Blog — Page 80 of 337 — LIRNEasia


In the context of some work we were doing with the support of Ford Foundation we conducted four case studies of national broadband initiatives. The four case studies were presented at the Expert Forum we convened in New Delhi in March 2014 and may have contributed to the rethinking of the becalmed NOFN project that has now been relaunched as Digital India. The comparative analysis has now been published as Gunaratne, R.L. et al.
I was reminded of Pramod Mahajan, a former Minister who died tragically. He was responsible for “unifying” the Ministry of Telecom and the Ministry of Electronics and IT. He also said Indian succeeded in IT and beauty only because the government was not involved. Echoes of Mahajan are heard in these reactions to Prime Minister Modi’s launch of Digital India. While Mr.
The original idea was that problems in the last mile were holding back the next billion. My argument was that while problems of quality and affordability are experienced by users on their terminal devices in the last mile, the actual causes are along the supply chain, in the form of expensive and non-resilient domestic and international backhaul. The slideset.
Indian government has endured stormy opposition when Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL), its international telecoms arm, was privatized in early 2000. Since then, through merger and acquisition along with new build-outs, the Indian carriers – Tata, Reliance and Bharti – dominate the global connectivity business. Moreover, each submarine cable linking Asia with the Middle East, Africa and Europe hops in India due to its location. Therefore, like Japan in transpacific and the United Kingdom in transatlantic routes, India could emerge as a formidable transoceanic telecoms connectivity hub in the region. That has not happened, primarily, due to the Indian carriers’ mindless obsession for dominance.
Helani Galpaya was selected as one of the stakeholders invited to speak at the United Nations General Assembly’s Informal interactive stakeholder consultation held at UN Headquarters in New York on the 2nd of July. The selection itself was done by a committee that reviewed applications by over a 100 organizations to speak at this event.  Helani’s opening comments that were read out can be found here.
The headline said that Bharti Airtel has now reached the exalted status of having the third largest number of mobile customers worldwide, after China Mobile and Vodafone Group. But as the writer concludes, the real challenge is going to be how new business models can be implemented to make Internet access as successful as voice access. As Reliance Jio gets set to roll out a data-first network, only the networks that successfully implement a new business model that are likely to survive and prosper. He said the next phase of the company’s growth would be led by mobile internet. “This will again be a transformational phase and we have the opportunity to work with disruptive models and technologies and add value to the lives of our customers in an even more meaningful way,” he said.
I am here at the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum in Macau (I really wish they’ll agree on the English spelling; My visa says Macao; Government signboards here say Macau; my spell checker seems to prefer Macau). MAC representative Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanul haq Inu, M.P., said in his address, as he always does, that Internet is a basic human right. As Vint Cerf said, it is problematic to designate Internet as a basic human right.
In a session that was primarily a platform for the librarian community that was engaging with Internet issues, LIRNEasia was invited to provide a different perspective from the demand side. I began by saying that we would dearly loved to have data like this when we were designing the telecenter component of the e Sri Lanka initiative and that we were sharing the Myanmar data in the spirit of informing the broadly defined community that designs and delivers content and digital literacy. The slideset.Samarajiva_Myanmar for IFLA
The full webcast of the Shades of Open session which dealt with whether data held by private entities should be open is available here. At the session moderated by Stefaan Verhulst, I framed the issues within the context of principal-agent theory and competition and illustrated my arguments from our experience in working with mobile network big data. I went first, so my opening presentation is at 4:26. The second intervention is at around 26:00.

Father of SMS passes

Posted on June 30, 2015  /  0 Comments

Only 23 years? It’s now in decline, but the idea of sending short text messages will live for ever. Matti Makkonen, the reluctant “father of SMS”, has died at the age of 63. Makkonen pitched the original idea for SMS in 1984, while working as a civil servant, over a pizza at a telecoms conference in Copenhagen. His work is widely regarded as being critical to its success, though Makkonen did not receive any money from the invention, because he did not apply for a patent.
The event ‘Twenty years of Internet in Sri Lanka’ was organized by the Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter recently. The event was organized to look back at the achievements which established the internet in Sri Lanka over the last twenty years and to honour the pioneers who made this a reality in Sri Lanka. Professor Rohan Samarajiva, Founding Chair LIRNEasia was one of those felicitated at the ceremony for his contribution to the development of networking and Internet in Sri Lanka. As reported in the Financial Times, speaking at the event Prof Samarajiva discussed the progress made by Sri Lanka and pointed out some of the issues faced by Asia today. “What we have found through our research at LIRNEasia is that today, the real problem is the internet’s international connectivity.
In the context of LIRNEasia’s work, connectivity is usually understood as electronic connectivity. But as the quote below exemplifies, in most contexts it means everything other than electronic. It is our challenge to merge these two conceptions. It is now normal in road design to include conduits for fiber. We hope that this will be written into the Asian Highway legal documents shortly.
Fifteen years ago, 2G was still the new, new thing. I recall asking the engineers at the TRC to present a comparative assessment of 2G and CDMA. Who would have thought it would outlast 3G? All thanks to M2M. Tommi Uitto, SVP, global mobile broadband sales at Nokia, noted that operators are – even now – calling for an evolution of the legacy GSM standard to support its continued use in M2M.
While we are fully sympathetic with a focus on wireless in the access network, we have for long been advocates of bringing optical fiber as close as possible to the user and for moving from point-to-point or ring architectures in current fiber networks to mesh architectures. In this context, reports of a breakthrough in optical communication makes us happy. Of course, we understand it takes a little while to go from the pages of Science to reducing repeaters in actual optical fiber cables. One way to understand the challenge of sending data through fiber-optic circuits is to imagine a person shouting to someone else down a long corridor. As the listener moves farther away, the words become fainter and more difficult to discern as they echo off the walls.
Manila retains its second position among the top-ten BPO destinations worldwide. It remains ahead of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune but ranks behind Bangalore, according to consultancy Tholons. The rapidly growing BPO industry now represents 6% of Philippines’ GDP and rivals remittances from migrant workers as the country’s largest revenue generator. BPO sector employs more than 1m people and the industry’s revenues, which currently stand at $18bn, could reach $25.5bn in 2016.
When the President of the Treasury Board of Canada comes to a conference and delivers a serious speech you know that the government takes the subject seriously. And the effort IDRC out into its organization showed it was a high priority for them too. It was a long way to go to speak for 15 minutes, but luckily the listening was perhaps even better than the speaking part. To paraphrase one of Moliere’s characters for more than seven years we had been doing openness without knowing it. It was good to have that understanding reinforced.