Tahani Iqbal


LIRNEasia , in association with the School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunication (BUPT) , is organizing the third CPRsouth conference, in Beijing, China from December 5-7, 2008. The conference aims to provide a forum for senior, junior and mid-career scholars to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas, establish networking opportunities and improve the quality of their scholarly work, in order to facilitate the long-term objective of fostering the next generation of active scholars and in-situ experts capable of contributing to ICT policy and regulatory reform in the region. To see how you may participate in this event and join an emerging community of scholars committed to improving the lives of people in Asia through information and communication technology, visit the CPRsouth 3 conference page . Please note that the deadline for Young Scholar Applications has been extended to Friday, June 6, 2008.
According to LIRNEasia’s latest comparative study of price and affordability indicators in eight South Asian countries, Bangladesh emerges as having the lowest average monthly cost of using a mobile at all levels of use (low, medium and high) for different tariff plans (prepaid and postpaid). Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka follow closely, while Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan are seen to have significantly higher average monthly mobile costs. The study compares mobile tariffs in South Asia using price baskets, derived from those used by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The baskets are calculated for low, medium and high users for pre- as well as postpaid tariff plans, factoring in usage charges (voice and SMS), line rental, connection charges (depreciated over a three year period), and applicable taxes. For more information on results and methodology, please click HERE.
‘Getting a Dial Tone: Telecommunications Liberalisation in Malaysia and the Philippines’ by Lorraine Carlos Salazar, Senior Researcher at LIRNEasia and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), was published by ISEAS this week.The book analyses the telecommunications reform process in Malaysia and the Philippines where far-reaching reforms have taken place.By looking at the institutions and actors that drove these changes, this book examines state capacity, market reform, and rent-seeking in the two countries. In doing so, the study challenges conventional depictions of the Malaysian and Philippine states. It contends that despite the weakness of the Philippine state, reform occurred through a coalition that out-manoeuvred vested interests.
BBC News | Mobile phone use backed on planes Passengers could soon be using their mobile phones on planes flying through European airspace. Plans have been developed across EU countries to introduce technology which permits mobile calls without risk of interference with aircraft systems. Regulators around Europe are calling for consultation on the potential introduction of the technology. If given the go ahead, the service would allow calls to be made when a plane is more than 3,000 metres high. Individual airlines would need to decide if they wanted to introduce the technology, if the green light is given by national regulators.

SMS use declining in India?

Posted by on October 8, 2007  /  11 Comments

TRAI: SMSs losing their flavour | The Economic Times NEW DELHI: Are text messages slowly losing their flavor with India’s growing cellular base? Even as operators say it’s too early to take a call and make such a ‘sweeping statement’, the figures, however, suggest so. Data compiled by telecom regulator TRAI reveal that SMS use has steadily fallen from September 2006. Consider this: GSM operators have witnessed close to 9% drop in the outgoing SMSs during the April – June quarter, as per the latest performance indicator report by TRAI. This implies, an average GSM user now sends about 35 SMSs per month as compared to 39 during the previous quarter.
The implications of mobile number portability (MNP) were discussed at a Workshop on Implementing Mobile Number Portability, held in August 2007 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The forum, comprising participants from the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, provided insight into the technical, regulatory and operational aspects impacted by the porting process, with a focus on the Pakistani MNP experience. The reasons cited in favor of MNP were classified into advantages to subscribers and regulators. The former were benefited by an increase in choice (of packages) and the eliminated costs of having to inform third parties of a number change, while the latter saw MNP as an approach to attract new investment and generate healthy competition. Operators on the other hand, were split in their views; new entrants and operators with smaller market share were of the view that it would create fair play in the industry, but larger operators with significant market power were, unsurprisingly, against the implementation of MNP.
New York Times TOKYO — The United States may be the world’s largest economy, but when it comes to Internet connections at home, many Americans still live in the slow lane. By contrast, Japan is a broadband paradise with the fastest and cheapest Internet connections in the world. Nearly eight million Japanese have a fiber optic line at home that is as much as 30 times speedier than a typical DSL line. But while that speed is a boon for Japanese users, industry analysts and some companies question whether the push to install fiber is worth the effort, given the high cost of installation, affordable alternatives and lack of services that take advantage of the fast connections. Powered by ScribeFire.
Asia Times Online Most Internet accounts in Myanmar are designed to provide access only to the limited Myanmar intranet, and the authorities block access to popular e-mail services such as Gmail and Hotmail. According to the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), a joint research project on Internet censorship issues headed by Harvard University, Myanmar’s Internet-censorship regime as of 2005 was among the “most extensive” in the world. The research noted that the Myanmar government “maintains the capability to conduct surveillance of communication methods such as e-mail, and to block users from viewing websites of political opposition groups and organizations working for democratic change in Burma”. An ONI-conducted survey of websites containing material known to be sensitive to the regime found in 2005 that 84% of the pages they tested were blocked. The regime also maintained an 85% filtration rate of well-known e-mail service providers, in line with, as ONI put it, the government’s “well-documented efforts to monitor communication by its citizens and to control political dissent and opposition movements”.

