Blog — Page 57 of 338 — LIRNEasia


According to the government as reported by Eleven, there has been much progress made on beefing up Myanmar’s international backhaul. The report does not say what the terms and conditions of access to the backhaul is and whether the necessary licenses have been granted to make possible the use of AAE1 and SEA-ME-WE 5, which were initially conceived of as providing China with an alternative to the Malacca trap. Myanmar has expanded its fibre optic cable to 31,000 kilometres this year, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communication. Myanmar had only used the SEA-ME-WE 3 fibre optic cable previously, but people in the country will be able enjoy the benefits of the SEA-ME-WE 5 and AAE1 cables soon. The inland fibre optic cables link Muse and Myawady to Thailand, and in the 2015-16 fiscal year, a new inland fibre optic cable linked Tachilek to Thailand.
It’s been a long time coming. The paper that Sangamitra Ramachander presented at CPRsouth 2011 based on Teleuse@BOP research has finally been published. We are happy, both for a young researcher getting published in a prestigious journal and for the fact that it gets our research out to academic readers. The private sector in developing countries is increasingly interested in extending mobile telephony services to low income and rural markets that were previously considered unprofitable. Determining the right price is a central challenge in this context.
In our article published last year on big data for urban development in the developing world, we said At one extreme of smart-city initiatives lies the vision of a centrally coordinated city resting on pervasive use of specialized sensors (e.g., one under each parking space; multiple sensors at intersections), real-time or non-real-time analysis of the resultant big-data flows, and reliance on mathematical models. South Korea’s Songdo is the exemplar. Reports of plans for green-field developments indicate that the Modi government is leaning toward this vision.
Usually, these are not subjects that are seen as connected. But I connected them at a talk I gave at the Colombo Club today. When the losses in one year from one SOE that serves a limited clientele are almost double the total spent on the social safety program that touches over one million families, it is not a difficult case to make. My slides are here.
Some time ago, Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem announced “Kandy” would be developed as the first “Smart City” in Sri Lanka. While many projects are taking place in Kandy such as Strategic City Development Project, Greater Kandy water supply project, it is important to assess the concept of smart city, and how it can be applied to Sri Lankan context. “Smart City” as a concept emerged during the last few decades. It’s been widely marketed and adapted by private organizations as well as public organizations in cities, due to the introduction use and adaptability of information and communication technology (ICT). At the moment, more people lives in cities compared to rural areas.
I was asked by a journalist from the Express Group to comment on the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center’s use or non-use of available technological solutions, specifically some kind of VSAT facility in Padukka. I said I was not in a position to comment on this, but said I would comment their good use of DEWN and their inexplicable non-use of Sahana. Both DEWN and Sahana were technological solutions developed within Sri Lanka by Sri Lankans in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. DEWN is a CAP-compliant robust method for communicating with first responders. It was handed over to the DMC in 2009 and has been well used since.
Last time the BJP was in power, Pramod Mahajan was Minister of Telecom. He listened to The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), a group of IT business people primarily of Indian origin based in the US and merged the DoT (in charge of telecom) and DEITy (in charge of IT). This was portrayed as a major step toward convergence. But the offices were separate, they had different secretaries, and different cultures. All that was common was the Minister.
A box in 2015-16 Affordability Report of the Alliance for Affordable Internet includes a box on gender which begins thus: By March 2015, just over a year after liberalising their ICT sector, 40% of Myanmar’s population between the ages of 15-65 owned a mobile phone. Yet, women were 29% less likely to own a mobile phone than men. To understand the reasons for this gender gap in mobile phone ownership, GSMA and LIRNEasia conducted a qualitative study among 91 men and women in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, and Pantanaw, a small town in the southwestern part of the country. The research showed that women in Myanmar play a prominent role in the management of household finances — even if they do not earn anything themselves — and are frequently involved in the financial decision to purchase a mobile phone for the family. Yet women’s access to this family mobile phone is often limited because the phone tends to travel outside the home, with the person who is deemed to need it the most.
