2009 February


Several years back, Korea topped the OECD’s broadband rankings and the ITU’s Digital Opportunity Index. That caused a lot of countries to reexamine their broadband policies. It caused others to develop new indices. The NYT carries a report on one: After the United States, the ranking found that Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway rounded out the five most productive users of connectivity. Japan ranked 10, and Korea, 18.
Technology to send broadband over power lines has been around for several years, but it typically hasn’t been able to offer enough capacity at a low enough price to beat service from cable and phone companies. But with government subsidies, the approach is starting to be deployed in areas that don’t have access to other forms of broadband. I.B.M.
The intention of this blog is to share the user requirements captured during the business analysis phase of the real time biosurveillance program. The state of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan business cases are documented in the report. Any changes can be discussed in this blog itself.
Last year, several LIRNEasia researchers were pleased to work with Nokia on explaining the reasons behind South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) being the only countries with a TCO [total cost of ownership] below USD 5/month, when the average for almost 80 countries studied was USD 13.15. According to the latest issue of Nokia’s Expanding Horizons magazine (p. 10), the TCO has come down further, to USD 10.88.
It could happen to anyone: you dropped your cellphone in the toilet. Take the battery out immediately, to prevent electrical short circuits from frying your phone’s fragile internals. Then, wipe the phone gently with a towel, and shove it into a jar full of uncooked rice. This is not the kind of thing we post everyday, but this post from the NYT has got some truly useful tips on how to improve the quality of your interactions with the indispensable mobile. A little token of appreciation to our 500 plus unique readers everyday.
The village Health Nurse (VHN) is a rural last mile primary health care worker – duties ranging from holding medical camps in schools to running a Health Service Center (HSC) in the village providing primary health care to walking door-to-door providing antenatal and post natal care. These mobile services require proper documentation; the paper work is later converted to statistics that is reviewed by the district and state Health Officials. An idea Sir Gee is to replace the 2 heavy bags with a 100gram mobile phone with built in applets to capture the same data. The Real Time Biosurveillance Program, an m-Health pilot carried out by Indian Institute of Technology Madras’s Rural Technology and Business Incubator in the Thirupathur block, to begin with, will be field testing the mobile concept of capturing the necessary and sufficient morbidity data for aggregate reports and disease surveillance. Lessons from this pilot will provide enough insight to develop the remaining applets to replace the heavy bags.
Seitkazy Matayev, chairman of Kazakhstan’s journalists’ union, says the authorities have realised they made a mistake five years ago when they started to computerise all the country’s schools and to provide them with internet access. They now worry about a new generation of outspoken internet users. However, Mr Matayev remains defiantly hopeful they cannot be effectively silenced: “The only way to control the internet in Kazakhstan is to turn off the electricity in the whole country.”
Infosys Technologies chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy has declined to be the IT advisor to the Sri Lankan government, the IT bellwether said Wednesday. In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Murthy said he had decided to withdraw from being the advisor due to personal reasons. “I thank you for the courtesy shown to me during my recent visit to Sri Lanka.
There was a time when I worked a lot on privacy, especially privacy issues surrounding transaction-based information (TGI). The last piece of that line of research received good reviews , the quote below being an example. The next step should have been a book; I chose to come to Sri Lanka to set up the Telecom Regulatory Commission instead. Privacy was a fast moving field at that time. I knew it would be too late to get into it, after the diversion in Sri Lanka.
Narayana Murthy, the ‘IT Guru’ is in Colombo. ‘Entrepreneurship and IT for National Integration: A Challenge for Sri Lanka’ was his topic addressing Sri Lankan software industry representatives, on Saturday. The well attended event was organized by the three month old Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) that has ambitious plans to follow elder brother, NASSCOM. Murthy talked for 40 minutes, and delivered the gems, for anybody to pick. Develop infrastructure; Build HR or import if not enough; Encourage foreign investment; Avoid fat government; Give confidence to private sector; Nurture venture capitalists: Change labour laws; Provide equal opportunities for both genders; Ensure peace, political stability and correct fiscal environment because they are the key to the growth of IT and ITES industries and don’t be scared to innovate.
Mr Narayana Murthy of Infosys has always been a straight-talker and a clear thinker. The Sri Lanka President deserves congratulations on picking him as his advisor. He will give good advice. We hope the President will take the advice. Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday appointed N R Narayana Murthy, chairman of India’s Infosys Technologies, as his international advisor on information technology, the president’s office said.
In the course of her research on India’s telecom policy and regulatory environment, LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow Payal Malik calculated the HHIs for different circles in India and found them to be very low.  Drawing on other TRE research and the literature, she has made a comparative assessment of the level of competition in India and a prognostication on the direction of mobile tariffs in an interview with the Economic Times. Lirneasia’s senior research fellow Payal Malik had published the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) – the index for market concentration – in the telecom markets of South Asian countries, last year. Lower the HHI, higher the competitiveness in a market. India’s turned out to be the lowest at 2000, as compared to Indonesia’s 3400 and Thailand’s 3900.

On the cons of satellites

Posted by on February 13, 2009  /  4 Comments

Satellites were the darlings of the development set back when I was in grad school in the 1980s.   When I returned to Sri Lanka and started working at the Arthur C. Clarke Centre for Modern Technologies, one of my assignments was to get Sri Lanka connected to the Internet via satellite.  It didn’t, and I left. As a result, I’ve acquired quite a bit of knowledge on satellites along the way.
When I ceased to proffer policy advice to the government of Bangladesh some time back, I predicted that the International Long Distance Telecommunication Services Policy would fail, and that bypass would not be eradicated.  Seeing a report that massive bypass was reemerging after a quiet period following arrests and confiscations, I wrote an oped in the Daily Star urging a reworking of the policy.  Here is an excerpt: In 2007 when the government-appointed committee formulating the international Long Distance Telecommunication Services (ILTDS) Policy sought my advice, I told them that the larger policy objectives would be best served by liberalising international gateways. Liberalisation would enhance the competitiveness of Bangladesh’s export industries and create conditions for the efflorescence of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, thereby generating white-collar jobs for educated youth. It would eradicate the cancer of black money generated from the bypass business that was corroding the country’s body politic.
Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update Globally, mobile data traffic will double every year through 2013, increasing 66 times between 2008 and 2013. Mobile data traffic will grow at a CAGR of 131 percent between 2008 and 2013, reaching over 2 exabytes per month by 2013. Mobile data traffic will grow from 1 petabyte per month to 1 exabyte per month in half the time it took fixed data traffic to do so. In the 7 years from 2005 to 2012, mobile data traffic will have increased a thousand-fold. The Internet grew from 1 petabyte per month to 1 exabyte per month in 14 years.
Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo said the fires had caused “substantial damage” to exchanges, mobile base stations and cabling. He said Telstra had lost communications to five exchanges and estimated that 18 base stations were down, disabling “thousands of phone lines and broadband internet connections.” Up to 200 Telstra employees are working to repair the damage and restore services in Victoria, as well as flood-ravaged Queensland in northern Australia. Staff were working closely with emergency service crews to ensure they retain connectivity, Telstra said.  Rival Optus has restored a number of mobile sites, but 16 Victorian sites were still down, and other sites are affected by power loss.
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