In late 2015 I wrote that: “All the fuss has been about Digital India. But India has fallen back six places to 131, despite improving its IDI score from 2.14 to 2.69 in the ICT Development Index. Nepal, which does not have a funded and actively promoted digital strategy, has advanced four places to 136th place.
I was working on some comparative numbers. Most of these are recent and from reliable, credible sources. Interesting insights. Most people think Facebook use is a subset of Internet use. But in SE Asia, Internet use is always lower than Facebook use.
One of the outcomes of last October’s meeting of ITU’s Expert Group on Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (EGTI) was the formation of an EGTI sub-group to propose revisions to ITU’s methodology for collecting ICT prices. LIRNEasia research manager Shazna Zuhyle will Chair this sub-group comprising thirteen experts from academia and various national regulatory authorities. It will review and redefine the current methodology. Shazna has years of experience in ICT price benchmarking and is familiar with ITU’s current methodology. The need for the revision stems from the changing ICT landscape specifically in the use of broadband services and consumption patterns of users.
The Doing Business Report, published annually by the World Bank, analyses laws, regulations and administrative requirements affecting various aspects of private enterprise in 189 countries. Lawyers, judges and notaries are the main data sources for this report due to its focus on legal and regulatory arrangements. This data is used to create a composite index to rank countries based on how pro-business their legal environment is. However, do de jure processes adequately represent the true functioning of an economy? This question is addressed by Mary Hallward-Driemeier and Lant Prichett in their paper, How Business is Done in the Developing World: Deals vs Rules.
Bangladesh has not done too well in the IDI rankings, but a Bangladesh newspaper has been fast off the mark. On a global ranking of ICT usage, Bangladesh falls at 145 among a total of 166 countries, according to the latest report published by the International Telecommunication Union today. In Measuring the Information Society (MIS) report, Bangladesh has also ranked at the 27th position among 29 nations in the Asia-Pacific region with an ICT development index (IDI) of 1.97 and Afghanistan being the lowest in the region with an IDI ranking of 1.67.
We deal with a subset of ASEAN countries, the most prosperous among them being Thailand. So I looked at the performance of the not-so-rich ASEAN in the ICT Development Index. Thailand has advanced from 91st place in 2012 to 81st in 2013. Very significant. Then comes Viet Nam (101; down two places from 2012), Philippines (103; down one place), Indonesia and Cambodia holding steady at 106 and 127, respectively; Laos, down four to 134; and sadly Myanmar at 150, two places down from the last place in the region it held in 2012 — 148.
All submarine cables connecting the Far East with Europe and Africa transit at India. It has made 12 submarine cables (six owned by consortiums and six privately-owned) hopping into 10 cable landing stations (CLS) at the Indian seashore. Voice and data traffic of 27 international long distance operators (ILDO) are processed through the 10 CLS. Four (Tata, Airtel, Reliance and BSNL) out of the 27 ILD providers own respective CLS in India. The ILDOs who don’t own CLS told TRAI that Tata Communication and Bharti Airtel together enjoy a 93% market share.
In its recent report, Measuring the Information Society, the ITU provide a brief summary of key ICT services and their developments over the past year. One of the key highlights is the price of broadband that was calculated using the ITU basket methodology. The range is from USD 5 to an astounding USD 1700, with Sri Lanka being among the cheapest. The report also refers the comparatively low mobile prices. Home to a highly proactive regulatory authority and a competitive mobile market with five operators competing for some 21 million potential customers, the country ranks 14th globally.
In a recent amendment to the Quality of Service of Broadband Service Regulations, 2006, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) states: The purpose of these regulations is to prescribe financial disincentives on the service providers for failure to meet the prescribed Quality of Service (QoS) benchmarks for Broadband Services. These regulations prescribe financial disincentive on Broadband Service providers for noncompliance with the benchmark at a rate not exceeding Rs. 50000 per parameter for the first noncompliance and Rs. 100000 per parameter for subsequent non-compliance of the benchmarks. This amendment is effective from the 1st of January 2013 and provides for a deterrent against false reporting and delay in submission of mandatory quarterly Quality of Service benchmark reports.
I recently presented LIRNEasia‘s methodology on measuring broadband quality of service experience (QoSE) at the Expert Group on Telecom/ICT Indicators (EGTI) meeting held on the 23rd & 24th of September 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand just before ITU’s annual World Telecom/ICT Indicators meeting. The methodology suggests tests are carried out on multiple times of the day and on multiple days of the week to account of peak / off peak variances and that throughput, latency, jitter and packet loss are measured. In addition to the proposed method, ideal and minimal requirements (such as the number of domains being tested, locations, operators, broadband plans etc.) were also presented. The use of a diagnostic tool (software) as opposed to equipment that sits on the network was proposed.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently released draft regulations on “Standards of Quality of Service for Mobile Data Services Regulations, 2012” (press release). LIRNEasia‘s response included recommendations on; (a) Advertising realistic speeds as opposed to the theoretical maximum (b) Carrying out tests at multiple times of the day, on multiple days of the week at least once in six months at different domain levels (e.g. within the ISP network, International – a server located beyond the first U.S.