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Author Archives: Abu Saeed Khan

Cambodia prepares the killing fields of telecoms

Cambodia has drafted a law mandating all telcos “selling” their infrastructure including towers and underground cables to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia (MPTC). Subsequently, all operators surrender their licenses too. The government will decide how the access service providers will make reentry to their dispossessed infrastructure. And these draconian terms will be […]

LIRNEasia in “Myanmar: Telecoms’ Last Frontier”

In its report titled, “Myanmar: Telecoms’ Last Frontier” the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) explores the realities of Myanmar’s telecom environment. The government of Myanmar wants to leapfrog “from 10 (SIMs per 100 people) to 80 in five years.” LIRNEasia’s chair Rohan Samarajiva has concluded his report in this publication: The challenges before Myanmar are many. […]

Bangladesh to tax the mobile industry (again)

It started with the infamous “SIM tax” in 2005. Although mobile covers nearly 100% of population and geography, a highly ambiguous Social Obligation Fund (SOF) was created in 2010. Consequently the telecom regulator has been illegally amassing huge wealth since 2011. Now the tax authorities have decided to impose 1% surcharge on mobile usage to […]

Coding is the new global language of literacy

Literacy is the ability to read and write in a specific language. Power of a language depends on the opportunities it offers. That’s why the Arab-Latin fusion was central to the dawn of modern civilization. Carly Fiorina, then CEO of HP, elaborated it at the end of her speech: Although we are often unaware of […]

Work in progress for a smarter White House

The American president’s office-cum-residence is, actually, just another government office. The 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has long lagged behind in terms of using technology for efficiency. It has been “relying in large part on face-to-face meetings and mountains of paper to conduct business.” But things started changing slowly after the very first black president, who is […]

Third year of dark ages in Digital Bangladesh

Running telecoms transmission business is not the small and medium enterprises’ cup of tea. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) denies this universal truth, as it revised the infrastructure sharing guidelines on July 7, 2011. It mandates a middleman, dubbed as Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN), between the legacy owners of fiber networks and their customers. […]

Irish model of affordable broadband for Asia

ESB, the Irish electricity supplier, and UK’s Vodafone have formed a 50:50 partnership in building a new fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) broadband network. This €450 million (US$615 million) project will deliver download speeds ranging from 200 Mbps to 1 Gbps. The FTTB network of ESB-Vodafone will connect some 500,000 homes and businesses in 50 towns and cities […]

Modi to dwarf the Planning Commission of India

Narendra Modi has never been a fan of India’s almighty Planning Commission. It functions like the Soviet-styled command and control body since the country’s independence in 1947. Gujarat’s former Chief Minister was fed up with the Commission’s “high-handedness and hobbling states with one-size-fits-all policies.” Arun Shourie, an influential BJP member, calls the Planning Commission a […]

Google should look beyond second submarine cable

Six years ago eyebrows were raised when Google announced the rollout of a transpacific undersea cable named “Unity”. Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI Corp., Pacnet and SingTel were members of Unity consortium. It was activated on April 1, 2010. Google wanted to bypass the cumbersome transcontinental supply chain of broadband, as Capacity Magazine highlights: Google’s […]

Pakistan disbands international call termination cartel

Pakistan observes its independence day on 14th of August. On 13th of August in 2012, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) issued a directive to establish “International Clearing House” or ICH. It allowed the international long distance carriers’ cartel to fix call termination rates at their whim. As a result, the hardworking Pakistani […]

Mexico pours “tech-kill-ah” in telecoms bill

Governments behave like sheep when it comes to bad governance. And Mexico has decided to blindly follow the bad examples from both sides of Atlantic. In its raw form the bill extended government surveillance powers, while the police have new powers to seize and access user data without a court order. Police will also be […]

Iraqis fight Internet blockade with FireChat

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has the history of not reading the writing on the wall. As the Isis militants advance leaving the trail of massacre, Maliki has bravely picked the mother of all soft targets – the Internet. Doug Madory of Renesys has graphically narrated how the Iraqi government refers “network maintenance” to Internet […]

Myanmar’s MPT partners with KDDI

Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT), the state-owned fixed, mobile and international gateway monopoly-cum-regulator, is signing an agreement with Japanese operator KDDI. The latter will take control of MPT’s day-to-day operations. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) official U Than Tun Aung told Myanmar Times: The process has been delayed for many months because so […]

Bangladesh and India ink historic bandwidth deal

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited, (BSCCL) has signed an MoU with BSNL as a first step to export IP Transit bandwidth to the northeastern states of India across the eastern land borders of Bangladesh. Initially BSNL will procure 10 Gbps bandwidth from Bangladesh and a three-year agreement will be signed very soon. This February, the […]

Power grid to energize Bangladesh and digitize Bhutan-India

Source: China Telecom (https://www.chinatelecomglobal.com/service/cable/prepare)

Bangladesh has abundant international Internet bandwidth while Bhutan generates surplus electricity. Newly appointed Bhutan’s Ambassador to Dhaka, Pema Choden, has expressed interest in importing surplus bandwidth from Bangladesh. In that meeting, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam also showed interest in Bhutan’s plentiful electricity to meet the growing energy demand of Bangladesh. […]

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