The Business Standard (Nokia focuses on rural markets) Sapna Agarwal / Pune July 16, 2007The rural markets account for around 5 per cent of the national GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) handset sales. The figure is expected to rise to 25-30 per cent, adding around 100 million new cellular subscribers by 2009, according to a recent study by LIRNEasia and AC Nielson.
LIRNEasia is in the process of updating and fine-tuning its Mission Statement; this is being done in light of the rapid expansion–both in terms of research interests and geographical coverage. The process was kick-started at a planning meeting in Kandalama, Sri Lanka on 30 June, where LIRNEasians reviewed the current Statement, and came up with some suggestions as to how it can be improved to more accurately capture its mission.
Payal Malik, Senior Researcher, LIRNEasia was invited to the eleventh meeting of the Working Party on Indicators for the Information Society (WPIIS) of the OECD countries, held on Monday 21 May 2007, at the Department of Trade and Industry Conference Centre, London. She presented her report on “Documenting the Capabilities of Measuring ICT Statistics in India”. Her report raised great interest among the participants. In an extension to the LIRNEasia work on indicators this report profiled the institutions that collect ICT data in India , with some observations about the methodology and the limitations. The reference point for the exercise is the ‘metadata survey’, a global exercise to collect information from all countries regarding the statistical measurement of ICT (reported in “The global status of ICT indicators”) conducted by global Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development.
The Drum Beat is a weekly electronic publication exploring initiatives, ideas and trends in communication for development, published by The Communication Initiative. This week’s issue (# 399) focuses on mobile telephony, and is relevant for planning LIRNEasia’s next research cycle. Some of the articles include: Pocket Answer to Digital Divide (Jo Twist) Telecommunications: A Dynamic Revolution (David White) New Trends in Mobile Communications in Latin America (Judith Mariscal and Eugenio Rivera) From Matatu to the Masai via Mobile (by Paul Mason) Wireless Communication and Development in the Asia-Pacific: Institutions Matter (Rohan Samarajiva) The Real Digital Diversity (Seán Ó Siochrú) Must Haves: Cellphones Top Iraqi Cool List (Damien Cave) UK Children Go Online: Final Report of Key Project Findings (Sonia Livingstone and Magdalena Bober) Read more on The Drum Beat
An article entitled ‘Wireless Communication and Development in the Asia-Pacific: Institutions Matter’ by Rohan Samarajiva is featured in The Drum Beat, a monthly e-magazine published by The Communication Initiative. In October 2005, the Annenberg Research Network on International Communication (ARNIC) at the University of Southern California (USA) held a workshop – “Wireless Communication and Development: A Global Perspective” – as part of a multi-disciplinary effort to study the emergence of new communication infrastructures, examine the transformation of government policies and communication patterns, and analyse the social and economic consequences. In this 23-page paper, Rohan Samarajiva, Director of LIRNEasia traces regional trends related to the growth of wireless technologies – computers and telephones – and explores the regulatory and policy environment that is needed to continue to support these technologies’ “enormously important role in extending access to voice and data communications by hitherto excluded groups in society…” Read more…
LOW-INCOME TELEPHONE USERS IN ASIAHello, can you connect us? By Francis Hutchinson & Lorraine Carlos Salazar, For The Straits Times Source: The Straits Times, June 12 2007 – Review Section See print version NEW research on the use of telecommunications among low-income groups in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand challenges the conventional wisdom that, in developing countries, customers for high- technology goods are to be found only among high-income groups. According to a multi-country survey, the poor are already accessing telecommunications and form a large untapped market with significant unmet demand. This wide and deep client base offers vast opportunities for enterprising telecommunications companies if they can develop appropriate business models to cater to them.
International consulting firm, Oxford Analytica (www.oxan.com) based in Oxford University and draws on a network of over 1,000 senior faculty members at Oxford and other major universities and research institutions around the world reported on Lirneasia’s “Telecoms on a Shoestrings” survey outcomes in its Asia-Pacific Daily Briefs on April 18th. OA’s existing clients include over 35 governments, major international institutions, and over 160 of the world’s leading multinational corporations and financial institutions. See http://www.
