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Tag Archives: Thailand

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Thailand is only SE Asia winner in IDI stakes

We deal with a a subset of ASEAN countries, the most prosperous among them being Thailand. So I looked at the performance of the not-so-rich ASEAN in the ICT Development Index. Thailand has advanced from 91st place in 2012 to 81st in 2013. Very significant. Then comes Viet Nam (101; down two places from 2012), […]

Buddhist activists engage with energy policy

Is this a regional trend? I came across this report from Thailand, soon after reviewing a book of energy policy and politics by Minister Ranawaka from the JHU, the Sri Lankan political party which has monks in leadership positions and which got into Parliament by fielding an all-monk slate of candidates in 2004. The monk’s […]

More Facebook users than Internet users in South East Asia?

Internet & Facebook users, 2014

I have always been intrigued by the differences between South and South East Asian countries. We saw this over and over again when we did the Teleuse@BOP surveys. But playing around with some numbers for Facebook users in four South and four SE Asian countries, I was astounded. In all the SE Asian countries, there […]

Bangladesh to tax the mobile industry (again)

It started with the infamous “SIM tax” in 2005. Although mobile covers nearly 100% of population and geography, a highly ambiguous Social Obligation Fund (SOF) was created in 2010. Consequently the telecom regulator has been illegally amassing huge wealth since 2011. Now the tax authorities have decided to impose 1% surcharge on mobile usage to […]

Thailand regulatory agency tries to squelch debate by suing researcher and journalist

Duenden Nikomborirak is a highly respected researcher. We have worked closely with her over the years. I was shocked to hear that the Thai regulatory agency had sued her (and the journalist who interviewed her) for libel. The robust debate and discussion essential for effective regulation cannot occur if researchers are sued for expressing their […]

Turbulence ahead for NBTC re Thai 3G auction

According a newspaper report, the design of the recent 3G auction is being investigated by the Anti Corruption Commission and the four members of the NBTC who approved the design may face suspension until the investigation is completed. Four members of the committee organising the third-generation (3G) auction last October may face an investigation after […]

Running a country on Skype

At LIRNEasia, we have had the making of place irrelevant as an organizational objective. We think we have more or less succeeded. But the government of Thailand seems to have done way better. Millions of people across the globe have cut the tethers to their offices, working remotely from home, airport lounges or just about […]

ITU-D facilitates hands-on exposure with CAP-enabled Sahana messaging software

The International Telecommunications Union – Development (ITU-D) sector recruited me to introduce ways in which the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) interoperable emergency communication standard could be operationalized in the region. The audience comprised member state delegates from their respective telecommunications regulatory authorities and their emergency operations centres (or disaster management centres). The workshop: “Use of […]

Thai media reports Teleuse@BOP4

It took a little time, but a comprehensive report on the Bangkok launch of teleuse@BOP4 results has been published in the Nation (Thailand). The survey found that Thai users spent more than any other nationality on mobile phones, $93 on average compared to $50 or less elsewhere. Most of the phones they bought had radio […]

Launch of Teleuse@BOP4 findings

LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, presented the findings from the six-country study of teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid on 9th December 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand. The presentation took place on the first day of the CPRsouth conference to an audience of about 75 people that included senior-mid level academics and media personnel. Presentation slides […]

Disagreeing with Smith Dharmasaroja: Importance of focusing on the most important issue

Smith Dharmasaroja is a hero of mine. Disagreeing with a hero does not come easy. But he is wrong to give equal or greater weight to national tsunami detection and monitoring systems than to communication of last-mile warning. It may be that the fault lies in the reporter in ordering the comments, but it does […]

Innovation and the state

We had the pleasure of engaging with an erudite politician at the inauguration of LIRNEasia’s principal capacity-building event, CPRsouth in Bangkok last week. Former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, who used to teach economics at Thammasat U before he went into politics, had this to say, as reported in Bangladesh’s Daily Star, about innovation and the […]

Human, not natural, disasters

Smith Dharmasaroja is on the ball, again. He was right in telling Thais to get ready for a tsunami, and he’s right in telling them they have caused the conditions for the floods. Floods are the biggest problem for most Asian countries. Attention must be paid. As some of Thailand’s worst flooding in half a […]

Vietnam stars in 2010 IDI rankings, South Asia so so

The ICT Development Index (IDI) rankings by the ITU are out. Vietnam, a high performer on all composite ICT rankings, has leaped forward from 91st place to 81st place, in a rare 10-place advance. In South Asia, Bhutan advanced four places to 119th; Nepal by three places to 134th; and India and Sri Lanka advance […]

Thailand TRE results gain media coverage

The release of Thai TRE results by the principal researcher from TDRI, Dr Deunden Nikomborirak, and myself last week has resulted in significant media coverage, including this piece in the Nation (though I would have preferred a milder headline). A survey of Thailand’s telecom regulatory and policy environment (TRE) has given the country a score […]

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