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Abu Saeed Khan

China helps in connectivity. Now it’s up to Myanmar.

China Unicom and Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) have completed the deployment of a 1,500km terrestrial optical fiber link. It spans from the southwest Chinese province of Yunnan to Myanmar’s Ngwe Saung Beach in the Irrawaddy Delta. It is called China-Myanmar International (CMI) cable. This US$50 million cross-border telecommunication transmission link runs from Ruili and […]

Americans pay more for lesser Internet

The Open Technology Institute (OTI) finds that customers in the U.S. continue to pay higher prices for slower Internet. It examines broadband prices and speeds in 24 cities in the U.S. and abroad. Looking at the price consumers pay for 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) in each city, as well as the speed they can […]

Study: OTT boys will eat $14bn lunch this year

Over-the-top players like WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype will cost mobile operators an estimated $14 billion in lost revenues this year. And it will be 26% more from 2013, according to a study of Juniper Research. It has detected that in a number of markets the mobile voice revenues had fallen bellow 60% of their value […]

Connectivity triumphs over politics in Asia

The politicians of China, Japan, South Korea and Viet Nam have locked horn over the maritime rights in South China Sea. Simultaneously, the telecoms carriers of these countries have been laying optical fiber cables underneath the same disputed water to connect each other. Dubbed as “Asia Pacific Gateway” or APG, this cable lands at Tanah […]

U.S. returns to Busan with ITR in post-Snowden era

Advocates of Internet’s freedom have overwhelmingly supported the U.S. government before WCIT 2012 in Dubai. Thereafter one obscure Mr. Snowden has narrowed, if not collapsed, the floodgate of support for America’s doctrine of Internet. Washington’s army of diplomats has now thronged in Busan to prevent any voting on ITR issue in the Plenipotentiary Conference of […]

Ebola rocks ITU’s PP-14. What’s next?

The ITU’s top officials get elected in a quadrennial event and the current one commences on October 20 at Busan. More than 3,000 government officials and 600,000 attendees from 193 countries are expected to visit. South Korean government is, however, worried about more than 170 delegates, including 107 Nigerians, from West Africa – the epicenter […]

LKA should look beyond SMW5 to be a regional hub

Submarine cables in Sri Lanka historically land nearby Colombo at Mount Lavinia. And they have been the branch from  main cable’s trunk. Not any more. The SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable will directly hop at a new location – Matara. Therefore, this new submarine cable’s landing, at 160 km from Colombo, will make Sri Lanka’s international […]

TRAI wants a band-aid for broadband

India’s regulator has launched a public consultation on – “Delivering Broadband Quickly: What do we need to do?” TRAI has identified many bottlenecks across the broadband supply chain in India. It is, however, mute on the duopoly of Tata and Bharti over the submarine cable landing stations. TRAI underscores the rationalization of right-of-way. It should […]

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 […]

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