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Monthly Archives: June, 2010

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Sri Lanka: Have the policy makers changed the way they think?

When we talk about taking research to policy, we say that it is better to change the way policy makers think than change policy. One of our big wins was the inclusion of sustainable dam safety measures in a USD 71 million World Bank credit to the Government of Sri Lanka. Now we read this […]

Lawmaker smells rat in Bangladesh telecoms law

Hasanul Haq Inu chairs the parliamentary standing committee on telecoms ministry. This treasury bench lawmaker has been critical about the proposed amendments of the telecoms law. Inu’s committee has been scrutinizing the amendments before the parliament approves it. Yesterday he said in a public event, “Such an unfriendly bill must be changed,” according to press […]

Innovation powerhouse focuses on the mobile interface

We’ve been saying that the screen in the hand will win over the screen on the desk for sometime. So it is with pleasure that we note the big boys are coming to the same position. Chattertrap has already caught the eye of Li Ka-shing, a Chinese billionaire who has invested in Facebook and the […]

US to release 500 MHz for broadband; when will Asian governments get to work on refarming?

We do not normally use the US telecom policy as an example. But this is definitely something to be emulated. The future of Internet access in Asia is wireless. It’s high time governments started on the hard work of refarming frequencies to meet the demand. The Obama administration is seeking to nearly double the wireless […]

Tutorials and Mobile 2.0 Workshop, Singapore

Thirteen young scholars were selected to attend a tutorial and workshop on mobile 2.0 on 21 and 22 June 2010 in Singapore. The event was co-organised by LIRNEasia and the Department of Communication and New Media (CNM) of the National University of Singapore (NUS). The tutorials included topics such as “Communicating for policy influence” and […]

Bangladesh mobile finds a ray of hope

The telecoms minister gave audience to all the mobile CEOs and assured them of an “industry-friendly law” yesterday, according to the Daily Star. This meeting was held after the industry had expressed the possibility of legally challenging the proposed amendments of the telecoms law as their last resort, according to Daily Star’s previous report. “We […]

Bangladesh mobile operators blow legal bugle

The mobile operators will take the government to the court if proposed amendments of the telecoms law are not rationalized. All the six operators’ CEOs have unanimously announced their “last resort” in a historic press conference on Tuesday (June 22, 2010). Even the state-owned TeleTalk’s CEO, who is a civil servant, has joined the camp […]

Sri Lanka: Telecom Revenue Commission beats the state banks again

Given the interest rate spread that is generally high, it did not take much effort to make money from banks in Sri Lanka. But state banks are state banks. You’d expect them and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to be highest revenue earners for the government. But nothing can keep up with what the TRC […]

Evidence to the policy process

The UNP in Parliament on June 11, called for the expansion of mobile phone facilities in the rural areas where by the rural people can make use of their mobile phones for their banking requirements. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva who was speaking during the private member’s motion moved by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake […]

Heads-Up at UN System Influenza Coordination

I was recently invited by the United Nations System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC), regional office in Bangkok, to present our findings from the Real-Time Biosurveillance (RTBP) Pilot. UNSIC has appointed Dr. David Nabarro, the founder of Flu-Tracker to develop and implement a comprehensive unified strategy for UN  system on pandemic influenza prevention, preparedness and response and […]

Public Seminar: Harsha De Silva, Lead Economist, LIRNEasia to speak on Mobile Payments in Public Transport in Sri Lanka

The Private Bus Operators Association of Sri Lanka has proposed to introduce a service for sale and purchase of bus tickets via mobile phones and/or customized electronic cards. These e-reload passes are readable by the existing GPRS-enabled ticket machines. The current plan is that passes will be in the form of physical re-load cards or […]

Sri Lanka: Only 11% of population uses ‘Snail mail’, reveals survey

  Gone are days that postal services were an integral part of Sri Lankan culture. According to a recent Postal Department survey, only 11% uses snail mail now, reports Divaina. The drop from over 90% in pre-1978 days is attributed to the widespread use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), including mobile phones, faxes and […]

Colloquium:The Mobile Phone: A Gateway To Financial Inclusiveness for the Bottom of the Pyramid?

The Colloquim was conducted by Arusha Cooray from Australia. Joint study by Arusha Cooray, Nirmali Sivapragasam and Harsha de Silva Remittance inflows into the developing economies have increased tenfold from US $31,058 million to US$ 327,591 over the 1990 to 2008 period Initiatives taken by policymakers of  developing economies to promote  the use of information […]

Our tester wasn’t hit by a train; but 15 others were less lucky

Ranmalee took this photograph of Supun Sudaraka, testing mobile broadband connections on the move, using Mobile AT-Tester, the family of test tools developed by LIRNEasia. Broadband quality testing isn’t a desk job anymore. We simulate real conditions. Unlike in case of fixed connections, mobile broadband usage is always, er, mobile. This was one of the […]

Bangladesh government is guilty of phone bills’ nonpayment

They love to talk but reluctant to pay. This is how the telecoms minister has characterized almost every organ, including the offices of the President and the Prime Minister, of Bangladesh government. Even the country’s anticorruption department has gracefully joined these disgraced defaulters. The minister has disclosed a long itemized list of unpaid bills amounting […]

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