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

Tag Archives: Telecom

SARH Systematic Review Programme for South Asia : Call for competitive systematic reviews and evidence summaries. For more details see announcement.

Does Sri Lanka government want to discourage ICT use or is it just following the Sutton Doctrine?

internet-malta

The 80 percent and 160 percent increases in taxes on voice-SMS-VAS services and data, respectively, caused me to write an oped anchored on one instrument of public policy, use of fiscal means to discourage use of demerit goods. I wish to make clear that there is nothing wrong with subjecting telecom services to normal taxation […]

Is Sri Lanka seeking to promote Internet or not?

The government-owned Sunday Observer has carried a story on the unraveling of the previous tax regime affecting telecom services that makes reference to the findings of our Systematic Reviews. “This will be the highest tax ever imposed on telecom users in the country. It is likely to reduce telecom use, especially of data. It is […]

Yes to VAT, no to industry-specific taxes that treat telecom like tobacco

I was asked to comment on the Sri Lanka government’s decision to extend value-added taxes to the telecom industry. Below is my response. I have always taken the position that telecom services should be treated no differently from other goods and services. Therefore, I do not object to making telecom services subject to VAT. The […]

Mobile phones, internet, and gender in Myanmar: Joint GSM Association Connected Women-LIRNEasia study

This report is the result of research conducted by GSMA’s Connected Women programme and LIRNEasia in Myanmar in 2015. LIRNEasia’s nationally representative baseline survey of ICT needs and usage in Myanmar showed a gender gap  in mobile ownership of 29%  by March 2015.  Together with GSM Association’s Connected Women program, LIRNEasia explored the reasons behind […]

Myanmar government seeks foreign partner for consortium holding 4th telecom licensee

It will be a hard road for the fourth licensee, now that MPT, Telenor and Ooredoo have got a running start. The challenges of managing a large consortium will also be considerable. The newest tender winner will join an 11-company consortium comprising Myanmar Technologies and Investment Corporation, Myanmar ICT Development Corporation, Myanmar Agribusiness Public Corporation, […]

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, […]

Is the Indian telecom market consolidating?

The story in Live Mint starts with revenue shares. The Big Three (Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea) now have 70 percent of revenues. But what caught my eye was what was going on on the data side. Again the numbers can be used to illustrate this: As the uptake of data, the next growth driver […]

Even at a billion plus USD, FDI in Myanmar telecom sector still second to energy

The incredible growth of ICT in Myanmar has been enabled by massive investments, business models and managerial skills. Yet, it appears that FDI in the sector is still not the largest. This is a good sign for the balanced development of the Myanmar economy. In the first five months of the 2014-15 fiscal year, telecoms […]

LIRNEasia at Sri Lanka Internet at 20 celebration

I was sending email to Sri Lanka from around 1991 through LAcNET, but many do not consider that real Internet because it was store-and-forward by Sanjiva Weerawarana at Purdue using MCI Friends and Family calling plans that we all contributed to. So after they officially launched in April 1995 and then finally got SLT to […]

Telenor Myanmar grows at million customers a month in first quarter

First results from Telenor Myanmar, from Telecom Paper. Telenor ended its first quarter in Myanmar with 3.406 million mobile customers. The new mobile operator generated NOK 287 million in revenues in Q4 2014 and an EBITDA loss of NOK 248 million. It spent NOK 598 million in Q4 and NOK 4.28 billion in all 2014 […]

Applying basic principles of policy design across sectors

Parvez Iftikhar will be amused that I am proposing a fund, after objecting to his favorite Universal Service Fund. But that is how the policy game gets played. We look at something that does not work at all or produces more bad outcomes than good (government-owned telcos with universal service obligations in the old days; […]

Suggestion for the ITU as it heads into its 150th year: Refocus

I was asked to participate in panel that posited a series of questionable propositions as its starting point. “Regulation was becoming less relevant; ITU had done a good job building regulatory capacity; now it needed to find new things to do” is a rough paraphrase. We have now fully emerged from an environment where service […]

MPT and KDDI-Sumitomo to split profits; KDDI-Sumitomo to invest and manage?

Usually, profits go to those who take the risks and do the work. What is MPT’s contribution to the JV? Being “the industry regulator,” which I hope is a misstatement of facts? Contributing the land and existing assets? Middle management? Japanese wireless carrier KDDI, and trading house Sumitomo, will spend on telecoms infrastructure and jointly […]

Foreign ownership v ownership by pension fund?

Ownership matters. That is why we take special precautions when the incumbent telecom operator is owned by the government. There is a tendency for the government to want to look after its creature, even if it means that the “playing field” is tilted against private competitors by the regulator. It’s been a long time since […]

11,674 employees, the sticking point in KDDI-MPT deal

It is important that the government-owned telcos modernize their management in the face of competition by well-endowed modern companies such as Ooredoo and Telenor. If they do not, their fate will be the same as those of BTCL in Bangladesh and BSNL in India. Cash negative, if not for propping up by government using tax […]

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