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DHAKA, Oct. 10 (Xinhuanet) — The global cell phone giants are eyeing Bangladesh as the potential market in Asia and planned for huge investment to capture it, operators said. Aminur Rahman, head of corporate affairs department of AkTel, aventure of Malaysian giant TM International Limited, told Xinhua Sunday that AKTel, which is already in the market but going slow, “has started the battle of wining the market.” “Our company wants to give a boost in the market share,” he added. Rahman said AKTel has launched a 30-day pre-paid card as a first step in it’s bid for clients hunt.

Rural Mobile Use in Sri Lanka

Posted on October 4, 2004  /  5 Comments

This serves, perhaps, as a response to the most recent comment: Almost all the efforts of elites like Prof Samarajeewa has been a farce. The rural -urban gap has widened as clearly indicative of offerings made in wireless Chamintha Thilakarathna (Reuters) Colombo, October 1 After 25 years selling fruit and vegetables at a market in downtown Colombo, Sri Lankan trader MW Ranjith made an investment that to his amazement transformed his life and his business — he bought a mobile phone. For years Ranjith, and thousands of traders and farmers like him, went without phones, discouraged by high land line charges and lengthy installation delays. But now a boom in the mobile telecoms market is pulling the informal sector into the economy and even influencing food prices. “Before I got the phone, if I ran out of vegetables I had no way of getting in touch with farmers,” said the 50-year-old trader, sitting with his phone in one hand and calculating his profits for the day with the other.

$53 Million for Wiring Sri Lanka

Posted on September 23, 2004  /  5 Comments

From Lanka Business Online: The World Bank late Tue approved US$ 53 mn to roll out the e-Sri Lanka project, which aims to bridge the digital divide in Sri Lanka. Rolled out through the Information Communication Technologies Agency (ICTA) over a five-year period starting Nov., the project aims to improve public service delivery, increase private sector competitiveness, promote new sources of growth, accelerate social development, bridge the digital divide, and support peace. ICT diffusion across the country will be the enabler for development throughout the key sectors of the economy. The funds will come through the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending affiliate, with 40 years maturity and a ten-year grace period.

Public Administration in an e-Economy

Posted on September 21, 2004  /  0 Comments

The service sector drives network economies and information societies. The foundation of this sector is the communication network. As such, modern network economies depend on effective reforms in telecom infrastructure to strengthen links among local, national, regional and international networks and markets. Professor William H. Melody Technical University of Denmark London School of Economics … in his presentation on “public administration in an e-economy” to the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration.

Live Notes on Group Discussion

Posted on September 19, 2004  /  1 Comments

These are live notes, so they’re borderline incomprehensible. The value was more in that Rohan wanted to make a live text record of conference proceedings on the Net. Payal Mallik, Group 1: Case Studies, success stories of application. From India- Karnatika, first action was to formalize the land records which translates to land reforms through ICTs. Governments get to see the productivity gains from ICTs.
a speech by Executive Director Rohan Samarajiva In one of my intemperate moments I’ve said that Asia is a category that is of use only to international bureaucrats. There is little that the entire region holds in common. This is the area that has the largest concentration of poor people in the world. Asia is seen, however, as driving the world economy. The Asian Tigers, and the Juggernauts of China and India.
We selected the Eastern Part of Nepal to implement our policy of making available telephone service on demand, including rural areas. We specified that telcom was crucial to national development, and tried to encourage private investment. We also stipulated that the basic provider (ie the incumbent) must invest 15% in development. We selected 893 areas with minimal phones, 534 with no phones at all. Gurkas come from that area and there was much migration from that area.
Dr. Randy Spence spoke of his experiences in Somalia, where there isn’t much government to speak of. But people are using ICTs. However, he emphasized that ICTs must drop in cost for the investments of the 1990s to bear fruit. “I’m involved in nanotech and biotech, and fairly rapid diffusion of this technology will be very important.
We’ve basically followed the cookbook in terms of having regulation .. but we still have problems. SL is a country where we’ve given licences, but there hasn’t been much transparency. The model we’ve set out it individual licenses where scarce resources are involved, but only authorizations otherwise.

Day 2 Starts

Posted on September 18, 2004  /  0 Comments

The day two of “Expert Forum on Regulation and Investment” starts today with a focus to specifically identify, discuss and formulate possible recommendations/solutions to the issues raised over successful and productive discussion held yesterday with the launch of the forum. the participants will form working groups today and make recommendations. These recommendations will be presented and discussed at the plenary session. also will be used as triggers for discussion at the subsequent
Dr. William Melody: Think of any of the new technologies and in most countries it’s illegal. The laws are written to preserve things that are inherited, inherited regulation. The barriers to advancement are inherited regulation. Dr.

South Africa Case Study

Posted on September 17, 2004  /  0 Comments

Gillwald commented that there hasn’t been a careful focus on market structures, rather an emphasis on technical and legal human capital (as Dr. Bery previously noted). Gillwald described problems with an entrenched incumbent and an uncompetitive market leading to subpar service and profits, especially in the rural area. There is enormous unmet demand in South Africa, which is inaccessible due to regulatory market constraints. She did mention that many restrictions will be lifted in February of next year.

Lunch is Good

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The pool at the Mount Lavinia Hotel
Full Presentation Paper (Word/OpenOffice – 1MB) Paper (PDF – 500 kb) Sri Lanka Case Study on Telephone Growth – [Full presentation] Sri Lanka Case Study on Telephone Growth – Paper [Word/Open Office] Sri Lanka Case Study on Telephone Growth – Paper
The LIRNEasia Launch Party went well – with plenty of eating, drinking and dancing (and minimal photo-taking). Here are a few: Bill Melody, Milinda Moragoda, and Michael Spence Lighting of the lamp in gale force winds The view from a Mount Lavinia Hotel Room It was an auspicious launch with the personal message from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered by Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to Prime Minister (see previous post for tea with the PM) and a message delivered by MP Milinda Moragoda. Also in attendance were Manju Hathotuwa, CEO of the Information Communication Technology Agency. There were also 3 generations of Samarajiva’s including Ainsley and Evelyn Samarajiva.