2006 November


USD 150 computer

Posted by on November 30, 2006  /  0 Comments

In 2004, 4.1 percent of Sri Lankan households had computers.  As the data comes in from our six-country study, we will post the numbers for those countries as well.   Looks like this will change the nature of the debate.   The report states that Intel and Microsoft are not happy with Negoponte’s baby.
As part of the Six Country Indicators Project, Deunden presented the interim findings from the Thailand country study (over Skype). The study assesses Thailand’s telecom sector and regulatory performance. It employs the common methodology and list of indicators adopted for the Six Country study.
Very good. Now will the Indian government walk the walk? Will the other countries take the lead? Govt. committed to develop a robust disaster management system: PM Addressing the First India Disaster Management Congress here, Dr.
The battle for mobile customers in Latin America is hotting up as 319 million Latin Americans or 56% of the population already own a mobile phone. Telefonica of Spain and America Movil controlled by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim are going head-to-head to expand their market-share in South America and are increasingly targeting the “bottom of the pyramid.” The Race for Numero Uno in Latin Wireless (Businessweek November 27, 2006): More than 80% of Brazil’s mobile-telephone customers use prepaid service—buying cards to recharge their phones—rather than signing monthly contracts. América Móvil’s average client uses just 71 minutes of airtime each month, spending around $12.50.
LIRNEasia, Sarvodaya and the partners of the HazInfo project have been saying this and more importantly implementing this. Hope the message will be heard. Reuters AlertNet – News – Prevention spending must be doubled Governments, aid agencies and humanitarian actors must spend twice as much on disaster preparedness activities that could save millions of lives, the British Red Cross has urged.Almost two years on from the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, risk reduction remains low on the international agenda despite encouraging progress in tsunami-affected regions themselves. “The tsunami highlights the importance of proactively preparing for disasters and this lesson must be learnt and risk reduction must become a high priority in all disaster-prone areas,” said David Peppiatt, British Red Cross head of policy.
As part of the Six Country Indicators Project, Malathy presented the interim findings from the Sri Lankan country study (over Skype). The study assesses Sri Lanka’s telecom sector and regulatory performance. It employs the common methodology and list of indicators adopted for the Six Country study.
The Study of India’s Universal Service Instruments by LIRNEasia researchers  Payal Malik & Harsha De Silva, critiqued the  Indian government’s policy that made only fixed line operators eligible for USO funds: As of today, the government is giving USO fund support to only the fixed line operators offering services in the rural areas. The over defining terms in the law is a bad idea in a rapidly evolving technology environment, though this correction has been suggested it is quite possible that the previous auctions have left huge amounts of rents that have been appropriated by the incumbent. In an industry that manifests the potential for rapid technological change and innovation, such as telecom, an economic analysis of a problem should not focus too narrowly or exclusively on the best use of society’s resources from the standpoint of today’s technology and resource availability i.e. static economic efficiency but should be viewed from a dynamic perspective.
A story worth checking out. Have the Bangladesh mobile operators solved the problems of providing reliable and cost-effective Internet connections over GSM networks? Internet Extends Reach Of Bangladeshi Villagers – washingtonpost.com Villages in one of the world’s poorest countries, long isolated by distance and deprivation, are getting their first Internet access, all connected over cellphones. And in the process, millions of people who have no land-line telephones, and often lack electricity and running water, in recent months have gained access to services considered basic in richer countries: weather reports, e-mail, even a doctor’s second opinion.

Broadband battles

Posted by on November 24, 2006  /  0 Comments

Here is an issue that will feature large in India and even Bhutan, but not Sri Lanka.   The reason is that the former countries have a sizable number of cable connections, which will in the future be used to provide broadband access in competition to phone companies.  Because of the profligacy of frequency-based broadcast licensing in Sri Lanka, there is no cable industry to speak of.   What there is uses frequencies.  That means it cannot easily be turned into a conduit for broadband.
18 November, 2006 In an auction, which lasted four hours with the bid climbing 168 times, the Tashi Group clinched the deal to operate the first private mobile service in the country with a Nu. 777 million (USD 17.32 million) offer. The Tashi Group outbid three other joint venture companies in the auction that was held in Thimphu on October 16 to operate the license for a period of 15 years. The three other local companies vying for the license were the Singye Group, which had tied up with Reliance mobile in India, Druktel Private Limited, a consortium of Bhutanese companies, which had joined Airtel also in India and Bhutan Steel, which had tied up Thai company, Shin Satellite Public Corporation Limited.

KURIL ISLANDS’ Earthquake

Posted by on November 18, 2006  /  0 Comments

[Tsunami Warning – IOC] WCATWC Message  PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS  MAGNITUDE – 7.7  TIME      – 0214 AKST NOV 15 2006             0314  PST NOV 15 2006             1114  UTC NOV 15 2006  LOCATION  – 46.7 NORTH 153.5 EAST           – KURIL ISLANDS  DEPTH     – 21 MILES THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER IN EWA BEACH HAWAII HAS ISSUED A TSUNAMI WARNING FOR AREAS OF THE PACIFIC OUTSIDE OF CALIFORNIA/ OREGON/ WASHINGTON/ BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ALASKA. As Japan braces: Tech-related tsunami resources  By Paul McNamara on Wed, 11/15/2006 – 8:52am  The information and warning systems didn’t always work flawlessly, Japanese officials acknowledge.
TRAI has asked to amend the current international long distance guidelines to discourage restrictive and monopolistic practices of the incumbents and provide a level playing field to new entrants. Currently, six international cables, owned by BSNL, VSNL, Reliance, and Bharti carry international voice and data to India. They allegedly charge 40% to 60% more than international rates. Full report: http://www.telecomasia.
Selection of candidates to present papers and participate as Young Scholars at the inaugural CPRsouth conference in Manila is now complete and successful participants have been informed. The updated CPRsouth1 agenda can be downloaded HERE. Logistical information will be posted as it becomes available. To those applicants who will not be able to make it to the conference, we hope you continue to participate through the CPRsouth website (www.cprsouth.
What I predicted would happen in 2005, has happened.  Pakistan is now ahead of all South Asian countries in basic telecom access other than Maldives.LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO
Beyond the horizon, but worth keeping en eye on . . . BBC NEWS | Technology | Physics promises wireless power US researchers have outlined a relatively simple system that could deliver power to devices such as laptop computers or MP3 players wirelessly. The concept exploits century-old physics and could work over distances of many metres, the researchers said.
To get thinking started on a topic that we will be studying in more detail in 2007. Are there historical figures like this, for example in India, that we can refer to in our work? Looking Back on Louis Brandeis on His 150th Birthday – New York Times