Bangladesh Archives — Page 5 of 15 — LIRNEasia


Bangladesh delegate, led by BTRC chairman Mr. Sunil Kanti Bose, left for Dubai on December 2, 2012 late afternoon to attend WCIT 2012. On that very morning the telcos and ISPs were invited to “Consult” the stance Bangladesh would take on the revision of ITRs. Different links pertaining to the conference were emailed but nothing related to the government’s standpoint was shared. LIRNEasia was also invited to this meeting.
There were lots of political fireworks when Bangladesh got elected as one of the Council Members in ITU two years back. I welcomed it cautiously. Because, I am aware of the institutional incompetence of Bangladesh in contributing as a Council Member in the ITU. I kept asking the officials in BTRC and MOPT about their activities. All I heard was the travel plans of attending various meetings and workshops across the globe.

The new world of online work

Posted on October 11, 2012  /  0 Comments

Thought-provoking piece, based on company-survey data, about how place is becoming irrelevant to work. BTW, the tax principle that Bangladesh is praised for was implemented in Sri Lanka maybe five years ago. The online work is already changing how some governments think about labor. Last May the government of Bangladesh decided to classify online work as export-related commercial income, free of taxes, instead of as a taxed offshore remittance. The idea, Mr.
An op-ed by Harsha de Silva, PhD, in Daily Star, Bangladesh focuses on the Smallholder Quality Penalty (SQP) in the jute supply chains. The SQP is the financial penalty on the market price imposed on the smallholder by the first-handler (generally a collector) due to uncertainty over produce quality. This allows the first-handler to offset potential losses due to the perception of lower quality when selling to the next handler downstream. The SQP exists in most transactions in the supply chain. LIRNEasia research on the jute supply chain conducted in 2011 revealed that the SQP is imposed upon smallholders in the Bangladeshi jute industry.
This is what we might use if we were to have a tagline. We’ve been using it since our launch in 2004. But now it seems that MIT Poverty Lab research shows that hope in the heart leads to money in the pocket. Nice summary by the Economist. The results were far more dramatic.
The findings of the potato study conducted in Bangladesh under LIRNEasia’s 2010-2012 research cycle were shared with stakeholders in Dhaka on 10 April 2012. The dissemination workshop was attended by high level representatives from the government agencies such as Bangladeshi Agriculture Research Institute, Agriculture Information Service (AIS) of Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh, large scale exporters, processors and cold storage providers from the private sector. The stakeholders engaged in a productive exchange after the study findings were presented. The issues discussed included the availability and utilisation of cold storage, the quality of the potato seeds available in Bangladesh and suitability of some of the potato varieties grown for processing and exporting.  The discussion of cold storage brought about further issues such as the under-utilisation (40%) of the cold storage available in some storage spaces, in spite of excessive demand in others.
The findings of the jute study conducted in Bangladesh under LIRNEasia’s 2010-2012 research cycle were shared with stakeholders in Dhaka on 9 April 2012. The dissemination workshop was attended by high level representatives from the government agencies such as Bangladeshi Agriculture Research Institute, the Jute Research Institute as well as representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Bangladesh and private organisations. The findings brought a lively debate about the prevailing issues in the jute industry such as the quality of the seeds in the market and retting techniques as well the quality of the jute produced. There was also discussion about the use of Information and communication technology such as mobiles to bring about some of the improvements in efficiency. The workshop was organised by Institute of Informatics and Development (IID) and Development Research Network (DNET), Bangladesh.

Skype is eating telco’s lunch

Posted on January 10, 2012  /  1 Comments

The awaited end of rapacious money making from international calls is nigh, according to Telegeography. International long distance traffic growth is slowing rapidly. According to new data from TeleGeography, international long distance traffic grew four percent in 2011, to 438 billion minutes. This growth rate was less than one-third of the industry’s long-run historical average of 13 percent annual growth. Because telcos must rely on strong volume growth to offset inevitable price declines, slowing traffic growth is making life ever more difficult for international service providers.
The ITU’s ICT Development Index has been released. The performance of most South Asian countries has increased since 2008, but not enough. The rest of Asia shows a marked contrast. Vietnam advanced 10 places in the rankings and Indonesia six. Korea retained its first place.
The ICT Development Index (IDI) rankings by the ITU are out. Vietnam, a high performer on all composite ICT rankings, has leaped forward from 91st place to 81st place, in a rare 10-place advance. In South Asia, Bhutan advanced four places to 119th; Nepal by three places to 134th; and India and Sri Lanka advance by one place to 116th and 105th respectively. Pakistan and Bangladesh drop two places each to 123rd and 137th, respectively. Maldives, the leader among the South Asian countries, drops one place to settle at 67th place.
I’ve been asked about how we choose our research topics. Intuition, I answer. Lot of discussion among the team and intuition. How did we choose the case studies for the research on agricultural value chains? Here, the team assembled a lot of data too.

Spectrum refarming in Greece

Posted on August 15, 2011  /  0 Comments

For those who think spectrum is a headache unique to Bangladesh, here’s relief from Greece: The auction has been discussed and planned for more than a year and predates the country’s financial crisis, said the official, a senior administrator at the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission, the regulator holding the auction. He did not want to be identified, citing his agency’s policy. The auction’s goal, the official said, was to level the playing field in Greece among the three operators going forward as they introduce faster third- and fourth-generation mobile services. Vodafone and Wind already hold licenses for 900-megahertz spectrum, and Cosmote uses the 1.8-gigahertz band.
The World Economic Forum has issued its Global Information Technology Report which includes the NRI rankings. I find the sub indices always more instructive but for now, only the top line aggregate rankings are discussed. The big winner, among the countries LIRNEasia works in and the WEF covers, is Indonesia, advancing from 67th place in 2009-10 to 53rd place in 2010-11, a massive jump of 14 places. Sri Lanka has advanced six places from 72nd to 66th. Bangladesh advances three places to 115th, from 118th.
TCO 2011 study update_wallet share Every year Nokia conducts the telecom equivalent of the Economist’s “Big Mac” study; it compares the total costs of using an identical basket of services over a mobile phone in multiple emerging economies. It used to cover 77 countries, but now they’ve pared it down to 50 major emerging economies. If only the voice and SMS services are counted (plus 1/36th of the cost of the cheapest Nokia phone in that market), Bangladesh is the winner. A Bangladeshi user will pay only USD 1.91/month as against the average of USD 11.
LIRNEasia was invited to introduce its work on understanding how people at the BOP in emerging Asia use ICTs and what kinds of new services they are likely to be interested in at the 4th Global Forum organized by infoDev and the Finnish government in Helsinki, May 28-June 2, 2011. Our research was presented at a “deep dive” session on m applications attended by around 100 people. The slides are here. You will not be able to see the video that I started with, from the above link. The video of Chamara is available here instead.
The Budget 2011-2012: Towards Digital Bangladesh round table discussion was held on May 21, 2011. It was organized by the Bangladesh ICT Journalists Forum (BIJF) and it was attended by ICT experts, operators, academicians, activists, and journalists. Honorable State Minister of Science and ICT, Architect Yeafesh Osman was the chief guest. The speakers reflected on the successes and failures of the last two budgets from the ICT industry perspectives. Moreover, specific suggestions were made for the upcoming budget from Internet Service Providers’ Associations and Software Developers.