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

Author Archives: Rohan Samarajiva

Business innovation to continue in Indian telecom market?

The headline said that Bharti Airtel has now reached the exalted status of having the third largest number of mobile customers worldwide, after China Mobile and Vodafone Group. But as the writer concludes, the real challenge is going to be how new business models can be implemented to make Internet access as successful as voice […]

Internet as a basic human right?

I am here at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum in Macau (I really wish they’ll agree on the English spelling; My visa says Macao; Government signboards here say Macau; my spell checker seems to prefer Macau). MAC representative Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul haq Inu, M.P., said in his address, as he always does, […]

Myanmar findings shared at IFLA session at Asia Pacific regional IGF

IFLA at rIGF1

In a session that was primarily a platform for the librarian community that was engaging with Internet issues, LIRNEasia was invited to provide a different perspective from the demand side. I began by saying that we would dearly loved to have data like this when we were designing the telecenter component of the e Sri […]

LIRNEasia at International Open Data Conference 2015

The full webcast of the Shades of Open session which dealt with whether data held by private entities should be open is available here. At the session moderated by Stefaan Verhulst, I framed the issues within the context of principal-agent theory and competition and illustrated my arguments from our experience in working with mobile network […]

Father of SMS passes

Only 23 years? It’s now in decline, but the idea of sending short text messages will live for ever. Matti Makkonen, the reluctant “father of SMS”, has died at the age of 63. Makkonen pitched the original idea for SMS in 1984, while working as a civil servant, over a pizza at a telecoms conference […]

Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region

In the context of LIRNEasia’s work, connectivity is usually understood as electronic connectivity. But as the quote below exemplifies, in most contexts it means everything other than electronic. It is our challenge to merge these two conceptions. It is now normal in road design to include conduits for fiber. We hope that this will be […]

On the persistence of 2G and the short shelf life of 3G

Fifteen years ago, 2G was still the new, new thing. I recall asking the engineers at the TRC to present a comparative assessment of 2G and CDMA. Who would have thought it would outlast 3G? All thanks to M2M. Tommi Uitto, SVP, global mobile broadband sales at Nokia, noted that operators are – even now […]

Now, an advance in optical communication that will reduce costs of fiber-based backhaul

While we are fully sympathetic with a focus on wireless in the access network, we have for long been advocates of bringing optical fiber as close as possible to the user and for moving from point-to-point or ring architectures in current fiber networks to mesh architectures. In this context, reports of a breakthrough in optical […]

Canada’s and IDRC’s focus on open

When the President of the Treasury Board of Canada comes to a conference and delivers a serious speech you know that the government takes the subject seriously. And the effort IDRC out into its organization showed it was a high priority for them too. It was a long way to go to speak for 15 […]

Even at a billion plus USD, FDI in Myanmar telecom sector still second to energy

The incredible growth of ICT in Myanmar has been enabled by massive investments, business models and managerial skills. Yet, it appears that FDI in the sector is still not the largest. This is a good sign for the balanced development of the Myanmar economy. In the first five months of the 2014-15 fiscal year, telecoms […]

Hot spots at USD 2/hour: Cuba’s Internet access

So in Socialist Cuba they charge for WiFi access, while we give it free. Over the past two years, the government has opened dozens of Internet cafes and introduced email service for the island’s million or so cellphone users. It signaled its willingness to expand connectivity this month in a leaked report that argued that […]

Europe-N America in 100 miliseconds

We’re struggling to get regulators and policy makers in our countries to understand the importance of latency and to keep it below 300 ms. What Google is promising on the trans Atlantic route suggests we are not being ambitious enough> Details like the ability to pass information between Europe and the United States in less […]

Sri Lanka regulator takes first step to make licensing less opaque

The telecom and broadcast licensing regime in Sri Lanka is obsolete. Broadcast licenses are issued under obscure provisions of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Acts. The licenses have no terms and fees are to be informed in the future. Telecom service providers, including Internet Service Providers, are licensed under section […]

Google seeks to occupy the space between centrally coordinated cities and civic hackers

The Deputy Mayor of New York City under Bloomberg and Google are launching a new initiative, presumably for cities in the developed economies, that will take an approach different from the sensor-intensive centralized models promoted by IBM and the like, according to NYT: Major technology companies, like IBM and Cisco, already have large businesses that […]

A designed-for-data network that will serve as a platform for entrepreneurs?

The speculation about Jio Infocomm has been going on for too long, it seems. Here‘s what Mukesh Ambani says it will be: And the benefit of its “legacy-free, next-generation voice and broadband network which can be seamlessly upgraded even to 5G and beyond” will be in extending digital connectivity to a wide set of Indian […]

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