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

Monthly Archives: April, 2011

Mobile companies owned by despots and their progeny (and other relatives)

Something we rarely talk about in discussions of the great public policy success of our time, the mobile explosion, is how various kleptocrats rode the mobile boom. Libya’s Qaddafi’s present problems serve to bring this skeleton out of the closet: But never underestimate the human capacity for delusion. Here’s a despot who’s managed at various […]

Post Tohoku tsunami period as a policy window

Policy windows are an important element of LIRNEasia’s work style. More than supply push we believe in demand pull. Does not give us optimal control over our time, but we live to work, not work to live. The period following the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami was clearly a media window, even if we can […]

2nd LIRNEasia Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture yields rich discussion

A three-tiered approach comprising reduction of probability of flooding or dam breaks, sustainable flood-proof spatial planning and building, and conventional disaster preparedness that has been developed in the Netherlands was a key element of the comprehensive presentation made in the course of the 2nd LIRNEasia Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture by Dr Aad Correlje of the […]

Mobile broadband: Search as the new killer app?

We do not believe in the killer app. Multiple apps is what we think will drive mobile broadband. But if there be a killer, it will probably be search, as this NYT article suggests: Today, Google says mobile searches are growing as quickly as Web searches were at the same stage in the company’s early […]

Doing the groundwork for location-based services

Tp provide location-based services, companies will need maps that will describe relations between shops, people and places. Both Google and Apple are collecting this information, using software embedded in the handsets. Google and Apple use this data to improve the accuracy of everything on the phone that uses location. That includes maps and navigation services, […]

Sri Lanka post: The sickly child atrophies further

When one only reforms only a part of an interconnected sector, the unreformed parts start to atrophy. Because of union resistance and the perception that the post was not that much of a money maker to start with, the hitherto conjoined posts and telecom were bifurcated and reform efforts focused on telecom. So 30 years […]

Syria: The chess game

It’s fascinating how the game is getting played out in Syria, one of the most brutal Arab dictatorships. The regime learned from Egypt. But so did the resistance. The regime monitors the networks and periodically shuts/slows them down. But the counter move of smuggling in hundreds of satellite phones had already negated that move. The […]

Sri Lanka and Pakistan slide in BPO rankings; Bangladesh still not on the radar

The AT Kearney Global Services Location Index for 2011 is out. I seem to have missed the 2010 report, so comparing with 2009, which I did do a post on. India is still number 1 and China is number 2. No change. Thailand has slipped to 7 from 4, overtaken by Indonesia. Sri Lanka is […]

Yes we ‘can’ the liberty

The police can siphon all kinds of data from a suspect’s mobile phone. Yes they can. And it’s in the State of Michigan in the United States of America.  Sounds quite similar to the aliens sucking a victim’s memory. The Michigan police are using the Data Extraction Devices that are commonly used to transfer data […]

The ugly reality of spectrum refarming

The Federal Communications Commission has a solution: reclaim airwaves from “inefficient“ users — specifically, television broadcasters — and auction them off to the highest bidder, sharing some of the proceeds with television stations that volunteer to give up airwaves, known in the trade as spectrum. It is easy to talk about spectrum refarming in the […]

Roaming prices slashed in Malaysia and Singapore

The regulators from both Malaysia and Singapore announced the price reduction in international roaming this week. The reduction is done for both pre-paid and post-paid roamers in two stages. Stage one will in effective from 01 May 2011, 20 percent reduction for voice calls and 30 percent for SMS. The tariff reduction will be 30 percent for voice calls and […]

Mobile-only households increasing in the US: New study gives data and reasons

Cambodia was the first country to have more mobiles than fixed. Finland was where the trend to mobile-only households started. And now the US is on the path. Age, poverty, subsidies seems to be contributing to the shift. And of course the prices coming down. It’s not quite the stuff of bragging rights, but Arkansas […]

Was Common Alerting Protocol only for the Web?

I had the opportunity attend the discussion by Tim Berners-Lee and Gordon Brown in Geneva, speak on the “future of the web“, a public lecture hosted by the Université de Genève, April 06, 2011. The two discussants didn’t have anything new to share; they were talking the same language of tapping in to the untapped […]

False warnings are dangerous: Sri Lanka DMC should take legal action

In 2007, after false warnings and unnecessary evacuations in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, I wrote the following (published in India in early 2008): Given the massive costs associated with evacuation orders (not only in lost productivity but deaths, injuries and other negative outcomes), government must be the sole authority. Given the certainty of blame if […]

FCC informs the composition of Aspirin

It’s another example of universal stupidity of the civil servants. The Federal Communication Commission has decided to “educate” the Americans about broadband. It’s fine with informing the consumers about megabits-per-second. How about telling people about latency, jitter, peak-hour performance, and short-term speed increases? Mitchell Lazarus observes: Broadband service has become a utility, like electricity, gas, […]

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