First results from Telenor Myanmar, from Telecom Paper. Telenor ended its first quarter in Myanmar with 3.406 million mobile customers. The new mobile operator generated NOK 287 million in revenues in Q4 2014 and an EBITDA loss of NOK 248 million. It spent NOK 598 million in Q4 and NOK 4.
Online edition of The Atlantic has reproduced the piece of Leo Mirani that refers to LIRNEasia’s 2012 findings on Internet being eclipsed by Facebook. Jonathan Zittrain of MIT has posted this article on his Facebook page. And that is the beauty of a good research.
Yesterday, I was the only non-politician on a political debate show on TV known as “Satana” (battle). The topic was the new President’s/government’s 100 Day Program (of which more than one-third has passed). I was not expecting to talk about the taxes imposed on the mobile industry, but right in the middle, one of the “referees” asked me about one of the three (or two, depending on the company size) taxes imposed on the mobile operators. I briefly answered saying it was not a good idea since its retroactive and mobile-specific nature was likely to have the effect of depressing investment that was needed if Sri Lanka is to move to the next stage of connectivity beyond voice. I had taken this position without any serious pushback in other media since shortly after the interim budget was announced.
MIT’s professor Mitchel Resnick puts coding before the cart of literacy, “To thrive in tomorrow’s society, young people must learn to design, create and express themselves with digital technologies.” And we have covered it. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of www, thinks the lawmakers should also know coding. He believes it is crucial that politicians appreciate the technical capabilities of computers and that a knowledge of coding is key. “We need more people in parliament who can code, not because we need them to spend their time coding but because they have got to understand how powerful a weapon it is, so that they can make laws that require people to code to make machines behave in different ways.
Colombo, the focus of our exploratory work on mobile network big data, is a tiny town by global standards: 550,000 people. But our analyses show that the surrounding area is tightly integrated contributing over 54 percent of the daytime population of the city, but contributing little or nothing to the services the commuters must be provided. A former Mayor once told me that he had thought of using the dormant power of the legislation that established the Colombo Municipal Council to establish tolls at the gates of the city. Appears this is not a problem limited to Colombo. Current debates about the efficiency of urban governance gravitate around the ‘fit’ between the size of the administrative boundary controlled by a city mayor or governor, and the actual number of people who live in the ‘wider functional metropolitan’ area.
A Freedom fone (FF) workshop was conducted on 28 Jan 2015 at Wayamba University of Sri Lanka. The purpose was to train the staff of Department of Export Agriculture (DOEA), who has been working with us to promote the campaign Original post is at: http://mobilizingknowledge.blogspot.ca/2015/02/a-training-workshop-on-interactive.html
I was invited to a roundtable discussion on the first part of the above question today, along with the heads of several think tanks in Colombo. Having gone out of sense of citizenship, I will summarize the key points that I made so something is realized from the expenditure of two hours that could have been otherwise spent. Be it academic research or policy-relevant research there is always an audience. What matters are that audience’s criteria of research quality. In the academic world, peer review operationalizes that albeit imperfectly.
At LIRNEasia, we do not treat interns only as cheap labor (though they are that too). They each have a mentor, a researcher who works with them and spends time with them. After all, LIRNEasia was set up by a person who loved and continues to love the learning culture of a good university but could not stomach any more faculty meetings. But as with all students, whether we have done any good through our efforts with our interns takes time to become evident and usually that time frame does not mesh with the short durations of projects and their evaluations. But in Ransimala Weerasooriya we have an exception: A Musaeus College student from Thalawathugoda has earned the University of Queensland (UQ) Centenary Scholarship for undergraduate studies in Economics, with just one a year being offered to an international student.
Just realized that we had not provided the link to the video of the talk given on January 16th. The stream.
It’s a tribute of sorts that old findings from research we no longer do gets carried in the UK mainstream media. Millions of Facebook users in developing countries do not realise that they are using the internet, suggesting that, in many people’s minds, the two are one and the same, according to a report by Quartz. In a survey of Indonesians by think tank LIRNEasia in 2012, many of the respondents talked enthusiastically about how much time they spent on Facebook, but said that they did not use the internet. An unrelated survey by Research ICT Africa discovered a similar trend, with the number of respondents saying they used Facebook much higher than those who said they used the internet.
The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka was created in 2003 as a new kind of government organization focused on implementation. Its tag line was “Ideas actioned.” We are pleased by the announcement that Chanuka Wattegama, an alumnus of LIRNEasia with work experience also in the UNDP’s regional ICT initiative, has been appointed to the Board by the new government. Chanuka was the founder editor of Sri Lanka’s leading IT magazine and has been writing about how ICT plays out at the village level for many years, including when he worked with LIRNEasia. This website carries many of his writings on this subject based on first-hand observations.
We no longer do quantitative and qualitative research on the demand-side of Internet use (except in Myanmar) but it is indeed gratifying to find work that we did in 2012 being described and even replicated at some cost in 2015. In an attempt to replicate Stork and Galpaya’s observations, Quartz commissioned surveys in Indonesia and Nigeria from Geopoll, a company that contacts respondents across the world using mobile phones. We asked people whether they had used the internet in the prior 30 days. We also asked them if they had used Facebook. Both surveys had 500 respondents each.
Modi Seeks Telecom Ministry to Speed Up Broadband Project http://t.co/Iz433L5HJ0 pic.twitter.com/6VvpnnVs65 — New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) February 8, 2015 When I saw the tweet, I thought Modi was going to takeover the telecom portfolio. Only to find it was a bad headline that had then crept into a misleading tweet.
Verizon is in the the news and under the gun for its use of supercookies to track mobile users. The company uses the tracking technology — alphanumerical customer codes known as supercookies — to segment its subscribers into clusters and tailor advertising pitches to them. Although Verizon allows subscribers some choices regarding the use of their information for marketing purposes, the company does not permit them to opt out of being tagged with the persistent tracking technology. Our discussion: Within the first cluster proposed by Solove, the most relevant problem is surveillance. In the context of big data, it is useful to distinguish between active and passive surveillance.
India has excluded Assam and Manipur, two of its troublesome northeastern states, from the 17,500-km long Trans-Asian Railway (TAR) network. It has proposed a Bangladesh-Myanmar railway link via Tripura and Mizoram instead, according to Times of India. Indian policy makers now want to bypass the areas in Assam and Manipur. According to the new proposal, Dhaka should be connected to Jawahar Nagar in north Tripura, which is south of Mahisasan from where new lines will be laid to proceed towards Sairang in Mizoram from where it would be connected to an existing line at Ka Lay in Myanmar. “The UNESCAP plan is not final and there is room for modification.
A 24/7 news channel interviewed me about the mobile-only taxes proposed by the new government. It is not online (yet) so I cannot give a link. The last question I was asked by the interviewer was about my recommendations to the government. Here is what I said: 1. The proposal that the mobile operators should pay the 25 percent tax on voice calls currently paid by mobile users should be withdrawn.