2007 April


Pasted below is a communication from Harsha Purasinghe of MicroImage that may be of interest to readers of this website. “We are pleased to inform you all that Dialog Telekom launched the Sinhala & Tamil Mobile Browser and their Content Portal “SINHALANTHAYA” during New Year week. The browser can be downloaded by visiting http://www.dialogwap.com using your mobile and going into Application Download Area.
The e-readiness rankings are relatively well regarded and do not contain absurdities such as Zimbabwe being ahead of India. The latest rankings are out and show India and the Philippines tied for 54th place (a one-place drop for India); Sri Lanka at 61 (dropping two places); and Pakistan at 63 (up four places and likely to catch up with Sri Lanka soon). Indonesia, another country of focus for LIRNEasia, has slipped 5 places to 67. Zimbabwe, the country that leads all of South Asia according to the ITU, is not in the top- 70 that is provided. Nigeria, on the other hand, is just behind Sri Lanka, at 62.
WorldSpace, LIRNEasia’s partner in the last-mile hazard information project, is promoting a satellite-radio-based mechanism for point-to-multipoint distribution of educational content such as readings and slides. The link below provides a complete description. The excerpt below includes description of an ongoing project in Sri Lanka (not involving LIRNEasia) and the general conclusions drawn by the author, Dr S Rangarajan, a good friend of LIRNEasia and Sri Lanka: Online Journal of Space Communication: An example of a CLASS network that is set up nationwide is the Sri Lankan Network for e-Health and Alerts (SNeHA). Medical professionals in the remote district centers use this network for continuing medical education, to update their knowledge and pass better health care to their patients.
Someday, emergency response teams handling a crisis like Hurricane Katrina, or even a major traffic jam, may coordinate their responses using a system that projects a bird’s-eye view of human movement by tracking cell phone signals via computer. Read more
Telephony base swells; ARPU continues to dip New Delhi April 17 Telephone subscriber base of the wire-line and wireless services together reached 189.92 million in the quarter ending December 2006 from 170.02 million on September 30, 2006, showing an increase of 11.7 per cent during the quarter. However, the blended ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) per month for GSM services has declined by 6.
Another municipal WiFi network, but this time, not for free. BBC NEWS | Technology | Switch on for Square Mile wi-fi But is there really that much demand for open-air surfing? After all, staring at a laptop screen in the sunshine is not a great experience – especially in an area where so many cafes have wi-fi access. The network’s backers think one of the big attractions will be the ability to use wi-fi enabled phones to make cheap calls using Skype or other internet telephony services. It’s hard to see why well-paid City workers would bother with the extra effort needed to make a wi-fi call – but the City of London Corporation believes it will prove attractive to migrant workers on construction sites.
More indications that the BOP [Base of the Pyramid] markets in South Asia are beginning to develop a criticial mass of attention:TelecomTV® NewsDesk A survey carried out by an unusual collective of researchers from the Russian School of Economics, the London Business School, various colleges of Cambridge University and the Anglo-Russian telecoms investment group Altimo, comes to the conclusion that those companies, manufacturers, vendors and service providers want to make the most of the world’s telecoms markets should focus on Bangladesh, India and China. The report says southern and south-eastern Asian markets will provide suppliers with the most lucrative opportunities over the course of the next five to seven years thanks to a felicitous combination of “high projected per capita GDP growth and significant current capital expenditure”. Powered by ScribeFire.
The Central Bank Annual Report 2006 (p. 39) states: The inflow of foreign direct investment increased substantially by 110.3 per cent to US dollars 604 million in 2006 . . .
Big Money in Little Screens – New York Times Searching the Web on a mobile phone has been a lot like getting online via dial-up modem circa 1995: slow, tedious and not terribly useful. Typing on tiny buttons, squinting at a list of links and clicking through to a page that won’t display properly is enough to test anyone’s patience. The head of Yahoo’s mobile strategy, Marco Boerries, standing, said overcoming difficult Web navigation would be a challenge. But that is beginning to change. Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have all trained their sights on cellphones, which they see as the next great battleground in the Internet search wars.
International consulting firm, Oxford Analytica (www.oxan.com) based in Oxford University and draws on a network of over 1,000 senior faculty members at Oxford and other major universities and research institutions around the world reported on Lirneasia’s “Telecoms on a Shoestrings” survey outcomes in its Asia-Pacific Daily Briefs on April 18th.   OA’s existing clients include over 35 governments, major international institutions, and over 160 of the world’s leading multinational corporations and financial institutions. See http://www.
Please continue discussion from Software Issues in Sri Lanka Part 6, on this thread. This thread is devoted to diverse software issues discussed in the context of Sri Lanka. Please stick to the topic and keep the discussion civil. Previous discussion is archived in the following threads: Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 5 Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 4 Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 3 Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 2 Questioning ICT Myths
The colloquium is on the proposed structure and content for the TRE Manual which is to be completed by the end of May by Lara Alawattegama, Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara and Shamistra Soysa,  based on the TRE Assessment paper.
The country reports of the Measuring ICT Sector and Regulatory Performance project, a six-country multi-component study, are available for download below. The Study includes assessments of the regulatory performance in each country, using the telecom regulatory environment (TRE) scorecard; analytical descriptions of reforms that have been implemented; and measurement of changes in sector performance, using the indicators being developed under the project (more info on the project). The country reports can be downloaded here: Pakistan country report – Joseph Wilson India country report – Payal Malik Philippines country report – Lorraine Carlos Salazar Thailand country report – Deunden Nikomborirak Sri Lanka country report – Malathy Knight-John The Indonesia findings can be found in the following paper: Regulatory reforms and improved sector performance: A comparative analysis of Indonesia and India – Payal Malik and Divakar Goswami The analytical framework can be found in the following paper: Competition in whichever way drives growth: An analytical framework of ICT sector performance in emerging Asia – Harsha de Silva
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s 2006 Annual Report states that: “The GDP deflator, which measures the price changes of all goods, produced in the economy, increased by 10.3 per cent in 2006 compared with the rate of 9.9 per cent in 2005. High price increases were recorded in most sub-sectors except in mining and telecommunications, where prices were lower compared with the previous year. Higher fuel and material costs together with the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee during the year led to the increase in prices of most finished goods and services.
Nuwan Waidyanatha, the Project Manager of the Last-mile HazInfo Project, has been invited to speak on the findings of the project at an important regional event attended by a host of dignitaries including the Director of ITU-D, Mr Sami Al-Basheer, the seniormost official dealing with disaster issues in the UN system, Sir David Veness, and Mr Cherif Ghaly, the chair of the UN Working Group on Emergency Telecom.  Draft program is here. Nuwan will speak on the lessons of the on-the-ground technology evaluations conducted by LIRNEasia and Sarvodaya in a majority of the tsunami-affected districts of the island, reported at the workshop in March.  It is a significant recognition that a speaker from an organzation that has existed only for 2.5 years has been invited to a major disaster telecom event outside the Asia-Pacific region.
According to this report, they are not.   It will be appreciated if those with first-hand knowledge report on whether this report is correct and whether the mobile network in the North is operational. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO The entire mobile telephone network has even been shut down to stop the rebels using phones for communications or detonating one of their favoured weapons — huge roadside bombs packed with ball bearings. Powered by ScribeFire.
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