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

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The report "A Baseline Survey of ICT and Knowledge Access in Myanmar" is now available in Myanmar Language here.

Rohan Samarajiva

Loon not disruptive, says Google

To me, Google Loon has always been just another backhaul option. And one in the early testing stages. It fitted with Google investments in undersea cables and O3B. Couldn’t quite understand what people were getting their knickers in a twist about. This is now confirmed. But nowhere is Sri Lanka mentioned, despite our belief that […]

What is the point of net neutrality if nobody is online?

Helani Galpaya asks the most basic question in a Council on Foreign Relations blog. She bases her position on evidence from the field: her direct observations in Java that went around the world and the recent Myanmar baseline Teleuse study. In the end, the best defense against the possible downsides of ZR is high levels […]

Myanmar: Getting close to 80

I titled a piece I wrote on Myanmar a while back as “10 to 80 in five years.” Now after just one year of operations, Telenor Myanmar, not the largest operator in Myanmar, has over 20 SIMs per 100 people, all by itself. That would place the overall SIMs/100 number above 50. After just one […]

India relaxes rules on spectrum sharing

Spectrum is a scarce resource, made even more scarce by the difficulties governments have in refarming it. Efficient use of spectrum should be a high priority. It is obvious that allowing firms to use market mechanisms to use the resource more efficiently is a good thing. The question is why this is not done. One […]

Myanmar: Digicel exits, Axiata settles in

When everybody and everybody seemed to be in the running for licenses in Myanmar, Digicel was one of the most aggressive competitors. Digicel already employs 893 people in Myanmar, with a further 3,500 earmarked for hiring. Digicel is currently the title sponsor of the Myanmar Football Federation and the Myanmar Special Olympics Federation. But now […]

Good governance and international trade

I used to say that regulation is public administration done well. We take decisions based on evidence and broad consultation. We try our best to reduce regulatory risk and create the best conditions for investment. Basically good governance. I’d been engaged with services trade since around 1990 when I was intrigued by why Canada wanted […]

LIRNEasia well positioned to ride the next wave of government reform

We’ve been working on nudges, randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews for years. Now, with big data, we’re proposing experimentation. This is what governments in the developed economies are doing. Perhaps even more than new ideas, the behavioral group is bringing a new approach to government. Experimentation is the key: Different nudges are tried systematically, […]

LIRNEasia’s first trilingual course

We have taught with sequential and simultaneous interpretation in Myanmar. But our Marawila course was the first in terms of handling three languages. We were still feeling our way, but we did get into stride by Day 3. The above picture shows the interaction that this fostered. The picture below shows our team of interpreters […]

Is the Indian telecom market consolidating?

The story in Live Mint starts with revenue shares. The Big Three (Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea) now have 70 percent of revenues. But what caught my eye was what was going on on the data side. Again the numbers can be used to illustrate this: As the uptake of data, the next growth driver […]

Course on how to engage in broadband policy ends with presentations to key Lankan decision makers

The four-day course on how to engage in broadband policy and regulation included as one of its most important elements a team project. Each team was asked to make evidence-based presentations that we hoped would form the basis for a public consultation organized by the Ministry of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure. The teams were assigned […]

Time-sensitive tariffs: Is this a win for LIRNEasia?

We’ve been promoting time-sensitive tariffs to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka since 2013. They were available to commercial customers, but we wanted them made available to residential customers as well. Three years down the road, it looks like the dam has broken. CEB is offering a low-user tariff effective from 2230 to 0530. […]

An instance of advice from independent think tanks saving a government a ton of grief

India has withdrawn a really stupid piece of legislation. But can you imagine what would have been the outcome if informed and articulate experts such as Pranesh Prakash of the Center for Internet and Society were not there to tell the government the dangers of following the advice of its house “experts”? Responding to a […]

Productive engagement on big data with Joint Research Center of European Commission

It was a long way to come for a one-day workshop so I was hoping it would be a good event. It was. The Joint Research Center is described as the European Commission’s in-house science service. Within it exists an Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. I guess it was inspired by the Office of Technology […]

LIRNEasia big data research at JRC-IPTS workshop

The European Union Joint Research Center-Institute of Prospective Technological Studies is convening a workshop in Sevilla on Big Data for the analysis of Digital Economy and Society on 22 September 2015. LIRNEasia has been invited to speak on Big data for development: New opportunities for emerging markets. The slideset is here.

Developing maps of the cables that carry Internet traffic

Back in 2013, UN ESCAP, in partnership with the ITU, published an online map of the cables that carry Internet traffic in the Asia Pacific. We at LIRNEasia were very happy about this because we had been working with ESCAP since 2010 and Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan who worked up the idea of […]


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