A report just released by DIRSI shows that Peru’s regulatory environment has improved slightly during the period from 2007 to 2009. The report, Entorno regulatorio de las telecomunicaciones: Perú 2007-2009 (Telecommunications Regulatory Environment: Peru 2007-2009), prepared by Jorge Bossio, used the Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Assessment methodology that was developed by DIRSI’s partner LIRNEasia as an approach to gaining insight on regulatory performance. The TRE methodology is based on the assumption that investment is a necessary condition for good telecom sector performance, and investment decisions are influenced by perceptions of investment risk. Using interviews and a questionnaire administered to a statistically significant cross-section of industry stakeholders and experts, the TRE assessment traverses six dimensions of regulatory risk for both the fixed and mobile sectors. The new report, the second assessment of Peru’s regulatory environment, reports that the overall influence of the regulatory environment in Peru has improved since the previous assessment (2006-2007) but remains neutral – neither encouraging nor discouraging investment.
DIRSI and ACORN-REDECOM (Americas Communication Research Network / Red Americana de Investigación en Información y Comunicación) are organizing a Training Seminar on New Technologies and their Challenges for Telecommunications Regulation in Latin America. The seminar will be held on May 13 2010, immediately prior to ACORN-REDECOM’s 4th annual conference in Brasilia. LIRNEasia’s CEO, Dr. Rohan Samarajiva will deliver the opening lecture on “:State of the art in telecom regulation around the world”. The seminar seeks to provide an overview of key regulatory issues in the ICT industry today, and to help develop the necessary tools to understand the implications of new technologies for spectrum allocation, universal access programs, competition policy and ICT-enabled economic development.
Nokia, the leading mobile handset maker, is experiencing the effects of the global economic crisis. But Asia is showing the lowest declines. In the three months through March, the company said its profit declined to 122 million euros ($162.3 million) from 1.2 billion euros a year earlier.
Cubans are to be allowed unrestricted access to mobile phones for the first time, in the latest reform announced under new President Raul Castro. In a statement in official newspaper Granma, state telecom monopoly ETECSA said it would offer mobile services to the public in the next few days. Some Cubans already own mobile phones, but they have had to acquire them via a third party, often foreigners. Cuba’s rate of cell phone usage remains among the lowest in Latin America. Now Cubans will be able to subscribe to pre-paid mobile services under their own names, instead of going through foreigners or in some cases their work places.
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 volumes and usage data as specified in the OECD methodology, but excludes initial connection charges. The DIRSI study also does not report data on postpaid or indicate whether different MoUs have been applied to prepaid and postpaid. Despite differences in methodology, it is interesting to note the rather large differences in the monthly costs between users in South Asia and Latin America; even though the former takes into account a broader set of costs.
DIRSI – Regional Dialogue on the Information Society – Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Assessment Series Using interviews and a questionnaire administered to a statistically significant cross-section of industry stakeholders and experts, the TRE assessment traverses six dimensions of regulatory risk (market entry, access to scarce resources, interconnection, tariff regulation, regulation of anti-competitive practice and universal service) for both the fixed and mobile sectors. The TRE methodology focuses on the environment as a whole, rather than only on the regulatory agency. This broadens the scope and usefulness of the study to different actors. DIRSI and LIRNE.NET are currently undertaking TRE studies in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
LIRNEasia researchers will be among panelists at the 3rd Global Knowledge Conference organized by Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP). Two sessions will be based on the LIRNEasia‘s study on Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP), which is to presented in the form of an interactive quiz show. The background paper is available here. A session titled ‘Making Communities Disaster Resilient’, hopes to highlight issues related to developing a robust solution for strengthening community resilience in the face of natural disasters. The background paper is available here.
The final report from the World Dialogue on Regulation (WDR) 3rd research cycle has been released and can now be downloaded or ordered in hardcopy. Edited by Amy Mahan and William H. Melody, this most recent collection of the network’s research and case studies elaborates on inclusive and propoor strategies for extending network development. Title: Diversifying Participation in Network Development: Case studies and research from WDR Research Cycle 3 Editors: Amy Mahan and William H. Melody
LIRNEasia decided to use a blog as its website rather than a conventional website. Website has done well so far; about 3,000 comments so far. Some issues of importance: Front page changes every two days, due to number of posts. Scrolling nature means that sometimes the most important topics do not remain at the top for long. Weaknesses concerning retrieval of documents (unless you know exactly where it is).
