Ireland


Brussels, Nov 25-26 – Third Civil Protection Forum organized by the European Commission. It rains heavily, but fortunately no floods as in Ireland. Ideal environment to discuss disaster risks. I speak at Seminar F titled ‘Innovative Technology for Disaster Management’. I am one of the two speakers from Asia in the entire conference; the other is from Japan.
The implications of mobile number portability (MNP) were discussed at a Workshop on Implementing Mobile Number Portability, held in August 2007 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The forum, comprising participants from the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, provided insight into the technical, regulatory and operational aspects impacted by the porting process, with a focus on the Pakistani MNP experience. The reasons cited in favor of MNP were classified into advantages to subscribers and regulators. The former were benefited by an increase in choice (of packages) and the eliminated costs of having to inform third parties of a number change, while the latter saw MNP as an approach to attract new investment and generate healthy competition. Operators on the other hand, were split in their views; new entrants and operators with smaller market share were of the view that it would create fair play in the industry, but larger operators with significant market power were, unsurprisingly, against the implementation of MNP.
BY VERONICA S. CUSI, Businessworld THE PHILIPPINES was the second fastest-growing market for broadband worldwide in 2006, according to a study by UK-based research and consultancy firm Ovum. This was primarily due, however, to the fact that broadband is just taking off in the country, and Ovum said growth could be significantly higher if regulators allow more competition that would lead to cheaper services. Greece took the top spot in the study, and the other countries in the top ten list were Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Ireland, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia and Turkey. Total broadband growth in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 was at 157% while Greece’s was 168%, Datamonitor affiliate Ovum said.
Yesterday, I spoke to a large and restive crowd (made so by lack of air conditioning and a delayed start) in Matara (main city in the South of Sri Lanka) at the launch of the Pathfinder Foundation’s first book, a Sinhala translation of Janos Kornai’s Toward a free economy. I was asked to talk about globalization and the relevance of Kornai’s ideas for facing the challenges posed by globalization. In this talk that I pieced together thanks to time zone differences that caused me to wake up at 3 in the morning while in the US, I illustrated the issues referring to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), a broad area of service exports for which efficient, flexible and low-cost telecom is a pre-condition. I think the talk provides the "big picture" of the necessity of telecom reforms of the type that we at LIRNEasia are involved in. If we are to go beyond simply giving people phones, to giving them "money in the pocket and hope in the heart" this big picture is essential.