An Egyptian company said it will launch 3G mobile telephone service in North Korea on Monday, after winning the contract to build the advanced network in a country where private cell phones are banned. Under the terms of the deal reached in January, Orascom Telecom will invest $400 million in network infrastructure and license fees over the first three years to develop the network. Orascom said it was the first foreign telecommunications company to be awarded a North Korean commercial telecommunications license. It was not clear what restrictions, if any, would be imposed on the network, which provides data capabilities as well as phone services. Ordinary North Koreans are forbidden from having cellular phones, and the government maintains strict controls over Internet access.
We pay for other utilities (electricity, water, phone services) by the amount utilised, but usually a flat rate for broadband depending upon the bandwidth. I have earlier compared this to paying for water based on the diameter of the pipe, instead of liters consumed. The following letter by a reader to USA Today highlights similar concerns – may be in another context. WHY SHOULD BROADBAND BE FREE? James Lakely – Chicago Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin’s reference to the phone industry exposes the weakness of his argument to provide free broadband access in the USA.
Sri Lanka’s telecom sector soared in 2006 to 7.3 million users, led by a 59% jump in new mobile phone connections on competition and falling call rates, an AFP report said. Quoting the industry watchdog Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, the AFP report said despite a waiting list of around 366,000 for fixed-line phone services, mobile phones, including GSM and CDMA systems, had allowed rural residents to get phone services immediately. The AFP report further said fixed-line subscribers rose to 1.9 million in 2006 from 1.
The Study of India’s Universal Service Instruments by LIRNEasia researchers Payal Malik & Harsha De Silva, critiqued the Indian government’s policy that made only fixed line operators eligible for USO funds: As of today, the government is giving USO fund support to only the fixed line operators offering services in the rural areas. The over defining terms in the law is a bad idea in a rapidly evolving technology environment, though this correction has been suggested it is quite possible that the previous auctions have left huge amounts of rents that have been appropriated by the incumbent. In an industry that manifests the potential for rapid technological change and innovation, such as telecom, an economic analysis of a problem should not focus too narrowly or exclusively on the best use of society’s resources from the standpoint of today’s technology and resource availability i.e. static economic efficiency but should be viewed from a dynamic perspective.
In the 1990s, I was involved in intense debates in the US about how to incentivize telcos to bring fiber closer to the home. It’s finally happening, and guess what is driving it? Competition. “Verizon will spend about $20 billion by the end of the decade to reach 16 million homes from Florida to California. But it is in New York City where Verizon has the most at stake, because New Yorkers are some of the nation’s biggest buyers of video, Internet and phone services.
by Martyn Warwick – 28/4/2006 11:57:47 http://www.telecomtv.com/news.asp?cd_id=6652&url=news.