2007 September


BOP strategy in the Caribbean

Posted by on September 29, 2007  /  0 Comments

Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile operator, gave an illuminating talk on his company’s BOP strategy on the 27th of September, at the Central Bank lecture series.   He claims that his company was the first in the region to move away from a focus ARPU to a profit-per-minutes focus as early as 1997-98.   Here is another mobile operator who is doing well with a similar strategy. Telecoms in the Caribbean | The Irish are coming | Economist.com Digicel has prospered by introducing modern technology and innovative services into stodgy, uncompetitive markets.
Missed calling (also referred to as beeping, flashing and many other names) has been most talked about in Africa; Johnathan Donner has been talking and writing about it for some time now; his research provides interesting insights into what he calls the ‘rules’ of beeping. A recent Reuters article looks at the growing phenomenon in not only Africa but other regions too. LIRNEasia’s Teleuse@BOP survey findings also show that the phenomenon is considerably common among bottom of the pyramid (defined here as Socioeconomic Classification groups D & E) phone users in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. But what’s more interesting, is that the phenomenon was seen as being used more or less to the same extent in the ‘middle and top of the pyramid’ (defined in the study as Socioeconomic Classification groups A, B & C). This held true for phone owners in all five countries studied – Pakistan, India (with some of the lowest per minute call rates in the world), Sri Lanka, Philippines and even Thailand (the country with the highest per capita GDP among the set of countries studied).
The phone company has reversed its position on censoring content intended for their customers who have indicated their consent to receive the content, but continues to assert its right to decide what messages it will transmit. Public policy must ensure that the common-carrier principle be formally extended to text messages as well. Verizon Reverses Itself on Abortion Messages – New York Times Reversing course, Verizon Wireless announced yesterday that it would allow an abortion rights group to send text messages to its supporters on Verizon’s mobile network.“The decision to not allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect,” said Jeffrey Nelson, a spokesman for Verizon, in a statement issued yesterday morning, adding that the earlier decision was an “isolated incident.”
Total broadband growth in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 was at 157% while Greece’s was 168%, Ovum said. The Philippines had 127,942 subscribers in 2005 and this number grew to 329,216 as of end-2006.   The cost of broadband in the Philippines is also expensive relative to average monthly disposable incomes of subscribers. The highest monthly fee in 2006 was $96.08, with the lowest at $17.
It has long been a staple of telecom law that telcos could not decide what went through the tube.   According to the article below, this principle does not apply to text messages.   One academic apologist goes as far as claiming that competition will look after the problem.  He misses the point that under present arrangements there is only one way to reach a mobile user with a text message, though his/her operator (an equivalent condition does not exist in the Internet).  Until that changes, the common-carrier principle must applied, be it for text or voice.
The break up of AT&T in 1984 led to a seismic shift in telecom policy and regulatory thinking worldwide and also created the conditions for the Internet boom. New Zealand is a small country quite unlike the US, but it has taken an unprecedented step that has the potential of changing policy and regulatory thinking again. As the excerpt below says, the split is on the lines of the BT reorganization in the UK. That is true. But the key difference is that BT reorganized voluntarily and NZ Telecom, not.
With foreign journalists barred from what is one of the world’s most closed states, much of the worldwide media coverage is coming from exiled newshounds in countries such as Thailand and India — and their clandestine contacts on the inside. Technology ranging from the latest Internet gizmo to satellite uplinks to camera phones are ensuring pictures of the massed marches of monks and civilians and the response by security forces is on TV screens around the world in hours. The contrast to Myanmar’s last major uprising, in 1988, could not be more stark. Then, as many as 3,000 people were killed when soldiers opened fire on the crowds but it took days for the news — let alone pictures or video footage — to emerge. “The difference is night and day,” said Dominic Faulder, a Bangkok-based British reporter during the 1988 uprising.
Paper titled ‘Wireless Mesh Networking as a means of connecting rural communities: advantages, constrains and challenges – an analysis based on a case study from rural Sri Lanka’ co-authored by Chanuka Wattegama (LIRNEasia) and Rehana Wijesinghe (Enterprise Technology) has been accepted to be presented at the Wireless World Research Forum Meeting to be held 5-7 November, Chennai, India.  The objectives of this paper are to discuss the appropriateness of Wireless Mesh Networking in a rural environment in empowering the community, the design and implementation challenges and how they were addressed, related policy issues including the unlicensing of 2.4 GHz and 5.1 GHz bands and explore the possibilities of replicating the Mahavilachchiya model.  WWRF (http://www.
