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Abu Saeed Khan

Robbing >US$20m per year is official in Bangladesh

Imposing 1% surcharge on the mobile tariff for a fictitious “Rural Education Fund” has received the government’s approval yesterday. Earlier we highlighted the dark side of this illicit kitty. And we didn’t, of course, expect the government would retreat. Now we helplessly wait and hopelessly watch the further criminalization of governance in Bangladesh. After all, […]

Youngsters bypass government’s firewall in Iran

Iran’s 70% of the youth regularly use software to dodge government filters designed to block access to sites such as Facebook and YouTube, according to Iranian Centre for Research and Strategic Studies. Its director, Mohammad Taqi Hassanzadeh, said: Of the 67.4 percent of Iranian young people who use the internet, 19.1% use the net for […]

Indian regulator leaves OTT alone

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided not to regulate over-the-top (OTT) providers, such as Skype, Viber and WhatsApp. The mobile operators claim that such apps will annually cost them  over US$822 million in lost revenues, as subscribers prefer to use free voice and messaging apps. Therefore, they demanded to regulate the OTT providers […]

Mobile may follow Pharma to break Big Data taboo

Turnover of GlaxoSmithKline was US$44 billion in 2013 and it annually spends $6.5 billion in R&D. Its sales data is public information while results of R&D had been the best kept secret until October 2012. Two years ago the British pharmaceutical behemoth has stunned the scientific community when it decided to share the detailed data […]

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 […]

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