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

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REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: We are inviting Proposals from potential Bidders to conduct a nationally representative study of ICT access and use in Nepal with special focus on the disabled. Click here for more information. Deadline for submissions: 29 January 2018.

Abu Saeed Khan

Nepal ends Indian monopoly. Nepal Telecom’s monopoly is next

Nepal Telecom and Hong Kong-headquartered China Telecom Global has connected each other across Nepal’s northern border with Tibet through a mix of underground and all-dielectric self-supporting (ADSS) optical fiber cable network. Activation of this link on January 12, 2018 has ended the exclusivity of Tata’s and Bharti Airtel’s international connectivity to the landlocked Himalayan state. […]

Myanmar quotes LIRNEasia, plugs Universal Services with USF

Myanmar will raise up to US$121 million in five years through Universal Service Fund (USF) to implement its Universal Service Strategy. The Post and Telecommunications Department under the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) has invited public consultation for this initiative. The USF will be raised from 2 per cent levy of the service providers’ […]

Bull’s eye, not Bullshit: Unlimited mobile data and near zero marginal cost

Finland is often cited as a miracle of education. Its telecommunication regulation is equally impressive. In 2011, the Finnish consulting Rewheel has predicted that the country’s mobile operators would grow data traffic without increasing investments. It has been proven right, as shown in the chart. Data traffic in Elisa’s Finnish 4G/LTE network has grown by […]

Challenges in-waiting for Mustafa Jabbar

Mustafa Jabbar, the newly appointed minister for the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, cannot waste much time on receiving bouquets and greetings. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has offloaded this portfolio on him after unceremoniously ejecting her veteran comrade in October 2014. Since then Hasina had been minding this ministry besides discharging her prime […]

UN official says optical fiber is dangerous for road safety, dumps AP-IS

A senior UN official has blamed the telecoms networks for threatening the road safety across Asia and the United States of America. Mr. Yuwei Li, Director of Transport Division at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), has also stunned the audience on December 13 while opposing the proposed […]

African bandwidth hub: Djibouti rising, so is China

With less than a million citizens, Djibouti struggles with the abysmal ICT indicators. Its internet hums with 12% penetration while mobile SIM penetration is 36% only. Now flip the page. Nine submarine cables transit at Djibouti to link Africa, the Middle East and Asia with Europe. Australia is coming soon! That’s why Djibouti has the […]

Bangladesh submarine cables: 1 + 1 is not necessarily 2

The second submarine cable is supposed to guarantee Bangladesh better international connectivity for the following reasons: Bangladeshi ISPs are eager for SEA-ME-WE5, the second submarine cable. It lands at Kuakata, the southwestern coastal village, this year. Kuakata is 300 nautical miles away from Cox’s Bazar. The two vastly located undersea cable landing facilities will bolster […]

Celebrating another giant leap of mankind

Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius have confirmed the completion of 6,600km-long (4,100 miles) subsea cable construction. It spans from Virginia Beach, USA to Bilbao, Spain reaching depths of 11,000 feet below the surface. The cable named Marea, which means tide in Spanish, is the highest capacity cable to cross the Atlantic, offering up to 160Tbps. It […]

Plugging the unplugged Somalia for good (Internet)

Somalia has suffered internet outage, as its only submarine cable – Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) – has been snapped by the anchor of a cargo ship recently. Few affluent users are online through the expensive satellite backups while most of the users remain off-line. Bangladesh was also exposed to similar risk until six operators […]

Trump to “Ban Voyage” of submarine cable ships

Republicans in sea

While the aviation sector is “Trying to make sense of the new TSA electronics ban” – the submarine cable industry is sending an SOS. The Trump administration may ban the usage of any ship that deploys or maintains the submarine cables, unless it is built in a U.S. shipyard. It also mandates that minimum 75% […]

Yes we plan: Dhaka-Kolkata-Delhi-Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul

TAR

Little over a year ago, I wrote about various infrastructure initiatives linking South Asia with Central Asia. Using the gas pipelines’, power grid’s and road networks’ right-of-way of for cross-border telecoms link was central to my arguments. Now the Indian Railways has planned to create a network, dubbed as ITI-DKD-Y corridor, to operate freight train […]

LIRNEasia in BIMSTEC: Rewriting the Rule Book of Regional Connectivity

The countries in mainland Asia are mostly interconnected through submarine cables. Public and private incumbents abuse their ownership of submarine cable systems followed by hindering competition in wholesale bandwidth sales. As a result, Asia remains impaired by the lack of cross-border Internet connectivity and exorbitant bandwidth prices. Hong Kong and Singapore are the only carrier-neutral […]

SEA-ME-WE 5 subsea cable: A new robe for Bangladesh

Bangladesh badly needs a second submarine cable for steady supply of international telecoms connectivity. The second cable is also critical to efficiently serve the cross-border customers. That’s the strategic significance SEA-ME-WE 5, the sequel of SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable, for Bangladesh. The new cable has been timely ashore but plugging it to the country’s telecoms […]

Campana takes giant leap to plug Myanmar fail-safe

Campana network

State-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunication (MPT) is a member of the prehistoric SEA-ME-WE3 and very recent SEA-ME-WE5 submarine cable consortiums. MPT also shares the landing facilities with China Unicom, which brings a branch of Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) cable to the country. This is how the incumbent has secured the landing of two contemporary submarine […]

Vardah shouldn’t be blamed for India’s Internet outage

india

India is the point of transit for every submarine cable connecting Asia with Africa and Europe via Middle East. Altogether 19 submarine cables have landed in five different Indian locations: Mumbai (11 cables), Chennai (4 cables), Cochin (2 cables), Trivandrum (1 cable) and Tuticorine (1 cable). These sparsely located landing points are good enough to […]

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