BY VERONICA S. CUSI, Businessworld THE PHILIPPINES was the second fastest-growing market for broadband worldwide in 2006, according to a study by UK-based research and consultancy firm Ovum. This was primarily due, however, to the fact that broadband is just taking off in the country, and Ovum said growth could be significantly higher if regulators allow more competition that would lead to cheaper services. Greece took the top spot in the study, and the other countries in the top ten list were Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Ireland, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia and Turkey. Total broadband growth in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 was at 157% while Greece’s was 168%, Datamonitor affiliate Ovum said.
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO “We hope to have 100 percent population coverage within the next 12 months, from 90 percent we have now,” Wijayasuriya said. “About 60 percent of our 450 million dollar investment pipeline for the next two-years will go into mobile, the rest into new areas like WiMax, cable TV, fixed-line telephones and grow our Internet business,” Wijayasuriya said. Powered by ScribeFire.
Asia Times Online Most Internet accounts in Myanmar are designed to provide access only to the limited Myanmar intranet, and the authorities block access to popular e-mail services such as Gmail and Hotmail. According to the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), a joint research project on Internet censorship issues headed by Harvard University, Myanmar’s Internet-censorship regime as of 2005 was among the “most extensive” in the world. The research noted that the Myanmar government “maintains the capability to conduct surveillance of communication methods such as e-mail, and to block users from viewing websites of political opposition groups and organizations working for democratic change in Burma”. An ONI-conducted survey of websites containing material known to be sensitive to the regime found in 2005 that 84% of the pages they tested were blocked. The regime also maintained an 85% filtration rate of well-known e-mail service providers, in line with, as ONI put it, the government’s “well-documented efforts to monitor communication by its citizens and to control political dissent and opposition movements”.
Computer enthusiasts in the developed world will soon be able to get their hands on the so-called “$100 laptop”. The organisation behind the project has launched the “give one, get one” scheme that will allow US residents to purchase two laptops for $399 (£198). One laptop will be sent to the buyer whilst a child in the developing world will receive the second machine. The G1G1 scheme, as it is known, will offer the laptops for just two weeks, starting on the 12 November. The offer to the general public comes after the project’s founder admitted that concrete orders from the governments of developing nations had not always followed verbal agreements.
TelecomTV – TelecomTV One – News The problem with this view is that Google has, apparently, already tried and failed several times to get a satisfactory price on capacity from existing trans-Pacific cable providers. The company certainly understands the unit costs of fibre networks as it already owns such infrastructure in the continental United States and, as the world’s Internet leviathan, is reportedly frustrated that it can’t get a decent price on the trans-Pacific route – although that is hardly surprising given that most of the capacity on such pathways is controlled by the very Tier 1 telcos that regard Google as a freeloader and undeserving beneficiary of much of the value of the Internet economy. Google doesn’t want to build a cable to sell bandwidth to third parties (although that could be a natural consequence and corollary of its plans), but because, as a voracious generator and recipient of Internet traffic, it wants to control its own destiny . And as our Friday report indicates, Google doesn’t want to build the cable unilaterally. Rather it would much prefer to share the price of construction and deployment with consortium partners so it can gain access to a fibre pair on […]
A member of the Presidential Commission on the Tsunami has written an informative article on floods, dam breaches and the lack of warning about them. Twenty one years after Kantale, 2.5 years after the tsunami, 1.5 years after we handed over our extensive report on dam safety to the Disaster Management Center, more sensible writing on the subject. The analysis is done, the remedies known, now is the time for implementation.
Software That Fills a Cellphone Gap – New York Times Rural cellularization may not sound like much, but Mr. Bose is a follower of Clayton M. Christensen, the management guru, who also happens to serve on Vanu’s board. Mr. Christensen told him that the best place to start a new business is where there isn’t yet an established market.
Chanuka Wattegama who authored the primer on the use of ICTs in disaster mitigation for the UNDP looks at the responses of littoral nations from South Africa to Thailand to the Bengkulu event. Nation special If the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was a disaster marked by inaction, what happened on September 12, 2007 was marked by plenty of action, but a dearth of right action. It was certainly not an exemplary implementation of pre-determined and meticulously planned disaster avoidance activities. Did it make the vulnerable communities feel more secure? Or did it merely add to the confusion and chaos?