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

Author Archives: Rohan Samarajiva

Exporting services from a country with no decent broadband

We have this interest in cellar dwellers. Cuba has been in the bottom 10 of mobile and Internet for long. But entrepreneurs are still exporting services from that country. The NYT story does not spell out how they receive payments. There must be a workaround for that too. Many who work at the University of […]

LIRNEasia at Sri Lanka Internet at 20 celebration

I was sending email to Sri Lanka from around 1991 through LAcNET, but many do not consider that real Internet because it was store-and-forward by Sanjiva Weerawarana at Purdue using MCI Friends and Family calling plans that we all contributed to. So after they officially launched in April 1995 and then finally got SLT to […]

LIRNEasia at Data-Pop Alliance convened research meeting

LIRNEasia was among team of researchers under the umbrella of Data-­Pop Alliance was contracted to produce a synthesis report as part of a DfID project on Big Data for climate change and disaster resilience in developing countries, meant to feed into the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. In this context I participated in a discussion workshop […]

Myanmar Deputy Minister at LIRNEasia organized panel at CommunicAsia 2015

LIRNEasia organized and moderated two panels at CommunicAsia 2015 in Singapore earlier this week. Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan will write about the session that he moderated. I was about to write about mine, when Don Sambandaraksa, one of Asia’s best telecom journalists, did this piece for Telecompaper: Myanmar currently has three mobile operators, […]

2G has a longer life than 3G?

I was at a CommunicAsia session on 5G thinking about the meaning of generations of mobile technologies. I had just read this piece, and was thinking how interesting it is that Telenor is planning to shut down 3G before 2G. Confirms the centrality of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication in everyone’s thinking about the future of wireless. […]

Hype and fear as integral components of policy debate

I was recently asked to justify my claim that the big data debate should not be reduced to a “competition of imaginations” between hype and pessimism. The future is unknowable, so we have little alternative but to use our imaginations to discuss the future. We can extrapolate from what is known which is better than […]

Our piece on big data for urban planning is out!

Multiple authors; truly multi-disciplinary; published in the center of gravity of our work. I am excited, even though it is still behind a paywall at the Economic and Political Weekly: There is a middle path that positions the citizens who are the ultimate beneficiaries of urban development as the primary sensors. Instead of seeing the […]

Challenges of implementing universal service through direct subsidies

The United States has been at the bleeding edge of universal service policy ever since the term was misinterpreted from the early competitive era. It is therefore worth paying attention to the current FCC efforts. We will soon have US Aid and others promoting these ideas in our parts. More than 12 million households now […]

LIRNEasia at Open Data Conference

I’m scheduled to talk about how data that is in the hands of private entities at the Open Data Conference in Ottawa May 28-29. While this next generation of “open data” is slowly emerging, key questions and persistent obstacles need to be considered. What sort of incentives lead businesses and nonprofits to decide to share […]

Taking big data research to policy: ICTD 2015 session

Audience at big data session on last day of ICTD

Companies are increasingly relying on business analytics to extract value from the large volumes of computer-readable and analyzable (or “datafied”) data in their possession. Big data for development (BD4D) seeks to apply these techniques to big data held by both government and private entities to answer development-related questions. Given low levels of “datafication” of transactions […]

On the ITU’s slide into irrelevance

Yoshio Utsumi should know what he speaks of. He was elected as Secretary General in 1998. I remember casting the vote on behalf of Sri Lanka in Minneapolis. He served two terms and was succeeded by Hamadoun Toure, who was elected as Director of ITU-D also in 1998. Utsumi served two terms and stepped down […]

Value of making datasets open

I was listening to a presentation on Work-related Use and Positive Livelihood Outcomes among Mobile Phone Users in Asia by Komathi Ale*, Uni. of Southern California, at ICTD 2015 in Singapore. I was pleased to see some of our publications being cited, but that was just the beginning. After the literature review, the author announced […]

Lessons from Songdo for post-earthquake Nepal?

I had to read this op-ed that ran in a Nepal newspaper several times. The author, a former advisor to the former President of South Korea, believes that an application that picks up on fluctuations in Internet traffic to give people advance warning of 30 seconds to two minutes has relevance to post-quake Nepal. I […]

Lawful intercept challenges in Myanmar

Telenor Myanmar has reported how many lawful intercept requests ity received in the first six months of operation: On the institutional side, the government still lacks the skills, process and willingness to make decisions, Furberg said, which can lead to delays. “Corruption is still very high on our agenda,” he said, admitting that Telenor Myanmar […]

What can big data contribute to development?

Audience at Data for Development session at ICTD 2015

Hernan Galperin from DIRSI had organized a session entitled Data for development: the good, the bad and the ugly. Martin Hilbert was originally featured as the star speaker who would tell the audience about the wonders of big data. Well, he did not turn. So it was left to LIRNEasia, where we actually get our […]

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