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

Monthly Archives: April, 2014

Mobile Money: Collaboration in competition

Nine mobile operators have agreed to accelerate the implementation of interoperable mobile money services across MEA regions. Bharti Airtel, Etisalat, Millicom, MTN, Ooredoo, Orange, STC, Vodafone and Zain will implement the GSMA’s Mobile Money Interoperability (MMI) program. These operators represent 582 million mobile connections across 48 countries in the Middle East and Africa regions. As […]

Policy window for improving broadband in India?

We rely on Kingdon’s concept of policy windows a lot. To effectively take research to policy, the necessary condition is a policy window: some kind of opening created in the “minds” of the relevant decision makers. It does not require much knowledge to postulate that current Indian election that will yield a new Prime Minister […]

TRAI to set minimum mobile download speeds for mobile data services

In mid 2012 the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a public consultation on standards for quality of service (QoS) related to mobile data services. LIRNEasia responded. Nearly two years since, the issues that prompted the public consultation persist. Consumers are being wooed by telecom companies in advertisements regarding high speed wireless data services […]

Discrimination and big data

Issue of discrimination coming up in big data policy review. The value of big data is in understanding the consumer. But with understanding comes the ability to discriminate. Not all discrimination is bad. But some may be. So that will be the next phase: President Barack Obama requested the review in January, when he called […]

Metadata is still fair game in the US

A recent case gave hope to those who wanted the n=all collection of telephone transaction-generated data to cease. But only court that can overrule Smith v Maryland is the Supreme Court. Now a FISA court has explicitly declined to follow Judge Leon. So n=all continues. A telephone company asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in […]

Digital famine is Africa’s own creation

Africa

Africa lags far behind in every front of ICT indicators, according to the latest report of ITU. Subsequently a recent study of Analysis Mason said, “Every African country has international fibre connectivity, but lack of competition at the national level is keeping prices high.” The study has detected that 35 of the 48 Sub-Saharan countries […]

BB QOSE: High download speed does not mean better latency

Contrary to popular belief, higher bandwidth and high download speeds does not necessarily mean better performance in terms of latency or round trip time (RTT). RTT is the measure of how long a packet takes to reach the destination server and return to the client (i.e. the PC or laptop or any device used to […]

Pakistan finally joins South Asia’s 3G club

PTA chairman Syed Ismail Shah was carefully optimistic about 3G and 4G spectrum auction in Mobile World Congress at Barcelona during February. Unlike the country’s political leaders, Mr. Shah lacks the luxury of being romantic about the financial windfall from this auction. The government has aspired for US$1.2 billion. Finally the exchequer could bag $1.1 […]

The rise and rise of Facebook in Asia

Asia accounted for 31% monthly active Facebook users (390 million) in Asia until Q1 of 2014. When Facebook issues its Q2 figures, Asia is expected to be the bigger than the ‘rest of the world’ segment. The social media behemoth also has 21% daily active users (216 million) in Asia. The ‘Asia’ chunk of the […]

Attention economy: Dispatches from the battle for the small screen

The shift from the economy of things to the attention economy is now almost complete. The buying and selling of things will continue, but will be subservient to the production of attention on an industrial scale and its buying and selling. The data economy is fast catching up as another key element of the picture. […]

To be or not to be: Amending BD telecom law

Born in 2001 with limited regulatory independence, the amended telecom law had further clipped the wings of BTRC in 2010. The regulator has always been the ministry’s obedient servant. Therefore, the hijacking of BTRC’s minimal jurisdictions made no difference with the minister’s authority. It, however, gives babus the pleasure of issuing licenses, approving tariffs and […]

What’s the difference between broadband “fast lanes” and a CDN?

If someone can clarify why it is wrong to allow “fast lanes” in broadband but not wrong for the same content companies to pay CDNs like Akamai to bring content closer to the user and thereby make access to the paid data faster? If the new rules deliver anything less, he added, “that would be […]

NRI: Bhutan arrives with a bang. Pakistan, Bangladesh slide back. Nepal advances

I was looking for overall indicators for the Bhutan ICT sector a few years back. The only index that included Bhutan then was the ICT Development Index, published by the ITU. So I am happy that WEF has included Bhutan in the NRI for the first time. And they have placed at 94, ahead of […]

Mysteries of the Network Readiness Index

I have never been a great fan of NRI type indices where the components are somewhat opaque and some are subjective. Instead of going into the details of the method and weaknesses of components such as the mythical (for the most part) numbers of Internet users, I thought I’d check in against four countries that […]

Network Readiness Index 2014: Sri Lanka falls back; but India falls back further

As long as I can remember, India has been ahead of Sri Lanka in the WEF Network Readiness Index. But no more. Sri Lanka is now ranked 76th while India is ranked 83rd. The bad part of the story is that both countries have dropped in the rankings: Sri Lanka from 69th place to 76th, […]

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