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LIRNEasia@10 - LIRNEasia is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Check out our timeline of events

Rohan Samarajiva

Industrial policy versus decentralized innovation

Except for our work on agriculture, most of our activities contribute to the development of the service sector. This is partly because it is the sector that is most dependent on ICT services and because that’s where the investment and growth is, in the countries that we work in. But every so often, industrial policy, […]

Has “broadband” but no mobile

I’ve been fascinated with cellar dweller countries for a while. I thought North Korea was the country at the bottom, but then discovered St Helena. So now it appears that St Helena is getting an airport and maybe even a submarine cable? St Helena is a small island heading for big change. One of the […]

India’s Aadhaar to serve as adequate documentation to obtain a SIM

In Pakistan, they are asking for fingerprints. In India, Aadhaar: ET has learnt that the security establishment is now veering towards the view that since Unique Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI) claims that it has back-end data of most of Aadhaar recipients in the form of address proof document submitted by them while applying […]

India government understands Internet-specific taxes and Digital India are incompatible

Apparently, the eight percent tax on the gross adjusted revenues of ISPs will not be implemented. Good. TRAI had suggested a uniform licence fee of 8 per cent of the AGR (adjusted gross revenue) for all ISP and ISP-Internet Telephony licences. Government levies licence fee on AGR of telecom firms after deducting some components that […]

Is Canada benefiting for LIRNEasia’s disaster risk reduction research?

In 2004 January I asked my friend, Pete Anderson, to take a risk and come to Sri Lanka to participate in the expert forum we had convened on the 26th of January to develop policy recommendations for effective early warning. At that moment I did not have a budget line to pay out of, but […]

Ali Mazrui: Scholar of Africa

Professor Ali Mazrui, originally of Makarere University in East Africa, has passed away. Eulogies are coming out fast and furious, among them this: There is one crucial similarity between prophets on the one hand and public intellectuals on the other. Both seek to define the terms of the debate in an argument. But the terms […]

Mobile network big data to help with Ebola

The spread of infectious diseases is affected by the movement of people. We were thinking how this could be tracked using mobile network big data. Others are already doing it. All strength to them. The people of West Africa, and the world, need all the help they can get. A sharp increase in calls to […]

Regulatory theory: Where the rubber hits the road

In today’s Financial Express, Sudhir Shah and Payal Malik conclude their assessment of the work of Tirole and Laffont (who would have been a co-recipient had he lived) concludes thus: The institutional context for Tirole’s work is also important. While Tirole and numerous collaborators have built a sophisticated theory to guide regulators and thereby accorded […]

LIRNEasia Senior Policy Fellow to chair ITU Telecom World session on affordable international backhaul

Abu Saeed Khan, who has been leading our engagement with UN ESCAP on the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway will chair the below described session scheduled for Monday, December 08, 2014, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM, Hospitality Lounge 5: Many countries around the world lack affordable backhaul and cross-border networks that enable local networks to connect […]

Thoughts on power dynamics in smart cities

Technology, especially measuring and monitoring technology, does not exist in a power vacuum. As we struggle with getting our hands on data and finding the best ways of extracting insights, we should also give some thought to power dynamics. Reading this may get the process started. Life in a smart city is a frictionless; free […]

India media coverage for mobile network big data for development research

The Hindu Businessline, a newspaper with sophisticated business coverage especially on ICT issues, has introduced our big data work to its readers. Can telecom networks be used for better urban planning? Colombo-based ICT think tank, LIRNEasia, has completed a project which used data from telecom networks in Sri Lanka to generate patterns related to population […]

How one policy mistake can lead to more if not careful. The case of Bhutan

Bhutan built an IT Park in a nice location between the principal city and the airport. The promise of those who put this project, funded by the World Bank, was that Bhutan would attract foreign BPO firms to Thimphu to create white-collar jobs for young people. In turn, it is possible that they had received […]

Ooredoo Myanmar’s innovative strategy to foster innovation

We’ve been thinking about how to promote mobile innovation for some time. Many governments are also grappling with this issue. What Ooredoo is doing in Myanmar is worth the attention of all in this space. They are picking innovators from large competitions and giving them expert help. What is truly unusual is that they will […]

International calling from Myanmar becomes cheaper; but prices should settle lower

Myanmar int'l call charges

That’s the first page of the new international call charges announced by Telenor Myanmar. Compared to the dollar a minute (900 Kyat) charged by MPT prior to the entry of competitors, this is very good. The last time we collated international voice prices was in early 2012. But even in relation to that ancient table, […]

Reflecting on Sri Lanka’s international connectivity issues in Paro, Bhutan

I write this sitting at a UN ESCAP consultation on the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway in Paro, Bhutan. Bhutan is a country of around 800,000 people which has two fiber cables connecting the main cities to the Indian cables in the Siliguri area. Actual broadband user experience is patchy. Because there was no official representative […]

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