2007 July


Paper titled “Community-based Hazard Warnings in Rural Sri Lanka: Performance of a Last-Mile Message Relay”, authors – Gordon Gow (Associate Professor, Faculty of Extensions, University of Alberta, Canada), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Department of Telematics, Simon Fraser University, Canada), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, Last-Mile Hazard Warning Systems, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka), will be presented at the 1st Wireless Rural Emergency Communication Conference. The WRECOM 2007 Conference is jointly organized by the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, the IEEE Communications Society and the Vehicular Technology/Communications Society joint Chapter Italy Section. The conference will take place in Rome, October 1-2, 2007. The HazInfo project realized that early warnings via Information Communication Technology (ICT) must be a point-to-multi-point application and is best accommodate by Wireless ICTs. The HazInfo pilot included outfitting and field-testing an initial 32 villages with various combinations of wireless communication equipment, which could provide features such as: early warning wake-up, addressability and provision of information in three languages (English, Sinhalese and Tamil).
Privatization is a controversial subject. Proponents claim it will increase efficiency; reduce the stuffing of firms with excess employees, etc. The reduction of political victimization is not a benefit that usually gets addressed. This study also helps explain the opposition of unions in state-owned firms to privatization. They are not unions in the classic sense, but intermediaries of political victimization and corruption.
“MY NAME is Mohammed Sokor, writing to you from Dagahaley refugee camp in Dadaab. Dear Sir, there is an alarming issue here. People are given too few kilograms of food. You must help.”  A crumpled note, delivered to a passing rock star-turned-philanthropist?

Researchers wanted

Posted by on July 29, 2007  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia currently has openings for four researchers. Applications for the post of Senior Researchers are being accepted until August 24th 2007. See Job descriptions.
The telecom sector in Sri Lanka is expected to attract the bulk of the record USD 600 million in foreign direct investment expected in 2007: LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Nor has violence deterred the 530 million dollars in foreign direct investment so far this year which is projected to exceed the 600 million dollars in 2006, according to bank figures. Most of the money from overseas has gone into telecom and IT-related services, distantly followed by garments and building of high-rise properties. Powered by ScribeFire.
Thailand continues with its program of tsunami evacuation drills.   This website has reported on the evacuation drills organized by Sarvodaya and LIRNEasia as part of the pilot project.   We will be pleased to disseminate information about the government’s drills as well.   ThaisNews On Thursday 26 July, we had our Special report at the Tsunami evacuation drill in Patong. Later we had an interview with the Director General of the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center and a representative from Maldives, who were observing the drill.
Pyramid Research has released a list of the Top Ten Trends that will influence the telecoms sector in the region (and elsewhere) throughout the coming year.  It claims that subscriber growth will be the number one ‘critical development’ in the Asia Pacific region through 2008. The new research shows that subscriber growth is expected to be highest in Indonesia, which will see a 45 per cent increase in its broadband market ever year for the next five years. By 2012, 80 per cent of Asia’s mobile subscribers will be from China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, with regional subscriptions totaling 2.2 billion.
Nuwan Waidyanatha, project manager of the HazInfo program, has been invited to present a paper at the Second China Workshop on Information System of Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM-CHINA 2007) to be held on August 26-27, 2007 in Harbin, China. The paper entitled “‘Common Alerting Protocol Message Broker’ for Last-Mile Hazard Warning System in Sri Lanka: An Essential Component” will focus on proving the need for a CAP Broker for a Last-Mile Hazard Warning System. The general objective of the research was to evaluate the suitability of 5 ICTs deployed in varied conditions for their suitability in the Last-Mile of a national disaster warning system for Sri Lanka and possibly by extension to other developing countries. The Live Exercises conducted between November 2006 and May 2007 showed that the Hazard Information Hub (HIH) had a reliability of only 78% on average – a poor result, as the reliability of the HIH performing her set of functions was not meant to be any less than 95%. High reliability from the HIH was a necessity in order to provide as much time for the Community First-Responders to activate and complete the Last-Mile Community Emergency Response Plans.
LIRNEasia places emphasis on developing capacity for ICT policy and regulation in the region, as well as developing the capacity of the members of its own team.   Part of the problem, we find, is that organizations do not put their money where their mouth is:   while platitudes about the importance of training come easy to leaders of organizations, actually committing money for training and releasing staff for training does not come that easy.   We try to walk the talk at LIRNEasia, but obviously we can be more systematic about it.   Here is brilliant idea from IBM, which may be too complicated for an outfit that is still 12-14 people depending how the counting is done.  But still worth thinking about.
Rohan Samarajiva will present a paper on ‘Sri Lanka’s telecommunications commitments under GATS: Assessment and issues for the future’ in the “Trade in Services’ session at the International Trade Law Conference 2007, on 1 August, organised by the Sri Lanka Law College in collaboration with The Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka and The World Trade Organization. The topic of this year’s conference is “The Doha Development Agenda and the Future of the Multilateral Trading System.” The conference will seek to facilitate an extensive discussion on the critical issues that have arisen in the course of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. The panel of speakers consisting of policy makers, academics and professionals of outstanding calibre have been drawn from the developed and developing world such as the US, EU, India and Sri Lanka, in order to stimulate debate and facilitate a holistic experience for the participants.The conference website is: http://www.
The One Laptop Per Child project is one step closer to releasing the completed machine to millions of schoolchildren in the developing world. But what makes the computer so unique? Find out:http://news.bbc.co.
THE number of mobile-phone subscribers in the 30 countries of the OECD reached nearly 933m in 2005, equivalent to around 80 for every 100 people. Tiny Luxembourg has the highest penetration rate, with 157.3 subscribers for every 100 people. Indeed, it is one of 14 countries in which there are more subscribers than people. This is partly because users increasingly have several SIM cards for use with the same phone.
How the technical, political and business realities in Africa hinder technological development and connectivity there. Africa, Offline: Waiting for the Web Attempts to bring affordable high-speed Internet service to the masses have made little headway on the continent. Less than 4 percent of Africa’s population is connected to the Web; most subscribers are in North African countries and the republic of South Africa. A lack of infrastructure is the biggest problem. In many countries, communications networks were destroyed during years of civil conflict, and continuing political instability deters governments or companies from investing in new systems.

