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

Monthly Archives: November, 2014

Why the Silk Road initiatives must include a focus on enhancing terrestrial and undersea international backhaul capacity

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in one of the first discussions on the maritime Silk Road being promoted by President Xi Jinping. I wrote up the two points I made in my five minutes. The second point described in the excerpt below suggests that governments and operators get behind the UN ESCAP […]

SIMs/100 in Myanmar

The way mobile connectivity is growing in Myanmar, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology should be updating the connectivity numbers every week. But given all the other priorities such as deciding who gets the fourth license, indicators are not easy to come by. According to the Irrawaddy Magazine, the country had 11.6 million active […]

Limits of mobile telephony

Nothing better illustrates what we have always said about ICT’s role in development than this tragic story from Sierra Leone: But none of it was reaching Isatu Sesay, a sick teenager. She flipped on her left side, then her right, writhing on a foam mattress, moaning, grimacing, mumbling and squinching her eyes in agony as […]

Shaping broadband quality in the Philippines

NTC hearing (Nov 7 14)_Table

      Broadband in the Philippines has been receiving a lot of negative press. LIRNEasia research confirms the poor quality received in Manila. In response, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) called for a public consultation for which LIRNEasia responded to. The regulator has been granted P 15.5 million (2015) for the benchmarking of broadband quality […]

Affordability of ICT in South Asia improves according to ITU’s Price Basket methodology

Related to the previous post on ICT Development Index,  the 2014 Measuring the Information Society report also has a section on the ICT Price Basket (IPB) which is a composite basket that includes three sub-baskets: fixed-telephone, mobile cellular and fixed- broadband. This is used to measure the affordability of ICT in a country by dividing […]

RIA research on two-sided markets published in Telecom Policy

Christoph Stork and Alison Gillwald have been engaged with the real-world problem of high mobile termination rates in Southern Africa for several years. Perhaps the earliest intervention was with the Namibian Communication Commission in 2009. Then there were repeated engagements in South Africa. We know, from our experience, that policy engagement does not leave a […]

Daily Star is first to report IDI Asia rankings

Bangladesh has not done too well in the IDI rankings, but a Bangladesh newspaper has been fast off the mark. On a global ranking of ICT usage, Bangladesh falls at 145 among a total of 166 countries, according to the latest report published by the International Telecommunication Union today. In Measuring the Information Society (MIS) […]

Thailand is only SE Asia winner in IDI stakes

We deal with a subset of ASEAN countries, the most prosperous among them being Thailand. So I looked at the performance of the not-so-rich ASEAN in the ICT Development Index. Thailand has advanced from 91st place in 2012 to 81st in 2013. Very significant. Then comes Viet Nam (101; down two places from 2012), Philippines […]

South Asia fails to make progress in ITU’s ICT Development Index

The 2014 Measuring the Information Society report is out. No surprises at the top: Denmark is now at 1 and Korea is now 2; just changed places from 2012 ranking. Significant movement from the Gulf countries: UAE goes from 46 to 23 and Qatar from 42 to 34. UAE is almost too difficult to believe. […]

Renewables as cheap as conventional electricity: Time to rethink energy policy?

We’ve been thinking some big changes were coming to energy, mostly because of application of ICTs and concern about excessive centralization. But could this accelerate everything? According to a study by the investment banking firm Lazard, the cost of utility-scale solar energy is as low as 5.6 cents a kilowatt-hour, and wind is as low […]

9.7 Billion USD budget for Indian broadband + e services initiatives

I’ve seen larger numbers being thrown around but this seems to be the component that the Indian Department of Telecom will control through its BBNL special purpose vehicle. The Rs 20,100 crore national broadband network will serve as a countrywide optic-fibre pipe to provide high-speed internet connectivity across rural India while the Rs 30,000-crore-plus wifi-based […]

Benefits and costs of mobiles in Myanmar

For many, the only thing new about what journalists write about mobiles in Myanmar would be Myanmar. But I was thinking about the hate speech angle, which is, without question, going to be extremely significant in that country. Mobiles and social media are not the causes of hate speech; they are the enablers and accelerators […]

China helps in connectivity. Now it’s up to Myanmar.

China Unicom and Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) have completed the deployment of a 1,500km terrestrial optical fiber link. It spans from the southwest Chinese province of Yunnan to Myanmar’s Ngwe Saung Beach in the Irrawaddy Delta. It is called China-Myanmar International (CMI) cable. This US$50 million cross-border telecommunication transmission link runs from Ruili and […]

Jan Chipchase on Myanmar: Connectivity is not binary. The network is never neutral.

A short piece by Jan Chipchase on how mobile use is playing out in Myanmar. He highlights some interesting observations about mobile use in Myanmar, as well as the realities of conducting research in the outer parts of the country. Here he highlights the cost of power as a mediating factor in mobile use. In Bogale 2,500 Kyats […]

Senior Research Fellow Illavarasan on mobiles and empowerment of women entrepreneurs

Vignesh Illavarasan is featured as ICT Champion by the IDRC Asia Office: P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi has identified situations in which mobile phones lead to positive development outcomes. Since 2008, he has been involved in research on the economic and social impact of ICTs, especially mobile phones. […]

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