2006 March


“Bangladesh learned about the value of [early warning] in 1970 when a cyclone resulted in more than 300,000 deaths. The government and people subsequently put in place effective early warning and preparedness measures involving modern cyclone-forecasting systems and more than 5,000 people to get the message to the villages. When a cyclone of similar force struck in 1997, 200 people were killed, which brings up to mind a point I want to make. The interesting thing to me is what Bangladesh did to marry old-fashioned communication with modern technology, the so-called ‘last mile’ of the early warning system. It’s something that we dare not forget in our UN work for the tsunami… All the sophisticated technology won’t matter if we don’t reach real communities and people.
An AFP report states that: UN Under Secretary Patricio Bernal said Egeland and former US president Bill Clinton had taken to task government officials from countries in the Indian Ocean in a closed-door meeting here in a bid to speed up the process. “We are not worried about the technical side. At the moment we have 17 sensors in the Indian Ocean and by July we will have 23. If anything happens tonight, somebody will be there to move an alert,” he told AFP. “What we are afraid of is whether this information will flow down.

Lifetime free prepaid

Posted by on March 19, 2006  /  6 Comments

At the Delhi Indicators Meeting earlier this month, there was discussion about how one would count the lifetime free subscriptions being offered in India.  The following excerpt from Business Today, may shed some light on this new product: “However, there’s more to lifetime offers than meets the eye. First, call charges at Rs 1.99 per minute for local and Rs 2.99 per minute for STD are not necessarily low.
The LBO story states: Sri Lanka’s two private wireless local loop telecom operators have been called up to pay around Rs. 400 million as duties for importing handsets, industry officials said. Last month, the island’s Board of Investment (BOI) slapped a 33 percent import duty on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) handsets with immediate effect. CDMA is a low cost cellular technology that has been effectively used world over to provide cheaper connectivity to rural homes. Though the technology is similar to mobile phones, the handsets are similar to a bulky fixed line unit.
ICT Policy and Regulation Research from LIRNEasia LIRNEasia showcased its research from 2005 on 6 March, 2006 at the Park Hotel, New Delhi. Indian operators as well as media were in attendance. The highlights of LIRNEasia’s first year of Research are available HERE. The presentations are available below: Introduction to LIRNEasia and its 2005 research program, Rohan Samarajiva. More information on LIRNEasia can be found HERE.
Licensing Framework for Unified Access Service in Nigeria In February 2005, the Commission issued a notice on the introduction of a unified licensing regime in Nigeria. It stated that: The market shall be opened up by adopting a unified licensing regime which shall allow existing fixed wireless and mobile licensees to provide both services subject to geographical/regional limitations contained in their licence For the post exclusivity period all wireless licences shall not be segmented in terms of mobile and fixed service categories. Once a spectrum is allocated, licensees shall be free to offer voice, data or multimedia services as they deem fit. All active wireless licences issued prior to the expiration of the exclusivity period shall be amended accordingly. Nigerian Communications Commission – REGULATORY FRAMEWORK Home Page Indian policy since 2003 aims for unification of mobile and fixed licenses, but has been moving slowly toward implementation.
From the Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) of 10 March 2006: “Minister Bogollagama also noted that the government was planning to construct a fibre optic network in Jaffna to introduce the Business Process Outsourcing industry to the area.” Jaffna is currently connected to the rest of Sri Lanka and the world by satellite. It is intriguing to speculate how the Minister’s fiber optic network will function and who will manage it. One assumes that for it to be of use for the BPO industry, the Minister’s fiber will have to connect to another fiber somewhere. Will this be overland, along the A9 and through LTTE controlled territory or undersea?
LIRNEasia and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with the assitance of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, co-sponsored the “Workshop on ICT Indicators for Benchmarking Performance in Network and Services Development” in New Delhi from 1-3 March 2006. The workshop highlighted the need for accurate, standardized and comparable indicators for the region and was intended to initate action to develop such indicators. The workshop brought together representatives of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) and operators from Afghanistan, Bangaldesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka along with the foremost authorities on the subject from the ITU, OECD, and the US National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI). With nearly 60 participants from 16 countries, the Workshop was also attended by telecom researchers from the Asian region. The three day workshop was intended to elicit the cooperation of representatives from NRAs, NSOs and industry associations from the regional countries in establishing a sustainable system for measuring and benchmarking ICT sector input and output indicators for South Asia that can be extended to developing Asia.
Read this article on the web at: www.cellular-news.com/story/16423.php   MTN Uganda has unveiled a modified bicycle payphone concept, the publiCom Quad Bike. The publiCom Quad Bike is a payphone concept where a payphone is mounted on a four-wheel bicycle.
This preliminary study to compare mobile tariffs in the Asian region, has been undertaken in keeping with the proposed 2006 theme of the World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies (WDR), ‘Sector and Regulatory Performance Indicators.’ The definition of standardized benchmark indicators with their respective viable methodologies in the Asian context is required for an accurate comparative analysis of the regulatory and sector performance in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) The preliminary study has produced surprising findings with regards to the relative costs between prepaid and postpaid mobile tariff packages. It is hoped that the release of the preliminary results will engage disucssion with stakeholders, especially operators in the formulation of an accurate and standardized methodology to reflect the holistic costs associated with the use of mobile communications and which can yield meaningful comparisons across the region. The study can be found HERE The authors welcome comments and disucssion.
In the coming year, LIRNEasia intends to launch a number of activities intended to support the work of young scholars working on telecom reform issues of relevance to emerging Asia. As part of this effort we intend to provide self-archiving facilities for conference papers and journal articles, and provide a degree of exposure and commentary for a subset. This is the first effort in this regard. Regulation and FDI: Sri Lankan Telecommunications Industry By Ms Asoka Fernando, PhD Candidate, Dept. of Management, Monash University Abstract This paper examines the role of the telecommunications regulator in Sri Lanka and assesses the effectiveness of its interventions in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the telecommunications sector from a management point of view.
Suntel to invest Rs. 8 b for countrywide CDMA push Plans to roll out low cost telephone service in Jaffna soon By Poornima Weerasekara (Daily Mirror, 1 March 2006) Suntel yesterday unveiling its roadmap for the next three years announced their plans to invest Rs. 8 billion to expand the CDMA network island wide. “The coverage of our 155 base stations is better and wider than most of the mobile operators today,” Suntel Managing Director Jerry Huxtable said. “We have plans to build about 40 base stations by the middle of the year, with plans to construct another 50-60 base stations in the 2nd quarter,” he added.