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Category Archives: General

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ITU: From regulation to . . . ?

So I have been invited to participate in the panel moderated by Tim Unwin that is described below. I did not use the session title, “balancing participation and facilitation” because that does not seem to correctly reflect the language in the descriptive paragraph below. We have now fully emerged from an environment where service and […]

Broadband quality in PK: Download speeds are not the only problem

A recent article on the Tribune compares Pakistan’s “poor performance” to global averages in download speeds for broadband. The piece is based on Ookla’s most recent Net Index (which is calculated on a rolling 30-day average). While some arguments are legit, the author fails to realise a few things: 1. Speed it not the only metric that affects quality. Depending […]

Limits of mobile telephony

Nothing better illustrates what we have always said about ICT’s role in development than this tragic story from Sierra Leone: But none of it was reaching Isatu Sesay, a sick teenager. She flipped on her left side, then her right, writhing on a foam mattress, moaning, grimacing, mumbling and squinching her eyes in agony as […]

Affordability of ICT in South Asia improves according to ITU’s Price Basket methodology

Related to the previous post on ICT Development Index,  the 2014 Measuring the Information Society report also has a section on the ICT Price Basket (IPB) which is a composite basket that includes three sub-baskets: fixed-telephone, mobile cellular and fixed- broadband. This is used to measure the affordability of ICT in a country by dividing […]

RIA research on two-sided markets published in Telecom Policy

Christoph Stork and Alison Gillwald have been engaged with the real-world problem of high mobile termination rates in Southern Africa for several years. Perhaps the earliest intervention was with the Namibian Communication Commission in 2009. Then there were repeated engagements in South Africa. We know, from our experience, that policy engagement does not leave a […]

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. […]

Jan Chipchase on Myanmar: Connectivity is not binary. The network is never neutral.

A short piece by Jan Chipchase on how mobile use is playing out in Myanmar. He highlights some interesting observations about mobile use in Myanmar, as well as the realities of conducting research in the outer parts of the country. Here he highlights the cost of power as a mediating factor in mobile use. In Bogale 2,500 Kyats […]

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. […]

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 […]

How can mobile network big data aid in the fight against Ebola and other infectious diseases

The recent Ebola crises in West Africa, has brought attention to the potential of leveraging mobile network big data in combating the spread of infectious diseases. Whilst it is Ebola that has everyone’s attention right now, the application of such methods is equally relevant to malaria and dengue, both diseases that have and continue to […]

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 […]

Google: From a mobile-first world to a mobile-only world

There is no guarantee that companies always bet right, but I’d place weight on their wagers more than on those of armchair theorists who are still arguing for FTTH as the only solution. Ask Google why they want a big, Nexus 6 size phone, and the answer is ready: “We are moving from mobile first […]

Telenor Brings Zero-Rated Wikipedia and Facebook Access to Myanmar

Telenor has made a move to offer zero-rated services to its customers in Myanmar through Wikipedia Zero and Facebook Zero. This  will enable Telenor’s mobile users  to get access to lighter versions of Wikipedia and Facebook without running down  their prepaid credit balances.  We have seen this issue  (the running down of prepaid balances ) being a barrier […]

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