South Korea


Rohan Samarajiva, Ph.D. CEO of LIRNEasia will speak at the International Seminar on Information and Communication Technology Statistics , to be held from 19 – 21 July 2010 in Seoul, Korea, at the session ‘Enhancing ICT Data Availability.’ He will be speaking on ICT indicators: LIRNEasia’s perspective. An online version of the agenda can be viewed here.
LIRNEasia’s future work will focus on knowledge-based economies, which makes us very interested in stories like this, which place innovation at the center. China’s productivity has been lifted by a massive expansion of private enterprise, and a shift of labour out of agricultural work and into more productive jobs in industry. China’s average return on physical capital is now well above the global average, according to Goldman Sachs. A decade ago it was less than half the world average. Why have the Asian economies led the pack?
Infosys Technologies chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy has declined to be the IT advisor to the Sri Lankan government, the IT bellwether said Wednesday. In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Murthy said he had decided to withdraw from being the advisor due to personal reasons. “I thank you for the courtesy shown to me during my recent visit to Sri Lanka.
The number of subscribers to High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) services – a technology that enables broadband access on mobile phones and other computing devices – will more than double next year in Asia, according to a forecast by telco industry group GSM Association (GSMA). In an interview with BizIT, Jaikishan Rajaraman, GSMA director of product and service development, said the number of users in Asia subscribing to HSPA will swell from 26.5 million to 53.5 million over the next 12 months. Fuelling this trend are soaring demand from both businesses and consumers, coupled with falling prices of mobile broadband services, he said.
Broadband | Open up those highways | Economist.com As Taylor Reynolds, an OECD analyst, puts it, innovation usually comes in steps: newcomers first rent space on an existing network, to build up customers and income. Then they create new and better infrastructure, as and when they need it. In France, for example, the regulator forced France Télécom to rent out its lines. One small start-up firm benefited from this opportunity and then installed technology that was much faster than any of its rivals’.
A United Nations survey of global e-government readiness has found that many Asian countries are sliding down the rankings. Just one Asian country—South Korea—made the top ten coming in at sixth, with Japan next on 11th.   The next highest was Singapore at a surprisingly low 23rd, and Malaysia at 34th. The top 35 countries are otherwise dominated by Europe, Australasia and North America.  The biggest revelation was that most Asian countries are sliding down the rankings.

Too much of a good thing?

Posted by on November 18, 2007  /  0 Comments

In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession – New York Times South Korea boasts of being the most wired nation on earth. In fact, perhaps no other country has so fully embraced the Internet. Ninety percent of homes connect to cheap, high-speed broadband, online gaming is a professional sport, and social life for the young revolves around the “PC bang,” dim Internet parlors that sit on practically every street corner. But such ready access to the Web has come at a price as legions of obsessed users find that they cannot tear themselves away from their computer screens. Powered by ScribeFire.
The United States is starting to look like a slowpoke on the Internet. What’s less clear is how badly the country that gave birth to the Internet is doing, and whether the government needs to step in and do something about it. To get a clearer picture of where the US stands, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved legislation that would develop an annual inventory of existing broadband services — including the types, advertised speeds and actual number of subscribers — available to households and businesses nationwide. The bill, introduced by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
THE number of mobile-phone subscribers in the 30 countries of the OECD reached nearly 933m in 2005, equivalent to around 80 for every 100 people. Tiny Luxembourg has the highest penetration rate, with 157.3 subscribers for every 100 people. Indeed, it is one of 14 countries in which there are more subscribers than people. This is partly because users increasingly have several SIM cards for use with the same phone.
One of the key factors that will determine the success of the mobile-centric future scenario for ICTs over the scenario that has a computer/telecenter at the center is the utility of the mobile handset.   Whether the iPhone is  the prototype of that handset, we cannot predict.   But at least it has juiced up the discussion. Rival Manufacturers Chasing the iPhone – New York Times Analysts and executives in South Korea say that the iPhone, with its full-scale Internet browser and distinctive touch screen with colorful icons, is more than just another souped-up cellphone. They fear this Silicon Valley challenger could leap past Asian makers into the age of digital convergence by combining personal computing and mobile technologies as no device has before.
The e-readiness rankings are relatively well regarded and do not contain absurdities such as Zimbabwe being ahead of India. The latest rankings are out and show India and the Philippines tied for 54th place (a one-place drop for India); Sri Lanka at 61 (dropping two places); and Pakistan at 63 (up four places and likely to catch up with Sri Lanka soon). Indonesia, another country of focus for LIRNEasia, has slipped 5 places to 67. Zimbabwe, the country that leads all of South Asia according to the ITU, is not in the top- 70 that is provided. Nigeria, on the other hand, is just behind Sri Lanka, at 62.

Bridging the Divide

Posted by on September 6, 2006  /  0 Comments

The background paper of the keynote address given by Rohan Samarajiva at the Digital Opportunity Forum 2006 is available for download: Bridging the Divide: Building Asia-Pacific Capacity for Effective Reforms Samarajiva also chaired the two day conference held in Seoul, South Korea from 31 August – 01 September 2006.
Discussion of the paper to be presented by Divakar Goswami at the Digital Opportunity Forum, South Korea on August 30, 2006. The DOI measures the magnitude of the digital divide in a country, and uses the percentage of population covered by mobile cellular telephony, internet access tariffs and mobile cellular tariffs as a percentage of per capita income, proportion of households with fixed telephone, computer, internet access at home, etc to measure digital divide.
Bridging the digital divide is important. It may not be as important as ensuring safe water for all, or adequate healthcare, in terms of meriting investment of scarce public resources, but it is definitely important enough to merit concerted action to remove the artificial barriers to private supply. One of the best ways this can be done is by improving the knowledge that is brought to bear on the process.   The optimal way to achieve this is to create an environment within which international best practices are adapted to local circumstances by in-situ policy intellectuals. Some of these local experts could be in regulatory agencies and in government; but the optimal results will be achieved through participatory processes where all stakeholders, including the consumers are represented by knowledgeable experts.