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Tag Archives: connectivity

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India: Is definition of active mobile subscription realistic?

My colleague who made the previous post had neglected to look at the cause of the so-called spike in inactive SIMs. The cause is a change in definition, plain and simple. The market revaluation has been triggered by rule changes in the activity period allowed for prepaid users and the effect of mandatory SIM registration. […]

Connectivity, not limited to telecom

Because of some work done on India-Sri Lanka services trade, I keep getting invited to speak on related topics, including physical connectivity between India and Sri Lanka. Not sure what good comes of these talks, but . . . Physical connectivity in the southern SAARC region.

India overtakes Pakistan in mobile SIMs/100

Since 2004, India has been behind Pakistan on a key indicator: mobile SIMs/100. Few in India wanted to talk about this. But we did. Now finally, India has pulled ahead, as it should. I discuss the reasons in a recent piece done for Pioneer. The loss of momentum for Pakistan started in 2008, and by […]

The puzzle of Ethiopia and the Budget Telecom Network model

According to the Nokia Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study 2011, Ethiopia’s mobile prices bring it to the very threshold of membership in the “Under USD 5 club” of 11 countries. The TCO in Ethiopia in 2010 was USD 5.02. This is a puzzle and appeared to pose a challenge to the entire explanation of […]

No Internet and telephone in a million dollar house

A decade ago, not having a phone was normal. Now it’s abnormal. Indian media highlight the absence of connectivity as one of the clues that identified Osama bin Laden’s hideout in a Pakistani suburb. A large mansion in a massive compound with 12 feet to 18 feet tall walls topped with barbed wire. No telephone […]

Sri Lanka: Assumptions of connectivity

I just got back from observing extended focus groups on the knowledge and information gaps faced by small-scale rubber growers in the Galle and Monaragala districts of Sri Lanka. The locations were quite remote, if one checks the map of Badalkumbura (we were several km further to the interior). The remoteness is exemplified by the […]

Assessing SAARC@25 by ability to communicate cheaply

Some people celebrate 25 years of anything: dead marriages, inert regional groupings, just occupying space. We don’t. SAARC must be assessed by its fruits. On internal connectivity it fails. Here’s the evidence, carried in op-ed articles in Bangladesh’s Daily Star, Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror and also in a PTI dispatch: It is always easier to […]

WiFi makes the bus quiet and the students better behaved

Back in 2004, LIRNEasia got on the WiFi bandwagon. Ours was one of the first WiFi offices in Colombo (we had trouble getting suppliers who knew what they were doing) and we installed WiFi temporarily at the Mount Lavinia Hotel for our launch conference. One of the unexpected results was that it caused people to […]

Bangladesh budget retains some barriers to connectivity

Talk in the Bangladesh telecom sector has been focused on taxes these days because the government had proposed a 25% tax on handsets and the retention of the controversial TK 800 tax on SIMs. These are counterproductive taxes both in terms of improving government revenues and connecting people electronically; their combined effect is to make […]

Assessing the General: How did the Pakistan telecom sector do in 2002-2008?

A few days ago, we learned that Major General Shahzada Alam Malik (Retd.) had stepped down from the leadership of the Pakistan Telecom Authority. We believe that his seven-year tenure at the helm of the PTA merits an assessment. It begins thus: Pakistan’s recent telecom developments constitute a South Asian success story. From two million […]

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