General


The government newspaper, the Ceylon Daily News, carried a well-written story on Google Loon, Rama Corp, and dangers to spectrum framework. “We first told the companies who had been with us throughout, that because they had supported us through difficult times, we would give them a base frequency of 7.5Mhz (900Mhz band). The other companies, like Suntel, Lanka Bell and Lanka Telecom were given a base of 2.5Mhz (800Mhz band).

ICTD 2016

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The 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2016) was held from 3- 6th June 2016. The conference held at the University of Michigan, saw a variety of sessions on different topics. LIRNEasia participated in the session on ‘Debating Open Development: Sharing and Interrogating Experiences of Developing Cross-Cutting Theory in ICTD’ organized by the Strengthening Information Society Research Capacity Alliance (SIRCA). This session provided an introduction to the SIRCA III Research Programme. LIRNEasia has been selected as one of the teams to conduct research in the empirical phase of the SIRCA III Programme.
A report published by Analysis Mason this April on “How to get a billion Indians online by 2020” explores different potential business models to connect digitally un served and under served Indians. As for their forecast, unique Internet users in India by 2020 will be 746 million. The authors suggest connecting the additional 254 million digitally un-served and under-served Internet users are important for the users to benefit from the multiple government initiatives such as MGNREGA, AADHAR and Digital India. As the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) backhaul is been rolled out in India, authors explore seven business models to provide last mile access using NOFN  infrastructure. Operators/ ISP initiatives Promotional 3G/ 4G packs to drive discovery/ Experimentation Minimal speed free universal data access (64 kbps; 10MB/ day) Central/ State government initiatives Community or Government institution Wi-Fi (NOFN) Subsidized data packs for low income group segment USOF based WiFi access through reverse auction using NOFN Corporates and tech companies driven initiatives CSR based free WiFi access Use of innovative technologies/ solutions for access It explores the pros and cons of each of the above access models and compare them based on multiple parameters.

