General — Page 239 of 245 — LIRNEasia


Phone subscribers in China may reach 746 million by the end of 2005, of which handset subscribers will approach 400 million and fix-line phone users will exceed 353 million, according to xinhuanet.com. Xi Guohua, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Information Industry, revealed the data at the China Telecom Annual Work Meeting for 2006. Since the competition of handset to substitute fixed-line telephones is intensified growth of handset subscribers continues to surpass that of fixed-line telephone. By the end of 2004 nationwide handset users reached 334.
The research report: An Investigation of the Replicability of a Microfinance Approach to Extending Telecommunications Access to Marginal Customers: the Grameen Approach (version 3.1) is now available for download as a PDF document HERE. The researchers would like to invite comment and discussion.
Mahesh Uppal, Director, Com First (India) and a frequent participant in LIRNEasia events contends that the Indian telecom regulator’s authority and independence have been undermined by recent actions of the Minister of Telecom. T V Ramachandran, Director General, COAI [cellular operators association] argues otherwise and states that the Minister’s actions promote Indian consumers’ interest. We would like to get your view on this subject, please comment below. The full debate is available at the Business Standard. No one’s doubting Maran’s recent initiatives, but the TRAI remains emasculated on critical issues like interconnection and BSNL’s monopoly Mahesh Uppal, Director, Com First (India) “A regulator without robust control of the interconnection regime can hardly ever be effective” Given the tasks before them, of ensuring a competitive and efficient market, telecom regulators can be effective only if they have sufficient say in entry and exit of players and if they can ensure that new entrants can interconnect their networks to the existing network.
Nov 17, 2005, infoDev session, organized in partnership with IDRC    A panel of distinguished experts responded to this broad question dealing with what role policymakers and regulators can play in balancing the public interest and fostering a flexible environment for ICT innovations. Rohan Samarajiva’s response is available as a video. [please allow file to load completely before playing]    Moderator: William Melody, LIRNE.NET, Center for ICT, Technical University of Denmark Panelists:      1. Muna Nijem, Chair, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Jordan 2.

LIRNEasia at WSIS, Tunis, Nov 17

Posted on December 6, 2005  /  1 Comments

Pro-Poor, Pro-Market ICT Policy and Regulation World Summit on the information Society, Matmata Room, Kram Centre Tunis, November 17, 2005, 9:00 – 16:45 LIRNE.NET and the World Dialogue on Regulation (WDR), LIRNEasia, Research ICT Africa (RIA), Diálogo regional sobre la sociedad de la información (DIRSI) Sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and The Information for Development Program of the World Bank (infoDev) 9:00-9:15 Welcome Randy Spence 9:15 – 10.15 ICT Demand, access and usage by the poor Chair: Heloise Emdon, IDRC Telecom Strategies on a Shoestring (Household Income Below USD 100/Month)(PDF download) (LIRNEasia) Ayesha Zainudeen, LIRNEasia team Digital Poverty in LAC (DIRSI) Roxana Barrantes Measuring ICT Access and Usage in Africa (RIA) Alison Gillwald, Christoph Stork 10:30-12:00 Core Networks and Policy Issues Chair: Olivier Nana Nzepa, RIA Having a Backbone; Making Best Use of What You’ve Got (LIRNEasia) Harsha Vardhana Singh, Rohan Samarajiva SADC Universities Connectivity Initiative (RIA) Lishan Adam Telecoms Funds & Regulatory Challenges (DIRSI) Hernan Galperin Universal Service Funds, Access Deficit Charges & Least-cost Subsidy Auctions (PDF download) (LIRNEasia) Harsha de Silva, Payal Malik African Regionalism, National Policy Formation and International Governance (RIA) Lishan Adam, Andrew Barendse 12:00 - 13:15 Extending Access Networks Chair: Ben Petrazzini […]
The Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) organised a seminar on ‘Submarine Cable Connectivity: National Readiness’  in Dhaka on the 2nd of December 2005.  Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia delivered the keynote speech at the seminar (read more in The Financial Express and The Daily Star). A short article based on the keynote speech will be published in the national newspapers shortly, through LIRNEasia’s Rapid Response program, supported by IDRC of Canada.
Sri Lanka aims to be paradise for high-end outsourcing By Poornima Weerasekara The need to position Sri Lanka as a provider of top-end, high value adding outsourcing destination was highlighted yesterday at a CEO’s conference, titled “Offshore to Sri Lanka.” The conference organised by the ICT sub-committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the World Bank in partnership with the Board of Investment (BOI) and the Information and Telecommunications Agency (ICTA) comprised of industry experts, venture capitalists and over 150 public and private sector CEOs. It aimed to create awareness about Sri Lanka’s potential as an off-shoring destination and to galvanize CEO’s into collectively realizing this potential. “Sri Lanka has the largest number of UK qualified accountants outside of UK. This itself is a unique differentiator to position Sri Lanka as a provider of high quality financial services,” World Bank Senior Economist Ismail Radwan said.
A draft version of the research report submitted by Payal Malik and Harsha de Silva titled “Diversifying Network Participation: Study of India’s Universal Service Instruments” is now available for download as a PDF document. Please provide your feedback in the comments section to improve the research report Study of Indian Universal Service Instruments – Draft Report
Colombo, Sri Lanka, 8 November 2005: An addressable satellite radio system for hazard warning was demonstrated to Sir Arthur C. Clarke in Colombo, Sri Lanka this week. It has been designed by WorldSpace, Inc., in collaboration with Raytheon Corporation of the US, at the request of LIRNEasia, a Sri Lankan research organization. The satellite radio is the first device to incorporate the Common Alert Protocol (CAP).

