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2007: Strategies to Achieve Connectivity and Convergence

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The 11th LIRNE.NET course on “Telecom Reform: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence,” was held February 25th – March 3rd, 2007 at the Changi Village Hotel, Singapore. It was attended by 33 persons from 13 countries, ranging from Mongolia to Congo and South Africa to Bhutan.

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Among the participants were 13 persons from regulatory agencies, including three members of regulatory collegiums. Eleven persons from the management of telecom operators, and nine from research organizations, universities and civil society made up the balance. Twenty were men; and 13 women.

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The course had two components: a conventional lecture and assignment based module of five days and one and a half days of research presentations. In all, the participants had the benefit of listening to 28 speakers from research organizations, universities, regulatory agencies, operators, and international organizations (both ITU and World Bank) over an eight-day period. One speaker, Professor Bill Melody, who was unable to attend due to medical reasons, spoke on two occasions via Skype.

11th LIRNE.NET Course

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The course included a team assignment involving data and communication skills. Of the five teams, three were recognized as TelePhontastic, TelePerseverance and TeleGenic.

The keynote address at the opening session was delivered by Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO of Dialog Telekom of Sri Lanka on behalf of Telekom Malaysia International. The address at the awards banquet was made by Mr M. H. Au, Director General of Telecommunications, Hong Kong China. Ambassador K, Kesavapany, Director of the Institute of South East Asian Studies, Singapore, co-organizer of the research component, spoke at its inaugural session as did Mr Evan Due from the IDRC, the funder of the research meeting.

The course evaluations were extremely positive, with only three items receiving average scores below 4 on a five-point scale (airport transfer (3.43), hotel facilities (3.86) and hotel location (2.43)). In actual fact, the hotel was ideal for a course of this nature, though the participants were somewhat frustrated by the distance to the city center and the frequency of the hotel’s airport shuttle). Most importantly, none of the lectures and assignments got scores below 4/5, with all topics and speakers being very highly rated.

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The presentations made are available for download below:

February 26, 2007

1. Introduction to the course – Rohan Samarajiva

2. Benefits of reform and regulation – Rohan Samarajiva

3. What do users at the bottom of the pyramid want? Survey research from five Asian countries – Harsha de Silva

4. State of the art: Regulatory priorities in 2007 – Bill Melody

5. Market entry and scarce resources 1 (emphasis on licensing issues), including demo of infoDev Toolkit – Rohan Samarajiva

6. Measuring regulatory and sector performance to meet the challenges of legitimacy – Rohan Samarajiva

February 27, 2007

1. Market entry and scarce resources 2 (emphasis on spectrum issues) – Rohan Samarajiva

2. What regulators can do to facilitate universal service: Universal Service Funds and least-cost subsidy auctions – Harsha de Silva

3. Asymmetric regulation, including new approaches to price regulation – Rohan Samarajiva

4. Interconnection & inter-operator access – Rohan Samarajiva

February 28, 2007

1. Periodic recalibration of the regulatory mechanism, including meeting the challenges of convergence – Rohan Samarajiva

2. Alternative regulatory practices and alternative dispute resolution – Rohan Samarajiva

3. From service-specific to unified licensing: Problems and prospects – Rajendra Singh

4. Unbundling the local loop and regulatory measures to encourage broadband - Rajendra Singh

March 1, 2007

1. The challenges and opportunities of VoIP – Tim Kelly

2. Pricing, billing and interconnection in the Next Generation Network-Tim Kelly

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