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Why does the government have to do everything?

e-sri-lanka

I am sitting here at a World Bank consultation on setting priorities for Bank lending in 2017-22. I was shocked by some of the comments, an example being: why isn’t there government-provided training for BPM? It seems that people are still stuck in government-centric thinking. What is the track record of government in providing training […]

INET Kathmandu, Emphasis on Social Media and less on ICT Resilience

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There was a popular emphasis on social media at INET Kathmandu. An entire session and an entire panel discussion was on the topic with various speakers telling their story. However, everyone realized the need for a robust internet for such platforms to work. While SMS was most effective during Nepal’s Earthquake response, data and voice […]

Access other than by phones to Facebook is negligible in Cambodia

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Mobile network operators know how many smartphones are active on their networks. But this information is not made public. One has to wait for the infrequent sample survey to find out, like below. According to a 2015 report by the Asia Foundation, an astounding 80 per cent of Cambodians access Facebook exclusively through phones, with […]

Consolidation in the air, also in Afghanistan

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It is not only in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that there are moves to consolidate mobile markets. Afghanistan has joined the conversation. But the reasons are different and saddening. It seems that high-value customers are leaving the country. And the part about people not being able to charge their smartphones because the Taliban blew […]

Helping Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka grapple with services trade

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Ignorance of the basic issues of services trade has created a fertile breeding ground for paranoids, xenophobes and protectionists. Some organizations, sadly, appear to foster ignorance, possibly because they want to foster paranoia. Others want to learn. In the latter category is the Chamber of Construction Industry. Here are the slides I plan to use […]

Network shutdowns in the news again

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This time it’s on account of elections in Congo. For an overview of the phenomenon, see CDT’s map and timeline. We first wrote about this problem in 2006. Then it was worked up into Gyanendra’s Law and its various exceptions. Image source

Prescribing cures for ailing BSNL: Too late?

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BSNL is on life support courtesy of the Indian taxpayer, whatever fictitious paper profits it conjures up. The authors of a recent op ed in Hindu Businessline see through the fiction. The government firms had their own share of sops such as (i) year-ahead early start in the assignment of both 3G and Broadband Wireless […]

Economic impacts of planned and unplanned outages

In our teaching-focused comparative work on electricity, we found there was a fundamental difference in the way the problem of costs was approached in Sri Lanka and on the sub-continent. In Sri Lanka, the focus was on the costs of NOT having power. In India, the focus was still on the costs of inputs, per […]

How to identify the actual contributors to sector performance

We generally know how to measure performance in the telecom sector: increased connectivity in voice and data; lower prices; improved quality of service experience; and greater choice. Similar in electricity. In each of these cases we can also identify the factors that led to improvements in performance. Recently I was thinking about the healthcare sector. […]

Discussing consumer rights in the midst of an uproar over a nationwide blackout

I had been invited to moderate a panel discussion on consumer rights in electricity, in the context of a recently issued charter of consumer rights and obligations. This was set to be a ho-hum affair, until the country experienced its third nationwide blackout within the last six months. This resulted in the shutdown of the […]

Progress on SEA-ME-WE 5

Appears to have been landed at both ends, la Seyne-sur-Mer, in France and Tuas in Singapore. The contracts were let to different parties, Alcatel Lucent and NEC, for the France-Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka-Singapore segments respectively. It is not evident from the web that the landings have been made in Sri Lanka yet. SingTel has […]

How people actually use social media

We at LIRNEasia have been more interested in the outcomes of new forms of communication, especially by those hitherto excluded, than on the modalities of communication. But that does not mean we’re uninterested. Why we post looks informative. TO SOME, Facebook, Twitter and similar social-media platforms are the acme of communication—better, even, than face-to-face conversations, […]

Consumer acceptance of more- than- voice (mtv) services: evidence from the bottom of pyramid in Bangladesh

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This paper, authored by Muhammad Muazzem Hossain (MacEwan University, Canada) and Md. Raihan Jamil (University of Alberta, Canada) is based on an analysis of the Bangladesh data from the Teleuse@BOP4 survey conducted by LIRNEasia in 2011. Using this data, Hossain and Jamil explore factors affecting intention to use ‘more than voice’ or ‘MTV’ services among BOP […]

Lack of data on services trade may be skewing discussions

Everyone who stops to think knows that trade in services is under-counted. Services do not go through customs points in ports and airports and do not have measurement systems honed over centuries. But like the drunk who was looking for his keys not where he dropped them, but where there was light, we all have […]

Will newspapers go the way of the post office?

I’ve been invited to participate in a panel discussion to commemorate the 130th birth anniversary of a giant of Sri Lanka media, D.R. Wijewardene on the 26th of February at 4 PM at the Kadiragamar Institute, Horton Place, Colombo 7. I thought I would talk about an industry that missed the bus and is rapidly […]

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