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

Monthly Archives: August, 2012

Now, a smartphone gap between China and the US

Apparently a gap that cannot be bridged has opened up in smartphone sales thanks to sub USD200 smartphones from Huawei and others. let us be thankful the gap is only in smartphones. Smartphones are so popular here that it’s difficult to avoid seeing one, and in China, these devices are poised to become even more […]

CPRsouth assessed in paper at 40th TPRC

CPRsouth is LIRNEasia’s principal capacity building vehicle. It has, from the beginning, been shaped by research on networks. It is also an object of research for the Human Capital Research Program at LIRNEasia. We were therefore pleased that a research paper looking at the metrics of CPRsouth performance was accepted at the 40th anniversary conference […]

License renewal: What not to do (case of Bangladesh)

The above is a paraphrase of a eye-catching title of a paper being read at TPRC 2012, on September 22, 2012, by LIRNEasia Research Fellow Faheem Hussain. Congratulations to Faheem on getting his paper accepted at the oldest ICT policy research conference.

Internet users amount to forty percent of China’s population

For some time, we have been engaged in the task of improving the way Internet users are counted. We are in agreement with the ITU that the best way of counting Internet users is through demand-side surveys. According to reports, China conducts regular surveys on Internet use. Yet, the ITU does not use these data. […]

Bangladesh: Basic argument against proposed VAS licensing rules appears to have been accepted

In May LIRNEasia responded to a consultation on proposals for VAS licensing in Bangladesh. Our response received wide coverage too. It appears that we (among others) may have influenced the government’s response, as reported in the Daily Star. The telecom ministry will form a five-member panel to examine the issues related to mobile phone value-added […]

Appears the Pakistan Interior Minister was just thinking aloud

Ministers making statements outside their areas of competence without consulting appropriate authorities is no way to govern. But that apparently is what the Pakistan Interior Minister has done by announcing the end of prepaid mobile in his country, according to Dawn: In a meeting on Friday the operators took strong exception to Rehman Malik’s statement […]

Bangladesh gets backup for undersea cable and also enters transit business

Bangladesh is a big country and a coastal country. Yet it was very late in getting connected to a cable. SEA-ME-WE 4 became operational only in 2006. Then it was the largest country without redundancy,having to rely on SEA-ME-WE 4 even to communicate with India, the country that surrounds it. Now all that is over. […]

Added danger from an earthquake in the Bay of Bengal?

In 2007 Smith Dharmasaroja, the former disaster czar of Thailand, pointed to the dangers posed by mountains of mud deposited by the Ganges in the Bay of Bengal. What the research below raises is the danger of soft material combined with earthquakes. Are these not high priority research areas for our scientists? In a paper […]

Where will the Asian mobile innovation hub be?

The Economist carries a good piece on the innovation/entrepreneurial boom in Kenya centered around the mobile. There should be such a place in developing Asia. Where? In 2002 Kenya’s exports of technology-related services were a piffling $16m. By 2010 that had exploded to $360m. To its boosters, Nairobi is “Silicon Savannah”. However, it differs from […]

Governments are the principal barrier to mobile money

Hard truth about why the successful mobile payments model pioneered in Kenya has failed to spread. However Kenya’s success has yet to be replicated much elsewhere. More than half of all the world’s mobile-money transactions are handled by Safaricom. Mobile money is popular in one or two chaotic countries, such as Sudan and Somalia, but […]

Pakistan government thinking of phasing out prepaid mobile?

I have heard many absurd proposals related to the mobile industry, but this about takes the cake. Pakistan’s government is considering a radical plan which could dramatically alter the mobile phone industry in the country – as it mulls proposals to ban Prepaid SIM cards from sale. The Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the […]

Taking back “value-added” smallerholder research findings to smallholders in rural Sri Lanka

Badalkumbura is located in the Moneragala District, one of the most impoverished in Sri Lanka. But it is located in the midst of a smallholder boom in rubber. Here, the key advantage is the weather. In contrast to the traditional rubber districts where rain prevents tapping of the trees for latex sometimes for half the […]

Japan builds the “Titanic” of submarine cable

Asia is the world’s biggest seamless landmass. Yet the Asian countries have been interlinked by submarine cables. As if Asia is an archipelago. That’s why the undersea earthquakes have emerged as the serial killer of international connectivity. It disrupted Asia’s telecom services in 2006 and thereafter. Japan’s NTT Communication and its partners have responded with […]

LIRNEasia Research Manager at UK Visual Analytics Consortium’s course at Middlesex University

LIRNEasia is sending its Senior Research Manager, Sriganesh Lokanathan to participate in a short course on Visual Analytics at Middlesex University in the United Kingdom. The course if of high relevance to LIRNEasia’s 2012-2014 research agenda.a A big part of the upcoming research cycle involves the use of Big-Data analysis, partly to try and answer some social […]

Roaming-free ASEAN by 2014. No movement in SAARC.

ASEAN citizens don’t need to obtain visa while traveling within the region. They receive visa on arrival. It is an important benchmark of successful regional cooperation. Indonesia’s Communication and Information Minister, Tifatul Sembiring, wants to take it another step ahead. He has proposed to abolish mobile roaming charges withing ASEAN by 2014. Interestingly, Myanmar will […]

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