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

Monthly Archives: February, 2014

The XX Factor: How working women are creating a new society (Part 1)

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The XX Factor is written by Alison Wolf, the CBE Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at King’s College London. The book outlines how working women of the modern workforce have changed the society.  This change has occurred due to the fact that women are working in white collar jobs around the world hand […]

Praise for regulators in US

They say mergers are coming in both India and Sri Lanka. I’d prefer clear guidelines rather than discretion, for reasons like this. A rash of consumer-friendliness has broken out across the mobile data industry. Over the last year, the four major carriers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile — have cut prices and offered greater […]

Big data in developing v developed countries

Yesterday I listened sporadically to a live streamed conference on Big Data. Sporadic was not intentional. I am in Dili, Timor Leste, where most connectivity is via satellite with latencies in the 700ms range. Anyway, the focus was not on big data per se. They talked about all sorts of things, mostly open data (in […]

Dissemination workshop on service design in telecom and electricity in Sri Lanka

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LIRNEasia’s dissemination workshop on Improving Service Delivery for e-Inclusion was held on 18th February at the Hilton Residencies (Jaic Hilton), Colombo. The workshop was attended by the senior management of Sri Lankan telecom and electricity companies. Rohan Samarajiva led the theoretical discussion on service quality addressing how incentives for service quality differ under different market […]

Wireless that works in a crowd

The unpredictability of what large numbers of people do with their wireless devices when in a crowd has caused problems ever since wireless became the preferred last mile solution. But there is a solution on the horizon? A recent demonstration in San Francisco showed off a technology that Steve Perlman, a serial entrepreneur and inventor […]

Paper lobbyists block digitization of U.S. government

Obama administration wants to digitize the bureaucracy for all practical purposes. With federal budgets under fire in Congress, the government’s move to the Internet has gained pace. An electronic payment, for instance, costs the government only 9 cents to process, compared with $1.25 for a paper check, the Treasury Department says. At Treasury, which last […]

University academics: Can they take research to policy? Do they want to?

The “twittersphere” has been abuzz, with claims of anti-intellectualism and a few admissions of fault since Nicholas Kristof’s philippic appeared. “Political science Ph.D.’s often aren’t prepared to do real-world analysis,” says Ian Bremmer, a Stanford political science Ph.D. who runs the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, one-fifth of […]

What I learned judging a school debating contest

Every few months (or longer, depending on whether I am in the country) I serve on judging panels for a televised debating competition run by a private TV channel. Today, the topic was one that we had actually done research on: “mobile phones have positive effects on the efficiency of daily life.” The proponents had […]

Big data to improve government service delivery; or just simple phone calls to do the same

This World Bank blog throws in the new, new thing “big data.” But really with little substance. Some unthinking hack. Information technology can be a powerful tool to empower the citizen. In Pakistan, where mobile phone penetration is almost 70 percent, it is possible to reach even the poorest households. Not only can more individuals […]

Viber adds Asian muscle?

Skype’s acquisition by Microsoft was a big story. This should be, too. Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten acquired Viber for $900 million, just days after the CEO of the mobile messaging player denied it was in acquisition talks. Rakuten said the deal is aimed at strengthening its global platform by bringing Viber’s user base to its […]

What Gartner says about smartphones: They outsell feature phones

So it’s done. More smartphones were sold in 2013 than feature phones. Does this mean that smartphones outnumber feature phones on the world’s networks? No. But that too will happen. And it appears from the industry data that the takeup has been faster than expected in developing country markets. Watching the sales of smartphones and […]

What Pew says about worldwide smartphone use

The Pew Research Center does surveys within the US that contribute valuable information to US policy processes. In this news release, they also present worldwide data. Smartphone adoption, however, shows a different picture. More than half of Americans (55%) have a smartphone, 34% have a feature phone, and 9% have no phone. Elsewhere in the […]

Military-telecom complex in Cuba?

Now that Myanmar is on the move, Cuba’s position in the telecom league tables is likely to decline further. Or will it? Minority partnerTelecom Italia (who says Communists are against foreign investment?) has been given USD 706 million to go away by Raul Castro’s son-in-law’s company. If they have that kind of change, perhaps they […]

Korea no model to emulate

We’ve been talking up the need to look beyond Korea as THE model to emulate because their vaunted successes have been achieved with massive long-term subsidies that are difficult for most countries to replicate. But here are some other less known features of the Korean Internet environment that one would not want to emulate: Every […]

LK TRC dumps MNP while BTRC sticks to it

Prepaid has diminished the appeal of Mobile Number Portability (MNP). A recent study of GSMA suggests that merely 25% of developing markets have introduced MNP, while only a further 15% are known to be implementing it in the future. It means about 60% of regulators in the developing world have either decided against introducing MNP, […]

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