Jens Arnbak, a friend of LIRNEasia, passes

Posted on February 28, 2017  /  1 Comments

Jens Arnbak was a former Chairman of the Dutch telecom regulatory authority. Before and after his stint in regulation, he taught at Delft University of Technology. He taught at the early LIRNE.NET courses. I recall being with him in September 2001, when we were teaching together at the ANRT, the Moroccan Regulatory Authority. 9/11 happened while we were teaching. He was deeply committed to the notion that regulators should learn all the time.

When LIRNEasia started, we shifted the course location to Asia. Jens was an instructor in the 10th LIRNE.NET course offered in Singapore. He stayed on to contribute to the expert forum we convened adjacent to the course.

The first research project we undertook as LIRNE.NET was on convergence regulation and multi-sector regulation. He was deeply involved in those conversations. In the festschrift we prepared in honor of Bill Melody (published in 2002, but the contributions would have been written in 2000-2001, his chapter was prescient.

He talked about the challenges of extending to logic of convergence to electricity (because power lines could carry telecom) and to financial services. How early he wrote about the issues of payments is indicated in the language “upgrading the smart (SIM) card used in GSM mobile terminals for financial services . . ..” He was clever, but not clever enough to foresee that mobile based payments would have nothing to do with credit cards and that they would become popular in the developing world more than in the developed. But unlike most, he saw something coming.

We celebrate the well-lived life of a colleague.

1 Comment

  1. Grateful for the little engagement I had with Jens Arnbach through LIRNEnet. A real regulatory pioneer. As interested and interesting. Rare combination of public spiritedness, wisdom and open-mindness. May we remember and learn.