LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Mergers sweeping South Asia

First it was Bangladesh: Robi and Airtel. Then it was India: Reliance and Sistema plus maybe Aircel. Sri Lanka: SLT/Mobitel and Hutch. Now Pakistan: Mobilink and Warid. VimpelCom is looking to combine Pakistani unit Mobilink with local rival Warid Telecom, claiming the first merger in the country’s telecoms sector. The new entity will serve 45 […]

Unstoppable exploding mobile growth in Myanmar

Myanmar has launched meaningful mobile service in 2014. And the country has secured fourth global position during third quarter of 2015 in terms of net addition, said Ericsson’s latest report. It is ahead of Bangladesh and Indonesia in this category. Ericsson also predicts that Myanmar will surpass Bangladesh in terms of LTE and smartphone penetration […]

Comparative poverty in Sri Lanka, from Independence to now

Some people are surprised that after all these years of speaking, responding, discussing, I still prepare when asked to speak in public. So when I was asked to serve as a discussant at a CEPA conference on infrastructure and urbanization, I read the papers. They had very little to do with the subject matter, choosing […]

National prestige in the acquisition of satellites

I’ve always wondered what the attraction of national satellites is. Especially geo-stationary satellites for telecom. Below is the explanation I finally came up with and my suggestion of what is appropriate in this day and age. The excerpt is from a piece published in Pakistan and Sri Lanka a few months back. In the 1960s, […]

Novel proposal in Sri Lanka’s 2016 Budget

Just a few sentences but this is a new solution to a real problem. I propose to form a special purpose company under the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA) to bring about sharing of telecommunication resources efficiently and to protect air waves and the environment. All the fiber optics owned by telecommunication companies and […]

Should governments get into phone manufacturing?

I first heard about government entering the business of manufacturing phones when I was (futilely) advising the government of Bangladesh on formulating a national telecom policy. They had some bankrupt telecom equipment factories and I was asked what to do with them. I said, not much. Then my friends in India started to show me […]

Visualizing Internet outage in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has experienced temporary outage of Internet when the government blocked popular social media sites on November 18. It could not skip the watchful eyes of the man who can see the Internet. Here is the visual of Internet outage in Bangladesh.

What is big data?

I spent the last two days at a meeting on big data in the global south. The sixty people in the room had no shared understanding of big data, which led to some interesting discussions. Then someone stated that he wished big data would be defined. Big data is characterized by volume and variety. The […]

Informed assessment of vulnerability of undersea cables

Few weeks back we reported, without endorsement, a New York Times piece about the possibility of sabotage of trans Atlantic cables. Sabotage is a real threat, says cable expert Doug Madory, but not on the US-Europe routes. The thing that might not be widely appreciated is the fact that telecommunications lines are also sabotaged with […]

Persistence in policy advocacy in the Philippines

Grace Mirandilla Santos, LIRNEasia Research Fellow, is nothing if not persistent. She has been hammering away at the broadband quality problem in the Philippines for a long time now. The big party thrown by the government for APEC leaders in Manila becomes the latest opportunity for her: A note to APEC delegates: this brand of […]

Making a legal discussion on big data relevant to the Global South

I was a little surprised to be invited to a meeting on big data organized by the Institute of Technology and Society of Rio de Janeiro. But then I realized that the event was scheduled back to back with IGF 2015 in Joao Pessoa and that they were basically piggy-backing on the attraction of large […]

LIRNEasia CEO cited in lengthy essay on Zuckerberg and Facebook

In wide ranging article on multiple aspects of Facebook, the author cites Helani Galpaya’s comments on zero rating. For Facebook, releasing something, gauging reaction, and then tweaking as necessary is not only normal but also a badge of honor—after all, one of the company’s guiding principles is “Done is better than perfect.” When I ask […]

What was the research that formed the basis of LIRNEasia’s interventions at IGF?

Zero rating and how people get connected to the Internet appeared to be among the dominant topics of conversation at IGF 2015. Helani based her comments in the multiple sessions she participated in on the findings on research that showed that people connect because of attractive content. In my comments at the big data session, […]

LIRNEasia’s highest level of engagement at Internet Governance Forum

Helani Galpaya and Shamistra Soysa participated in the second IGF (2007) held in Rio. But in 2015 our engagement was an order of magnitude higher. Helani participated in two Main Sessions and five workshops. She also spoke at a side event organized by Deutsche Welle for media personnel from Africa. Tuesday, November 10 9:00am-10:30am WS […]

How to improve access keeping in mind international human rights

Here is what I worked up as an opening statement for the IGF 2015 Main Session: Human Rights, Access and Internet Governance Roundtable on Day 4: 13 November, 11:00-13:00, at the Main Meeting Hall I have been engaged in the provision of access, first to voice telephony and then to Internet, over the past two […]


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