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Category Archives: General

Pakistan finally joins South Asia’s 3G club

PTA chairman Syed Ismail Shah was carefully optimistic about 3G and 4G spectrum auction in Mobile World Congress at Barcelona during February. Unlike the country’s political leaders, Mr. Shah lacks the luxury of being romantic about the financial windfall from this auction. The government has aspired for US$1.2 billion. Finally the exchequer could bag $1.1 […]

The rise and rise of Facebook in Asia

Asia accounted for 31% monthly active Facebook users (390 million) in Asia until Q1 of 2014. When Facebook issues its Q2 figures, Asia is expected to be the bigger than the ‘rest of the world’ segment. The social media behemoth also has 21% daily active users (216 million) in Asia. The ‘Asia’ chunk of the […]

Attention economy: Dispatches from the battle for the small screen

The shift from the economy of things to the attention economy is now almost complete. The buying and selling of things will continue, but will be subservient to the production of attention on an industrial scale and its buying and selling. The data economy is fast catching up as another key element of the picture. […]

To be or not to be: Amending BD telecom law

Born in 2001 with limited regulatory independence, the amended telecom law had further clipped the wings of BTRC in 2010. The regulator has always been the ministry’s obedient servant. Therefore, the hijacking of BTRC’s minimal jurisdictions made no difference with the minister’s authority. It, however, gives babus the pleasure of issuing licenses, approving tariffs and […]

NRI: Bhutan arrives with a bang. Pakistan, Bangladesh slide back. Nepal advances

I was looking for overall indicators for the Bhutan ICT sector a few years back. The only index that included Bhutan then was the ICT Development Index, published by the ITU. So I am happy that WEF has included Bhutan in the NRI for the first time. And they have placed at 94, ahead of […]

Network Readiness Index 2014: Sri Lanka falls back; but India falls back further

As long as I can remember, India has been ahead of Sri Lanka in the WEF Network Readiness Index. But no more. Sri Lanka is now ranked 76th while India is ranked 83rd. The bad part of the story is that both countries have dropped in the rankings: Sri Lanka from 69th place to 76th, […]

Is greater electricity consumption a sign of a development?

The latest data compilation from the World bank is out. I found particularly interesting Table 5.11 which reports electricity and ICT indicators. Despite all the talk of the power of the Internet, only fixed and mobile voice indicators are reported. I guess that is better than reporting bad data on Internet users. But what got […]

Thinking about big data

The recent kerfuffle about Google flu trends showed all kinds of critics of big data come out of the woodwork. This is normal for anything new. I am sure there was an outpouring to hostility to the motor car when the first accident occurred. What I found useful was the cooling of the hype associated […]

Modular mobile phones that can be upgraded in parts

Google is working on a modular mobile phone that will eliminate the need to buy a new phone every few years. If it works, it will save money and reduce the industry’s contribution to the waste stream. Project Ara is Google’s attempt to reinvent the cellphone as we know it. Instead of a slab of […]

Smarter phones to dodge the thieves

Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Samsung have joined AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, US Cellular and Verizon Wireless to protect the consumers from phone theft. The technology companies have committed to providing a “baseline anti-theft tool” at no cost to consumers that is preloaded on devices or downloadable. The tools will enable the […]

What are the costs to Pakistan of not having wireless data networks?

One of the most interesting things that happened within government in Sri Lanka with regard to electricity policy was that they started asking a different question. Instead of asking only the question”how much does the proposed electricity generating option cost” they started asking the question “what are the costs to the economy of load shedding.” […]

Mobile money is Facebook’s new status (Like it or not)

Facebook is seeking regulatory nod for mobile money service, initially in Ireland. The license would be valid throughout the European Union. The social media behemoth is working on an international remittance service via mobile devices as part of its strategy to crack emerging markets. The money transfer project, led by Sean Ryan, Facebook’s vice-president of […]

Google’s potentially disruptive drones

Last week in Vanuatu, a whole bunch of satellite providers and one builder of undersea cables were asked by Dean Bubley of Disruptive Innovations whether they had any thoughts on the potential disruptions posed by the various tech solutions to Internet connectivity being bruited about. They were not worried in one voice. Perhaps the news […]

Internet subscribers and users: What is the difference and why does it matter?

The 2013 Central Bank of Sri Lanka report is being sourced for the claim that one in ten Sri Lankans is on the Internet. But this number comes from adding apples and oranges: most individually used mobile broadband connections and mostly collectively used fixed connections. Now with 4G and 3G dongles around in large numbers, […]

Demand side management beginning to catch in Sri Lanka

About a year back, we predicted that the new electricity tariff will shock people into changing behavior: “the currently proposed tariff structure will create “bill shock” among consumers, and nudge a certain percentage of consumers to voluntarily reduce demand. But this will be insufficient.” The evidence is in. It has happened. The 2013 Sri Lanka […]

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