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Weekly digest: New opportunities for Telegram, discussion of 5G launch in Russia and preparation for regulatory sandboxes

June 22, 2020, 11:37 (UTC+3)|

Weekly digest of the most important events of IT industry

Russian companies move to Telegram

On Thursday, Roskomnadzor announced that Telegram was unblocked in Russia, the messenger has been officially inaccessible for over two years - since April 16, 2018. Earlier, in April 2020 the deputies of the State Duma prepared a draft law on unblocking the messenger.

After the official announcement was made, two largest Russian banks, Sberbank and VTB, created channels in Telegram. The next day, the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation also created a channel in the messenger. According to the survey conducted by ICT.Moscow, most respondents believe that nothing will change after the unblocking of the messenger, and it will continue to work as usual. However, some people suppose that the number of useful Telegram bots, as well as the personal and working correspondence, will increase.

The members of Skolkovo Technopark told ICT.Moscow they were developing the system of chats and channels, and that Telegram was the main channel of communication with clients. But the messenger lacks WeChat functions (payment for services, making appointments and ordering online) and user identification, the members of the technopark explained. “It could be great if admins gave descriptions to contacts within a particular community (nowadays many people use nicknames and it is difficult to understand who is who). It is also a good idea to collect all polls in one place in chat (it is inconvenient to scroll through the feed to find the necessary poll)”, - the representatives of technopark’s PR department added.

SysSoft company still has a long way to go create a complete omnichannel system, company’s representative Yuri Pavluk claims. However, the company plans to move in this direction with the help of Telegram. SysSoft awaits positive changes in the messenger's work primarily related to marketing activities.

Reaction of the Russian industry to Telegram unblocking

According to Mediascope data (February 2020), Telegram is in the top three most popular messengers. It had 20.5 million monthly users. The messenger is second only to two messengers - WhatsApp, which is used by over 69 million people, and Viber, which has 37.3 million monthly users.

The popularity of the messenger is confirmed by the data of Telecom operators. It is reported by Tele2 press office that the subscribers from the capital mainly choose WhatsApp for communication, but Telegram is in the top five most popular messengers. The audience of Tele2 in Moscow is becoming more “digital” and more independent - according to the results of 2019, 65% of mobile traffic is used for social networks and messengers, the operator’s representative explained

In terms of adding Telegram to the unlimited tariff plans, nowadays we first of all focus on the needs of our subscribers and provide free access to the three most popular platforms for communication: WhatsApp, Viber and TamTam. In 2020, we will continue to monitor the changes in the activity of Tele2 subscribers and update and modify our product line.

Anton Zhukovsky

Sales Director of Tele2 Moscow macroregion

5G development without domestic equipment

As was announced last week, the MinComSvyaz proposed to amend the federal project “Information Infrastructure” in terms of creating 5G networks, and, in particular, building 5G networks using domestic equipment. According to the current version of the project, in 2020 5G communications will be used in two sectors of Russian economy, and in 2024 - in five sectors. But, according to the proposal of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media (MinComSvyaz), 5G will appear in ten Russian million-plus cities by 2024, and the networks will be deployed using domestic equipment.

According to the reports of mass media, the working Group of ANO “Digital economy”, which includes telecom operators’ representatives, opposed those requirements. Anna Serebryanikova, President of the Association of Big Data and the leader of the group, claims that, taking into account the social importance of 5G communications, people and business should be able to use 5G in 2021, not in 2024. Victor Belov, CTO of MTS, agrees with Anna Serebryanikova and notes that the proposal means that technology’s implementation will be postponed until 2024. Other experts say that the localization of foreign companies’ equipment can become a compromise solution.

According to Ericsson’s new forecast, by the end of 2020, the number of 5G connections will reach 190 million, and by the end of 2025 - 2.8 billion. In Central and Eastern Europe, 5G connections will account for 27% of all connections by 2025.

Experiments with technologies are approaching

Following the recommendation of the President of the Russian Federation on accelerating the adoption of the law on experimental legal regimes, the Ministry of Economic Development drew up a list of projects that will be tested in regulatory sandboxes. The Ministry proposes to test the service for protecting subscribers from fraudulent calls - “Voice Antifraud” created by MTS, remote conclusion of an agreement on the provision of cellular mobile services, a “smart hotel” with automatic guests registration, freight transportation using drones, an autonomous driving system and provision of medical care using telemedicine. For those projects, the Ministry offers to introduce exemptions from certain requirements of the legislation.

Market participants positively evaluate the law on experimental regulatory sandboxes.

Regulatory sandboxes are an important step for IT industry to become more competitive with the international leaders, but it is better to adapt the experience of foreign colleagues and develop at a very fast pace.

Inna Moroz

Business Development Director of Care Mentor AI

Kirill Petrov, Co-founder and Managing Director of Just AI, believes that regulatory sandboxes can be a good tool for the stimulation of IT innovations development. But the expert wonders, how they will be implemented and what will happen to companies after the legal experiment ends.

Anna Mesheryakova from “Third Opinion” says that the company is looking forward to the adoption of the law and the real launch of experimental legal regimes. As an example she takes Moscow, where the experimental legal regime for artificial intelligence technologies development will be introduced on July 1. The test framework for innovations implementation will remove one of the barriers on their way to the market and sales, the expert explains.

According to our survey’s data, main expectations from such experiments are the creation of a favorable legal environment and the possibility to implement solutions in urban and government infrastructure.

Waiting for AI regulatory sandbox

In Moscow, the experiment with artificial intelligence will start only on July 1, but many Moscow companies have already implemented it in their work. Another example is Alfa-Bank, which, as has been expected since mid-October, opened a “branch of the future” in Moscow. At the entrance, a biometric system recognizes client’s face, the mobile app shows congestion in the bank department, and all documents are signed and stored on a smartphone.

Shiva AI, a service that helps to selects real estate for investment, used artificial intelligence and predicted changes in the prices of apartments in several areas compared to other areas within 10-year period. To do this, AI algorithms compare identical pairs of apartments in different locations, summarize margins for each of them and calculate prices.

ABBYY launched its open-source machine learning library. The company decided to launch an open-source library to follow the world open-source trends and due to the increase in investment in such projects. The library supports С++, Java and Objective C. The neural networks models of the library support up to 100 layer types, and for traditional machine learning over 20 algorithms are available.

According to NRU HSE survey, 36% of industrial enterprises have already implemented the technologies for collecting, processing and analyzing big data. Another 18.5% of organizations plan to implement them in the near future. 44.6% of IT companies are developing solutions based on the technologies for collecting, processing and analyzing big data.


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