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

Author Archives:
Abu Saeed Khan

Asia’s first “hybrid” submarine cable is activated

BBG Malaysia

Three years back I wrote about the Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) cable. It has been officially activated today. In my engagement with the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway of ESCAP, I have been consistently referring to BBG as Asia’s very first cross-sector telecoms infrastructure that links beyond the border. The designers of BBG have very […]

The dragon’s bigger byte

After cannibalizing the hardware businesses – may it be phones, laptops or network equipment – the Chinese Internet outfits are breathing on their western counterparts’ neck. Alibaba has greater reach than Amazon: Chinese are happier to buy online than Americans. Ecommerce accounts for about one-tenth of all retail sales in China compared with about 7 […]

Another feather in Myanmar’s telecoms hat

Singapore’s Singtel, Hong Kong’s 1Com, China’s Xinwei and China Telecom, Vietnam’s Viettel, South Africa’s MTN and Free from France have reportedly submitted non-binding expressions of interest to become Myanmar’s fourth mobile operator. That’s a long queue of heavyweights from Asia, Africa and Europe. Especially the maverick French billionaire Xavier Niel’s debut in Asia possibly through […]

LIRNEasia throws lifeline to carriers in distress

Sliding revenues from conventional wholesale services mean carriers are being challenged to find new drivers for growth. It has been the hot topic in this year’s Pacific Telecommunication Council’s Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. I presented the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway as new avenue to revenue. Here is my presentation.

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 […]

Troops withdrawal pushing Afghan mobile merger

Foreign troops are the big spenders in Afghan mobile networks. Possibly more browsing rather than talking have been keeping half dozen mobile operators happy. Not anymore. Operators are tightening belt as the soldiers are packing. Up to 40% of the market value will evaporate as the western military transporters load of soldiers take-off. Under such […]

Unstoppable exploding mobile growth in Myanmar

Myanmar has launched meaningful mobile service in 2014. And the country has secured fourth global position during third quarter of 2015 in terms of net addition, said Ericsson’s latest report. It is ahead of Bangladesh and Indonesia in this category. Ericsson also predicts that Myanmar will surpass Bangladesh in terms of LTE and smartphone penetration […]

Visualizing Internet outage in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has experienced temporary outage of Internet when the government blocked popular social media sites on November 18. It could not skip the watchful eyes of the man who can see the Internet. Here is the visual of Internet outage in Bangladesh.

Out of the box: Disaster comms in a box from Pakistan

Pakistani researchers have developed a solar-powered portable mobile phone network that can be used when the regular mobile phone networks are down due to natural disasters. Dubbed as the Rescue Base Station (RBS) for Pakistan, the system has been jointly developed by a team from the Information Technology University (ITU) in Lahore and the University […]

China linked Myanmar. Plans to loop ASEAN. Next?

China Unicom has built the US$50 million China-Myanmar International (CMI) terrestrial link. But it is yet to be activated for unknown reasons and Myanmar keeps suffering from outages. Now Beijing has ceremoniously announced its plan to build a Sino-ASEAN submarine cable network without revealing any details. South Asia and Southeast Asia has become the hotbed […]

FCC tightens submarine cable regulation. Why not data centers too?

It has been estimated that submarine cables carry traffic associated with over US$10 trillion in transactional value globally per day. It is being also claimed that submarine cables transport 99% of the international data worldwide. These are largely true, yet exaggerated marketing pitch. Terrestrial cables also carry huge volume of international data traffic across the […]

Burst with Tier 4 Data Center in Myanmar

Myanmar takes another giant leap in telecoms. Burst Networks of Myanmar has engaged Swedish telecom infrastructure specialist Flexenclosure to build a multi-million dollar Tier 4 data center. This customized prefabricated modular facility will be built in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone in Yangon. Construction will take place at Flexenclosure’s factory in Vara, Sweden, with deployment […]

Is India cold on Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway?

First meeting of the Working Group on the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway was held on 1 and 2 September 2015, at the Songdo Convensia in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It was co-organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the National Information Society Agency of the Republic of […]

Internet empowers the world. What powers Internet?

Data Center

My favorite definition of Internet is from Jim Cowie: “The Internet is a robust virtual infrastructure comprised of tens of thousands of communicating enterprises, each seeking to maximize profit according to local rules and business conditions.” And the Data Centers function as the factories-cum-warehouses of Internet. Thousands of servers and routers being stacked across the […]

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