Hong Kong


Cell phones double as electronic wallets in RP By Oliver Teves Associated Press Last updated 10:42am (Mla time) 09/30/2007 Philippine Daily Inquirer SAN MIGUEL, Philippines–It’s Thursday, so 18-year-old Dennis Tiangco is off to a bank to collect his weekly allowance, zapped by his mother–who’s working in Hong Kong–to his electronic wallet: his cell phone. Sauntering into a branch of GM Bank in the town of San Miguel, Dennis fills out a form, sends a text message via his phone to a bank line dedicated to the service. In a matter of seconds, the transaction is approved and the teller gives him P2,500 (US$54), minus a 1-percent fee. He doesn’t need a bank account to retrieve the money. More than 5.
Dhaka, June 1 (bdnews24.com)—Maritime thieves have stolen at least 11-kilometres Vietnamese portion of Thailand bound SEA-ME-WE3 submarine cable and sold the 100 tons of illicit cargo as scrap, reported VietNamNet Bridge online newspaper Tuesday. Such bizarre underwater international telecoms infrastructure robbery occurred on March 25 and since then Vietnam’s Internet users have been struggling with far slower speed. The broken cable system, named TVH, was built in 1993-1995, connecting Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong with a capacity of 560 megabits per second. The Vietnam Telecom International (VTI) got puzzled when the cable went down.
Hong Kong’s Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) says that it wants to auction off spectrum in the 2.3GHz band for wireless broadband – and is also considering what to do with the 2.5GHz band. In what it described as its “third consultation” on broadband wireless access, OFTA says it wants to allocate 85MHz of spectrum between 2.305 and 2.
Data and 3G may not be a priority in Asia: discuss. No, we’re not referring to Japan, Korea or Hong Kong. Not even China. This time we’re looking at the area’s so-called emerging markets – markets like Indonesia where the market-leading operator Telkomsel and third-ranked player Excelcom launched 3G services in early September. Or the Philippines, where rival operators Globe and Smartcom have been offering 3G for a slightly longer period.
The e-readiness rankings are relatively well regarded and do not contain absurdities such as Zimbabwe being ahead of India. The latest rankings are out and show India and the Philippines tied for 54th place (a one-place drop for India); Sri Lanka at 61 (dropping two places); and Pakistan at 63 (up four places and likely to catch up with Sri Lanka soon). Indonesia, another country of focus for LIRNEasia, has slipped 5 places to 67. Zimbabwe, the country that leads all of South Asia according to the ITU, is not in the top- 70 that is provided. Nigeria, on the other hand, is just behind Sri Lanka, at 62.
Hutch’s entry into Indonesia’s mobile market as the 5th significant operator has started putting downward pressure on mobile calling prices, as I had predicted in my Oped piece Lower mobile prices: Through competition or profit regulation? in January of 2007. It is too early to call it a “price war” as the article below does, but the signs that prices are coming down is evident. Indonesia’s mobile retail prices are some of the highest in Asia and there is enough room for the prices to drop further. Currently, Hutch’s competitors are reacting by issuing promotions to match the new entrant’s offering, but this does not per se signify a permanent cut in prices.
Report on the 11th LIRNE.NET Executive Training Course on Regulation, 25 February – 3 March 2007, conducted by LIRNEasia and CONNECTasia Forum Pte.Ltd. Rohan Samarajiva, Course Director The 11th LIRNE.NET course on “Telecom Reform: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence,” was held February 25th – March 3rd, 2007 at the Changi Village Hotel, Singapore.
The Indonesian government imposed unreasonable burdens on the new entrant for international service in a recently issued White Paper 140. LIRNEasia highlighted the unfairness of burdening new entrants with obligations that the two existing incumbents (Telkom & Indosat) were not subjected too in comments it submitted to DGPOSTEL (one of the two regulatory bodies): 4.4 The Indonesian policymakers may have misunderstood the concept of asymmetric regulation. Asymmetric rules place additional burdens on dominant group of providers that other operators are not subjected to. In the current White Paper, many additional burdens are imposed on the new entrant that are not imposed on the two incumbents, PT Telkom & PT Indosat.
Hutchison exits India and Vodafone enters.   Will this accelerate Indian mobile growth to Indonesia and Pakistan levels?  No clear evidence of increased investment; new pricing strategies, etc. yet. BBC NEWS | Business | Vodafone buys Indian mobile firm Vodafone has bought a controlling stake in Indian mobile phone firm Hutchison Essar for $11.
FLAG Telecom plans to deploy the largest IP-based submarine cable network that will connect 60 countries, including many that currently have poor connectivity by 2009. India, Indonesia, and Philippines are among the countries that FLAG’s NGN network will have a presence in. Reliance to carry FLAG far and wide: “We live in a world where there is too much of bandwidth for some, little for others and none for many – there is unequal access to bandwidth in and across countries, continents and communities,” said Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, chairman, Reliance Communications. “FLAG NGN will democratise digital access,” he added. FLAG NGN will comprise of our systems.
The strong quake off Taiwan’s coast on December 26 damaged six separate submarine cables and severely disrupted telecom links in the East, Southeast and South Asia. Internet connectivity in a number of countries are either down or are slowed down thanks to taffic that is being rerouted over networks that have escaped damage. Most of Jakarta (Indonesia) and Pondicherry (Southern India) have been without Internet until this afternoon (Dec 27) at least. In our office in Sri Lanka, SLT’s ADSL connection (though congested) is working. However, Lankacom’s leased line is down since it probably connects to the Internet backbone via Singapore.
Rohan Samarajiva and Divakar Goswami from LIRNEasia chaired back-to-back Forum sessions at the ITU World 2006 in Hong Kong on December 7. The Building Digital Communities session, chaired by Divakar, covered a wide-swathe of topics. In his opening remarks [PDF], he outlined on some of the issues that would be covered in the presentations and discussion to follow. In his Keynote address, the Indonesian Minister of Communication & IT, Sofyan Djalil proposed that global equipment manufacturers should adopt a new business model where they share some of the investment risk with operators while deploying infrastructure in financially unviable areas in developing countries. He suggested that the current model where developing countries are only purchasers of high cost equipment and services, breeds dependency and is unsustainable in the long run.

