2014 March


Edward Snowden’s whistle-blowing about NSA’s widespread surveillance and eavesdropping is taking toll on American technology industry. A new survey, commissioned by NTT of Japan, reveals that 90% of ICT decision-makers are rethinking their attitudes to cloud computing and the global Internet. Titled, “NSA Aftershocks: How Snowden has Changed IT Decision-Makers’ Approach to the Cloud” the study is based on a survey of 1,000 ICT decision-makers from France, Germany, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, and the USA. It highlights nine after-shocks from Snowden’s revelations, which are compelling companies to rethink how they use cloud computing: Almost nine in ten (88 percent) ICT decision-makers are changing their cloud buying behaviour, with over one in three (38 percent) amending their procurement conditions for cloud providers Only 5 percent of respondents believe location does not matter when it comes to storing company data More than three in ten (31 percent) ICT decision-makers are moving data to locations where the business knows it will be safe Around six in ten (62 percent) of those not currently using cloud feel the revelations have prevented them from moving their ICT into the cloud ICT decision-makers now prefer buying a cloud service which is located in their own region, […]
Asian countries, despite being located in the world’s largest landmass, are interconnected through submarine optical fiber cable networks. Ciena Corp. has found that a terrestrial cable gets cut in every 30 minutes and a submarine cable is damaged in every three days somewhere in the world. And the IT downtime costs more than $25 billion a year to the customers. Ability to rush the maintenance crew ensures the terrestrial cables’ lower downtime than its underwater counterpart.
The Financial Times carried a good discussion on the failure of the Google Flu Trends model to predict. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.

Sithie Tiruchelvam

Posted by on March 27, 2014  /  0 Comments

A good person died. A person who had years of productive contributions left in her died. Death is final. All we can do is grieve and celebrate the life that has ended. Sithie Tiruchelvam passed away while I was out of the country.
Last weekend, talking about policy and regulatory issues will drive Pakistan’s adoption of broadband.  My co-panellists were Faisal Sattar (CEO of Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund), Salman Ansari (former advisor to the Ministry of IT & Telecom in Pakistan) and Kojo Boakye (Policy Manager at the Web Foundation). I was at Pakistan ICTD Workshop organized by newly set up Information Technology University  in Lahore and the Punjab Information Technology Board.  The fact that both organizations are headed by one individual (Umar Saif, PhD and the fact that the Punjab Chief Minister (Shahbaz Shariff, brother of Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff) has taken a personal interest in using ICT-enabled governance has led to some interesting results.  The students and faculty at IT-University are in the wonderful position of having a willing and eager client (in the form of Punjab IT Board) who roll-out and scales up the applications they developed.
Today more than a billion people use Facebook through mobile devices worldwide. And they spend 20% of time in mobile apps for Facebook services. Speaking during a conference call to discuss the acquisition of augmented reality company Oculus VR, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, said: “We’ve made a lot of progress in mobile. As of last week, there are now more than one billion people actively using our mobile apps alone.” Zuckerberg also revealed that photo sharing app Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion two years ago, now has more than 200 million active users.
Health of Internet depends on the diversity of route and bandwidth providers in a country. Less than a month ago Renesys has diagnosed the health of Myanmar “as being at severe risk of Internet disconnection” along with Syria, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Yemen and others. Not anymore! At 19:26 UTC on 8 March 2014, we observed Telenor Global Services activate the first international Internet connection out of Myanmar that didn’t rely on the services of incumbent MPT. At present, Telenor Global Services (AS15932) is only announcing a single prefix from Myanmar, namely, 103.
We’ve been lucky with our choice of research topics. Not only did our focus on customers coincide with the CEB’s year of customer excellence, it also overlaps with EuroCPR’s thematic focus on “user-centric approaches to the digital information society.” The presentation I will make at the international panel, which is now a regular feature of EuroCPR and CPRsouth is here.
Air cargo is all about moving goods faster over longer distances than any other mode of transport. The average end-to-end time for air cargo consignments is around 6-7 days, which is exactly what it was in the 1960s. Ocean shipping may take 30-40 days, but with a little pre-planning shippers can save a lot of money moving cargo by sea rather than air—and be reassured by ocean shipping’s improved reliability. Evidently, the air cargo industry has not moved as urgently toward automating documents as passenger airlines had migrated to e-ticketing process. Why is that?
Last week, LIRNEasia taught a course on broadband policy and regulation in Sohna. One of the modules was on privacy and surveillance. One of the instructors was Sunil Abraham, acknowledged for his thoughtful and creative approach to sticky ICT policy questions. Drawing a diagram, he pointed out that if surveillance was exclusively focused on the small percentage, perhaps five percent, of people who were engaged in terrorism or other bad acts, law enforcement would be more efficient and the liberties enjoyed by the non-terroristically inclined majority would be that much safer. On the face, a beguiling proposition.
The business of preparing students to take the SAT exam was a $310 million-a-year industry in 2005, according to the Washington Post. Today it has been ballooned “anywhere between $1 billion and $4 billion,” said Forbes. Fox Business asks, “Is SAT Tutoring Worth the Cost?” Private SAT tutoring can easily cost $125 a session in major cities like New York—often even more. One upscale Manhattan tutoring company offers private tutoring starting at $195 per 50 minutes.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has demanded a legal and constitutional explanation from the Attorney General (AG) for withdrawing around PKR70 billion (US$705 million) from the universal service fund (USF). The USF comes from all mobile operators’ 1.5% of gross revenue. This entire fund is intended to be used to finance the expansion of telecoms services to underserved areas. Pakistan government has, however, forked out money from USF to meet its operating expenses, claiming that the funds would be replaced when and if required.
Many new issues worth further exploration emerged at the Expert Forum we concluded in New Delhi yesterday. One thing that was stated by officials was that the private sector was not stepping up to purchase the capacity offered by the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN). Unlike in other countries, the access offer is not complete (supposedly, some tariffs have been published; with some serious discounts on offer). Imagine offering a service without full information on what to do if the NOFN fails. So, what comes first: NOFN access rules or the private operators lining up to buy capacity?
TeleGeography’s 2014 Middle East telecoms map is now available. It depicts 48 active and three planned submarine cable systems. Five terrestrial cables are also shown in this map. The landing stations and respective owners are also provided. The infographics embedded in the map present major intraregional and interregional voice and Internet routes.
Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 370 had disappeared with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on day after the signing of SEA-ME-WE 5 agreement in Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Hualian (Happy) Zhang, the VP of Network Planning for China Telecom Global, was among the ill-fated passengers of KL-Beijing flight. Besides, two persons from the Ministry, two persons from Huawei and one person from another telecom vendor were on board. Ms.
Now that the licenses to Ooredoo and Telenor have been granted, the discussion is shifting to investment and rollout. “Telenor and Ooredoo have received licenses as service providers, but they can’t implement everything themselves,” said Aung Naing Oo, director-general for the Directorate of Investment and a member of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), told the Irrawaddy last week. “We need other companies that can help their projects—for example, building fiber optic lines and towers around the nation—so we expect that some related foreign companies that can help them will be coming in the next year.” Aung Naing Oo added that he expects 20 percent of FDI to come from telecom sector. Investment could come from other companies like Ericsson, and Japanese and Singaporean companies as well to help the two winners with building infrastructure.
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