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Author Archives: Rohan Samarajiva

Will Myanmar leapfrog over voice services to Internet use?

At the end of its First Quarter of operations, Telenor Myanmar reported 3.4 million subscribers. That’s a hefty number, given Ooredoo had a head start and MPT also got energized during that time. But the real story is that 40 percent of that number (1.36 million) were daily active data users. This is huge. I’d […]

Internet.org in India causes a flurry of discussion on net neutrality

Internet.org, Facebook’s effort to give people free Internet (or at least 38 websites and services that do not include Google) was launched earlier this month. This has resulted in a quantum leap in discussions of various aspects of net neutrality, including ones that connect the debate in the rich countries to our reality that is […]

LIRNEasia agri-markets research reflected in policy discourse

One of the most important ways by which research influences policy is for the researcher to become a policy maker. In 2006-07 Harsha de Silva was leading LIRNEasia’s ag info research. As Deputy Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs, this is what he’s telling audiences now: Farmers are not poor because they don’t get the […]

And, more coverage in multiple languages for Facebook story

Here are some more stories. In Romanian, I think. And in German. Serbian, I think. In Bahasa Indonesia, where the story started. An Italian blog.

Another story on Facebook v Internet

This story has legs. Someone has riffed off the Quartz story. Report.

LIRNEasia speaking at net neutrality panel in Barcelona

Discussions on net neutrality usually generate more heat than light. Based on her star turn at IGF 2014 in Istanbul where she sought to bring data from the trenches to the soaring abstractions that characterise the debate, LIRNEasia CEO has been invited to speak at a high-profile panel in Barcelona. The panel description.

LIRNEasia research reported in Arabic

This is a first for us. Our findings on Facebook users > Internet users in some countries that was reported in Quartz has been translated into Arabic and published by Al Jazeera. It’s not like anyone at LIRNEasia reads Arabic, but we were alerted to this by the kind folk at IDRC.

Telenor Myanmar grows at million customers a month in first quarter

First results from Telenor Myanmar, from Telecom Paper. Telenor ended its first quarter in Myanmar with 3.406 million mobile customers. The new mobile operator generated NOK 287 million in revenues in Q4 2014 and an EBITDA loss of NOK 248 million. It spent NOK 598 million in Q4 and NOK 4.28 billion in all 2014 […]

Different perceptions of Sri Lanka’s mobile-only tax

Yesterday, I was the only non-politician on a political debate show on TV known as “Satana” (battle). The topic was the new President’s/government’s 100 Day Program (of which more than one-third has passed). I was not expecting to talk about the taxes imposed on the mobile industry, but right in the middle, one of the […]

Rightsizing cities and their management using big data

Colombo, the focus of our exploratory work on mobile network big data, is a tiny town by global standards: 550,000 people. But our analyses show that the surrounding area is tightly integrated contributing over 54 percent of the daytime population of the city, but contributing little or nothing to the services the commuters must be […]

What is research quality and how can we ensure it?

I was invited to a roundtable discussion on the first part of the above question today, along with the heads of several think tanks in Colombo. Having gone out of sense of citizenship, I will summarize the key points that I made so something is realized from the expenditure of two hours that could have […]

Celebrating LIRNEasia’s interns

At LIRNEasia, we do not treat interns only as cheap labor (though they are that too). They each have a mentor, a researcher who works with them and spends time with them. After all, LIRNEasia was set up by a person who loved and continues to love the learning culture of a good university but […]

Live stream of big data for urban development talk given at Sri Lanka Institution of Engineers

Just realized that we had not provided the link to the video of the talk given on January 16th. The video and slides.

LIRNEasia and RIA research on teleuse also carried in Telegraph

It’s a tribute of sorts that old findings from research we no longer do gets carried in the UK mainstream media. Millions of Facebook users in developing countries do not realise that they are using the internet, suggesting that, in many people’s minds, the two are one and the same, according to a report by […]

LIRNEasia alumnus Chanuka Wattegama appointed to ICTA Board

The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka was created in 2003 as a new kind of government organization focused on implementation. Its tag line was “Ideas actioned.” We are pleased by the announcement that Chanuka Wattegama, an alumnus of LIRNEasia with work experience also in the UNDP’s regional ICT initiative, has been appointed to the Board […]

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