It was happenstance that New York Times commentator and US Academic of Turkish origin Zeynep Tufekci was in Turkey when the coup unfolded. Her reflections on the role played by the Internet and social media in defeating the coup are of great interest. But what caught my eye was a simple action mobile operators can take in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, natural or otherwise: When I was stuck at the airport in this city in southern Turkey, on Friday night, I had many things to worry about. A coup attempt had just begun and the country was in turmoil. My plane to Istanbul had almost flown into the worst of the fighting, but luckily we were prevented from taking off at the last minute when the airspace was closed.
In our teleuse surveys, we found that missed calls beat out texts in some countries (e.g., Bangladesh v Philippines). One explanation is that there are more illiterate people in the countries where missed calls predominate. Qualitative research found that a lot of texting did not involve literate work, mostly it was forwarding messages sent by others.
Speed is important in entry to competitive markets. The issues have been discussed in the context of other countries. One hopes that the negotiations will be speeded up and that they will make the necessary investments fast. However, according to the Myanmar Times, negotiations are still ongoing, the venture is not yet formally established and as such has not been able to apply for an operating licence. In addition to Viettel, the JV will comprise a government shareholder, known as Star High Public Company, and a local consortium, Myanmar National Telecom Holding.
In cyberpunk novels, the world of face-to-face interactions is called meatspace. Everyone knows what cyberspace is. The doyen of cyberpunk William Gibson invented the term. Surveillance is built into cyberspace. In the case of consumption activities, surveillance allows the marketer to “know” what the prospective customer wants and to shape her desires through targeted and customized messages.
In 2012 we wrote about the dangers posed to cloud computing in our contribution to the 2013 UNCTAD Information Economy Report. When the lower court ruling mandating Microsoft to give the government access to data stored in Ireland came out in 2014, this is what we said. Now the Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Microsoft: On Thursday, Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft’s president, said the court’s ruling was a victory for digital privacy rights. He added that the adoption of cloud services by customers in some countries, especially in the public sector, had slowed as a result of the uncertainty around the privacy of their communications.
LIRNEasia is currently hosting  Dr Ayumi Arai from the University of Tokyo’s Center for Spatial Information Science. She is also a Research Fellow with LIRNEasia collaborating on our big data for development research in Sri Lanka. We took the opportunity to organize a lecture for her yesterday (14th July 2016) for the senior staff of the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) Sri Lanka, as preamble to a longer discussion with the department to collaborate with LIRNEasia and our partners on big data and official statistics in Sri Lanka. Dr Arai’s talk was on her ongoing Dynamic Census research work in Bangladesh which utilizes mobile network big data and official statistics to provide spatio-temporal insights on the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the population at high granularity and high frequency. The slides from her talk are available HERE.
The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary Industries organized a seminar on 5th of July at the Galadhari Hotel, Colombo to discuss the ways to become “Export Giants Through Modernization”. The seminar comprised of more than 30 leading exporters of export agriculture crops, fruits and vegetables. An Expert panel was set up to have an interactive session. The expert panel consisted of the Honorable Daya Gamage, Minister of Primary Industries, Eng. Bandula Wickramarachci the secretary to the Ministry of Primary Industries, Mr.
Impact of broadband on the economic development of countries is extensively focused on research. To minimize the digital divide and increase the access to broadband, regulators and governments of developed as well as developing nations launch broadband policies/ plans and guidelines.  Different organizations and entities carry out further research on this subject and produce white papers on the same. The colloquium held at LIRNEasia last Thursday focused on three white papers published on broadband and digital connectivity this year (2016). These are; Government broadband plan: 5 key policy measures that proved to make a difference: Nokia (2016) Connecting the world: Ten mechanisms for global inclusion: PWC (2016) Digital Enablement: Bridging the Digital Divide to Connect People and Communities in India: Huawei (2016) The Nokia commissioned white paper was done by diffraction analysis.