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

Author Archives: Rohan Samarajiva

LIRNEasia at UN Data Forum

The UN Data Forum starts tomorrow. LIRNEasia’s Sriganesh Lokanathan will speak at the session organized by UN Global Pulse. Agenda.

Challenges of implementing e payments in a country where 350m people still have no phones

Nandan Nilekani of Infosys and Aadhaar fame has been brought in to help the government of India accelerate the transition to e financial services in the aftermath of demonetization. 350 million with no phones and 350 million with feature phones is just the first problem. What happens when there is no signal, like in Chennai […]

Slow meshing of Bay of Bengal region

According to Twitter, some people are without Internet in Bangkok today. Today's Tot internet failure from flooding wouldn't have been if only it were a mesh rather than point to point as @samarajiva has advocated — Don (@smartbrain) January 10, 2017 India is also supposed to have experienced problems with the Tata Indicom Cable connecting […]

Evidence on excessive taxes on Internet being counterproductive

Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva refers to evidence showing Internet taxes are counterproductive and says current excessive taxes are temporary. Video of interview.

LIRNEasia contributes to discussion on platforms and taxes

Based on work done on electronic trading in ASEAN and extrapolation from the online freelancing research, I contributed some thoughts on budget proposals to create a government-run platform to collect taxes. That has been picked up in subsequent articles. In the face of government highhandedness, global e-commerce giants have in the past opted not to […]

Competition issues coming to the fore in big data space

We have been writing about competition issues around big data since 2014 (though I could claim 1991). Now the New York Times weighs in. The competition concerns echo those that gradually emerged in the 1990s about software and Microsoft. The worry is that as the big internet companies attract more users and advertisers, and gather […]

Sharing transportation big data to achieve public and private objectives

Data philanthropy was what UN Global Pulse came up with as a foundation for private entities donating data for public services. But now Uber has come up with another story. The site, which Uber will invite planning agencies and researchers to visit in the coming weeks, will allow outsiders to study traffic patterns and speeds […]

Does LIRNEasia have core values? Should it?

Bill Easterly’s latest piece in Foreign Policy argues that the Trump victory is essentially a defeat of technocrats who do not have, or cannot defend, fundamental social values. Made me ask whether we too have, over time, become value-neutral technocrats. I had written on values in telecom policy many years ago (Samarajiva & Shields, 1990). […]

MIDO interviewed by Austrian academic journal

In a wide-ranging interview, Htaike Htaike Aung and Phyu Phyu Thi talk about MIDO and how they approach policy problems in the ICT space. The article.

No surprise: Feature phones make up 20% of mobile phone shipments to Myanmar

The LIRNEasia representative-sample survey conducted in 2016 found that 78 percent of phone users had smartphones. A supply-side report confirms this. As with many developing countries, low-cost smartphones continue to thrive in Myanmar. In 2016Q3, 89% of smartphone shipments to the country fall below US$225. “Smartphones priced at US$50

Ooredoo Myanmar claims 8.2m subscribers in 2016 Q2 of which 4.6m are on 4G

In an interview with Light Reading, the Ooredoo CEO says The growth plateauing in Myanmar’s telecom sector will be based on the quality of the network and service because mobile users’ expectations are high. If an operator can’t provide attractive service, customers will definitely switch to another. Our growth is improving quarter-by-quarter. We had 8.2 […]

Learning from the experience of social entrepreneurs in education

The 2017 Budget presented by the Minister of Finance of the Government of Sri Lanka proposed provision of “free Tabs for almost 175,000 students who enter the Advanced Level (AL) classes and around 28,000 A/L teachers from 2017.” LKR 5,000 million was allocated for this purpose. Given the fact that LIRNEasia had just completed a […]

A new kind of MVNO being pioneered by Google may transform mobile broadband experience

In the first iteration, the benefits of MVNOs were marginal. Different brand, perhaps better customer service . . But it appears Google is offering a new model where your handset would jump to the best available signal. Google purchases capacity on multiple networks making this possible. Instead of signing up with a single carrier, you’d […]

Ambani v Pitroda

I am large, I contain multitudes. This is true, for sure, about India, on track to become the most populous nation in five years. India contains many visions and plans, not necessarily congruent, about connecting citizens to the Internet. The Walt Whitman line surely applies to what happens in Indian ICT policy too. Sam Pitroda […]

Gist of LIRNEasia research in Myanmar summarized on TV program

Ranging from the incredible advance of teleuse documented by two surveys conducted by LIRNEasia and MIDO to the potential of ubiquitous smartphones for making the lives of Myanmar’s disabled citizens better, Helani Galpaya summarizes the work being done in Myanmar since 2013 on MTV, a business-news channel. She touches on the need to work on […]

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