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

Author Archives: Rohan Samarajiva

Auditor General’s time is different from infrastructure builders’ time

In the early years of TRAI, the Authority had to defend itself against strictures from India’s Comptroller and Auditor General that it was not maximizing revenues to the government, connectivity be damned (relevant to present day debates on spectrum prices). I had to convince Sri Lanka’s Auditor General that we should pay replacement costs to […]

Sri Lanka to become a testbed for highest-quality development indicators?

Sri Lanka has pretty good indicators, compared to many countries we work in. So if the UN is thinking of conventional indicators there’s not much to do. But if the intention is to bring in big data . . . The Visiting United Nation’s assistant secretary-general and United Nation Development Plan’s regional director Haoliang Xu, […]

Distinguished lecture on “Making the university relevant”

The Open University of Sri Lanka invited me to deliver the sixth in a series of distinguished lectures on the 10th of April 2015. Looking through the titles of the previous lectures, I saw that the common theme is the university and higher learning. Therefore, I proposed “Making the university relevant” as the topic and […]

Spectrum debate joined in India

LIRNEasia’s Senior Research Fellow Payal Malik has fired a major volley in India’s spectrum debate aimed at former Minister Kapil Sibal. There is interesting discussion on her Facebook page. A competitive spectrum auction process facilitates the assigning of licences to the most efficient producers, aiding efficient aggregation of spectrum, and ensures efficient allocation of spectrum […]

Only 2.6% of universal service funds collected in Nepal over the past 17 years has been disbursed

One does not expect a simple assignment in a course to yield a news story that is distributed by a news service, but that is what happened at the broadband course we taught 28-31 March in Nagarkot, Nepal. The assignment required the team members to, inter alia, Assess the likelihood of success of the following […]

SciDev reports on LIRNEasia’s mobile network big data research

Last year, I was in Dili, Timor Leste, listening to an event on big data that was partially sponsored by SciDev, a respected science communication organization. My recollection is that the speakers were talking about work done by others based on reports. So we were happy to have our research featured in an article in […]

Economist reports on incipient start-up wave in Myanmar

We’ve been excited for some time about the energy and enthusiasm in the start-up space in Myanmar for some time. But it is still great to see the country and its young people gain the attention of the Economist. Still, a few firms have begun to blossom since its ruling generals began opening up the […]

What’s sauce for the goose . . . Americans balking at legal provisions they promote throughout the world

Much of our work on infrastructure policy and regulation deals with safeguards for investment. Uncertainty around investments is reduced when international arbitration is permitted. With many governments from the developed-market economies, the US government has been a strong supporter of international arbitration. But when it looks like these safeguards apply to their own country, they […]

Nepal is only South Asian country where Facebook users outnumber Internet users

Nepal Facebook v Internet

In a previous post I wrote about there being more Facebook users than Internet users in South East Asia. I also said that this was not the case in South Asia. But I was wrong. I had relied on data from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It was only recently that I looked at […]

Broadband policy and regulation in Nepal

A four-day course on broadband policy and regulation for Nepali participants commences in Nagarkot on the 28th of March. The course is the fourth in the series supported by Ford Foundation, and the first to be held outside India. It is co-organized with the Internet Society Nepal. The course seeks to enable members of Nepalese […]

Sri Lanka’s IT and ITES exports have more than doubled over the past five years

Not bad for a young industry. But I do hope the results of the survey will be disclosed quickly and with breakdowns of export and domestic earnings and employment. Last time it had to be extracted in dribs and drabs. “Sri Lanka has launched an ICT value survey to find the national hi-tech exports it […]

Who will benefit the most from the sharing economy?

It’s good that work has started on mapping out who will benefit by renting out excess capacity on assets controlled by consumers and small businesses. We have been kicking around these ideas within LIRNEasia for a while. Hopefully will get started on a project to understand how these things play out in the “real world,” […]

Incumbent advantage in Myanmar: MPT not doing badly

There is a certain arrogance in coverage of developing countries by Western reporters. They assumed that Ooredoo, managed by Westerners, and Telenor in particular would simply walk over MPT. That was the case in places like Bangladesh where the government did not act to reform the incumbent. But MPT is managed by KDD. They also […]

Key issues in India-Sri Lanka relations

India used to be the center of gravity of everything we did at LIRNEasia. In terms of expenditure and effort, perhaps the center is shifting. But intellectually, the challenge of managing the asymmetrical relationship between Sri Lanka and India continues to engage. I was asked to write something for the visit of Prime Minister Modi. […]

What we have learned about ICT and agriculture over eight years, summarized to three minutes

To get the “talk show” at the FAO-ITU workshop on e agriculture rolling we were asked to give a three-minute summary of what we had learned. This was a good opportunity to distill eight years of learning. At LIRNEasia we have looked at the role ICTs can play in agriculture both at the micro and […]

Search

Research Mailing List

Enter your email for research updates:

Login

Flickr Photos