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Tender deadlines announced for 4G
The base for any innovation is the availability of high-speed Internet access. Therefore, one of the key events of the year is the announcement of the timing of tenders for the 4G introduction. The tenders will be held in early 2018, and the deployment of networks in major cities will take no more than six months. However, the frequencies agreed in the tender, are more suitable for large settlements and even for city centers - 1800 and 2600 MHz, respectively. To ensure national coverage with investments in the network within reasonable limits, low-frequency bands are required, but they are not available in Ukraine.
State’s investment in technology
In 2017, Ukraine became one of the leaders in the consumption of services for project distribution, Division of IT-distribution MTI noted. The state invests both in client equipment and infrastructure, and resources in the regions are made available through decentralization. A large number of local companies participate in tenders for the introduction of services, which stimulates business development in the regions.
State services: introduction of XRoad and launching Mobile ID
The transition of public services to the Internet in Ukraine was hampered by the difficulties in obtaining data from different registries and the lack of simple and accessible tools for signing up documents online.
In Estonia, which became a model for the introduction of e-gov, not only in the post-Soviet space but also in the world, the XRoad system was developed, which allows receiving information from registries without physical running around the cabinets. This year it was introduced in Ukraine.
One of the most convenient ways to verify the online identity in the world has become MobileID. In Ukraine, finally, one should expect the spread of technology. "Kyivstar" has launched test operation of the service (commercial operation is promised to be launched in the second quarter of 2018) and allowed contract subscribers to exchange their SIM cards for special ones, with MobileID support. With them, you can get the services of two registries: the State Geocadastre and the Online House of Justice. Vodafone and LifeCell plan to launch MobileID by mid-2018.
State Land Cadastre Blockchain
The blockchain technology has become popular due to bitcoin, but it has found practical application in other areas. Blocking is relevant in environments where there is no trust between the participants, so the technology has gained popularity in finance and is slowly penetrating the public sector. Ukraine was one of the first in the world to transfer to the State Land Cadastre blockchain. However, the procedure is gradual, and skeptics have questions about how to protect the registry from the initial entry of the incorrect data. But this is a big step for the country.
Course on cashless
The world trend of refusing from cash came to Ukraine. The country is developing mobile wallets based on MasterCard and VISA technologies, the state plans to introduce electronic tickets for public transport, in particular, the possibility of contactless payment, which is already available in several countries around the world.
One of the most significant events of the year in this context was the launch of Android Pay on the Ukrainian market. The system interacts with only a few banks, and there is no data on the number of users, but the very fact that our market has become interesting for Google, is a good sign.
Another significant event was the emergence of a fully mobile bank - monobank. It was created by former top managers of PrivatBank. By the end of the year, the project had left the stage of closed testing.
Big Data at the service of the state
Mobile operators in the past year or two have implemented a number of projects with the state using large data. Big Data has helped Odesa region to count tourists, Kyiv authorities - to correct public transport routes, the World Bank - to determine the key directions of Ukrainians moving around the country and on this basis to plan of construction and repair of roads financing. Ministry of Economic Development and Trade signed a memorandum with mobile operators that they will share data on the movement of tourists around the country. In fact, this information will become the source of the most accurate tourist statistics in Ukraine.
5G: at the track
The world enters the era of the "Internet of things". Separate networks for the "Internet of things" with national coverage began to appear several years ago in different countries (for example, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea), but it is too early to speak about mass character, as far as everyone can afford.
It is assumed that the fifth generation of mobile communications, the standard of which is being developed, will be just designed for connected devices. Presumably, the test 5G network will be shown in 2018 at the Olympic Games in South Korea, but 2017 was marked by massive tests of fifth-generation networks in the world and the preparation of commercial devices. Including the appearance of components for smartphones, and manufacturers show at the shows the first prototypes of 5G-devices. In general, the new generation of communication is not far. The question is how soon it will reach Ukraine.
It is not clear yet, whether bitcoin is an economic miracle or a soap bubble, but so far experts have clashed in the media, the rate of the first cryptocurrency has grown to 20 thousand dollars and rolled back a third. The remaining crypto-currencies do not stay behind: although they do not cost so much, in percentage terms they show even greater growth than the first-born currencies. At the same time, experts are increasingly raising the question of the energy expediency of mining: the entire block of bitcoin already consumes more energy than dozens of countries in the world (34 TWh of electricity per year, as of the end of 2017). And because the calculations become more complex and because of the growth in the popularity of crypto-currency, this indicator will only grow. However, there is another opinion that the problem is greatly exaggerated and in the early 1990s experts also panicked about the Internet. The time will show us what happens, but even in the structure of Ukraine's energy consumption, the bitcoin blockage occupies about 20%.
In addition to the course and energy problems, in 2017 the crypto-currency was marked by a massive desire of the countries to regulate this industry.
Apple iPhone X: breakthrough or misunderstanding of the year
Apple iPhone X is the most controversial smartphone company from Cupertino. On the one hand, the device turned out to be interesting from the point of view of technology (with the correction that most things were realized long ago in Android) and marketing, but very controversial from the point of view of user experience. A smartphone is scolded and for the numerous bugs in the OS, and for the screen cutout, for its price, and for the fact that Apple began doing things that Steve Jobs would not allow. But Apple again did the impossible - broke the psychological bar of mobile devices, which now exceeded $ 1000. This means that other manufacturers will also follow this path.
Drones in business
Work on unmanned vehicles has been performed for a long time. So, the first unmanned bus went on a route to the Netherlands in early 2016. But only this year about developments in this area been intensified. Own unmanned buses began to appear in several countries at once, in particular, in the USA, China, and Estonia. Germany and Singapore have already announced plans to use such transport.
A flying taxi is another direction where drones were introduced. The first tests of the device manufactured by Volocopter were held in September in Dubai. Uber and NASA invested in the development of an unmanned flying taxi. It seems that transport without drivers will not appear where it was originally expected.
By the way, next year unmanned cargo ship Yara Birkeland, invented by Norwegians, will go on the first journey.
Voice assistants to the masses
Although the first Amazon intelligent assistant appeared two years ago, only in 2017 such devices became more massive. During the year, Amazon, which occupied approximately 70% of the market, showed new features for Alexa and new models of speakers with a voice assistant, Google introduced two more columns with its own assistant, in the spring Apple showed its first "smart" column. According to Fortune estimates, by the end of the year, 35.6 million Americans have used such devices.
Artificial intelligence in consumer electronics
Although smartphone manufacturers are already boasting intelligent assistants in their devices, the real benefits of the "intelligence" are still very far and, in fact, the technology "learns" with the help of machine algorithms studying to anticipate the needs of its owner and adjust to it. In order for technology to go to the masses, not only software solutions are required, but also the "iron" on which it will all work. In 2017, Intel, Huawei, Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung presented their own processors supporting machine learning (or at least announced). It must be understood that this is just the beginning of an arms race in the direction of development of artificial intelligence. But the users will be able to feel the real benefit in at least some two or three years.