Monthly Archives: January, 2011
LIRNEasia COO, Helani Galpaya, has joined the Editorial Board of the Information Technologies & International Development (ITID) journal. The journal was ranked number one in information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) field, according to a 2010 study by Richard Heeks. We congratulate her and wish her the best in this new position!
In light of what’s going on in North Africa and Western Asia, the liberating potential of social media is very much on the agenda these days. Here is Clayton Shirky on the subject in a debate in Foreign Affairs: It would be impossible to tell the story of Philippine President Joseph Estrada’s 2000 downfall without [...]
Sri Lanka celebrates the 63rd anniversary of its Independence from colonial rule on February 4th. The government radio channel SLBC has invited me to participate in a live talk show (Subharati, 0700-0800, Tuesday 1 February 2011) on the achievements that have been made in telecom since Independence and on what course corrections are needed. I [...]
Findings from LIRNEasia‘s multi-country study on the use of ICTs, particularly for more-than-voice, has been cited in the Economist. LIRNEasia‘s CEO, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, was also cited. The number of users is still small: even among young people in South-East Asia (a tech-friendly lot) only 8% had used “more-than-voice” services, according to a poll by [...]
Last research cycle, we did work on payments through near-field communication for busfares. One barrier that was identified was the lack of standard NFC capability in handsets. Looks like the London Olympics may solve that problem, according to BBC. Moving the experience on to the mobile is something consumers want, according to Jason Rees, head [...]
President Obama’s state of the union speech yesterday contained a few references to ICTs, but I found the illustration more interesting than the target itself. Within the next five years, we’ll make it possible for businesses to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans. This isn’t just about [...]
The new Ministry of Telecom and IT has published newspaper advertisements requesting ideas on how ICT may be advanced in Sri Lanka. LIRNEasia promptly responded, submitting a selection of policy briefs developed last year. We encourage others to respond as well.
I lived in the US at the peak of the scare stories focused on Japan. I now live in Sri Lanka at the peak of scare stories focused on India. The following should be educative to the scare-mongers: Economic events and market trends are notoriously unpredictable. In the early 1980s, the Japanese high-technology assault on [...]
When we do not push stories, but yet our research gets picked up by the media, that’s real success. Tahani Iqbal’s work on mobile number portability was completed in 2009, but was yesterday cited in a story on the launch of MNP in India. A study paper by LIRNEasia, a regional ICT policy and regulation [...]
I just got back from observing extended focus groups on the knowledge and information gaps faced by small-scale rubber growers in the Galle and Monaragala districts of Sri Lanka. The locations were quite remote, if one checks the map of Badalkumbura (we were several km further to the interior). The remoteness is exemplified by the [...]
Regulation doesn’t exist in Somalia. Yet its air wave is overcrowded with 11 mobile networks. And there is no interconnection. Now the Somali government has planned regulate its ultra-free mobile phone market. Moreover, it is ambitious of taxing the operators “to boost growth and investment,” Information, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Abdulkareem Jama told Bloomberg News. [...]
We are part of an ongoing conversation with Amartya Sen, Randy Spence and others on the freedom-enhancing possibilities of ICTs in general (including the question of whether the conventional Internet is better than the mobile Internet in this respect). Looks like it is a bigger conversation. Last week Morazov’s book was reviewed, this week Clayton [...]
Sri Lanka, especially the eastern seaboard, is in the midst of a massive flood disaster, said to be on the scale of the tsunami in terms of people affected (1 in 20 citizens according to government data) and perhaps the worst since 1957. Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka’s largest community-based organization and a long-term partner, was one [...]
A subsidiary of the incumbent telco has launched WiMAX 16e service in Sri Lanka. The launch has come after a long preparation period, but if the price and quality parameters are right, the chances of success are high since broadband is about to take off. Sky Network CEO, Mahinda Herath said that WiMAX 16e broadband [...]
The military junta that runs (and ruins) the poverty-striken African country of Niger has hatched the brilliant idea of raising some special telecoms taxes. Niger, says Cellular News, is one of the world’s poorest countries and currently has a phone penetration of just 23 per cent. So a few extra taxes on the providers would [...]