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2.6billion 5G Subscription by 2025, Singapore Enacts Fake News Law & More News

This week in tech news: Ericsson expects the global number of 5G subscriptions to top 2.6 billion within the next six years, Singapore government has ordered Facebook to publish a correction notice on a post made by the States Times Review (STR) that contains falsehoods and Vietnamese financial technology startups are quickly catching up with Singapore.


Tech news you need to know in 3 minutes or less.


5G: More than 2.6 billion subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2025

Priority Connect Digital - Credit: Ericsson Mobility Report

Ericsson expects the global number of 5G subscriptions to top 2.6 billion within the next six years, driven by sustained momentum and a rapidly developing 5G ecosystem. With its current momentum, 5G uptake is expected to be significantly faster than that of LTE, the telecoms network equipment maker said in its biannual Mobility Report.


Up to 65 per cent of the world’s population will be covered by 5G by the end of 2025, also by the end of 2025, 5G is expected to handle 45 per cent of mobile data traffic worldwide. With regard to the roll-out of 5G, 2019 will be remembered as a milestone for the deployment of the new technology with providers in Asia, North America, the Middle East and Europe turning on their first 5G networks. In South Korea alone, where 5G was launched in the spring of 2019, more than three million subscriptions have already been sold. The threshold of 10 million subscribers was exceeded in China.


Other forecasts include: total number of cellular IoT connections now seen at five billion by the end of 2025 from 1.3 billion by the end of 2019 – a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent. NB-IoT and Cat-M technologies are estimated to account for 52 percent of these cellular IoT connections in 2025. Year-on-year traffic growth for the third quarter of 2019 remained high at 68 percent, driven by the growing number of smartphone subscriptions in India, the increased monthly data traffic per smartphone in China, better device capabilities, an increase in data-intensive content, and more affordable data plans.


Priority Connect Digital Photo Source: GOV.SG

Singapore tells Facebook to correct post under new fake news law


The Government has ordered Facebook to publish a correction notice on a post made by the States Times Review (STR) that contains falsehoods after STR failed to comply with an earlier order to run a correction.

This is the first time that the Government has issued an order to an Internet intermediary under the recently-enacted anti-fake news laws.


The fake news law, known as the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation (POFMA) bill, came into effect in October. There are also provisions in the Act to issue directions to websites, social media platforms and other online content providers to correct or disable access to the content, at the discretion of the Minister who, in this case, is Mr Shanmugam.


This comes after the editor of States Times Review, refused on Thursday to comply with an order by the POFMA Office to correct false statements in the post. States Times Review is blocked in Singapore and has content that, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), spread “outright fabrications”.


It is the second time in less than a week that the law - which was passed earlier this year - has been invoked. Earlier on Monday, Pofma was invoked for the first time since it took effect on Oct 2. Progress Singapore Party member Brad Bowyer was directed by the Pofma Office to put up a correction over his Facebook post on Temasek and GIC as well as other government-linked companies.



Priority Connect Digital Photo Source: Reuters

Vietnam closes in on Singapore as fintech funding booms


Vietnamese financial technology startups are quickly catching up with Singapore in attracting Southeast Asian venture capital funding, according to the Japan-based Nikkei Asian Review. Investors in Vietnam are plowing the bulk of their money in payments. This trend is a testament to the earlier and more nascent stages of fintech funding and development in Vietnam compared to Singapore, also the most mature by far among ASEAN members.


Driven by double-digit annual growth, digital payments are expected to become the payment method of choice for nearly half of all transactions by 2025, surging past the 1 trillion USD mark as fintech companies tap the 300 million adults across Southeast Asia who either don't have a bank account or lack proper access to credit, investment and insurance facilities, the journal said.


According to the report, Vietnam-based fintech companies raised $410 million, or a hefty 150 times more versus last year at $2.72 million. Leading the way were Softbank-backed electronic payment solutions company VNPay, and Momo Pay, an e-wallet application that claims to be Vietnam’s largest mobile wallet company with 10 million active users.


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