fibre optic cables also by using electricity poles, as a cost-competitive alternative to trench-laid cables.

Qatar consults on cloud policy

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) of Qatar is consulting until 23 April 2021 on a draft cloud policy.

5G spectrum assignments in the US: status and next steps

The US regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), completed its second (and much larger) mid-band spectrum auction for 5G, and announced the next 5G auctions planned in the US.

More choice for app developers according to a proposed bill in Arizona

A bill presented in Arizona opens the door for alternative payment systems to those offered by Apple and Google. App developers could set up their own payment systems to process purchases by Arizona users.

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