Ideas change policy

Posted by on July 22, 2007  /  1 Comments

Behind the Google led attempt to free up the mobile networks for all attachments (Carterfone 2), there appears to have been a scholarly article, a Law Review article of all things! This was after many had written requiems for law review articles saying they were getting too esoteric to be of any use. When Mobile Phones Aren’t Truly Mobile – New York Times Then, in February, Timothy Wu, a law professor at Columbia University, published an influential paper, “Wireless Net Neutrality,” which made a well-supported case that the government should compel wireless carriers to open their networks to equipment and software applications that the carriers did not control. Mr. Wu called his proposition a call for “Cellular Carterfone,” referring to the 1968 Carterfone ruling by the F.
Swedish Woman Gets Superfast Internet – New York Times In less than 2 seconds, Lothberg can download a full-length movie on her home computer — many thousand times faster than most residential connections, said Hafsteinn Jonsson, head of the Karlstad city network unit. Jonsson and Lothberg’s son, Peter, worked together to install the connection. The speed is reached using a new modulation technique that allows the sending of data between two routers placed up to 1,240 miles apart, without any transponders in between, Jonsson said. ”We wanted to show that that there are no limitations to Internet speed,” he said. Powered by ScribeFire.
True to form, Google is proposing a radical rethink of the entire basis of the wireless industry.   And it is putting real money behind its ideas.   All that is in the way seems to be the FCC. Google Pushes for Rules to Aid Wireless Plans – New York Times “When you go to Best Buy to buy a TV, they don’t ask whether you have cable or satellite,” said Blair Levin, a former F.C.