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

Monthly Archives: April, 2012

Information needs and communication patterns of farmers and agricultural micro-enterprises

A new report on the information needs and communication patterns of smallholders as well as agricultural micro-enterprises is now available on our website. The report is based mainly on the findings of smallholder and agricultural-micro-enterprises surveys, which were carried out as part of the Teleuse@BOP4 study. Some findings from the qualitative component of Teleuse@BOP4 have […]

Mobile apps and government: Oil and water?

I was at dinner with some people who advise governments earlier today. One said they had identified the top four apps for government. I asked who would develop them? And who decided? Without being rude, I said that innovation is like throwing 100 things at a wall and seeing what four things stick. That it […]

Deja vu in Bangladesh: Inadequate capacity in national cable link makes SEA-ME-WE 4 ugrade meaningless

It was in December 2005 that I wrote the following in an op-ed in the Daily Star: The SAT-3 cable did not increase Internet traffic from Africa, including Nigeria. Indeed, the year-on-year growth slowed in the year after the cable (71 percent in 2002 and 53 percent in 2003). In the case of Nigeria, one […]

Smallholder quality penalty presented at WITFOR in New Delhi by Harsha de Silva

Theme: Can ICT benefit the small farmers? “Putting Farmers First” Chair: Mr. Vikas Nath, Associate Director, Future of the United Nations Project, Switzerland Speakers: Dr. Harsha de Silva, Member of Parliament, Consultant Lead Economist, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka Can ICT benefit small farmers? Tackling Smallholder Quality Penalty  |Presentation | Ms. Aurelia Bondari, Executive Director, National AGROinform […]

Idealism and realism in spectrum policy

An international treaty document, the Reference Paper that is part of the Fourth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services, states that spectrum is a scarce resource. It is scarce only because (a) exclusive use of most frequencies is the norm (WiFi is an exception), and (b) the bands for which cheap equipment […]

The evolution of telecommunications policy-making: comparative analysis of China and India- Chun Liu, Krishna Jayakar

Taking a page from the new institutionalism school of thought, this article argues that institutions matter and that understanding institutions- both formal and informal- is crucial in understanding policy outcomes especially in the field of telecom policy making in India and China. The authors analysed telecom policy making in India and China using 2 specific […]

Mythbuster: RIA clarifies importance of reducing mobile termination charges

Our sister organization Research ICT Africa has issued an interesting document called mythbuster on the contentious issues of high mobile termination charges and their contribution to giving South Africa mobile prices that are three times those of neighboring Namibia. More strength to your arm RIA. Mythbuster is a great idea. We should see if we […]

Low cost roaming in Bangladesh & Sri Lanka for Indian Airtel customers, but not vice versa

It’s been several years since we publicized the Zain innovation that brought down roaming prices in East Africa. No one picked up the inelegant workaround. Until now, when Airtel has sort of started the process. Indians traveling to Sri Lanka or Bangladesh will have one thing less to worry about. Airtel, which has operations in […]

War or no war, terrestrial cable across Iraq provides redundancy for Asia-Europe traffic

Led by Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan we’ve been saying that Asia needs a terrestrial cable system to back up the submarine cables. By the time international government organizations get organized, the private workarounds will be fully operational. Like traders plying the ancient Silk Road, telecommunications operators routing bits and bytes from Asia to […]

Tsunami risk reduction in the age of twitter

A few days back, on April 11th 2012, a powerful earthquake occurred not too far from Aceh. Naturally, fears of a tsunami were uppermost in people’s minds. It’s been some time since we at LIRNEasia did funded disaster-related research, but within minutes, I was receiving requests for analysis on the lines of the post-mortems we’ve […]

Belated post on presentations made at ITS India conference, New Delhi, Feb 2012

LIRNEasia organized a panel on Broadband Bottlenecks in Asia at the ITS India Conference. Here are the slides that were presented at the session, with apologies for the late posting. Helani Galpaya presentation on “Network bottlenecks in South Asian broadband?” Rohan Samarajiva and Abu Saeed Khan presentation on “Removing a broadband bottleneck: International connectivity” Payal […]

Price benchmarking by RIA applies pressure on regulator and policy makers in South Africa

The quote below comes from one of many media reports that carried the results of RIA benchmarking of mobile prices across Africa. SA’s prepaid cellphone pricing is three times more expensive than Namibia’s, making SA among the most expensive countries in Africa despite an intervention to regulate the tariffs, according to a study released this […]

Do a million mobiles change the political environment?

North Korea was, until recently, the country with the least mobile phones. Then it gave a license (3G no less) to Orascom. Now it has a million plus mobiles connections. The New York Times speculates that the presence of a million mobiles has made the big blatant lie no longer a viable option for the […]

Increasing efficiency in agriculture: sharing the potato study findings with stakeholders

The findings of the potato study conducted in Bangladesh under LIRNEasia’s 2010-2012 research cycle were shared with stakeholders in Dhaka on 10 April 2012. The dissemination workshop was attended by high level representatives from the government agencies such as Bangladeshi Agriculture Research Institute, Agriculture Information Service (AIS) of Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh, large scale exporters, processors and cold storage […]

Why big data now?

I wrote about consumer transaction-generated information in the 1990s. Companies collected and analyzed data from sales points and loyalty programs. But it became sexy only recently. Why? It should not be too surprising that a Google-created entity should have this bent. Google, along with Web pioneers like Yahoo and Amazon, was crucial to the creation […]

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