mobile telephony


How broad is your broadband?

Posted by on November 25, 2009  /  1 Comments

Based on LIRNEasia’s broadband QoSE research findings, we ran an advertisement in the Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka’s leading English daily) on 24 November 2009.  The advertisement focused on four facts. The first three were on value for money, advertised download speed as opposed to actual download speed and bandwidth bottlenecks.  The lack of regulation on contention ratios (how many users per “channel”) was highlighted as the fourth fact We pointed out that LIRNEasia’s recommendation about imposing contention ratios of 1:20 (Business) and 1:50 (Residential) had been adopted by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with minor changes.  TRAI mandates contention ratios of 1:30 for Business and 1:50 for Residential.
The Sunday Leader (Sri Lanka) had the story excerpted below tucked away in the business pages. It contains several lessons for public policy that will be discussed below. They include the importance of interrogating data to make sure that your conclusions make sense and of course the ever present problem of incentives. Some 1.2 million cellular phones were imported illegally into the country last year, causing a loss in government revenue, the B.
The demand-side data generated by the Teleuse @ BOP 3 study clearly shows the urban-rural gap among teleusing households (those who own some kind of mobile phone or have a fixed phone in the house) significantly narrowing. But respected colleagues are citing supply-side data to assert not only that the gap is not narrowing, but that it is significantly widening. This is contradictory not only with our demand-side results, but also with the claims made by the Indian Minister. We hope they will engage with us on clearing this fog. More perilous, however, is the inequality between rural and urban India.
Press Release 2009 from Brown Lloyd James. ICTD2009 highlights new developments in technology for developing countries “Dr. Artur Dubrawski, Director of the AutonLab at Carnegie Mellon University and Mr. Nuwan Waidyanatha, Senior Researcher and Project Director of LIRNEasia in Sri Lanka, are presenting their collaborative project using mobile telephony. The project uses the T-Cube Web Interface, a tool developed by Carnegie Mellon University to visualize and manipulate large scale multivariate time series datasets, to support real-time bio-surveillance.
For a country that stood at the bottom of the pyramid in terms of telecom penetration a decade ago, 2008 was a watershed when India’s subscriber base topped 350 million users to make its network the second largest in the world after China, displacing the US. The significant achievement was made possible by the mobile telephony segment of communications, which was once thought to be a gizmo for the rich – what with a tariff of Rs.16.80 per call when the telecom revolution began in the country in the early 1990s. But with tariff falling to 40 paise a call and incoming calls becoming free, mobile telephony began to appeal to the masses.
Alexander Graham Bell and/or Elisha Gray invented conventional telephony, most people know. Marconi is generally recognized as the father of radio, but many know that people like Tesla did most of the heavy lifting. Bell and Marconi are more or less household names, possibly because the prominence achieved by the companies named for these men. Who invented the mobile? Here is the obituary of Amos E.
Last Friday, I was invited to speak at an awards ceremony for the winners of Colomba Wate, a mobile game in Sinhala.   The young entrepreneur had given up a cushy university job to start the company, Gamos Technology Solutions.   That was perhaps the main reason I agreed to speak at his event within hours of returning to Sri Lanka. The slides that I used to illustrate my talk are here.  The basic thesis was that the mobile is now becoming more than voice, or even an Aladdin’s Lamp, to use Muhammed Yunus’ phrase.
The debate over Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum auctions and internet telephony comes at a time when international organizations and analysts are painting a starkly contrasting picture of the Indian telecom and IT sectors. Recent International Telecommunication Union (ITU) data reveals that the success of India’s telecom revolution is restricted to mobile voice with very little to showcase in fixed line and internet access, or high-speed broadband. For a country that is the global IT and ITeS capital or the world’s back office, its own internet penetration remains one of the lowest in the world. Forecasts are equally uninspiring, projecting high-speed internet access to remain abysmal till 2012. Internet broadband penetration will limp along to eventually reach a measly 3.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday (Jan 3) recommended open bidding process for granting licences for mobile television service in the country. Allocation of spectrum to mobile TV licensees should be automatic for successful bidders and should not require any further selection process. The FDI limit for mobile television service providers should be 74 per cent, it said.Releasing its recommendations on issues relating of mobile TV service here, TRAI said there were two routes for providing the services — one by using the telecom network with spectrum already allotted, and the other using the broadcasting method — and both can be used for launching the service. Telecom operators, having the Unified Access Services License (UASL) or the Cellular Mobile Telephony Service (CMTS) License, will not require any further licence or permission for offering mobile TV services on their own network using spectrum already allotted to them.
Swami is an employee of My Mobile store in Noida can tell how the mobile business at his store has been dwindling in one of the most popular markets in New Delhi region for mobile phones and its accessories. Before January, My Mobile would sell goods worth about Rs 2.5 lakh on any given Sunday but sales started dipping about four to five months ago and the Sunday before Christmas, which should have been a busy period, with sales being down in the range of Rs1 lakh. “Our future is in danger,” Swami says pointing to a Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications’ service centre that doubles as mobile phone retail store located bang opposite My Mobile outlet. The Sony store opened a year ago.
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.
Informa Telecoms & Media reveals that worldwide mobile penetration will hit 50 per cent – or around 3.3 billion subscriptions – on Thursday, just over 26 years since the first cellular network was launched.  Since its birth in 1981, when the first mobile telephony network was switched on in Scandinavia, the mobile phone has become one of the world’s great success stories. As of the end of September there were operational networks in 224 countries around the globe, a figure that has increased from 192 in 1997 and 35 in 1987.   Informa estimates that mobile networks covered 90 per cent of the global population by mid-2007.
Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet now at Google, appears to see a key role for the mobile especially in developing countries. ACM: Ubiquity – Cerf’s Up Again! — A New Ubiquity Interview with Vint Cerf CERF: Well, certainly that has happened in the sense that the mobile telephony has allowed the provision of communication services, and let me include in that Internet access, in places where it was very difficult to obtain that service before. And so, I think roughly the number of telephone terminations has more than doubled in the last five years. It’s gone from a little over a billion to a little over 2.
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
Rohan Samarajiva chaired the Universal, Ubiquitous, Equitable and Affordable session at the ITU World 2006 that raised some fundamental questions about Universal Service Obligation (USO) programs around the world. Rohan introduced the topic [PDF] drawing from LIRNEasia‘s recent Shoestrings II study on telephone use at the “bottom of the pyramid.” The first Keynote speaker, Zhengmao Li, VP China Unicom, described the efforts of the Chinese govt and his company in building a harmonious digital society. Thanks to the govt’s policy to provide access to ICTs on an equitable and affordable basis, more than 97 percent of administrative villages in China have a phone. The second Keynote speaker, Tom Philips, Chief Regulatory Officer at the GSM Association forcefully argued that USO programs in most parts of the world have not resulted in improved access but have rather harmed the objective of connecting those who currently do not have access.
Ambar Singh Roy, The Hindu Business Line Habarana (Sri Lanka) , Sept 17 It would be imperative for India to replicate the urban competitive model in its mobile telephony segment in the rural areas with a view to improving the country’s ranking in the global digital opportunity index (DOI), according to LIRNEasia, a regional information and communication technology policy and regulation research and capacity-building organisation. Read full story at The Hindu Business Line online.
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