The colloquium is on the proposed structure and content for the TRE Manual which is to be completed by the end of May by Lara Alawattegama, Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara and Shamistra Soysa, based on the TRE Assessment paper.
The country reports of the Measuring ICT Sector and Regulatory Performance project, a six-country multi-component study, are available for download below. The Study includes assessments of the regulatory performance in each country, using the telecom regulatory environment (TRE) scorecard; analytical descriptions of reforms that have been implemented; and measurement of changes in sector performance, using the indicators being developed under the project (more info on the project). The country reports can be downloaded here: Pakistan country report – Joseph Wilson India country report – Payal Malik Philippines country report – Lorraine Carlos Salazar Thailand country report – Deunden Nikomborirak Sri Lanka country report – Malathy Knight-John The Indonesia findings can be found in the following paper: Regulatory reforms and improved sector performance: A comparative analysis of Indonesia and India – Payal Malik and Divakar Goswami The analytical framework can be found in the following paper: Competition in whichever way drives growth: An analytical framework of ICT sector performance in emerging Asia – Harsha de Silva
Sri Lanka: Cutting it Mobile phone use is taking off in Sri Lanka – though not, perhaps, in ways that service operators might have hoped. FROM THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT In the world’s poorer countries, the purchase of a mobile phone has become increasingly affordable. Using it, however, can still be a struggle. Low-income mobile phone owners in Sri Lanka are getting around this problem with a novel method for keeping costs down. Known as ring cutting, mobile phone subscribers rely on ring tones to communicate with others, rather than actually staying on the line to talk.
Rohan Samarajiva and Sujata Gamage |The Information Society – An International Journal, Volume 23 Issue 2, 109 Download article Author Posting. (c) Taylor & Francis, 2007. This is the author’s version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Taylor & Francis for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in The Information Society, Volume 23 Issue 2, March 2007.
While development aid and political reform are essential components in poverty eradication, equally important are business models that would engage low-income communities as producers and consumers in their own robust economies. Successful business models–inherently versatile, innovative, and driven by the profit motive–can sometimes tackle development challenges more quickly and effectively than government and aid mechanisms, and are the focus of NextBillion.net. Go to nextbillion.net NextBillion.
Rohan Samarajiva | LankaBusinessOnline Fixed or Mobile March 28, 2007 (LBO) – It seems like a no-brainer: A mobile phone is better than a fixed phone, especially in Sri Lanka. The costs of getting a connection are lower: a new phone and SIM can cost as little as LKR 4,000, while SLTL charges around LKR 20,000 for a fixed connection and its competitors charge around LKR 10,000. Mobile phones are easy to use. They have built in directories and allow texting, though now these features are now available on the fixed CDMA phones as well. Calling people instead of places that people are associated with seems obviously better, unless you don’t want to be reached.
Supriya Shrinate | NDTVProfit.com, India Friday, March 23, 2007 (New Delhi): Sunil Mittal, Anil Ambani and now Arun Sarin may be the fiercest of rivals in the telecom battlefield but there’s one thing that all telecom bosses agree on that. It is the farmers in rural India and fishermen in distant shores, who will drive the next phase of growth for telecom. Little wonder then, networks are being rolled out to tap this bottom of the pyramid (BOP) as it is fashionably called. In fact according to a survey by LIRNEasia, the BOP segment makes about 35 calls on an average every month, which includes both incoming and outgoing calls.
Sonal Desai | CXOToday.com Mumbai, Mar 27, 2007: Mobile penetration will penetrate the homes of bottom or pyramid (BOP) families in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, a study instituted by LIRNEasia has found. Titled, “Teleuse on a Shoestring- A Study of the Financially Constrained in Asia,” it interviewed and maintained diaries of respondents from Thailand and Philippines besides the above mentioned countries. A C Nielsen conducted the fieldwork. International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada funded the research.