Beyond cheap coverage

Posted by on December 11, 2006  /  1 Comments

Nov 13, 2006 By Tony Chan, Wireless Asia http://www.telecomasia.net/article.php?id_article=2622 This article raises the important question of affordability of access to services on mobile networks versus services on fixed networks (e.

Mobile multiple play

Posted by on December 9, 2006  /  0 Comments

Just returned from the sensory overload of the ITU Telecom World exhibition and forum in Hong Kong. One of the buzzwords/phrases floating around this year is multiple play. Triple play is passe though a few are hanging on with quadruple play. Given my recent column in LBO, my mind was on payments. Where in the multiple play talk was payments?
The Indonesian Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Dr Sofyan Djalil, presented a number of new initiatives for removing the barriers to Internet growth in his country at Building Digital Communities forum session at the ITU World 2006 event in Hong Kong on December 7, 2006. Divakar Goswami, LIRNEasia’s Director, Organizational and Projects, who was moderating the panel asked the following question: One of the first achievements of your government was to delicense the 2.4 GHz frequency that allowed communities to use Wi-Fi extensively in the country. Despite that, Indonesia currently has Internet penetration of 0.69 percent.
Rohan Samarajiva and Divakar Goswami, chaired sessions at the first Telecom World event , ITU Telecom World 2006, to be held in Asia, in Hong Kong SAR, 3-8 December 2006. This event, held once in four years, is normally held in Geneva. It was moved to Hong Kong to recognize the leading role of the Asia Pacific in the ICT sector today (see Figure 1).Samarajiva and Goswami were the only persons from Sri Lanka featured in the program of the Forum at Telecom World. Figure 1: Goswami, lead researcher on LIRNEasia’s Indonesia ICT sector and regulatory performance study, chaired a session that included keynote presentations by Dr Sofyan Djalil, the Indonesian Minister of ICTs.