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

Deadline extended: Call for applications for broadband policy course in Sri Lanka. For more details see announcement in english, sinhala and and tamil.

South Asia Research Hub(SARH), DFID Systematic Review Programme for South Asia call for proposals.

Work with us: We are currently recruiting for the position of big data researcher.

LIRNEasia interviewed at IODC 2015

Late May in Ottawa, I was among those interviewed for an article about big data. Similarly, private telecom companies’ data on mobile phone traffic has become a crucial resource for researchers at the Sri Lanka-based think tank LIRNEasia, a long-time IDRC research partner. Using phone data that tracks traffic flows can be a low-cost means […]

LIRNEasia publication on national broadband networks

In the context of some work we were doing with the support of Ford Foundation we conducted four case studies of national broadband initiatives. The four case studies were presented at the Expert Forum we convened in New Delhi in March 2014 and may have contributed to the rethinking of the becalmed NOFN project that […]

Questions about Digital India

I was reminded of Pramod Mahajan, a former Minister who died tragically. He was responsible for “unifying” the Ministry of Telecom and the Ministry of Electronics and IT. He also said Indian succeeded in IT and beauty only because the government was not involved. Echoes of Mahajan are heard in these reactions to Prime Minister […]

How can we get the next billion connected to the Internet?

The original idea was that problems in the last mile were holding back the next billion. My argument was that while problems of quality and affordability are experienced by users on their terminal devices in the last mile, the actual causes are along the supply chain, in the form of expensive and non-resilient domestic and […]

Beyond Data Center Park for Digital India

Indian government has endured stormy opposition when Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), its international telecoms arm, was privatized in early 2000. Since then, through merger and acquisition along with new build-outs, the Indian carriers – Tata, Reliance and Bharti – dominate the global connectivity business. Moreover, each submarine cable linking Asia with the Middle East, […]

LIRNEasia CEO at UN General Assembly WSIS Consultation

Helani Galpaya was selected as one of the stakeholders invited to speak at the United Nations General Assembly’s Informal interactive stakeholder consultation held at UN Headquarters in New York on the 2nd of July. The selection itself was done by a committee that reviewed applications by over a 100 organizations to speak at this event.  Helani’s opening comments that were […]

Business innovation to continue in Indian telecom market?

The headline said that Bharti Airtel has now reached the exalted status of having the third largest number of mobile customers worldwide, after China Mobile and Vodafone Group. But as the writer concludes, the real challenge is going to be how new business models can be implemented to make Internet access as successful as voice […]

Internet as a basic human right?

I am here at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum in Macau (I really wish they’ll agree on the English spelling; My visa says Macao; Government signboards here say Macau; my spell checker seems to prefer Macau). MAC representative Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul haq Inu, M.P., said in his address, as he always does, […]

Myanmar findings shared at IFLA session at Asia Pacific regional IGF

IFLA at rIGF1

In a session that was primarily a platform for the librarian community that was engaging with Internet issues, LIRNEasia was invited to provide a different perspective from the demand side. I began by saying that we would dearly loved to have data like this when we were designing the telecenter component of the e Sri […]

LIRNEasia at International Open Data Conference 2015

The full webcast of the Shades of Open session which dealt with whether data held by private entities should be open is available here. At the session moderated by Stefaan Verhulst, I framed the issues within the context of principal-agent theory and competition and illustrated my arguments from our experience in working with mobile network […]

Father of SMS passes

Only 23 years? It’s now in decline, but the idea of sending short text messages will live for ever. Matti Makkonen, the reluctant “father of SMS”, has died at the age of 63. Makkonen pitched the original idea for SMS in 1984, while working as a civil servant, over a pizza at a telecoms conference […]

Twenty years of Internet in Sri Lanka

LK Internet at 20 award-2

The event ‘Twenty years of Internet in Sri Lanka’ was organized by the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter recently. The event was organized to look back at the achievements which established the internet in Sri Lanka over the last twenty years and to honour the pioneers who made this a reality in Sri Lanka. Professor […]

Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region

In the context of LIRNEasia’s work, connectivity is usually understood as electronic connectivity. But as the quote below exemplifies, in most contexts it means everything other than electronic. It is our challenge to merge these two conceptions. It is now normal in road design to include conduits for fiber. We hope that this will be […]

On the persistence of 2G and the short shelf life of 3G

Fifteen years ago, 2G was still the new, new thing. I recall asking the engineers at the TRC to present a comparative assessment of 2G and CDMA. Who would have thought it would outlast 3G? All thanks to M2M. Tommi Uitto, SVP, global mobile broadband sales at Nokia, noted that operators are – even now […]

Now, an advance in optical communication that will reduce costs of fiber-based backhaul

While we are fully sympathetic with a focus on wireless in the access network, we have for long been advocates of bringing optical fiber as close as possible to the user and for moving from point-to-point or ring architectures in current fiber networks to mesh architectures. In this context, reports of a breakthrough in optical […]

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