2008


Board of Investment has granted approval to a sixth mobile/ 5th fixed operator. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to a new mobile (GSM) and fixed (SCDMA) telecommunications network provider. Mr. Dhammika Perera, Chairman / Director General signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to Mr. B.
In all networks, there is a perpetual debate about the growth of whatever flows across it (data, voice telephony, traffic. electricity) and what levels of investment are most appropriate for carrying the future load without deterioration of quality.  This debate is going on now, about the Internet and the load likely to be placed on it by proliferating video, the so called exaflood.  But then, profits are essential for investment.   The quote below is about a data drought that could drive down profits and cause all kinds of bad things to happen.
Well, the research is coming in on the use of mobiles while driving and it ain’t looking good.   Hands-free does not make a difference it seems, it’s the seriousness of the conversation. But does chatting to passengers have the same detrimental effect on driving? An earlier study found that it does not. That research, led by Frank Drews of the University of Utah, analysed the performance of young drivers using a vehicle simulator.
Dhiraagu, the incumbent telecom operator of the Maldives had its license renewed for a term of 15 years. Since its establishment in 1988, Dhiraagu enjoyed an exclusivity on the provision of fixed line services. It was also the only company allowed to carry international traffic into the island nation and terminate on any network. We are happy to note that the Telecom Authority of Maldives (TAM) has not extended these exclusivities in the new license that will be effective from January 2009. The move should, at a minimum, have an impact on international incoming call prices to the Maldives, since Dhiraagu’s competitor Wataniya will now be able to carry inward bound traffic and terminate on any network.
Unlike in Asia, the price of an individual SMS has increased by 100% to USD 0.20 in the US.  This has happened at the same time as the mobile market consolidated from six suppliers to four.  Naturally, there has been public-policy concern.  In defense of the telecos, it must be noted that most people in the US do not pay on a per-message basis, but get a “bucket” of services including a large number of SMS for a fixed price, so the per-message price is really not relevant to most people.
Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the government will establish a series of Tsunami warning towers throughout the country from next month. Speaking at the main ceremony of the Tsunami tragedy and National Safety day held in Kandy this morning the Minister said three Tsunami warning towers have been established in various areas of the country. The Minister said the government hopes to establish another 25 Tsunami warning towers along the coast around the country by next March and five emergency disaster centers by next January. This is getting to be quite boring.   The same story about three towers and 25 to come repeated since July 2006.
Preconference workshop at the 2009 conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) | 20-21 May 2009, Chicago, Illinois, USA The draft program for this one-and-a-half day preconference is now available. Twenty five papers were selected through a peer-reviewed process; papers based on research in 15 countries in five continents in on various aspects of mobile usage will be presented. Registration can be completed through the ICA conference website.
Indonesia will implement Wimax (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) broadband technology next year to improve access to the Internet across the country, an official said Sunday. Engkos Koswara, an expert adviser to the state minister for research and technology, told Antara news agency the government was still testing the 2.3 GHz frequency for the Wimax technology. “We hope that by next year, Wimax technology will be implemented,” he said in Medan, North Sumatra, adding the government would encourage the use of domestic products to support the technology. Indonesia ranks very low in the region in the use of broadband for Internet access.
Recessions are not bad for everybody. Proverbial silver line in the cloud, they bring hope to some. Success of the India BPO industry can partially be attributed to the post 9/11 recession. Tighter the economy, cheaper the solutions business looks for. How far onshore rural BPOs cater to the needs of their clients?
As our world rapidly evolves, it’s no surprise that the work landscape is evolving as well. You can prepare for and keep up with the changes by updating your training and credentials. One of the six high-flying jobs Yahoo! Hotjobs featured in its latest article is about designing content for mobile platform. Here is the full description.
There was a time when Mira Lira wasn’t able to run her online business effectively out of this former mining town 60 miles east of Phoenix. Not on a dial-up connection. “I use the Internet daily for e-mail and marketing,” Lira said. But today Lira is enjoying broadband Internet access as she provides virtual administrative help for offices around the country through Miracle Executive Services. The relief came in the form of small white boxes with tiny antennas atop homes, the school, even a light pole at the baseball field.
Everyone is betting big on the telecom growth story as it is steadily gaining traction amidst the global financial turmoil. This sector has emerged as a big contributor to the GDP and has recorded a 42.2% growth in the quarter ended Sep ‘08. Telecom is being seen as a significant contributor to the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI). The launch of 3G will give a big boost to services.
For a country that stood at the bottom of the pyramid in terms of telecom penetration a decade ago, 2008 was a watershed when India’s subscriber base topped 350 million users to make its network the second largest in the world after China, displacing the US. The significant achievement was made possible by the mobile telephony segment of communications, which was once thought to be a gizmo for the rich – what with a tariff of Rs.16.80 per call when the telecom revolution began in the country in the early 1990s. But with tariff falling to 40 paise a call and incoming calls becoming free, mobile telephony began to appeal to the masses.
Electricity is said to be the only infrastructure the twentieth century communist rulers have truly cared for.  The practice may have had its origins in Lenin’s efforts for full electrification of the Soviet state, started in 1920 (aka GOELRO Plan). Nevertheless it makes perfect sense. Let the masses have electricity so that they can switch on television sets. They will not worry about anything else.
Of the 4,283 bribery payments documented by the investigators, 2,505 (more than half) were made in relation to telecom contracts.   Of the total of USD 1,400.7 million disbursed, USD 813.9 million (more than half) were for telecom.  However, the complaint documents only three specific cases of large bribes paid in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nigeria, all to government officials or politicians (including functionaries in government owned telecos).
Four years to history, ‘Your tears are mine’ (see below) was my reaction to Asian tsunami. Reproduced in multiple sites, it was recited once in a remembrance event. Though written more in a Sri Lankan context, let me pick it again today, to remember all 225,000 lives lost, in the worst tsunami in recent history – that caused vast damage to four countries LIRNEasia closely works in, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. Not my every wish was granted. The aftermath of tsunami, instead of creating a division-free society demonstrated how pathetically the disparities were amplified.