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

Monthly Archives: May, 2010

Pakistan Universal Service Fund in trouble?

Just a few weeks ago, we highlighted that the Pakistan Universal Service Fund was an exception to the rule of poorly performing USFs that were good at collecting money, but were terrible at spending intelligently. Looking back, there were two reports, not one. The above was written by an Indian journalist. The one written by […]

Sri Lanka: LIRNEasia welcomes Public Hearing on Telecom Tariff; look forward for one on Electricity tariffs too

Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara wants telecom tariffs down. Quoting an unnamed ‘prominent mobile operator’ who placed the operational cost of a phone call at LKR 0.20 (Less than one fifth of a US cent) at a meeting at the Treasury, Mr. Nanayakkara asks why not the telecom firms reduce the mobile phone charges. LIRNEasia welcomes this […]

Negroponte 2.0 – One ‘tablet’ per child

The old man is back. And he is talking about a tablet, which is powered by Marvell chip and run by Android OS, for the poor kids. Nicholas Negroponte’s OLPC has not delivered the way it had created the hype. The organization has also suffered from internal bleeding but it seems to be alive and kicking. Now OLPC […]

Most important technology no longer on desk but rather fits in hand

It’s nice to have the New York Times and Wall Street in our corner in the debate about the future of the Internet. Our argument does not rest on the success of i phones, but on the whole idea that the days of the desktop computer, which was irrelevant to the BOP are over. Wall […]

ITU shows USF is irrelevant in Bangladesh

ITU said nearly 90 per cent of the world’s population is covered by mobile networks and more than half the rural households have a mobile telephone today. While focusing on Bangladesh, the World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report 2010 further says: Grameenphone’s EDGE network, launched in 2005, covers 98 per cent of the population, so almost every […]

Regulator gets ‘license to kill’ in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is amending its telecoms law that scraps the operators’ right to appeal. The regulator or the police can register a case, even on suspicion, and arrest any official of any telecom operator without a warrant. The regulator will be the investigator and can decide on any form of punishment. And the operators will not […]

Mobile banking is 19% cheaper than traditional banks

Mobile banking services are on average 19% cheaper than services from traditional banks, according to a new research conducted by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). It has found that the lower the transaction value, the cheaper mobile banking is in comparison with formal banks. At a transactional value of $23, branchless banking is […]

Colloquium: TRE Afghanistan

Colloquium was conducted by Sriganesh Lokanathan. Data was collected from Jan – Apr 2009. Profile of Afghanistan. 25 Mn Population. Land locked country. MoU per year 399 incoming, 414 outgoing. Due to high prices. Most investment from FDI. 55Mn comes from local sources additional 40 mn came from Afghan telecom. 6 year CAGR stands at […]

LIRNEasia researcher Joseph Wilson on ‘Economic and Governance Challenges Facing Pakistan’

LIRNEasia researcher Joseph Wilson will talk at IDRC on the ‘Economic and Governance Challenges Facing Pakistan’ on June 1, 2010. Pakistan has achieved some economic success – mainly in agriculture and industry – despite recurring political instability since the country’s independence in 1947, says Wilson. Yet millions of Pakistanis still live below the poverty line. […]

Poor is the future, or is making the poor less poor the future?

A Sri Lanka newspaper article reporting on a talk I gave last week that was based on the Budget Telecom Network Model used the headline “Poor is the future.” Pity the newspaper did not pick up what I said about “more-than-voice” services offered by telcos making the poor less poor; not taking money from their […]

It’s possible only in Bangladesh

Bangladesh government will issue 3,000 – that’s right, three thousand – international gateway (IGW) licenses, said and the Daily Star. The telecoms secretary would not disclose the “official” fees per IGW license at this stage. But he believes up to US$3,600 of CAPEX will be required for each gateway. Evidently the authorities perceive IGW […]

A solution to India’s spectrum mess

Payal Malik, LIRNEasia’s Senior Research Fellow resident in India, has written an op-ed analyzing the spectrum mess in India and proposing that it be cleaned up in tandem with license renewals that are coming up. Pakistan used the opportunities afforded by license renewals to clean up some policy mistakes made prior to 2004. We hope […]

One universal service fund that works: Pakistan

The Bangkok Post has carried a report on the exchanges about universal service funds at the Islamabad Mobile 2.0 Expert Forum. The reporter initiated the exchange between the CEOs of the Pakistan universal service fund and LIRNEasia. Here is his account. Rohan Samarajiva, CEO of Lirne-Asia, has been a long opponent of USO funds and […]

Brazil connect buses with Mobile 2.0

Are there benefits of connecting buses to a mobile network? That’s a question that the city government of Curitiba in Brazil posed before deciding to make it the first city in the world to implement a brand new public transportation solution Ericsson has developed with Dataprom, the Brazilian supplier of public-transport solutions. The solution, which is already […]

Indo Pak relations: The signal from above hints new solutions

The Grand Trunk Road, which covers a distance of 2,500 km today, says Wikipedia, is one of South Asia’s oldest and longest major roads. For several centuries, it has linked the eastern and western regions of the Indian subcontinent, running from Bengal, across north India, into Peshawar in Pakistan. The road also passes through the […]


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