2009 October


Some of our best friends are at in the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), but still warms our hearts when they quote our writing, especially when we go out of our way to wave the red flag before those who still believe in the benevolent state. In a submission to the UN Group on the Information Society, they frankly debate the wisdom of continuing with universal service funds, among other things, quoting us: Rohan Samarajiva of LIRNEasia suggests in a recent paper that explores the success of the ‘budget telecom network model’ in South Asia that ‘the idea of making universal service transparent by creating universal service funds …was a good idea in its time ..but experience suggests that it is an idea that has run its course’. He identifies two problems: Billions of dollars of universal levies lie unspent in government accounts.
According to a Pakistan telecom website, one man found that while he had only 2 SIMs from Mobilink the database showed 57! There is more. With the successful on going SIM Information System 668 campaign, official sources at PTA have revealed that the cellular phone companies have blocked 12.9 million SIMs in two weeks of launch, reported Daily News. Data of around 0.
All over the world, postal services are hemorrhaging red ink. They are being done in by the phone and the Internet. Yet their salvation is also the phone and the Internet. As commerce becomes e commerce, there is a high demand for reliable delivery services. In countries ranging from Korea to Sri Lanka the postal service is NOT reliable.
Incumbents and regulators – from USA to Bangladesh – wanted to block it. They have failed miserably as VoIP has sequentially demolished the old guards’ fortresses. Once untouchable is now the undisputed ruler of the telecoms world. What’s its size? The VoIP services market generated a whopping US$20.
The Malaysian regulator has fined in excess of US$ 1.6 million to three WiMax operators for defaulting on rollout obligation. MCMC has forfeited respective Bank Guarantee of YTL e-Solutions ($557,185), AsiaSpace ($498,534) and REDtone International ($586,510) for their failure to meet the 25% population coverage by the end of March. And that ends the rhetoric of leapfrogging with rapid broadband deployment using WiMax in Malaysia. The government has issued four WiMax licenses in early 2007 among the non-telecoms entities.

