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Yearly Archives: 2011

LIRNEasia@10 - LIRNEasia is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Check out our timeline of events

Cyclone Thane: Early warning and preparedness saves lives

We complain every time early warning is not given or false warnings/evacuation orders are issued. But praise must be given when right action is taken and lives are saved. Indian authorities are to be praised. Witnesses in Chennai and Pondicherry said trees had been toppled, there had been power outages throughout the night and disruption […]

Data flood/tsunami/avalanche: Whatever the name, the problem is real

We’ve been talking about the qualitative increase in data volumes that will result from the conversion of mobile networks into carriers of data since 2010. Is it a flood, a tsunami or an avalanche? The name does not seem to matter (though tsunami is the term that seems to be catching). Unless the problem is […]

IBM predicts the end of the Digital Divide

Every year, IBM make five tech predictions that it is confident will be realized in the next five years: five in five. Number four this time is the prediction that the Digital Divide will be bridged, thanks to mobile devices. Mobile devices are decreasing the information-accessibility gap in disadvantaged areas. In five years, the gap […]

Disagreeing with Smith Dharmasaroja: Importance of focusing on the most important issue

Smith Dharmasaroja is a hero of mine. Disagreeing with a hero does not come easy. But he is wrong to give equal or greater weight to national tsunami detection and monitoring systems than to communication of last-mile warning. It may be that the fault lies in the reporter in ordering the comments, but it does […]

2012 Greetings

Good bye Europe; hello emerging markets

The pendulum swings again. It was around 10 years ago that the great retreat was in full swing, with US and European telcos retreating from emerging markets (and even masking their investments as France Telecom did by making Mauritius Telecom the holding company for its African operations). Now they’re unloading European businesses to go where […]

Sri Lanka: Seven years after tsunami, lack of information and preparedness prevails

The government itself has found the early warning actions of the designated national authorities deficient and is talking of setting up workaround mechanisms. Nothing really new, other than sadness that seven years and large commitments of resources have not taken us much farther than we were back in 2004. What is even more worrisome is […]

Sri Lanka exports e-waste

Back in 2008, I had a knock-down policy debate with current Provincial Council Minister and then Chairman of the Central Environmental Authority Udaya Gammanpila (mostly in the Sinhala newspapers, so difficult to give all the links, but here is one). In the short-term he won: the two percent envi levy was not rolled back at […]

Big data, location-based apps and smartphones

We’ve been thinking about the potential of big data (large, continuing streams of computer-readable data) for development applications. There is nothing about development in the marketing campaign below, but can any zealous privacy advocate identify a problem with it? A mobile campaign by Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide, which is based in Chicago, places the ads […]

Privatisation, Competition and Regulatory Governance: A Case Study of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Sector

Malathy Knight-John, LIRNEasia Research Fellow, has been awarded the PhD degree by the University of Manchester for research conducted on the subject “Privatisation, Competition and Regulatory Governance: A Case Study of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Sector.” This research drew on the work she did on the Telecom Policy and Regulatory Environment of Sri Lanka for LIRNEasia […]

Pakistan: End of MNP?

Has Pakistan made mobile number portability a terrorist act? The Minister directed Chairman PTA to revisit the whole system and ensure that all those illegal SIMS which are being used on stolen identity shall be blocked. The meeting decided that in view of the grave complaints, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) by the service providers is […]

What exactly is a spectrum shortage?

When I was in government, I heard complaints of shortages of scarce resources and ability to earn adequate revenue all the time. I paid attention, but always verified. Specifically, with regard to claims of spectrum “shortage,” there is a problem. It is true that without a minimum allotment (say 2.5 MHz for CDMA and 5 […]

Sri Lanka: Bypassing the national disaster early warning center

Based on theory and analysis, we have strongly advocated that early warning should be issued by government. I have even gone so far as to suggest that those who issue false warnings should be prosecuted. Thus, it comes as shock to read in the Sunday Times that the government itself is planning to bypass the […]

Nepali coverage of Teleuse@BOP4 emphasizes reasons for multi-SIM use

It is not every day that our research gets covered in the Nepali media. That makes it special, when we do get covered. When LIRNEasia started, we fully intended to work in Nepal, a South Asian country with great unrealized potential. We did too, in the first cycle. But even for us, the internal strife […]

Is mobile use addictive?

The way most governments tax mobile use, the answer would seem to be yes. It is treated like cigarettes, a demerit good that imposes negative externalities on society; and is thus subject to additional taxes. The research reported below examined the question of whether mobile use is addictive (albeit in a different context, that of […]

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