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Rohan Samarajiva

Thailand is only SE Asia winner in IDI stakes

We deal with a a subset of ASEAN countries, the most prosperous among them being Thailand. So I looked at the performance of the not-so-rich ASEAN in the ICT Development Index. Thailand has advanced from 91st place in 2012 to 81st in 2013. Very significant. Then comes Viet Nam (101; down two places from 2012), […]

South Asia fails to make progress in ITU’s ICT Development Index

The 2014 Measuring the Information Society report is out. No surprises at the top: Denmark is now at 1 and Korea is now 2; just changed places from 2012 ranking. Significant movement from the Gulf countries: UAE goes from 46 to 23 and Qatar from 42 to 34. UAE is almost too difficult to believe. […]

Renewables as cheap as conventional electricity: Time to rethink energy policy?

We’ve been thinking some big changes were coming to energy, mostly because of application of ICTs and concern about excessive centralization. But could this accelerate everything? According to a study by the investment banking firm Lazard, the cost of utility-scale solar energy is as low as 5.6 cents a kilowatt-hour, and wind is as low […]

9.7 Billion USD budget for Indian broadband + e services initiatives

I’ve seen larger numbers being thrown around but this seems to be the component that the Indian Department of Telecom will control through its BBNL special purpose vehicle. The Rs 20,100 crore national broadband network will serve as a countrywide optic-fibre pipe to provide high-speed internet connectivity across rural India while the Rs 30,000-crore-plus wifi-based […]

Benefits and costs of mobiles in Myanmar

For many, the only thing new about what journalists write about mobiles in Myanmar would be Myanmar. But I was thinking about the hate speech angle, which is, without question, going to be extremely significant in that country. Mobiles and social media are not the causes of hate speech; they are the enablers and accelerators […]

Senior Research Fellow Illavarasan on mobiles and empowerment of women entrepreneurs

Vignesh Illavarasan is featured as ICT Champion by the IDRC Asia Office: P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi has identified situations in which mobile phones lead to positive development outcomes. Since 2008, he has been involved in research on the economic and social impact of ICTs, especially mobile phones. […]

Why Asian mobile operators must pay attention to international backhaul (and UNESCAP)

The GSMA Asia team had come to Colombo for their annual staff retreat. Amid all the team building activities, they also thought they should replenish the knowledge conduits and asked LIRNEasia to put together a few sessions. Many ideas were presented, but I thought it surprising that a collective organization of users of international backhaul […]

IDRC Asia Office newsletter features Myanmar book launch

The launch of the Myanmar version of Information lives of the poor, a book featuring LIRNEasia research among others, is featured in the latest issue of the IDRC Asia Office newsletter. The Burmese edition of Information Lives of the Poor: Fighting Poverty With Technology was launched in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, Burma, in July […]

African opinion leader bases a column on LIRNEasia’s systematic review on mobile impacts

Dr Bitange Ndomo is perhaps one of the most prominent voices on African ICT policy. Suffice to say he has 102,000 Twitter followers. In his latest column, read by many more than who get the hardcopy version in Nairobi, he says thus: For example, a systematic review conducted by Rohan Samarajiva, Christoph Stork, and Nilusha […]

Public cloud is growing fast

But the ability of small businesses in the developing world to use this resource rests on what can be done to ensure reliable, affordable connectivity, something they still do not have. Just a few years ago, public clouds like Amazon’s were considered experimental turf for tech start-ups. Today, companies like Johnson & Johnson, Intuit and […]

LIRNEasia’s systematic review on impact of mobiles carried in Pakistan press

There were some implicit references in a recent article in the Bangladesh Daily Star, but this is the first coverage based entirely on the systematic review. Mobile coverage in rural areas makes markets more efficient by matching demand and supply across a larger geographical space, resulting in benefits to consumers as well as producers, says […]

Talking e gov with the government of Sri Lanka

I’ve never had a conversation with a government before. But today they had assembled (almost) all the secretaries, all heads of government organizations including the heads of the armed forces and the police into one location. The government was launching its On(egov)ernment strategy, that has a whole of government approach that requires collaboration among government […]

Citizen-centric smart cities

I am not sure surveying current smartphone users, especially in countries where smartphone penetration is still low, is the best way to gauge the demand for smart-city services, but it is a useful input. Here are some key findings from an Ericsson study that is available on the web. The report – which surveyed over […]

Is it an e commerce company, or is it a conglomerate using transaction data from e commerce?

At one time, transaction-generated data (TGD) was the by product. E commerce or retailing services provided over the web was the main product. But if analysis of the TGD is used to give the company leverage in other sectors, resulting in acquisitions or entry .. . What is dog and what is tail? According to […]

In the end, it’s all about mindset

LIRNEasia’s image is tied up with ICTs, thought from the beginning we wanted to be an infrastructure shop. Ports are infrastructure, and for the city I live in, perhaps the most vital infrastructure. So this piece fits. But the fit is even more from the mindset side. Everything we do as a think tank is […]

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