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

Monthly Archives: March, 2011

International angle on US merger

Mergers. mergers, everywhere. We’re told there are merger reviews on in Pakistan and the Philippines. But it’s the AT&T acquisition of T Mobile that’s getting the media play. Sam Paltridge, Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of LIRNEasia, is quoted on the implications of the merger for visitors: Mr. Paltridge of the O.E.C.D said that […]

Mobilephobia and health

LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, recently published an article appearing in the Daily Mirror on the potential health threats of mobile phone use. He argues that while it is true that electromagnetic radiation from handsets does pose a potential threat, studies by the Indian government  and the WHO argue that: to date, no adverse health effects […]

What is the universal icon for the Internet?

TVE Asia Pacific is looking for an answer to this question: What’s the first image that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Internet’? If you’re a techie or geek, you’ll probably come up with a detailed answer that is technically accurate or precise. But most of the 2 billion plus people who […]

Sharing phones, towers and 3G spectrum in India

Consumers at bottom of the economic pyramid have been fueling the growth of mobile across Asia and elsewhere. Sharing mobile phones have been business as usual at this segment. Profitably serving the low-ARPU yet vastly expandable clientele became a challenge for the mobile industry of India. Operators became innovative and “constraint optimization” became central to […]

Telecom sector: Not a “lemon to be squeezed”

When discussing our Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) indicator, we first introduce the concept of regulatory risk. I emphasize that it is not limited to the regulatory agency’s actions, but to all government actions that have a bearing on the operation of the company. The list of woes afflicting Vodafone in India is illuminating. “The combination […]

Paul Baran, an architect of the Internet, passes away

Paul Baran. The history of the Internet cannot be told without mention of his name. I remember reading him while still in grad school. I was reminded of what he wrote about information utilities when engaging in debates about cloud computing in recent times. In my book, if you can have readers think about what […]

Design for government

Last week I attended a day-long seminar on applying design thinking to government. I wasn’t fully convinced that this was truly novel. But there is no doubt that government does not adequately research the end user of its services. A write up about the event in Mint highlights that aspect: Design thinking denotes an approach […]

Big Brother is alive and well in mobile networks

This should be of relevance to the ongoing debate on the net benefits of mobile networks for liberty. But as a German Green party politician, Malte Spitz, recently learned, we are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not. Cellphone companies do not typically divulge how much information they collect, so Mr. […]

US government arming the ‘Digital Guerrillas’

The US State Department is developing an application called “Panic Button” for the anti-government activists. A demonstrator will hit this button and the address book, call records and other information of mobile phone will be deleted when the device is confiscated. Subsequently the device will emit an “Alert Message” to inform the comrades about looming […]

The challenge of designing auctions to preserve competition

Auction design is hot. The Economist reports on 4G auction design in the UK: The government will want to squeeze as much revenue as it can from the sell-off, but it must also preserve competition in a consolidating industry. The recent merger of Orange and T-Mobile has left Britain with four mobile-phone operators: Everything Everywhere […]

Peculiar economics of Bangladesh license renewal

I was asked about charging different amounts for spectrum when I was in Dhaka recently and I said it was like pricing jet fuel differently for competing airlines; it did not make any sense. Now we have the full argument laid out. It’s very peculiar. On what basis was this utilization factor calculated? I asked […]

Crowdsourced broadband QoS, with value added

We thought up the idea of crowdsourcing broadband QoSE, but could not make it work because the AT Tester was too complicated. In the US, they came with the idea two years later but made it work. Now someone has added value to that product. Given many governments in the region (e.g., Bangladesh, India and […]

Are Asia’s poor on the Internet without even knowing it?

Evidence from LIRNEasia’s Teleuse@BOP3 survey of mobile use at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) suggests that by late 2008, 78 percent of BOP mobile owners in the study countries were using the functions of the Internet through their mobiles; nearly one third of them have never even heard of the Internet. For the last […]

Telecoms casualties of Japan earthquake

Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said that 11,400 mobile base stations and 880,000 fixed lines went out of service in the  northern region. Progress in restoring mobile communications has been faster than fixed communications. It is presumed to be due to the operators’ prioritization. Because the fixed lines have been vulnerable to frequent power […]

An antidote to development fatigue

We work with data, so we see the evidence: more people have phones, more houses have permanent roofs, more homes have refrigerators, and so on. Yet, the everyday conversations harp on the failures. We too talk about them, because we must, but we do so in the form of “what could have been better” rather […]


Research Mailing List

Enter your email for research updates:


Flickr Photos