GPS on mobiles

Posted by on October 29, 2009  /  6 Comments

You can find directions on mobile phones, but I guess this makes it smoother. For it to work in countries like ours we need more better mapping. . . .
The Negroponte Switch sees all that was wireless becoming wired. That means no spectrum for broadcasters. Next best is less spectrum. The digital dividend. The 700 MHz Band.
By Erwin A. Alampay Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to present my research on mobile money for remittances in two different conferences, with different audiences (the paper and PPT presentation can be downloaded here and here). On October 10, I presented my research on the use of mobile money for remittances in a panel on Mobile Adoption and Economic Development. This was for a conference held in New Brunswick on Mobile Communications and Social Policy, hosted by the Rutgers School of Information and Communication.  Harsha de Silva also presented his paper in the same panel on the “Role of social influence on mobile phone adoption: Evidence from the BOP in emerging Asia.
Findings from LIRNEasia’s study on the telecom regulatory environment in emerging Asia has been published in the Bangkok Post, one of Thailand’s leading print media. The article gives a detailed account of proceedings from a recently concluded seminar,   held in Bangkok, to disseminate the findings. Thailand’s telecommunications sector needs greater regulatory fairness as well as clarity in policy from the government on the future of former state enterprises CAT and ToT if Thailand is to secure the huge investment needed for 3G and data services moving into the future. LIRNEasia…conducted a study of the perceptions towards the regulators in eight emerging Asian economies in the second half of 2008 and representatives from the regulator NTC, ToT, the GSM Association and think-tank TDRI were invited to the report’s presentation. The event was co-hosted by LIRNE Asia, and was hosted by Chulalongkorn University’s Dr Pirongrong Ramasoota, an activist who set the tone of the event by noting that today Thailand is in competition with India to be the last of the eight Asian countries to attain 3G.
Sarojini Mahajan, a 15 year-old schoolgirl in New Delhi, has come up with the idea of using the non-stop power of the beating of the human heart and turning it into an electric current powerful enough to re-charge a mobile phone. Now scientists at Stanford University in the US are developing a prototype. Sarojini got the idea from the “self-winding” and so-called “kinetic” wrist watches that are widely advertised in India and other parts of the world. She thought, If we can have watches that run on the power generated by the human pulse, then why not have a mobile phone charger working on the same principles? The teenager discussed this idea with her science teacher and he forwarded it to India’s National Innovation Foundation (NIF).
Verizon has launched an anti-iPhone advertising campaign, satirising the Apple handset and its exclusive carrier, AT&T, teasing viewers with the promise of its first Android phones in November. iDon’t have a real keyboard … run simultaneous apps … take 5-megapixel pictures … allow open development … have interchangeable batteries,” say the advertisements, ending with: “Everything iDon’t, Droid does. According to Eric Schmidt this month, “Android adoption is literally about to explode”. Android appeals as a viable alternative for mobile handset makers looking to break the dominance of Nokia, Research in Motion and Apple, which have two-thirds of the US market and an 80 per cent global share. Ken Dulaney, analyst with the Gartner research firm, said: “If I’m a hardware manufacturer who needs to license a smartphone operating system, my choice is [open source] Linux, which doesn’t have much of a UI [user interface], Windows Mobile, which people don’t seem to like these days because the UI is kind of antiquated, or Android”  Gartner sees Android eating into Nokia’s leading market share and featuring on 18 per cent of smartphones by 2012, up from 1.
LIRNEasia has been, for some time, documenting how users at the Bottom of the Pyramid are innovating with ICTs. This story has the views of Eric von Hippel, the guru of the “users and innovators” school on how Twitter has mobilized users as innovators. In the next several weeks, Twitter users will discover two new features, Lists and Retweets, that had the same user-generated beginnings. “Twitter’s smart enough, or lucky enough, to say, ‘Gee, let’s not try to compete with our users in designing this stuff, let’s outsource design to them,’ ” said Eric von Hippel, head of the innovation and entrepreneurship group at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.
There seems to be something about open operating systems, as shown by this NYT story. The question now is whether Apple will open its operating system too. More cellphone makers are turning to the free Android operating system made by Microsoft’s latest nemesis, Google. Cellphone makers that have used Windows Mobile to run their top-of-the-line smartphones — including Samsung, LG, Kyocera, Sony Ericsson — are now also making Android devices. Twelve Android handsets have been announced this year, with dozens more expected next year.
I took the first photo. That was in April 2008 in an informal telecenter visit. The second one appeared in a Sinhala blog recently. Mangedara Nenasala telecenter at Thulhiriya (less than 2 km from MAS Holdings) is one of the hundreds of defunct Nenasala telecenters. During better times it provided services such as utility bill payments and computer training.
LIRNEasia, in coordination with the Thai Media Policy Center, Chulalongkorn University and Siam Intelligence Unit, Thailand, hosted a seminar to disseminate findings from its 2008 Asian study on the telecom regulatory environment (TRE), on the 19th of October, in Bangkok, Thailand. The event drew an audience of close to 40, which included senior representatives from the telecom industry, government, academia and the media. Rohan Samarajiva (LIRNEasia) presented overall regional findings from the study, followed by Deunden Nikomborirak (Thailand Development Research Institute) and Payal Malik (University of Delhi), presenting findings from the Thailand and India study, respectively. This was followed by a panel discussion on spectrum allocation in Thailand, chaired by Pirongrong Ramasoota of Chulalongkorn University. Distinguished panelists included Supot Tiarawut (TRIDI, National Telecommunication Commission), Kittipong Tameyapradit (TOT Plc Ltd), Kristin Due Hauge (GSMA) and  Somkiat Tangkitvanich (TDRI).
The   objective   of   this   document: Guidelines for Evaluating RTBP v0.4 is   to   outline   the   evaluation   methodology   for   assessing   the upstream   communication:   data   collection,   data   processing:   event   detection,   and   downstream communication: alerting/reporting stages (verticals in Figure 1) on the aspects of social, content, application, and technology of a Real­Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP). The blue arrows across the verticals and the horizontals indicate the interoperability between elements.