Middle East


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.
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.
Sales in Emerging Markets Help Nokia Add to Its Cellphone Lead – New York Times Nokia sold 100 million mobile devices in the period, an increase of 29 percent over 2006, while the overall industry growth was about 14 percent, with 262 million mobile devices sold globally, Nokia said. But the group again warned about the performance of its troubled network operations, describing market conditions as challenging because of heavy competition. “We shall have to increase the amount and speed of cost cutting,” the chief executive, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, said, giving no details. The greatest growth in Nokia’s handset sales, 37 percent, was in the Middle East and Africa, it said. But at 36 percent growth, sales were also strong in the Asia-Pacific region and in China.

Choices: Calls or gold?

Posted by on March 10, 2007  /  0 Comments

By Rohan Samarajiva  LBO >> Choices : Priceless Link       08 March 2007 08:26:29 http://www.lbo.lk/fullstory.php?newsID=2020236857&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=24    March 08 (LBO) – Indonesia, like Sri Lanka, sends its women to foreign lands to work as housemaids.
Another story that reinforces our emphasis on the emerging Asia-Pacific and the Bottom of the Pyramid: LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Making affordable phones and targeting consumers with smaller budgets have now become priorities for the largest companies in the sector who were all present at this week’s 3GSM trade show in Barcelona. “There are between 2.5 and 2.8 billion people who have a mobile phone: the next billion will come from the high-growth market,” said David Taylor, strategy director for Motorola. The areas representing the most opportunity are Asia, Africa and the Middle East, he said.
Dhaka, Nov 9 (www.bdnews24.com) – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report for 2006, launched globally Thursday, revealed that Bangladesh had shown impressive gains in water and sanitation sector although Asia’s emerging giants were lagging. “Income matters, but public policy shapes the conversion of income into human development,” said the report, entitled “Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis.” “India may outperform Bangladesh as a high growth globalisation success story, but the tables are turned when the benchmark for success shifts to sanitation: despite an average income some 60% higher, India has a lower rate of sanitation coverage.
Arab Mobile Phone Subscriptions Jump 70% in 2005 Source: www.cellular-news.com/story/18589.php The number of mobile phone subscriptions in the Arab world has grown by a whopping 70 percent in 2005, underlining a strong consumer demand coupled by increased liberalization and competition in Arab telecom markets, according to a recently published Madar Research study. The study also reveals that Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have achieved mobile phone penetration levels among their population that are comparable with those prevalent in Europe and Pacific Rim countries.
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.