Reducing transaction costs

Posted on November 6, 2005  /  0 Comments

In 2006, LIRNEasia hopes to start a new line of research on the role ICTs play in reducing transaction costs in the economy.  Our work will begin from research on Harsha de Silva’s Govi Gnana Service (GGS) project that seeks to provide real time information on market prices at Sri Lanka’s largest agricultural wholesale market.  But it is interesting that the whole question of reducing transaction costs (at the high end) is receiving  increased attention, as evidenced by the New York Times  
The Sarvodaya Report on six months of post-tsunami activities is available at http://www.sarvodaya.org/wp-content/Tsunami6monthsreport.pdf. Sarvodaya is Sri Lanka’s largest most broadly embedded people’s organization, with a network covering 15,000 villages, 34 district offices, over 100,000 youth.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development, December 03-04, 2005 This workshop at IIM Calcutta will equip managers with the perceived benefits of ICT in the development sector in India, along with the roles that the government, corporate sector, non-governmental organizations, and people themselves can play. Bringing together faculty members from various functional groups of IIM Calcutta including Management Information Systems, Regional Development, and Business Environment, the lectures and discussions will focus on the managerial reforms and institutional aspects to make ICTs an integral component of development. Topics to be covered will include the information infrastructure, the policy issues related to ICTs, with special attention to the legal and regulatory frameworks, ICT and effective public management, public-private partnership in service delivery, especially in e-governance, pro-poor market development through ICTs, ICT and healthcare, ICT and disaster management, and the way ICT could be used for better governance through coordination between various stakeholders. More details available here.
By Payal Malik (Senior Researcher, LIRNEasia) The Indian Express: Op-Ed October 31, 2005 TRAI has recently come out with its recommendations on Growth of Telecom services in Rural India (www.trai.gov.in). It is an insightful attempt to address the anomalies of the current universal service obligation (USO) regime for the provision of rural telephone subsidy.
LIRNEasia’s past researcher Chanuka Wattegama will be making a keynote address at an Internet Governance and Telecom Regulation session at the International Workshop on Building an Information Society: Road to Tunis that will take place on October 23-25 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.Some of the material in his talk will be based on some of the findings of LIRNEasia’s current research that Chanuka was involved in while he worked with us. Chanuka was the lead researcher on a LIRNEasia project to Benchmark National Telecom Regulatory Authority websites of the Asia-Pacific Region, and recently took up a post at Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme in Colombo.
Findings from Indonesian study WiFi Access Innovations by LIRNEasia researchers, Divakar Goswami & Onno Purbo were presented at a press conference at the Jakarta Hilton, Indonesia on October 1. The results from the study have been covered by Indonesian newspapers. The news story by Rakyatmerdeka is online and can be found here. The study findings can be found here. Divakar and Onno identified high leased prices as the main factor forcing ISPs to deploy their own WiFi-based networks to connect customers to the last mile.
LIRNEasia’s maiden telecom reform course was successfully completed by 36 participants from 18 countries. The 10th telecom reform course was co-organised with LIRNE.NET, in association with the School of Communication and Information of Nanyang Technological University, and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore. Themed ‘Catalyzing change:  Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence,’ the course took place at the Elizabeth Hotel in Singapore on the 24th-30th September 2005. see pics The course aimed to prepare regulators to face the challenges that lie ahead to achieve connectivity and convergence.