the Philippines


 We continue to receive media coverage for the Islamabad Mobile 2.0 Applications and Conditions Expert Forum Meeting. M. Somasekhar’s piece on Hindu Business Line on mobile payments says: Experts from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Kenya, Thailand, the Philippines, Bhutan and Bangladesh among other nations met in Islamabad recently to discuss their experiences in providing mobile phone services for the BoP segment in their respective countries. They agreed that a beginning has been made and the road ahead appeared daunting, but technological progress promised quick results.
The world’s fastest txters are South Koreans, followed by US and Argentina. What does this mean for the Philippines status as SMS Capital of the World? The inaugural Mobile World Cup, hosted by the South Korean cellphone maker LG Electronics, brought together two-person teams from 13 countries who had clinched their national titles by beating a total of six million contestants. Marching behind their national flags, they gathered in New York on Jan. 14 for what was billed as an international clash of dexterous digits.
Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency, said the South Asian and South East Asian countries are divergent in terms of regulatory risk. It says Sri Lanka has the highest risky regulatory environment while the risk is lowest in Malaysia.  Buddhika Piyasena, Director in Fitch’s TMT team, said, Sri Lanka’s high regulatory risk score reflects insufficient transparency in the regulatory process combined with the regulator’s strong connection with the political framework. The total regulatory risk score for each market is derived based on three major sub-categories: Political & Social Policy Risk. Industrial Policy Risk.
We are always happy when people use our research. Happier when we are mentioned as the source too. We thank the writer and/or the source for attributing the results to us. While there is no separate data on the number of female subscribers in the country, according to a recent Lirneasia Teleuse Survey (a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank), mobile phone ownership is far lower among females than males in South Asia. Statistical analysis shows that gender has a significant impact on mobile phone adoption at the bottom of the pyramid in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.
Colloquium conducted by Dr. Erwin Alampay of NCPAG, Philippines. Presentation began by looking at the potential for M-money. Why should we use m-money? Improving efficiency: Improve services, financial services.
Findings from the Teleuse at the bottom of the pyramid (T@BOP3) will be released at a meeting organized with the leadership of the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) on 10 February 2009. This will be followed by media interactions in Mumbai and Chennai. Ayesha Zainudeen, Harsha de Silva and Rohan Samarajiva will present at the events. Teleuse@BOP, pioneered by LIRNEasia in 2005, is a unique series of cutting edge demand-side studies on ICT use among the BOP. The 2008 study was conducted across six countries, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and most recently, Bangladesh, among a sample of 9500+ BOP (SEC D and E) users.
While some Asia-Pacific economies are world leaders in information and communication technologies (ICT) where broadband access is ultra-high speed, affordable and close to ubiquitous, in most of the region’s poorer countries Internet access remains limited and predominantly low-speed. This is what ITU’s Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Report for the Asia-Pacific region 2008 says. It was released at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, Bangkok, Thailand yesterday (Sept 2, 2008). The Report finds evidence that ICTs and broadband uptake foster growth and development, but the question remains as to the optimal speed that should be targeted in view of limited resources. The area in which the region really stands out is the uptake of advanced Internet technologies, especially broadband Internet access.
LIRNEasia researchers will participate at the International Communication Association conference in Montreal, Canada, May 21-26, 2008. Rohan Samarajiva will present a paper based on LIRNEasia‘s study on the gendered aspects of telecommunications use in emerging Asia, entitled, ‘Who’s Got the Phone? The Gendered Use of Telephones at the Bottom of the Pyramid‘. Abstract: ‘Much has been said about women’s access to and use of the telephone. Many studies conclude that a significant gender divide in access exists particularly in developing countries.
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.
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Although seen as India’s greatest challenger in terms of its potential scale, China fared poorly for language skills, Gartner said. China, India and Singapore all had strong government support for the promotion of their country as an offshore services location. The political and economic environment remains a concern for many companies when moving work to offshore locations and so Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam rated poorly, Gartner said. Powered by ScribeFire.