Mobile system promises free calls

Posted by on September 12, 2007  /  0 Comments

BBC News| Technology Swedish company TerraNet has developed the idea using peer-to-peer technology that enables users to speak on its handsets without the need for a mobile phone base station. The technology is designed for remote areas of the countryside or desert where base stations are unfeasible. … The TerraNet technology works using handsets adapted to work as peers that can route data or calls for other phones in the network. The handsets also serve as nodes between other handsets, extending the reach of the entire system. Each handset has an effective range of about one kilometre.
BBC News | Technology As part of a UN programme to tackle poverty in rural Africa, 79 villages across 10 African countries will be hooked up to cellular networks. It is hoped that the connections will help improve healthcare and education, as well as boosting the local economy. A 2005 study showed that an increase of 10 mobile phones per 100 people could increase GDP growth by 0.6%. “This is a technology that is remarkably empowering, especially for remote areas where the ability to communicate is vital,” Dr Jeffery Sachs, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, told the BBC News website.
Lanka Business Online “By this initiative, we hope to give last mile access to people living in remote parts of the island,” USAID Acting Mission Director for Sri Lanka, Richard Edwards told reporters. “The kiosk will be powered through broadband technology, giving people high speed internet access to expand their knowledge, their education, or to look up new markets or technologies to produce goods and services.” The project brings together Sri Lanka’s biggest mobile phone operator Dialog Telekom, equipment vendor Qualcomm, software giant Microsoft, the National Development Bank and Lanka Orix Leasing Company, who have each chipped in by way of cash or kind. Within the next two months, the project hopes to open Easy Seva centres in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Rikillagaskoda, Weeraketiya, Nuwara Eliya, Tissamaharama, Nawalapitiya, Kekirawa, Devinuwara, Mawanella, Mahiyanganaya, Kegalle and Balangoda. “The locations, are quite remote but we believe people living in these areas are willing to pay for services, though their earning capacity is considered the bottom end of the pyramid,” Dialog’s General Manager Sales and Marketing, Nushad Perera said.
Fibre-to-the-home that will provide broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps made possible in France. Read full story What has sparked investment in broadband is France is the low take-up of digital television, which makes it more attractive to offer TV over the internet. Many broadband providers now throw in a set-top box with a package which gives customers television, telephone and internet down a fast broadband line for around 30 Euros (about £20) a month. But something even faster is on its way. Beneath the streets of Paris two companies, France Telecom’s Orange and Free, are laying down fibre-optic cables to bring speeds of up to 100Mbps to homes in parts of the city.
How the technical, political and business realities in Africa hinder technological development and connectivity there. Africa, Offline: Waiting for the Web Attempts to bring affordable high-speed Internet service to the masses have made little headway on the continent. Less than 4 percent of Africa’s population is connected to the Web; most subscribers are in North African countries and the republic of South Africa. A lack of infrastructure is the biggest problem. In many countries, communications networks were destroyed during years of civil conflict, and continuing political instability deters governments or companies from investing in new systems.
Intel and $100 laptop join forces Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child, said: “Intel joins the OLPC board as a world leader in technology, helping reach the world’s children. Collaboration with Intel means that the maximum number of laptops will reach children.” Intel inside The new agreement means that Intel will sit alongside the 11 companies, including Google and Red Hat, which are partners in the OLPC scheme. It will also join rival chip-maker AMD, which supplies the processor at the heart of the $100 laptop. Powered by ScribeFire.
Please continue discussion from Software Issues in Sri Lanka Part 7, on this thread. This thread is devoted to diverse software issues discussed in the context of Sri Lanka. Please stick to the topic and keep the discussion civil. Previous discussion is archived in the following threads: Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part6 Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 5 Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 4 Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 3 Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 2 Questioning ICT Myths