VOIP


I took the first photo. That was in April 2008 in an informal telecenter visit. The second one appeared in a Sinhala blog recently. Mangedara Nenasala telecenter at Thulhiriya (less than 2 km from MAS Holdings) is one of the hundreds of defunct Nenasala telecenters. During better times it provided services such as utility bill payments and computer training.
Two years back China Mobile bought Paktel for US$460 million. That was a legitimate transaction. Last week two Chinese nationals were arrested while the authorities busted a bypass den at Islamabad. They have been allegedly the partner of an “influential Pakistani” in this illegal venture. It claims to have caused an estimated six billion rupees (US$74 million) loss to the exchequer.
Here are the summarised results from the telecenter operator survey done by LIRNEasia at the weCan workshop in October 2008. Sample was not representative, but large enough to get a general idea about the telecenter operations in Sri Lanka. Out of a total of 147 operators surveyed, the bulk, 101 were from Nenasalas, the 500 odd telecenter network created under the World Bank funded e-Sri Lanka programme. 10 were from Sarvodaya multi-purpose telecenters and 6 from others (eg. public libraries) 30 have not specified the type of the telecenter.
Last updated 10:01am (Mla time) 10/03/2007, Philippine Daily Inquirer NEW YORK–In spite of its global popularity, Internet telephony (VoIP), which is almost free for users, has not become a gold mine for its pioneers such as Skype and Vonage. Popular online auction firm eBay, which bought Skype two years ago for $2.6 billion, affirmed that message in a costly way earlier this week when it devalued the once-darling firm, knocking $1.43 billion off its value. The accounting move was long anticipated.

The rural revolution

Posted by on August 31, 2007  /  0 Comments

In the remote agricultural province of Lao Cai in Vietnam a few shared community phones are being replaced with high-speed WiMAX broadband connections and VoIP telephony for thousands of residents.   In rural Cambodia, a new 3G/UMTS mobile network is being deployed for delivery of high-bandwidth wireless services, including live streaming of mobile TV channels.   In rural India, farmers can monitor crop prices and place orders for goods electronically by visiting broadband “community centers” that are taking root around the country.  All are examples of a “rural revolution” enveloping less-developed countries in Asia and around the world, made possible by advanced telecommunications technologies such as Wi-Fi, WiMAX and 3G.   This revolution is bringing high-speed Internet access and next-generation telephony to millions of users who previously had little or no access to even the most basic telecoms services.
Many think that VoIP is the solution to all telecom problems. It is a solution, but not to all problems. It does not give you something for nothing, in the long run, though in the short term, something may be had for almost nothing. The articles describes the problems faced by VoIP operators in the US, where the basic infrastructure is already in place. In countries of the South, we have to keep in mind that the fiber has not been laid; the households have not all been connected; etc.
A new report from the North American research house, Instat, reveals that the US is way behind its European cousins in consumer Voice over IP (VoIP) adoption – and this despite the fact that 2006 was a particularly good year for the technology globally with the wordwide total of VoIP subscribers increasing by 34 million.  The leading European VoIP adopters over the course of 2006 were France, Germany, and the Netherlands. According to Instat analyst, Keith Nissen, “The EU market increased by over 14 million subscribers last year largely due to local loop unbundling, the introduction of cable telephony and triple-play service bundles as well as operator consolidation.”  By contrast the US added a mere four million new VoIP subscribers over the same period. Keith Nissen says US carriers “don’t seem interested in selling anything other than plain-old-telephone-service.
Bangladesh government seems to be convinced to open its last monopolistic area of telecommunications; international telephony. This is a good initiative, which needs to be supported as it would bring quality and cheap international telecoms services. However looking at the on-going debate on various aspects of this subject in the name of “VoIP Licensing” no one seems to focus on the most important area: Whether Bangladesh will come out as winner or loser after liberalization in terms of valuable foreign exchange? Pakistan’s Regulatory Consultant M. Aslam Hayat writes.
Report on the 11th LIRNE.NET Executive Training Course on Regulation, 25 February – 3 March 2007, conducted by LIRNEasia and CONNECTasia Forum Pte.Ltd. Rohan Samarajiva, Course Director The 11th LIRNE.NET course on “Telecom Reform: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence,” was held February 25th – March 3rd, 2007 at the Changi Village Hotel, Singapore.
Here is what Telegeography has to say on the subject: Computer-based Voice over IP (VoIP) is nothing new, but Skype is the first such service to break into the mainstream, attracting millions of users worldwide. Skype had 1 million simultaneous users within six months of the release of its first version for Windows in July 2004. By the end of the third quarter of 2006, Skype had 136 million registered users, and the number of users online now regularly exceeds 8 million. These users generated about 6.6 billion minutes of traffic in the third quarter of 2006, and are on track to make over 27 billion minutes of PC-to-PC calls this year.
As part of the Six Country Indicators Project, Malathy presented the interim findings from the Sri Lankan country study (over Skype). The study assesses Sri Lanka’s telecom sector and regulatory performance. It employs the common methodology and list of indicators adopted for the Six Country study.
As part of the Six Country Indicators Project, Divakar presents the interim findings from the Indonesia country study. The study assesses Indonesia’s telecom sector and regulatory performance. It employs the common methodology and list of indicators adopted for the Six Country study.
There has been considerable discussion in Sri Lanka about the need to unlicense the 2.4 GHz band used for WiFi. The Director General has assured that a Gazette reducing the license fees to LKR 100 is on the way (it would good if this can be posted on the TRC website). While this constitutes significant progress and is indicative of the progressive approach of the current leadership at the TRC, the fact remains that a license fee of LKR 0 with a postcard notification, or complete unlicensing is the right solution. A user will have to spend hours if not days especially if he/she lives outside Colombo) fullfilling the requirements of a s.
With so many options becoming available to consumers to circumvent their mobiles and fixed phones, I wonder how much longer we can expect a single tier internet. The linked BBC article examines some new VOIP companies which are providing last mile access (for PC/PHone to phone communication) for free.
Taipei to replace cellular with wifi? 10 July 2006 Source: www.telecoms.com/itmgcontent/tcoms/news/articles/20017362396.html Taipei’s City Government has launched a voice over wifi trial it believes could lead to 200,000 using the technology by year end.
June 21 (Bloomberg) — Vonage Holdings Corp. and other providers of Internet-based telephone service must help subsidize services in rural and low-income areas, U.S. regulators said. A rule adopted today by the Federal Communications Commission requires providers of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, service to contribute 10.
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