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Tag Archives: reform

Frank assessment of Myanmar challenges by Telenor

We know how much pent up demand there is in Myanmar for voice and data communication. The government has fast-tracked reforms to respond. World Bank and others, including LIRNEasia in our small way, are striving to help. Some tunnel-visioned do-gooders are trying to hold back informed reforms that will learn from the experiences of countries […]

LIRNEasia to speak on Myanmar telecom developments at PTC 2014, Honolulu, Jan 20, 2014

LIRNEasia has been engaged with the telecom reform process in Myanmar for some time now. Back in 2012, I published an op ed inside Mynamar entitled, “Myanmar is last in world for telecoms: What can be done?” Last month, another article was published, this time in Bamar. The tone was a lot more optimistic. At […]

Another piece on Myanmar, in Myanmar

IJ PDF 14-41_Page_70

When I was interviewed by a journalist from the Internet Journal, said to have one of the highest circulations in Myanmar, I offered him a short piece I had written about Myanmar. It’s now been translated into Bamar (except for the table and my name). The last few paras of the piece: The government intends […]

Travails of changing the energy mix

LIRNEasia is not known as an energy shop, but we’ve been getting into electricity issues gradually. In a week or so, LIRNEasia will be making a presentation to the Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka on the best ways to introduce demand-side management. This NYT article shows how difficult deviating from the conventional path is […]

Myanmar today: Waking up to possibilities

Public phone girl sleeping

It was not long ago, that we thought the Myanmar would remain asleep whilst the rest of the world (save maybe North Korea) reaped the rewards of a vibrant telecommunications sector. Even a few short years ago, the only phone connectivity was through kiosks such the one depicted in the photo, a mobile SIM could […]

Our engagement with Myanmar begins

It was tough to engage when reforms were not on the cards and Myanmar seemed happy to watch while the whole world got connected. Those days we wrote about China selling mobile service inside Myanmar and about cables that were cut. We also wrote about Cyclone Nargis and our small contributions to relief. But all […]

Why regulatory reforms are incomplete

The last few days, I’ve been preoccupied with the basics of regulation and sector reforms. This was because I was preparing for a regulation course we’re teaching in Naypitaw, Myanmar, for government officials who will form the core staff of the to-be-created ICT infrastructure regulatory agency. The teaching I do these days mostly assumes the […]

Appreciation: Radley Dissanayake, Telecom reformer

I recall a Sinhala poem from my time at Peradeniya University. It asked who had actually built Sigiriya and the great irrigation works: The kings who routinely get the credit or the unnamed many who did the actual building? The telecom reforms in Sri Lanka are now seen as an unqualified success. The reforms did […]

Lower mobile connection charges in Myanmar from April?

The liberalization process in Myanmar is chugging along, with an arrest or two, bad advice from the ITU Regional Office and so on. Hope things will get better. In a poor country like Myanmar, it is hard for grassroots people to get a cell phone. The price has dropped to 150,000 kyat but there are […]

A new license to be issued in Nepal; A novel justification for it

I am all for the issuance of new licenses in Nepal, a country with a population of 30 million and fewer mobile operators (officially) than its South Asian peers. But the justification is novel. Seems to solution the described problem afflicting Nepal Telecom is some kind of program to reform it, including, but not limited […]

Flawed law in Myanmar may cripple telecom sector growth

It appears that previously expressed hopes for a good law on telecom emerging from the recesses of Nay Pyi Taw were overly optimistic: Information-technology experts and entrepreneurs have proposed amendments to Myanmar’s telecommunications bill that was made public last month. Khun Oo, president of the Myanmar Computer Federation, said the information and communications technology sector […]

One vision of how agricultural supply chains will be reformed (and smallholders will benefit)

Technocrats (and people like us who emphasize the rational) would prefer a rational, integrated solution. But we rarely get greenfield opportunities. In almost all cases vested interests dominate. So the reform that gets done is imperfect and messy. This is the message P Chidambaram, Minister of Finance seems to be giving to NYT. The gates […]

Myanmar telecom reform outlines

Having a customer-centric sector seems a good idea. The Ministry seeing its primary function as that of taxing operators a tad problematic. What is a public switchboard telephone network? But this is what is trickling out of Myanmar. “The Department of Posts and Telecommunications will be coordinated by the Ministry of Communications, Posts and Telegraphs, […]

Book launch breaks tradition by initiating discussion

DSC_3439

I am not one for tradition, but we followed tradition to some extent, with the lighting of the lamp (associated with knowledge) and the general format of a book launch. One thing I insisted on was the need to open up for discussion. And discussion we had: This was a faculty member from the University […]

Myanmar telecom thinking seems stuck in the 1980s

Reports are coming out about the Myanmar government’s plans for the telecom sector. Sadly, little seems to have been learned from the rich experience of the past two decades. Why otherwise would there be an interest in maintaining 51% ownership of the new operators? More interesting is the line about developing a national backbone. Are […]

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