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

Monthly Archives: December, 2010

Alfred Kahn, policy intellectual who drove US deregulation, passes away

While he was teaching at Cornell, Alfred Kahn noticed that airfares were lower and frequencies better in the San Francisco-Los Angeles route than in other route pairs in the US. The difference was that SF-LA were both in California and were thus outside the authority of the federal aviation regulatory agency. When President Carter appointed […]

310,000 subscriptions in North Korea

Actually, we can safely say, 310,000 mobile customers in North Korea, because it is highly unlikely that anyone other than the King or the heir apparent hold more than one SIM in the hermit kingdom. The NYT does not report whether the subscribers were just talking or doing more than voice. The license to Orascom […]

Electricity-telecom nexus

Writing a piece on the technological challenges that had to be overcome to increase connectivity in the 49 least developed countries (LDCs) recently, I was struck by how many words I devoted to electricity, both on the need for keeping down the costs of network equipment and for powering handsets. In the old days, we […]

Bharti Airtel and China Telecom link Asia furthermore

Bharti Airtel and China Telecom have lit a 40-Gbps underground fiber network linking respective country. It runs across the Nathula border between Siliguri (India) and Yadong (China). It promises customers transiting India or China to reach global destinations the shortest route between the two countries. The link also provides Bharti’s Indian customers with a third […]

LIRNEasia greetings for 2011

Net neutrality compromise in the US

The FCC has issued the long-awaited net neutrality rules. As evidence of the sad state of policy debate in the US, some people have claimed that the decision has even the lukewarm support of operators suggests it is bad. What is wrong with these people? The only good decision is one that sends the companies […]

Who transformed the mobile handset market?

It was impossible not to notice the dramatic changes in the mobile handset market in the past few years, with new brands coming up and putting pressure on the old warhorses. Who was responsible? Vijay Govindarajan gives the credit to MediaTek in his guest blog at Harvard Business Review. Both Vijay and MediaTek are worth […]

“ITU’s G-spot numbed by over-use”

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet didn’t work in the ITU. The global telecoms standard body has bowed to the inevitable with as much grace as it could muster, and has ‘recognised’ not only LTE and the current WiMAX as 4G technologies, […]

Islamabad Club and India’s 3G licenses

My first trip to Pakistan was during the pre-suicide bombing era – May 2000. I checked-in the Islamabad Club. I was in a pair of sneakers, jeans and a T-shirt. Visibly disappointed receptionist of the Club gave me a condensed course on dress-code. He concluded, “You have to wear a tie in the bar.” I […]

Economies of scale overridden by diseconomies of coordination

When Bill Melody was appearing as an expert witness in the AT&T case back in the 1980s, he used to be assailed about economies of scale that AT&T supposedly enjoyed, which made them per se more efficient than any of the challengers. His answer was not that they did not exist, but that they were […]

One 3G network or multiple? LIRNEasia’s rapid response to a policy debate in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is considering the issuance of 3G frequencies (they should get the license renewal mess sorted; but that is another story). The question of establishing a single 3G network that multiple operators would jointly own and use has been floated by an important stakeholder, the CEO of Banglalink. This is a theoretically good, but practically […]

Thinking through innovation

LIRNEasia is an ideas shop. We live and die by the value of good ideas well communicated. We try to help the organizations that constitute our audience (governments, regulatory agencies, service suppliers and manufacturers in the ICT space) to think new thoughts and implement them in ways that will benefit our people, those at the […]

LIRNEasia CEO quoted in TIME news article

LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, was quoted recently in an article published by TIME on India’s widening telecom scandal. A recent report published by India’s top auditor highlights irregularities in the government allocation of 2G spectrum to private companies. Rohan Samarajiva, an expert on telecom policy in South Asia, has studied the mobile-phone market in Bangladesh. […]

Four color Ants optimize broker resilience

Those who know graphs theory are familiar with the “four color theorem“; an example being the world map (relaxed as a planar graph) can be colored with a minimum of four colors such that two countries sharing a border do not share the same color. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London use this theorem […]

Sri Lanka: Regulator promises higher download speeds

For a long time, we were the voice in the wilderness. But now the regulator is on the job. If the promised results materialize, we can move on to something else: “Three months ago, most operators were provided services 70% less than the speed rate advertised in the package”, TRC Director General Anusha Palpita said. […]


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