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

Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Finally, a positive innovation story from a developed-country telco

When US competition regulators turned down the AT&T-T-Mobile merger, many thought that would be the end of T-Mobile. Instead, it was the end of business as usual. T-Mobile branded and marketed all this as the “Un-carrier,” rolling out new versions of its plans — already five and counting — even as competitors have struggled to […]

The next stage of big data: On the road to Minority Report

A new robot equipped with multiple sensors that can collect information from its surroundings that can be matched against “big data” streams has been announced. The facts are interesting. Even more intriguing is the allusion to Minority Report. K5 also raises questions about mass surveillance, which has already set off intense debate in the United […]

From 60 to 250,000 in 12 months: The challenge of India’s NOFN

Big government administered projects always have a hard time getting rolling. Ask the Australians. We wish the Indian DoT the best in achieving incredible acceleration. The government has provided broadband connectivity to only 60 gram panchayats till now under the Rs 20,000 crore NOFN project, which has to cover 2.5 lakh panchayats by September 2015. […]

Nil value to Sing Tel’s Bangladesh investment

Under Sri Lanka’s law, if an operator goes out of business, the Director General of Telecom has to run it. This used to be one of my nightmares. I knew how to regulate, but did I know how to run a company? The Daily Star paints a grim picture of Citycell, a Bangladesh CDMA licensee. […]

The age-old attraction of spy agencies to communication facilities

To me, the biggest question arising from the Snowdon affair is why everyone is acting so surprised. “Everyone was so focused on the N.S.A. secretly getting access to the front door that there was an assumption they weren’t going behind the companies’ backs and tapping data through the back door, too,” said Kevin Werbach, an […]

First thoughts on Myanmar Telecom Law

The much anticipated Myanmar Telecommunications Law (Law 13 of 2013) was approved by both houses of the Myanmar Legislature and was given Presidential assent. Our analysis of the law is not yet complete, but here are some first thoughts: There is considerable and unnecessary overlap of powers and functions between the Ministry and Department. Positioning […]

How the world changed because of the mobile

I keep telling people that I (and the people associated with reforms in South Asia in the late 1990s) had no expectation that we would achieve the levels of voice and data connectivity that we have now achieved. But here is the proof, from a piece I gave to UNESCO while still Director General of […]

Trust as the key ingredient

Even when one disagrees with a speaker, one can learn from the engagement. I enjoyed myself at the talk given by Futurist Gerd Leonhard at ITU Telecom World, partly because I was actively engaging his stream of consciousness by tweeting. One thing I agreed fully with was his emphasis on trust: As the tweet said: […]

Have our predictions on electricity revenues come true?

Earlier this year, LIRNEasia provided formal inputs to the public hearing on the electricity tariffs held by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL). None of our recommendations were reflected in the outcome of that process, but we were happy to see subsequent actions by the PUCSL reflecting them. We were also pleased to […]

Promoting broadband: Balancing competition and subsidies

Not the most perfect summary, since I did the interview with half my mind on the need to get to the airport in time for my flight out.

Sahana Software – Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Response

PH_Haiyan_blog

It all triggered when Dr. Alvin Marcelo, a long standing friend and fellow e-Health Researcher, sent me an email asking whether we could activate Sahana to assist them. These where his first words, “How unlucky can we be — in just a matter of weeks, we have another disaster“ Since then, Sahana volunteers have put […]

Apps for Mobile broadband QoS measurements

With the rise in smart phones (particularly on the Android platform) it makes sense to have an app to test, either deliberately or by having it run in the background, the speed, latency and packet loss (among others) that your mobile broadband connection offers. The FCC has done just that. With the hope of having […]

Take a taxi and pay with your credit card

It appears users of Kangaroo cabs don’t need to worry about having enough cash in their wallets.  At least, with a credit card they don’t need to worry about cash.  Starting this month, users are able to pay taxi-fare using a credit card. The taxi driver will swipe the passenger’s credit card on a small […]

The logical end game of data-based control

My work on privacy in the 1990s greatly benefited from my teaching. My classes were like laboratories where we tested out scenarios and concepts. I (and my students) also engaged with science fiction. I still talk about the extraordinarily powerful, low-tech surveillance techniques described by Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid’s Tale. That was brought to […]

How do we measure the efficacy of our work? Some evidence from India

In the academic world, they count publications to measure effort. Then they count citations to measure effectiveness. There is no habit of citing research in government. But we got lucky. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had commissioned the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) to work up a Decadel Report. And they […]

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