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
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.
The incredible growth of ICT in Myanmar has been enabled by massive investments, business models and managerial skills. Yet, it appears that FDI in the sector is still not the largest. This is a good sign for the balanced development of the Myanmar economy. In the first five months of the 2014-15 fiscal year, telecoms accounted for 31 percent of total FDI of $3.32 billion, becoming the biggest single component in direct capital inflows, according to data issued by the Myanmar Investment Commission.
So in Socialist Cuba they charge for WiFi access, while we give it free. Over the past two years, the government has opened dozens of Internet cafes and introduced email service for the island’s million or so cellphone users. It signaled its willingness to expand connectivity this month in a leaked report that argued that lack of Internet access was holding back the economy. The report outlined plans to get broadband — albeit slow broadband — to half of Cuban homes by 2020. By July, the state-run telecommunications company, Etecsa, will open 35 hot spots, mainly in parks and boulevards of cities, the company’s spokesman told Juventud Rebelde.
We’re struggling to get regulators and policy makers in our countries to understand the importance of latency and to keep it below 300 ms. What Google is promising on the trans Atlantic route suggests we are not being ambitious enough> Details like the ability to pass information between Europe and the United States in less than 100 milliseconds, and a practice of fully backing up user data in nine different locations, make Google seem both cutting-edge and even bigger than most people suspected. But the company may also be borrowing a playbook from Amazon Web Services, which in 2013 started disclosing some mind-blowing metrics about its global computing network. At an event Tuesday for Google Cloud Platform — Google’s name for the computing, storage and networking it sells to business — Google will name the Taiwanese phone maker HTC as a customer. HTC has used Google to build a new kind of computing architecture that enables smartphone apps to update data fast and reliably to many devices at once, and look efficient even when the phones get poor reception.
ITU have established a new study group titled “ITU-T Study Group 20: IoT and its applications, including smart cities and communities”. The decision to create this group was taken by Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its assembly at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva early this month. The Internet of Things (IOT) technologies are expected to connect an estimated 50 million devices to the network by 2020. The group will develop standards to take advantage of IoT technologies to address urban-development challenges. This will be done by standardizing architectures for IoT and developing mechanisms for interoperability of IoT applications used by numerous industrial sectors.
The telecom and broadcast licensing regime in Sri Lanka is obsolete. Broadcast licenses are issued under obscure provisions of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation Acts. The licenses have no terms and fees are to be informed in the future. Telecom service providers, including Internet Service Providers, are licensed under section 17 of the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Act, No. 25 of 1991 as amended.
CEO Helani Galpaya was invited as an expert participant at the UN-DESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and ITU (International Telecommunications Union) organised Expert Group Meeting held at UN headquarters in New York, June 8 – 9th. Helani was invited to talk about issues of access and affordability, and how they contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). LIRNEasia and RIA household survey data, LIRNEasia’s broadband quality of service test data, big data research was used in the presentations and interventions during the two day meeting. Slides here. Numerous UN Agencies, members of Permanent Missions to the UN from various countries (e.