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

Yearly Archives: 2015

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Myanmar telecom consumers resemble Thai consumers, according to Telenor

It appears that high data use by Myanmar consumers is the surprise of 2015. But Telenor expects it to go down as they start connecting rural consumers. Will they be wrong again? Telenor’s network today covers all states and regions but Chin State, for 60 per cent of population. The customer base is expected show […]

Myanmar government seeks foreign partner for consortium holding 4th telecom licensee

It will be a hard road for the fourth licensee, now that MPT, Telenor and Ooredoo have got a running start. The challenges of managing a large consortium will also be considerable. The newest tender winner will join an 11-company consortium comprising Myanmar Technologies and Investment Corporation, Myanmar ICT Development Corporation, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation, […]

Social media in Myanmar elections

Still waiting for a systematic account, but until then, here’s a journalistic account that quotes our friend Nay Phone Latt and has a picture of him in his constituency office. Facebook has been an obvious choice for most, and the National League for Democracy, or NLD, which won a landslide victory over the Union Solidarity […]

Mobile network big data: How many more years will it retain its unique value?

Returning from an expert meeting on big data n Bangkok, I was in the passenger seat on the way back from the airport. Looked up Google maps for the traffic. This feature has been available in Sri Lanka only for a few weeks. On the main roads, it was pretty accurate. Once we turned off […]

Reflections on another day of discussing big data for development

ESCAP is part of the UN. By design, it is better positioned to work across silos than specialized agencies such as the ITU and WHO. One of the key points made about the sustainable development goals that were recently adopted is that they require working across silos. Big data naturally cuts across disciplinary boundaries. It […]

Big data for sustainable development at ESCAP

In a few hours I’ll be speaking at a panel on how big data is already being used for sustainable development. ESCAP has pulled together an interesting group of people together to talk about how big data can help with the daunting task of measuring progress on the 169 targets that the UN has set […]

Loon facing turbulence in India

Economic Times reports three problems, of which it says the spectrum issue is the hardest to address. One of the primary concerns with the proposal is that the spectrum band required for the transmission is unavailable. According to DoT, Google has sought a band of 700 to 900 MHz, which is occupied by telecom service […]

Sri Lanka joins the “more Facebook users than Internet users” club?

According to the latest data, Sri Lanka has 16 Facebook users per 100 people. According to a 12,500 household survey conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics in January-June 2015, Sri Lanka has 11.8 Internet users aged 5-69 years, per 100 people. The wording is a little ambiguous, so it may be possible that […]

LIRNEasia is happy to have its messages amplified by A4AI

For sometime, Helani Galpaya has been communicating the message that affordability is not enough by itself for Internet use by the people of developing Asia. For example, this is what she said at a well-received presentation on SDGs at UN DESA, 8-9 June 2015. She has been saying this in a number of places and […]

Computer literacy in Sri Lanka continues to be difficult to pin down

Earlier today, I was asked by a TV channel to comment on the most recent (2015 H1) computer literacy and related indicators issued by the Department of Census and Statistics. I summarize below my comments. The survey, based on a sample of 12,500 households with persons aged 5-69 years, reported that computer literacy for the […]

Pakistan unlocks cross-border telecoms. India is next.

Pakistan has officially allowed private carriers to terrestrially plug the country with all the four neighbors including India. This multidimensional landmark decision makes Pakistan the buckle of South Asia-Central Asia telecoms belt. This route is embedded in our proposed trans-Asian connectivity for affordable broadband. It took us three years to convince ESCAP, which dubs our […]

Making Central Asia central to Eurasian trading

The notional ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ under One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative connects China with Central Asia, Russia and Europe. It also links China with the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean through Central Asia and West Asia. Trains carrying goods as well as the Block Trains between Chinese and European destinations via Kazakhstan under […]

Talking infrastructure to a strategic affairs audience

I have been working with Pathfinder Foundation for a while. Their focus is economics, so it was good fit. Now they are getting into Track 2, with China as well as India. The track 2 with India involves the Vivekananda International Foundation, the Modi Think Tank, which has a strong focus on strategic affairs. I […]

Trust, elections and technology

Rather unusual topic in terms of this blog. But we do work on privacy, competition and marginalization in different technological contexts. Privacy is deeply connected to information disclosure, which is one of the primary modalities of gaining trust. So when I was asked to speak on this subject to a group of young diplomats from […]

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