Buzzcity got the top award for mobile networking applications at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress held in November 2007.   This blog describes how they are changing their charging structure, partially based on LIRNEasia research. gammalife: BUILDING MOBILE COMMUNITIES We organised a session of BuzzCity-NUS Digital Media Forum a few weeks ago with presentation by Dr. Rohan Samarajiva, who leads a regional ICT policy group called LIRNEasia. His group had a done a study across five Asian nations – India, Pakistan, The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand – and asked people the main reason why they use a mobile phone.
by Harsha de Silva & Ayesha Zainudeen In Does inequality matter? Exploring the links between poverty and inequality (p. 135-167), Edited by Prashan Thalayasingam & Kannan Arunasalam. Published by CEPA, Colombo, 2007 Pre-publication version available for download. The paper was presented at the Centre for Poverty Analysis Annual Symposium on Poverty Research in Sri Lanka (6-7 December 2007, Colombo) Introduction: Much has been said of the benefits of access to telecommunication especially at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’.
i4d, a reputed Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) magazine, recently featured an article co-written by LIRNEasia researcher Ayesha Zainudeen based on LIRNEasia‘s Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid study conducted in 2006. The article highlights the study’s main findings with a special emphasis on the gendered aspects of telecommunications use at the BOP. Phones at the bottom of the pyramid: Telecom Accessibility – i4d Magazine In a 2006 five-country study, which was conducted by LIRNEasia, researchers asked 6,269 respondents in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Thailand about their access to, and use of telephones. Those surveyed were all users at the lowest socio-economic strata in the countries, at ‘the bottom of the pyramid’ (BOP). Their responses revealed many differences between users in the five countries, but more interestingly, inter-country inequalities in phone use between men and women.
‘Getting a Dial Tone: Telecommunications Liberalisation in Malaysia and the Philippines’ by Lorraine Carlos Salazar, Senior Researcher at LIRNEasia and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), was published by ISEAS this week.The book analyses the telecommunications reform process in Malaysia and the Philippines where far-reaching reforms have taken place.By looking at the institutions and actors that drove these changes, this book examines state capacity, market reform, and rent-seeking in the two countries. In doing so, the study challenges conventional depictions of the Malaysian and Philippine states. It contends that despite the weakness of the Philippine state, reform occurred through a coalition that out-manoeuvred vested interests.
Mobile phones are about to become the simplest and quickest way to transfer money across borders, under a deal announced yesterday by Western Union and GSM Association, the main mobile phone operators’ body. The agreement could have a big impact on global cross-border remittances, worth an estimated $500bn a year, and provide a springboard for mobile carriers and Western Union to offer other mobile banking services using “mobile wallet” technology. Cross-border money transfers valued at up to $100 in countries such as India, the Philippines, Mexico and China – which have large volumes of remittances from migrant workers – will be an early priority of the deal. Thirty-five mobile operators with 800m customers in more than 100 countries have signed up to take part in the GSMA Mobile Money Transfer pilot scheme led by Sunil Mittal, managing director of Bharti Airtel. Other participants include MTN, Orange, Orascom, Smart, Telenor and VimpelCom.
The Daily Mirror, a leading English daily in Sri Lanka, recently featured an article on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its potential to drive productivity at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP). The article cited research conducted by LIRNEasia on telecom users at the BOP and the pioneering Grameen microfinance approach to extending telecom access to the poor. The notion that users at the bottom of the pyramid are either unwilling or unable to access telecommunication facilities is effectively dismissed by the findings of the LIRNEasia cross-country research, which indicates that low income users in Sri Lanka averaged about 23 calls per month, while those in India and Pakistan averaged more than 30 and those in the Philippines averaged around 16…A particularly interesting conclusion that emerges from this research is the perception that accessibility to telephony helps in reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and in instilling a feeling of social mobility among the poor. Continue reading ‘Driving productivity at the bottom of the pyramid: How ICT can help’. Print version also available here: .