The Drum Beat is a weekly electronic publication exploring initiatives, ideas and trends in communication for development, published by The Communication Initiative. This week’s issue (# 399) focuses on mobile telephony, and is relevant for planning LIRNEasia’s next research cycle. Some of the articles include: Pocket Answer to Digital Divide (Jo Twist) Telecommunications: A Dynamic Revolution (David White) New Trends in Mobile Communications in Latin America (Judith Mariscal and Eugenio Rivera) From Matatu to the Masai via Mobile (by Paul Mason) Wireless Communication and Development in the Asia-Pacific: Institutions Matter (Rohan Samarajiva) The Real Digital Diversity (Seán Ó Siochrú) Must Haves: Cellphones Top Iraqi Cool List (Damien Cave) UK Children Go Online: Final Report of Key Project Findings (Sonia Livingstone and Magdalena Bober) Read more on The Drum Beat
Dr. Harsha de Silva participated in the LIRNE.NET and WDR expert meeting entitled “Wireless Opportunities and Solutions: A Regulatory Perspective” held in Montevideo, Uruguay during 7-9 March 2007. He made a presentation during the first session entitled “Getting a clearer picture: Demand side ICT data collection”, sharing with the audience some of the findings and the methodology used in LIRNEasia’s recently completed research on teleuse@BOP. During the discussion sessions and on the sidelines of the conference he engaged substantially with the DIRSI researchers planning to replicate the Asian study in Latin America.
The battle for mobile customers in Latin America is hotting up as 319 million Latin Americans or 56% of the population already own a mobile phone. Telefonica of Spain and America Movil controlled by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim are going head-to-head to expand their market-share in South America and are increasingly targeting the “bottom of the pyramid.” The Race for Numero Uno in Latin Wireless (Businessweek November 27, 2006): More than 80% of Brazil’s mobile-telephone customers use prepaid service—buying cards to recharge their phones—rather than signing monthly contracts. América Móvil’s average client uses just 71 minutes of airtime each month, spending around $12.50.
An executive course on telecom regulation, including World Dialogue on Regulation Expert Forum on Sector and Regulatory Performance Indicators Offered by LIRNEasia and CONNECTasia Forum Pte. Ltd. February 25th – March 3rd, 2007. Changi Village Hotel, Singapore The 2007 course is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of senior decision makers in the telecom and related sectors in the Asia Pacific and elsewhere. The focus will be on the most current strategic issues.
Our colleagues from Latin America have drawn our attention to the following article, perhaps because they think that our TRE (telecom regulatory environment) work is premised on FDI being an unmitigated good. We welcome the opportunity for a debate. Kevin P. Gallagher and Lyuba Zarsky, “Rethinking Foreign Investment for Development”, Post-Autistic Economics Review, issue 37 Abstract “In the 1990s, foreign direct investment (FDI) came to be seen as a “miracle drug”—a jumpstart to economic growth and sustainable industrial development, especially in developing countries. Policies to attract FDI became the centerpiece of both national development strategies and supra-national investment agreements.
Diversifying Participation in Network Development The 2005 WDR research theme, Diversifying Participation in Network Development explores the evolving strategies used to extend the telecom network primarily to rural, high-cost areas. The objective of this cutting edge research is to identify successful strategies that can be replicated in other countries and to avoid unsuccessful ones. Light will be shed on these innovative approaches, looking at key experience to capture the range of possible sources, types and methods of investment funding for network development. The research is currently being developed by the WDR research community in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Who should attend?
On behalf of LIRNEasia, LIRNE.NET and the School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University, it is our pleasure to extend to you a special invitation to participate in the 7th LIRNE.NET course on Telecom Reform in Singapore, September 25-30, 2005. The course, Catalyzing change: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence, is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of senior decision makers in the telecom and related sectors in Asia and elsewhere. Previous Telecom Reform courses have been offered in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.