LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Monthly Archives: January, 2010

Twitter in the coalmine

Twitter is developing technology it hopes will prevent the authoritarian governments being able to censor its users. Evan Williams, the chief executive and co-founder of Twitter, which has been credited with helping anti-government protesters in Iran to organise resistance, said software developers were working on “interesting hacks” to stop any blocking by foreign governments. “We […]

Txting champions: Where are the Filipinos?

The world’s fastest txters are South Koreans, followed by US and Argentina. What does this mean for the Philippines status as SMS Capital of the World? The inaugural Mobile World Cup, hosted by the South Korean cellphone maker LG Electronics, brought together two-person teams from 13 countries who had clinched their national titles by beating […]

More i-phones slower networks; why Asian regulators need to prioritize spectrum refarming

The applications are developed, the hardware is ready. Who is not ready are the spectrum managers/regulators of Asia, who have barely started on refarming. Already some of Sri Lanka’s mobile data users are complaining that they cannot connect. The operators need to pay attention and so do spectrum managers. America’s advanced cellphone network is already […]

Early warning: still hung up on sirens. Why not cell broadcasting?

It is disappointing to see sirens still being promoted despite the demonstrated problems. And I think Kogami was present at the HazInfo dissemination event we held in Jakarta. Patra Rina Dewi, director of the Tsunami Alert Community (Kogami), a nongovernmental organisation working on disaster mitigation training for communities, said the knowledge people most need is […]

Executive training: Alternative Regulatory Strategies for Telecommunications

LIRNE.NET (through Research ICT Africa) together with University of Cape Town’s Infrastructure Management Programme, is organizing a five-day training course in telecom regulatory reform. The course is to be held from 12 – 16 April 2010, at the UCT GSB Breakwater Campus, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. The course is designed to enhance […]

Mobile booms remittance boon in Bangladesh

Bangladesh exported 50 percent less manpower in 2009. Thousands of jobless workers also returned home as their employers went broke after the Wall Street collapsed. Yet inward remittance grew by 20 percent ($10.72 billion) in 2009. How could fewer workers send the highest-ever remittance? The mobile networks covering nearly 100 percent of the population as […]

Broadband QoSE rising on the public agenda

It is nice to know that we at LIRNEasia have been ahead of the curve on Broadband QoSE, including on understanding it as more than simply download speed. Professor Gonsalves’s paper on the subject is here. The NYT today carried a story that says many of the things we have been talking about for the […]

Unhappiness about intra-SAARC and roaming charges in Nepal

Voice and Data has brought up two issues we have been pushing since 2008: intra-SAARC call prices and roaming prices. Our good friend Anand Raj Khanal, Secretary of the NTA, has said it is simply a matter between operators. Respectfully, we disagree. Lowering roaming charges in Nepal, when done by Nepal operators, benefits the customers […]

Living without Google

The censors among us (they do not live only in China) need to pay attention to the consequences of their actions and how it can alienate the next generation. “How am I going to live without Google?” asked Wang Yuanyuan, a 29-year-old businessman, as he left a convenience store in Beijing’s business district. China’s Communist […]

The Great Firewall of China has holes

Internet censorship exists in several of the countries we work in, ranging from the Maldives to Sri Lanka. While censorship is not our focus, our readers may find this story on how Chinese Internet users tunnel through the great firewall of interest. The Great Firewall of China is hardly impregnable. Just as Mongol invaders could […]

M-donations to Haiti: Will this be permitted in most countries?

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami showed, among other things, the power of the Internet to raise money. Now Haiti is showing the power of the mobile to raise donations for earthquake relief. Old-fashioned television telethons can stretch on for hours. But the latest charity appeal is short enough for Twitter: “Text HAITI to 90999 to […]

Nokia’s transformation depends on success in emerging markets

What I like about the new economy is that no one is king of the hill for too long. IBM, the target of Apple’s famous 1984 ad, almost went under and reinvented itself as an open source champion for the comeback. Microsoft is no longer looking like a big bad bully. And Nokia who seemed […]

Farmer profits increase by 33% because of availability of agri-market price information, another research study confirms

We documented the research done by Jensen and Aker on the benefits of mobiles to producers and consumers. Now we have a third good piece of research, this time not of decentralized information provision, but of centralized provision in India with the e Choupals. ITC Limited, an Indian company that is one of the largest […]

Uncle Sam picks the CEOs brains

President Barak Obama has invited dozens of the nation’s top executives to the White House seeking tips on how the federal bureaucracy can become leaner and meaner. Why? Try these examples: The U.S. Census Bureau spent $600 million on a project to make its 2010 count electronic, but the effort failed and the census will […]

The power of love (and technology)

Foreign Policy magazine calls it “The Unluckiest Country” and Haiti has hardly anything to defend. History of the Western Hemisphere’s second-oldest republic has been dominated by coups, dictators, and foreign interventions. Disastrous natural calamities were never in short supply either. And now it’s the earthquake. The world has answered. Personal donations are pouring in at […]

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