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

Monthly Archives: September, 2014

Call for Expressions of Interest: Baseline survey research in Myanmar

LIRNEasia is pleased to issue a call for expressions of interest (EOIs) to conduct baseline research on information, knowledge and communications technology needs and uses in Myanmar. The detailed call for EOIs cn be read here. Interested parties should respond according to the guidelines no later than 0800 hours Sri Lanka time on 10 October […]

Telenor Myanmar betting on convenience, quality and cheap handsets

So Telenor is about to hit the market. They’ve got to work smarter, lacking the billions (USD 15, but I’ve heard even larger numbers) Ooredoo is committed to invest. Being the late comer, Telenor is betting on service quality as well as extensive marketing network to ensure success. While MPT assigned 13 companies and shops […]

4G in Pakistan

The rollout everyone is waiting for is from Reliance’s Jio Infocomm. The Ambanis tend to change the game. But in the meanwhile, Zong has beaten Warid to announce a seven-city rollout in Pakistan Dr. Fan said that Zong will inject 1 billion dollars in Pakistan over the span of three to four years. He said […]

Assessing the benefits to Sri Lanka of direct connection to SEA-ME-WE 5

All these years Sri Lanka was connected to its main international communication conduits (SEA-ME-WE 2, 3 and 4) from Colombo and Mount Lavinia (a suburb of Colombo) over branch cables. In the case of SEA-ME-WE 5, the new consortium cable that is expected to come online in 2016, the connection will be direct, in that […]

SEA-ME-WE 5 to improve Bangladesh connectivity; Because of Myanmar, will cost USD 10m less

The government of Bangladesh will spend USD 72.5 million on SEA-ME-WE 5, on which construction commenced this month. “As Myanmar has become a member of the consortium we are paying $10 million less for the branch cable,” Hossain said. So far 12 countries have confirmed their membership with the consortium, while three other entities may […]

More value added services for electricity consumers

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During its workshop for the electricity sector stakeholders in Sri Lanka, back in February 2014, LIRNEasia spoke about the possibility of using SMS for communicating with its customers. At the time we spoke about informing consumers about planned and unplanned power outages. This is currently being deployed by LECO and selected CEB distribution licencees. It […]

Can Sri Lanka become a knowledge hub without a step change in university education?

In a short piece reassessing the Sri Lanka government’s economic strategies centered on hubs, this is what I had to say on progress toward a knowledge hub. The controversial stuff on electricity, ports and aviation. Most progress has been achieved on this thrust, measured by the export revenues and numbers of jobs created by the […]

TRAI wants a band-aid for broadband

India’s regulator has launched a public consultation on – “Delivering Broadband Quickly: What do we need to do?” TRAI has identified many bottlenecks across the broadband supply chain in India. It is, however, mute on the duopoly of Tata and Bharti over the submarine cable landing stations. TRAI underscores the rationalization of right-of-way. It should […]

India High Court rules mobile towers no threat to health, easing 4G rollout

If broadband is to be provided at affordable costs, the last mile will for the most part be wireless. Unless people allow towers to be built, this will not be feasible. The Gujarat High Court decision will help. The latest verdict of the Gujarat High Court that base stations for wireless data and mobile communications […]

‘IGF 2014: Net Neutrality, Zero Rating and development: What’s the Data?’ LIRNEasia had some solid insight

Helani Galpaya, CEO of LIRNEasia spoke at the Workshop2014 on ‘Net Neutrality, Zero Rating and development: what’s the data?’ I think local has been a problem and is a fundamental problem in Asia, emerging Asia, irrespective of zero rated content. People on Facebook — for network effects, because it has cool stuff and your friend, and […]

LIRNEasia at IGF 2014: Cloud computing and M2M

The impact of cloud computing and M2M communication at the emerging economies was discussed at the ninth Internet Governance forum, that was held in Turkey, this September. Rohan Samarajiva, the founding chair of LIRNEasia spoke at the Workshop03:Cloud Computing & M2M: Impacts for Emerging Economies. Here is the youtube clip for the workshop 03. Go […]

Sri Lanka Disaster Management Conference, 24-26 September 2014, to mark 10th anniversary of our greatest disaster

It is true that we tend to overdo the ceremonial elements, but well-organized conferences perform a vital function in public policy making and implementation. They concentrate the attention of the relevant persons, both in terms of preparing presentations and in terms of listening. Not all of it sticks, but if well designed, enough seeps through […]

Bangladesh makes first appearance in AT Kearney ranking; Sri Lanka moves up five places; India remains at number one

In May 2007, I made a presentation to high-level committee appointed by the government of Bangladesh to recommend reforms to the way international telecom traffic was handled. I neglected to spell out what BPO stood for. “What is BPO” was the question from the audience. Seven years later, Bangladesh is ranked 26th in the AT […]

Despite competition, MPT SIMs still have black market value

Incumbent telcos see competition as an unmitigated evil. But what happens is that competition energizes the market and creates new demand. If the incumbent is decently managed, it can catch some (and possibly most) of this demand. After all, it is the known brand. And competitors have their own problems in the start-up phase. Looks […]

Modi administration will implement BBN and get all the credit

In the design of India’s broadband initiative, it was said that one thing was non-negotiable: the work had to be done by state-owned enterprises. Knowledgeable people advised the government that this would slow down implementation. And so it happened. Now the new Minister is hiring 10 CIOs to push implementation (including much of the eco […]

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