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

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Rohan Samarajiva

Multiple SIM ownership declining

Multiple SIM ownership has been a topic we have given much thought to over the years. Unlike the ITU, we never thought it was a good thing in and of itself. We tried to understand why people bothered to juggle multiple SIMs. We found it had many causes, not just high interconnection charges as suggested […]

Governments tax, users respond rationally

It has become increasingly common for developing-country governments to extract rents from what they think is an easy target, international communication. After all, the people affected don’t vote in their elections, even if they are in many cases, hardworking expat workers who keep the home economies afloat. But telecom users are not stupid. They have […]

Backhaul networks in Myanmar gain additional financing

It’s not enough to build towers. The last mile has to be complemented by the middle mile and the first mile (though that seems a strained metaphor for international cables). The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency had backed the $105.74 million loan from the Bank of China (Hong Kong) to the Myanmar Fiber Optic Communication Network, […]

Online freelancing explained (in Sinhala)

We’ve been very happy we succeeded in disseminating the results of the online freelancing research in both Sinhala and Tamil. Here is an interview that was broadcast on a cable/satellite only news channel on multiple occasions, now on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZzurcU5IjA&index=98&list=PLkkCdeu97j3DUgSfk8SsOiqN6yPHwbq-K

RTI becomes law in Sri Lanka; Moving beyond to Open Government Data

Two ongoing projects at LIRNEasia seek to open up government data. The first is the inclusive information societies project. The second seeks to present electoral delimitation data to stakeholders in manipulable form to facilitate informed discussion. Human Capital Research Team Leader Sujata Gamage presents the big picture in a column in FT: Open data or […]

Emergency telecom cluster, an alternative to Tampere Convention?

I attended the Social Media and Disaster Relief Conference organized by the Indian arm of the Center for Strategic and International Studies hoping to learn something. The existence of the Emergency Telecom Cluster was one new thing I learned about. This is a specialized cluster associated with the Inter-Agency Standing Committee which seeks to coordinate […]

Is the lack of women using Facebook in India a problem?

For some, Facebook is a bad thing. That was an underlying theme of the opposition to Free Basics and zero rating. I guess having less women use a bad thing is good, so they should be happy. The fact remains that Facebook is the most popular app, the killer app that everyone was looking for. […]

Lack of clarity about access rights to AAE-1

Mytel, the fourth telecom licensee in Myanmar, states that it intends to capacity of AAE-1 through MPT. But MPT says it’s not part of the AAE-1 consortium and does not intend to use AAE-1 capacity itself. What does that mean for Mytel? Should it ask for capacity on SEA-ME-WE 5 from its competitor instead? Mytel, […]

Happy to see insurance coming into the resilience discussion

From as long ago as 2005, we at LIRNEasia have been talking about insurance as a critical element in disaster risk reduction. And we have been pushing this idea at ESCAP, among other places. But somehow, we did not see it gaining traction. But finally, it seems to be: For a farmer in Zimbabwe, adopting […]

Variations on the theme of evidence-based policy and politics

Few days back, I was on a panel discussing the past two years record of the government and what we’d like to see in the coming three years. I talked about the President’s interest in focusing everyone’s attention on the Sustainable Development Goals and the expert committee that has been appointed to advise the government […]

Inviting foreign investment to Bangladesh is good. Just do it properly

Investment is not like charity. One does not just give investment. If Tata is to invest in Bangladesh’s 2.4 percent market share Teletalk, it will have to have answers to the following questions: 1. Will it get a controlling interest in the company? Even if the government agrees to yield majority control, will it allow […]

Mytel’s formula for success in 2018

The fourth operator in the now mature Myanmar telecom market is Mytel. Sometime back I wrote about its secret sauce. In addition to confirming the use of military facilities, the company says that it will gain access to AAE-1 to ensure a good Internet experience for its customers. The Star High – MEC connection gives […]

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 […]

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