The Business Standard, 27 January 2009 The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to provide wireless broadband in rural areas. Under the MoU, BSNL will provide wireless broadband at 29,000 rural exchanges throughout the country. Each exchange will have 31 connections along with one kiosk for public use. A DoT official said, “Out of these 31 connections, 6 will be used by institutions like schools, while the rest will be for individual users.” The implementation of the entire project is expected to be completed by 2011.
Preconference workshop at the 2009 conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) | 20-21 May 2009, Chicago, Illinois, USA The draft program for this one-and-a-half day preconference is now available. Twenty five papers were selected through a peer-reviewed process; papers based on research in 15 countries in five continents in on various aspects of mobile usage will be presented. Registration can be completed through the ICA conference website.
This episode of The Interview features an interview with Executive Director, Rohan Samarajiva on telecom regulations, disaster mitigation, preparedness and early warning, mobile phone usage at the BOP and a number of other technology related issues. The Interview – Rohan Samarajiva from CPA on Vimeo.
LIRNEasia’s Executive Director, Rohan Samarajiva (Ph.D.) has been elected as a Board Member at Large in the International Communication Association (ICA) on a three year term, effective from the close of the 2009 conference of the ICA, due to take place on May 21-25 2009in Chicago (Announcement). ICA is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. The ICA is over 50 years old, begining as a small association of U.
LIRNEasia’s Executive Director, Rohan Samarajiva, is a candidate in the 2008 elections of the International Communication Association (ICA); he is being considered for a position on the Board of the ICA, representing West Asia. Visit the election page.
Preconference workshop at the 2009 conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) | 20-21 May 2009, Chicago, Illinois, USA | Download Call for Papers (pdf) Mobile phones are becoming increasingly important in bringing people into the Information Society. It is widely accepted that the inhabitants of the future household will carry mobile devices that will be capable of voice and data communication, information retrieval and forms of entertainment consumption. Mobiles are now (and will increasingly become) payment devices that can also send, process and receive voice, text as well as images; in the next few years they will also be capable of information-retrieval and publishing functions normally associated with the Internet. Through such services and applications, industry experts predict that many in emerging markets will experience the Internet, or ‘elements’ of the Internet for the first time through a mobile phone, rather than a PC; mobile payments, mobile social networking, SMS voting are just a few examples of some of these services and applications. Emerging markets appear to be following a different trajectory from developed markets; while the latter are moving forward via triple- and quadruple-play scenarios, the former are moving on paths that involve mobile phones as the key […]
Business Standard | Priyanka Joshi / Mumbai September 21, 2008, 0:31 IST Internet search giant Google hopes to hook the millions of cellular phone subscribers in India who do not use data or SMS-based services with its voice-based search. It is conducting pilot projects in Hyderabad and Delhi, and is expected to roll out more in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata shortly. The company is expected to add audio playback for search queries on local news and entertainment.
Sep 4th 2008 | From The Economist print edition Computing: In future, most new internet users will be in developing countries and will use mobile phones. Expect a wave of innovation THE World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the body that leads the development of technical standards for the web, usually concerns itself with nerdy matters such as extensible mark-up languages and cascading style sheets. So the new interest group it launched in May is rather unusual. It will focus on the use of the mobile web for social development—the sort of vague concept that techie types tend to avoid, because it is more than simply a technical matter of codes and protocols. Why is the W3C interested in it?
Executive Director, Rohan Samarajiva will participate at the ITU Asia 2008 conference taking place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2-5 September 2008. He will talk about universal service at the opening plenary with the Indian Minister at the Telecom Development Symposium on 4th September. He will also give the keynote talk at the Business and Finance Session of the ITU Asia Youth Forum on 2nd September, chaired by Bosco Eduagive a rdo Fernandes, Vice President (BU & IM Industry Relationship), Nokia Siemens Networks GmbH & Co. KG (Germany). ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 is a key networking platform for Asia’s top ICT names to come together and focus on core issues relating to ICT expansion across the region.
Aug 26, 2008, telecomasia.net Asia’s emerging markets, comprising eight nations, are expected to see mobile subscriber net gains of 573 million by end-2012, breaching the one billion mark to close the year at an estimated 1.06 billion subscribers, a report from research firm Frost & Sullivan said. In 2007, these emerging markets were home to some 487 million mobile users, accounting for 37.1% of Asia-Pacific’s total mobile subscriber base, the report said.
A Review by Frederick Noronha. MobileActive.org August 18, 2008 | KatrinVerclas Civil society can play a large role in getting people digitally connected, say the co-editors of the new book ‘ICT Infrastructure in Emerging Asia: Policy and Regulatory Roadblocks’. “However, in order to reap the full benefits from connectivity in a long-lasting manner, underlying issues of policy, affordability and technology need to be addressed,” LIRNAsia’s Executive Director Rohan Samarajiva and co-editor of the book with Ayesha Zainudeen, told Mobileactive.org in an email interview.
From Sify.com Frederick Noronha (IANS) | Thursday, 07 August , 2008, 11:40 Bangalore: India is growing by leaps and bounds when it comes to mobile use, but it could be doing better, the authors of a new book on policy roadblocks to communication growth in South Asia have said. LIRNEasia executive director Rohan Samarajiva and researcher Ayesha Zainudeen, editors of the book ‘ICT Infrastructure in Emerging Asia: Policy and Regulatory Roadblocks’, told IANS in an interview that over the study period, India’s mobile connectivity was overtaken in per-capita terms by both Pakistan and Bangladesh. “There is still a large gap between rural and urban telephone growth, as highlighted in the book, due to flawed policy implementation (at the time of writing),” said Samarajiva.
The Sunday Times, Sri Lanka, June 08 2008. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/080608/FinancialTimes/ft331.html Norman Gunawardene was one of the three part-time members appointed to the reconstituted Telecom Regulatory Commission in 1997.
LIRNEasia’s Lead Economist presented the findings on the percieved benefits of telecom access at the bottom of the pyramid at ‘The Global and Globalizing Dimensions of Mobile Communication: Developing or Developed‘ a pre-conference program at the ICA 2008 conference in Montreal on 20-21 May 2008. The paper presented, ‘Perceived economic benefits of telecom access at the Bottom of the Pyramid in emerging Asia‘ takes a look at what BOP phone owners gain from telecom access from their own perspective. One of the most interesting findings here, is that although they see efficiency gains stemming from phone access/use, they don’t relate these to economic gains. This is puzzling, because we know from macro-level studies that a positive relationship exists between phone penetration and national income; additionally, theory suggests that for example saving time or a physical trip to convey a message or obtain information, can translate to economic savings. However, there seems to be some kind of ‘disconnect’ in BOP perceptions of the value of a phone.
LIRNEasia’s Executive Director will present a paper on the gendered aspects of telecom use at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) in emerging Asia, at the 58th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA), ‘Communicating for Social Impact’ in Montreal, Canada, on 26 May 2008. The paper ‘Who’s got the phone? The gendered use of telephones at the bottom of the pyramid’ explores the so called gender ‘divide’ in telecom access at the BOP in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Thailand, finding that that a significant gender divide in access to telephones exists in Pakistan and India , to a lesser extent in Sri Lanka , but is absent in the Philippines and Thailand. The authors argue that perhaps as penetration levels increase, overall the gender divide may reduce, although in some cases like Pakistan, culture will override. The paper also looks at difference is usage patterns between men and women at the BOP, and challenges some of the findings of studies which claim that women’s and men’s use is fundamentally different.