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Category Archives: General

Nepal is only South Asian country where Facebook users outnumber Internet users

Nepal Facebook v Internet

In a previous post I wrote about there being more Facebook users than Internet users in South East Asia. I also said that this was not the case in South Asia. But I was wrong. I had relied on data from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It was only recently that I looked at […]

A4AI Begins Collaborative Work in the Asia Pacific Region

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) held their very first stakeholder forum in Asia today, in Yangon, Myanmar. The forum was richly attended by Government, Civil Society, Mobile Service Providers, Media and Researchers. LIRNEasia was also invited to attend, as an important player in Myanmar’s ICT area. The forum was graced briefly by the Hon. […]

Myanmar; no longer left behind

Buddhist nuns and their phones

Myanmar is called the last greenfield of telecommunications. There is a great deal of interest in the country, which has one of the lowest rates of mobile phone penetrations in the world. Yet with two private mobile phone giants entering the market in 2014, the commodity has become as commonplace here as it is anywhere […]

The latest affordability report launched

LIRNEasia has been invited in the past to comment on and make suggestions on how to enhance the Alliance for Affordable Internet’s (A4AI) Affordability Index. Our latest contributions were made in preparation to the recent launch of the report that took place at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress. Affordability is essentially an objective measure of […]

Sri Lanka’s IT and ITES exports have more than doubled over the past five years

Not bad for a young industry. But I do hope the results of the survey will be disclosed quickly and with breakdowns of export and domestic earnings and employment. Last time it had to be extracted in dribs and drabs. “Sri Lanka has launched an ICT value survey to find the national hi-tech exports it […]

Who will benefit the most from the sharing economy?

It’s good that work has started on mapping out who will benefit by renting out excess capacity on assets controlled by consumers and small businesses. We have been kicking around these ideas within LIRNEasia for a while. Hopefully will get started on a project to understand how these things play out in the “real world,” […]

Key issues in India-Sri Lanka relations

India used to be the center of gravity of everything we did at LIRNEasia. In terms of expenditure and effort, perhaps the center is shifting. But intellectually, the challenge of managing the asymmetrical relationship between Sri Lanka and India continues to engage. I was asked to write something for the visit of Prime Minister Modi. […]

Effects of punitive taxes on Sri Lanka mobile industry quantified

A Ratings Agency has put specific numbers behind the entity-based and mobiles-sector specific taxes in 2015 interim budget. Should the proposals go ahead, 2015 FFO-adjusted net leverage for Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT, BB-/Stable) and Dialog Axiata (Dialog, AAA(lka)/Stable) is likely to deteriorate to 1.8x and 2.5x, respectively (2014: 1.2x and 1.3x), while the operating EBITDAR […]

Sri Lanka’s mobile money colloboration recognized at MWC 2015

EZcash is unusual in that it was developed by one company, but three out of five mobile operators use it. This may be unique. Why can we not see more of these kinds of collaborations? Report and link.

Morning after: Thinking through Sri Lanka President’s free WiFi promise

Haven’t had time to analyze this election promise, so was very happy to see a CPRsouth alumnus take an excellent run at it. Usually, these free Wi-Fi services have lower speeds compared to the average home connection, and often come with a data or a time cap. Perth, for example, offers free public Wi-Fi in […]

FCC not requiring prior approval for zero rating

The situations in the US and our countries are very different: we have more competition at the access-network level, we have more people who are not connected and our retail pricing schemes are more rational. But it’s illuminating that the FCC is not as excited about zero rating as some other people: Under the FCC’s […]

Internet.org in India causes a flurry of discussion on net neutrality

Internet.org, Facebook’s effort to give people free Internet (or at least 38 websites and services that do not include Google) was launched earlier this month. This has resulted in a quantum leap in discussions of various aspects of net neutrality, including ones that connect the debate in the rich countries to our reality that is […]

Showering weather data through mobile phone in LKA

A “New Mobile Weather Stations”, notably made from local parts, fast delivers the rainfall forecast to the Sri Lankan farmers through text messages. It alerts them six hours ahead of excessive rain. That’s good enough for the farmers to take precaution. This device costs only $250 as opposed to $10,000 for standard mobile weather stations. […]

LIRNEasia agri-markets research reflected in policy discourse

One of the most important ways by which research influences policy is for the researcher to become a policy maker. In 2006-07 Harsha de Silva was leading LIRNEasia’s ag info research. As Deputy Minister for Planning and Economic Affairs, this is what he’s telling audiences now: Farmers are not poor because they don’t get the […]

LIRNEasia’s continued impact on PH Internet

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NTC conducted a second public hearing on its proposed memorandum circular on broadband QoS. LIRNEasia Research Fellow, Grace Mirandilla-Santos reiterated LIRNEasia’s recommendations that diagnostics should take into consideration consumer experience, must be transparent and results published in a format that consumers can understand and use, should help inform consumers’ decisions when availing of services (e.g., publishing […]

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