Regulating through design

Posted on June 10, 2016  /  0 Comments

It was in the 1990s that Larry Lessig put into beautiful form an idea that was bubbling up all over the place among people thinking about emerging technology. This was the idea of West Coast Code versus East Coast Code. Both regulated what could and could not be done on various tech-mediated spaces. But East Coast Code sought to do so through law, courts, regulatory agencies and the old paraphernalia of the regulatory state. There are obvious problems in this approach.
I was asked about Loon by a journalist from Ceylon Daily News, the government newspaper. Here is the gist of what I said. Sri Lanka has fewer Internet users than we would expect for a country at its level of income and literacy. I am all in favor of experiments and innovations that seek to address this problem. Therefore I am in favor of Loon.
Below are excerpts from the abstract of a paper entitled “Has the incidence of brain cancer risen in Australia since the introduction of mobile phones 29 years ago?,” published in Cancer Epidemiology. Significant increases in brain cancer incidence were observed (in keeping with modelled rates) only in those aged 70 years (both sexes), but the increase in incidence in this age group began from 1982, before the introduction of mobile phones. Modelled expected incidence rates were higher in all age groups in comparison to what was observed. Assuming a causal RR of 2.
Given below is a news release reprinted verbatim in the Daily FT. I hope to see some real writing on this very important backhaul facility soon. Abu Saeed Khan wrote about it some time back. Dialog’s investment in the BBG Cable Project exceeds $ 34.5 million (Rs.
There is little doubt that the consumer gets a raw deal in the Philippines, as evidenced by broadband quality data. The long-term sustainable solution is a third and perhaps a fourth operator. But that prospect receded. The Philippines’ San Miguel Corp (SMC), after failing to find a foreign partner to launch a third mobile operator in the country, announced it is selling its telecoms assets to incumbents PLDT and Globe Telecom for more than $1 billion, with each taking a 50 per cent stake. The two operators, which together have a 99 per cent market share of mobile connections, will pay a total of PHP52.
Increasing presence of the global stalwarts in Yangon is evident in Chatrium Hotel (thumbnail). It’s just a snapshot of the bigger picture. Such multinationals are to be in touch with their home offices through secured enterprise solutions like MPLS. Therefore, after the meteoric rise of its teledensity, Myanmar must change its course towards enterprise. The government has published its Spectrum Roadmap in early April.
UNESCO and International Media Support (IMS), together with the National Management College (NMC) in Yangon, have conducted a comprehensive analysis of media landscape study in Myanmar. The ultimate objective of this study is to present key findings and recommendations that will guide policy-makers and stakeholders in their decisions on the development of media in the country. LIRNEasia conducted what is considered to be the first nationally representative sample survey of ICT and knowledge uses and needs in Myanmar with 8130+ surveys of individuals at household level. Assessment of Media Development in Myanmar report  quotes LIRNEasia’s Baseline Survey of ICT and Knowledge Access in Myanmar.
“Either we disrupt or we get disrupted,” warned Cisco’s outgoing CEO John Chambers in his last speech to the industry last year. He also said that 40% of companies will be dead in 10 years. “If I’m not making you sweat, I should be,” Chambers quipped. He was referring to the rising tide of innovation that breaches the dyke of comfort zone where conventional verticals reside. Less than a year after Chambers’ keynote, GSMA has reported how the mobile industry has failed to secure a sizable share from $3.
As a pro-poor, pro-market organization we are always interested in how costs of connectivity can be reduced, because then we would have sustainable connectivity for the poor, who will hopefully cease to be poor in the process. Mark Zuckerberg’s ideas are of great interest: It should not be surprising, then, that Mr. Zuckerberg is relying on open source to reduce the price of building and running the world’s telecommunications networks, a business estimated to be worth about $150 billion a year. “Our rule is 10 times faster or 10 times cheaper or both,” said Jay Parikh, Facebook’s vice president for engineering. “We want to get a full Facebook experience to every end user, whether that is video, or eventually virtual reality.
Current research on micro-work platforms has given LIRNEasia much to think about. The conditions for successful participation in platforms are quite different in developing economies than in the developed economies they originate in. But that does not mean we should over regulate them, or regulate them badly. There is a lot of good innovation happening here, that requires space. We hope to address the questions raised in this article in the Economist, that concludes as follows: Regulators still have much to learn about how to deal with platforms.

4G on offer in Myanmar

Posted on May 25, 2016  /  0 Comments

Ooredoo, which rolled out a 3G network in 2014, skipping 2G altogether, is first to offer 4G over existing frequencies. Ooredoo Myanmar, the country’s third largest operator, launched 4G service in parts of the country’s three major cities — Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay – making it the first to offer the high-speed service. The operator rolled out the service across more than 20 townships in the three cities and aims to cover half of Yangon’s townships, nearly 90 per cent of Nay Pyi Taw’s townships and all of Mandalay, without giving a timeframe, the Myanmar Times reported. Its 4G plans will be priced the same as its 3G offers. Report.
That is a real achievement. If you add the numbers you will see that the 80/100 people that was to be achieved in 2018 has been surpassed. Congratulations Myanmar. Myanmar’s leading mobile operator Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) added more than 8.5 million mobile connections over the past year, taking its user base to 20 million.

A4AI is needed in Detroit

Posted on May 23, 2016  /  0 Comments

I could not find a better illustration of the positive externalities of broadband than this story about Detroit, a once great American city: Detroit has the worst rate of Internet access of any big American city, with four in 10 of its 689,000 residents lacking broadband, according to the Federal Communications Commission. While difficulties in connecting to the Internet in rural areas are well known, Detroit is becoming a case study in how the digital divide in an urban setting can make or break a recovery. Bridging a Digital Divide That Leaves Schoolchildren Behind FEB. 22, 2016 The deficiency of Internet access in Detroit is particularly glaring given that broadband is now considered as basic as electricity and water. Last year, the F.