LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

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Happy that issues other than privacy are beginning to be addressed re big data

I first talked about the competitive issues of big data at the 2013 IGF in Bali. In actual fact the competitive implications of a subset, utility customer information, were discussed back in 1992. But it was rare to think that there was anything to talk about other than privacy. Finally, the message seems to be […]

Mobile phones, internet, and gender in Myanmar: Joint GSM Association Connected Women-LIRNEasia study

This report is the result of research conducted by GSMA’s Connected Women programme and LIRNEasia in Myanmar in 2015. LIRNEasia’s nationally representative baseline survey of ICT needs and usage in Myanmar showed a gender gap  in mobile ownership of 29%  by March 2015.  Together with GSM Association’s Connected Women program, LIRNEasia explored the reasons behind […]

India-Sri Lanka power grid interconnection still in play

We highlighted the value of interconnecting with the South Indian grid almost three years ago in a presentation made to a public hearing of the PUCSL and kept the issue alive through subsequent writing. Would have been happier if construction had commenced, but good to know at least the talk continues. There is a big […]

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future”

With Yogi Berra I’ve always believed that to be the case. So when Adil Najam called to ask me to contribute to a book on futures, my first reaction was to refuse. But I was persuaded. Data centers powered by cheap electricity and cool climes on the Southern slopes of the Himalayas featured large in […]

Now, a fuller report on Myanmar’s international connectivity

A few weeks back, I raised a few questions about the incompleteness of a report on Myanmar’s international connectivity. I was happy to see today that the gaps have been closed. MPT, which has sharply increased spending on advertising since losing its monopoly in the mobile market, has been working on new international connectivity that […]

Budget Telecom Network Model and analogue remedies

Our colleague Nalaka Gunawardene has written a summary/review of the World Development Report which this year focuses on ICTs, and included several references to Research ICT Africa and LIRNEasia research. Can a budget telecom like model help bring low cost internet within reach of South Asia’s majority of unconnected people? The Colombo-based ICT policy research […]

Another announcement on Paypal in Sri Lanka

Several years ago I stated at an Asia Pacific Telecommunity event that I was done talking about international mobile roaming. I had given so many presentations to various configurations of government officials with zero results, at least in terms of government actions. The jawboning effects were considerable nevertheless, and roaming pricing has improved to be […]

Incremental improvement in networking because of social media

Knowing the importance of networks, LIRNEasia has always probed about circles of friends and contacts and the role of ICTs in maintaining those relationships. Good to see the results of a study focusing entirely on that: The survey asked 2,000 people, chosen because they were regular social-network users, and a further 1,375 adults in full-time […]

Accessibility for the disabled is good for all

I am in Myanmar with Disability Access Expert Nirmita Narasimhan of the Center for Internet and Society to initiate work on one component of our Myanmar as an Inclusive Information Society project. It is said by the experts in making devices and services accessible to those with disabilities that it should not be thought that […]

Changing business strategies in Myanmar

We used to say that the only certainty about demand forecasts for telephony in developing economies was that they were wrong. It appears the same may apply to business strategies. Telenor had more demand for data than they envisaged. Ooredoo is planning to mass market data? Ooredoo’s focus on costlier data services, however, has meant […]

LIRNEasia work on smart cities seen as exemplary of third approach

Looks like what we wrote in EPW is having ripple effects. A cost-effective, intermediary method of collecting data has emerged in the form of direct source collection, in which individual citizens themselves are relied upon as the primary source of information. This is done through mobile network data, generated by all cellphones and includes information […]

Design ethnography in the Myanmar countryside

Much of these findings I had heard from our researchers who did field work in Myanmar. But we did not make the Atlantic. All over the world, Internet cognoscenti are bemoaning the fact that not everyone uses the Internet like them, in many cases citing our research as reported by Quartz. But here is an […]

Why are professionals who benefit from cross-border mobility getting worried about services trade liberalization?

I’ve been asked to comment on a brewing storm in a tea cup, the supposed opening of the gates to hordes of Indian IT workers. At this time, all that the government is considering is a Framework Agreement, or an agreement to work in a time-bound manner toward a technical and economic cooperation agreement. I […]

LIRNEasia throws lifeline to carriers in distress

Sliding revenues from conventional wholesale services mean carriers are being challenged to find new drivers for growth. It has been the hot topic in this year’s Pacific Telecommunication Council’s Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. I presented the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway as new avenue to revenue. Here is my presentation.

OTTs vs Telco: South Africa enters the battle

India started in April 2015, when the regulator (TRAI) proposed rules for how application/content providers (Over the Top Players, or OTTs) should be regulated, taxed and treated (that  debate got sidelined in the battle over Facebook and FreeBasics, but that’s a different story). Now it’s South Africa’s turn.  It seems that two operators are pushing for […]

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