LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Tag Archives: satellite

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Low-latency satellite systems expand from equatorial to rest of the world

When I first came across O3b in the Pacific, I asked a lot of questions about latency. Because the answers were right, I’ve been recommending O3b type solutions to people who want satellites as part of the solution to broadband connectivity problems. O3b went from four to twelve medium-earth-orbit satellites, serving niche markets that could […]

Technology to better predict rain from storms

The government predicted rainfall more than 150 mm on the 25th of May. Over 500 mm of rain fell. Technically, they were not wrong (550 mm is within the range of “more than 150 mm”), but obviously, forecasts like this might as well not be made. [an error was corrected in the above para] But […]

Satellite fixation not limited to South Asia

The following story about Ethiopia, a country still listed as a least-developed country (LDC), wanting to put up its own communication and earth-sensing satellites caught my eye, because this is a perennial story in South Asia. In January the government said it would launch a Chinese-built civilian satellite from an overseas rocket pad within the […]

Identifying poor households: Beyond night lights

As part of our big data work, we have been looking at sources other than mobile network big data for socio-economic monitoring. Night lights images from satellites was the favorite. But I’ve been always skeptical, partly because of looking down from the New Delhi-Colombo flight which flies through the middle of India and then right […]

National prestige in the acquisition of satellites

I’ve always wondered what the attraction of national satellites is. Especially geo-stationary satellites for telecom. Below is the explanation I finally came up with and my suggestion of what is appropriate in this day and age. The excerpt is from a piece published in Pakistan and Sri Lanka a few months back. In the 1960s, […]

Best use of a regional satellite is not for telecom but for digital broadcasting

Bangladesh keeps talking about launching a satellite. Sri Lanka threw some money at it, but backed off. Myanmar is talking. Now India wants to gift SAARC member countries with a satellite to be launched using ISRO’s innovative, low-cost launch capabilities. Something Keynes wrote about economics gave me the answer to the puzzle of why our […]

Myanmar to reform broadcast sector too; plans for broadcast satellite as well

I have never been able to understand the satellite fixation some of the decision makers in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have. But Myanmar’s plans for a geostationary satellite for broadcasting makes sense. Myanmar has a population density that is very low (76 people per sq. km, compared with 1,103 for Bangladesh and 309 for Sri […]

Once skeptical, the world now looks with favor at O3B

Having been regaled on the wonders of non-geostationary satellites by various delegations seeking licenses for Iridium and ICO and other systems that ultimately fizzled out, I was originally skeptical about O3B. But they answered my questions well (despite a messed up presentation at PTC a few years back) and I have been promoting this solution […]

Google’s potentially disruptive drones

Last week in Vanuatu, a whole bunch of satellite providers and one builder of undersea cables were asked by Dean Bubley of Disruptive Innovations whether they had any thoughts on the potential disruptions posed by the various tech solutions to Internet connectivity being bruited about. They were not worried in one voice. Perhaps the news […]

International connectivity for small island states

I write this sitting in Vanuatu at the Pacific Islands Telecom Association (PITA) annual convention. These are exciting times for the Pacific (and possibly all small island states) in terms of the opening up of new options re international data connectivity. Tonga They are a few months into the new age of fiber connectivity. This […]

Sri Lanka exploits India’s inefficiency to anchor subsea cable ambulance fleet

Asian countries, despite being located in the world’s largest landmass, are interconnected through submarine optical fiber cable networks. Ciena Corp. has found that a terrestrial cable gets cut in every 30 minutes and a submarine cable is damaged in every three days somewhere in the world. And the IT downtime costs more than $25 billion […]

Mixed messages from Bangladesh regulator

For too long the government of Bangladesh has hesitated to accept the fact that the only realistic way a majority of its people can be connected to the Internet is over wireless media and has tended to treat the mobile industry as a cash cow to be taxed in order to fund Digital Bangladesh and […]

Low latency satellite on the horizon

O3B is a new satellite company that is offering low latency (120-150 ms) satellite connectivity that should be of great interest to small countries without access to submarine cables; for those wanting redundancy for the existing cables, and even cruise lines. Simple physics does not allow geostationary satellites to give low latency. O3B is using […]

Foundations of the information economy

A review of a book on the achievements of Bell Labs, the entity that made most of inventions that we now take for granted: Indeed, Bell Labs was behind many of the innovations that have come to define modern life, including the transistor (the building block of all digital products), the laser, the silicon solar […]

Sri Lanka: Sense prevails on satellites

We were happy to note that the Telecom Regulatory Commission has pulled the plug on a senseless project that we criticized when first announced and once again, for emphasis. It will be interesting to see how much Surrey Satellite Technology, a firm fronted by the son of an English Lord of some kind, cleared in […]

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