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

Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Broadband Policy Course in India: Applications are being called for Indian citizens residing in the country to participate in the course held from 16th to 19th December 2016. For more details see announcement.

Never let an incumbent control the fiber backhaul: Lesson from Afghanistan (not that there weren’t others before)


One principle LIRNEasia defended consistently over the discussions at UN ESCAP about the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway (APIS) was that of open access. And despite many entreaties we held firm that the fiber had to owned by any entity other than the incumbent telecom operator in the country passed by the APIS fiber. From the […]

Consolidation in the air, also in Afghanistan


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 […]

Pakistan unlocks cross-border telecoms. India is next.

Pakistan has officially allowed private carriers to terrestrially plug the country with all the four neighbors including India. This multidimensional landmark decision makes Pakistan the buckle of South Asia-Central Asia telecoms belt. This route is embedded in our proposed trans-Asian connectivity for affordable broadband. It took us three years to convince ESCAP, which dubs our […]

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. […]

The clubs you avoid and the clubs you join

I have been studying how to make Internet affordable and resilient across the developing Asia. Excessive reliance on submarine cable is the bottleneck. My study shows how to overcome it by deploying fiber across the continent, exploiting the transcontinental highways. But the control-freak governments, attending WCIT 2012 conference at Dubai, have deepened the crises of […]

Afghanistan auctions first 3G license

Afghanistan has received 3 bids for the first 3G license. The new license for  10MHz of 3G spectrum was intended  to have been awarded by November 2011, but has gotten delayed and the bids are being assessed only now. The existing GSM operators (Roshan, Etisalat, MTN, AWCC ) would be allowed to obtain a license […]

Cameras to reduce electoral fraud?

People have been sending me pictures, not of Qaddafi dead, but of people taking pictures of the dead Qaddafi. I was among those who speculated on the role of cameras in moderating the crackdown in Bahrain (before the real crackdown): “Could the ubiquity of cameras be the differentiating factor? Cameras are everywhere in Tripoli and […]

52 percent of Afghan homes have mobiles; more than the 41 percent that have TVs

Good data is hard to come by in Afghanistan. In addition to some data (this below from an Asia Foundation demand-side survey), the report emphasizes the need to encourage mobile money remittances and the availability of agri-market prices. Nine years ago, Afghanistan had between 10,000 and 20,000 fixed lines, and mobile telecommunications were virtually nonexistent. […]

Counting Internet Users and calculating divides

The ITU dataset is the mother lode, mined by all. But sometimes, it is good to interrogate the quality of what the ITU produces. The most recent instance of ITU data being subject to sophisticated analysis without any attention being paid to the quality of the data is by noted ICT4D scholar, Richard Heeks. In […]

Somalia calling

Amid rapid technological development, the competition to supply telecom services in war-torn Somalia proves that some complex businesses can thrive even in one of Africa’s dangerous markets. One of the largest telecom companies in Somalia, Hormuud Telecom, has annual sales of as much as US$40 million. Even “Mobile 2.0” is making inroads here. But the success of Somalia’s telecom sector shouldn’t […]

Afghan telecoms trade body is born

Afghanistan’s five telecoms networks have jointly set up a trade association, the Afghanistan Telecommunication Operators’ Social Association (ATOSA). Since 2001, the telecoms industry of Afghanistan has played a significant role in developing the country, creating over 100,000 indirect jobs and investing over $US1.2 billion in building a national telephone network for the first time in […]

Telecom access rankings in South Asia

According to the ITU ICTeye, which is now carrying 2008 data, Pakistan’s surge to overtake Sri Lanka has petered out, leaving the Maldives (143 active SIMs/100 people) as the undisputed leader in mobile connectivity (apparently all adult Maldivians carry two active SIMs; there are only two operators in the Maldives), and Sri Lanka second with […]

Will you be virtual too?

LIRNEasia might not be as high tech as some of the big IT players but in our own way we have made a successful effort to make ourselves a virtual team. Not a choice – that was the only way we could operate in multiple countries (For example, in this cycle, TRE surveys will be in nine […]

Latin American and Asian mobile prices and methodologies compared

Mobile Benchmark Studies in South Asia and Latin America | L I R N E . N E T DIRSI’s study on mobile price and affordability also adapts the OECD price baskets to compare the monthly costs of using mobiles in six Latin American countries. The Latin American baskets take into consideration call and SMS […]

Findings from Mobile Benchmarks South Asia, March 2008 released

According to LIRNEasia’s latest comparative study of price and affordability indicators in eight South Asian countries, Bangladesh emerges as having the lowest average monthly cost of using a mobile at all levels of use (low, medium and high) for different tariff plans (prepaid and postpaid). Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka follow closely, while Bhutan, Maldives […]


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