LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, was quoted recently in an article published by TIME on India’s widening telecom scandal. A recent report published by India’s top auditor highlights irregularities in the government allocation of 2G spectrum to private companies. Rohan Samarajiva, an expert on telecom policy in South Asia, has studied the mobile-phone market in Bangladesh. There, too, investigations revealed hundreds of cases of spectrum sold and resold in “non-transparent” transactions. Nevertheless, Bangladesh has nearly 100% phone coverage and some of the lowest prices in the world.
LIRNEasia Mobile 2.0 research on potential use of mobile money services among the BOP in emerging Asia has been published in the latest edition of ITID (Vol. 6, Issue 4). The paper entitled, “M-money for the BOP in the Philippines” is authored by Erwin Alampay, LIRNEasia Research Fellow, and Gemma Bala. Abstract This paper explores the reach and use of m-money among the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) in the Philippines using survey data from LIRNEasia’s 2008 Mobile 2.
LIRNEasia Senior Research Manager, Ayesha Zainudeen, was recently invited to speak at a seminar organized by DIRSI, LIRNEasia‘s Latin American sister organization, to mark their five-year anniversary. Ayesha spoke on the various demand and supply-side mobile and broadband indicators LIRNEasia measures to guage sector performance in emerging Asia. The full presentation can be viewed here. The seminar, titled, “Telecommunications in Latin America: Persistent Gaps, Commitment and Opportunities” was organized within the framework of the 3rd Ministrial Meeting, eLAC, 2010. The seminar brought together scholars, practitioners and government officials from various countries in the region.
LIRNEasia Chair and CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, will make a presentation on “The Budget Telecom Network Model and its Extension to Wireless Broadband” at a workshop entitled, “Mobile Broadband: Igniting the Service Revolution” to be held on 26-27 November 2010 in New Delhi, India. Organized by the IIMA IDEA Telecom Centre of Excellence (IITCOE), the workshop brings together several key senior executives from the corporate, government and non-for-profit sectors in India. The PPT presentation is available for download here. More information on the event can be found here.
In September 2009, LIRNEasia Chair and CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, participated in the second Harvard Forum on “Connection and human development” held at Harvard University, USA. Harvard Forum II was convened by Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Michael Spence, in collaboration with Randy Spence and theInternational Development Research Centre. Its aim was to bring together leading thinkers in the area of development to discuss how ICTs could contribute to poverty reduction in developing countries, both now and in the future. It was a follow-up to the Harvard Forum I held in 2003, where several needs in the ICT for development (ICT4D) area were identified (including ICT governance and regulatory reform, especially in the telecommunication sector). One of the outcomes of Harvard Forum I was the funding of organizations such as LIRNEasia that seek to remove policy and regulatory barriers to the use of ICTs.
LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva will deliver a keynote address on broadband development in the Asia-Pacific at an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) organized by UNESCAP’s Committee on Information and Communications Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. Click here to view presentation slides. More information on the event is available here.
The first keynote address at the CEO Conclave organized by Voice and Data included an announcement that India’s National Broadband Plan will be released in a few weeks. Dr. J.S. Sarma, the Chair of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, said in addition that optical fiber will reach every Panchayat with more than 500 people.
LIRNEasia Lead Scientist, Sujata Gamage, presented a paper on “Merits of the Carnegie Basic Classification for Benchmarking the Performance of Universities in the South” at the 8th Globelics International conference held on 1-3 November 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The paper is co-authored by Il-haam Petersen, a former research intern. Click here to read the full paper and here to view PPT presentation.
Tahani Iqbal, LIRNEasia Research Fellow, has been invited to make a presentation on the “Wants and needs of women in developing markets” at a mWomen Working Group Meeting organized by the GSM Association on 9 – 11 November 2010 in Chennai, India. She is the only non-industry speaker at the event, and will present findings from LIRNEasia‘s studies on telecom use at the bottom of the pyramid. Click here to view presentation slides.
LIRNEasia’s Senior Research Manager, Sriganesh Lokanathan, was invited to share LIRNEasia‘s work in increasing price transparencies in agricultural markets, at the Annual Portfolio Review (APR) for the Asia-Pacific division of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) which was held in Nanning, China from Nov 1-3, 2010. In addition he also led a discussion for around 30 IFAD practitioners and regional partners on ways to reduce information asymmetry in agricultural value chains. Given the large share of value chain projects in IFAD’s current portfolio, Sriganesh stressed the potential benefits (from connecting stakeholders as well as reducing information asymmetries) of incorporating Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) into IFAD’s poverty alleviation strategies. LIRNEasia’s own research has revealed considerable livelihood benefits for farmers from just the provision of real-time market price information to farmers via mobile phones. The presentation slides can be found HERE.
LIRNEasia‘s m-health research pilot project has been featured in the October 2010 issue of FutureGov Asia Pacific magazine. Led by Nuwan Waidyanatha, the project explores the use of mobile phones for early detection of communicable diseases in selected cities in India and Sri Lanka. The full article can be downloaded here or read below: Sri Lanka has completed the trial of a mobile phone project which helps early detection of communicable diseases. The ‘Real-time Bio-surveillance Programme’ allows data on patients and symptoms of illnesses to be sent directly from hospital wards to the epidemiological centre through a web interface installed on mobile phones. Under the present manual system, set up in the 19th century, it can take more than two weeks for information of outbreaks to reach the epidemiological centre in the capital.
Payal Malik, Senior Research Fellow, will represent LIRNEasia at an upcoming seminar on “Interconnection in Mexico” on 27 October 2010 in Mexico City, Mexico. The seminar is being organized by the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A.C. (CIDE/Mexico) and the Telecommunications Research program Telecom CIDE. The event brings together a select group of government, academy and civil society representatives.
LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, will make a presentation entitled, “Asia: Broadband and forms of government intervention” at the International Institute of Communication’s Annual Conference on “Trends in global Communications: Riding the the next digital wave” to be held from 18-19 October 2010, in Barcelona, Spain. Presentation slides can be downloaded here.
LIRNEasia CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, delivered a guest lecture on the theme “Not one path to the Internet economy” at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, on 14 October 2010. Presenting findings from the LIRNEasia’s study of ICT use at the bottom of the pyramid, Teleuse@BOP3, he used a video of Chamara Pahalawattage, an 18-year-old Sri Lankan, who has utilized his phonefor obtaining more work, and hence, a higher income. Presentation slides from the talk will be posted shortly.
Chanuka Wattegama, former Senior Research Manager and Broadband Specialist at LIRNEasia, will be one of three speakers at a pre-budget “sanvada” organized by the Pathfinder Foundation, on 14 October 2010 at the BCIS Auditorium, BMICH premises. Chanuka will make a presentation on “ICTs and Telecom: Opportunities, Challenges and Recommendations”. The sanvada will be chaired by Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne, Professor of Economics at the Universitity of Colombo. For more information on how to register (admission free), click here.