data Archives — Page 2 of 3


I received this as a forwarded email with no comments from a person who is influential in the ICT space. The Indian smartphone market made a 0.7 percent increase from September to October, vaulting the nation over the 1 billion user threshold to 1.03 billion users. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India just released this information yesterday, making India the second country in the world to reach this milestone.
It appears that high data use by Myanmar consumers is the surprise of 2015. But Telenor expects it to go down as they start connecting rural consumers. Will they be wrong again? Telenor’s network today covers all states and regions but Chin State, for 60 per cent of population. The customer base is expected show a slower growth rate.

Myanmar: Getting close to 80

Posted on October 4, 2015  /  0 Comments

I titled a piece I wrote on Myanmar a while back as “10 to 80 in five years.” Now after just one year of operations, Telenor Myanmar, not the largest operator in Myanmar, has over 20 SIMs per 100 people, all by itself. That would place the overall SIMs/100 number above 50. After just one year. So it may be time we shift our attention to more interesting and challenging things, like getting more people access to Internet.
The story in Live Mint starts with revenue shares. The Big Three (Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea) now have 70 percent of revenues. But what caught my eye was what was going on on the data side. Again the numbers can be used to illustrate this: As the uptake of data, the next growth driver for the industry, increases, the big three GSM incumbents are again poised to gain disproportionately. All three players have over 90% active customers, and also enjoy subscribers of higher quality, as reflected in their average monthly revenue per user numbers, which are higher than their peers in the industry.
We saw that Myanmarese were bypassing feature phones and directly going to smartphones more than a year ago. The numbers we saw from the demand side survey conducted in Feb-Mar 2015 were close to 65 percent. This report says 70 percent. Should be right. The telco’s user base now exceeds 10 million people across 12 of 14 regions and states, Telenor Myanmar CEO Petter Furberg said in an August 19 statement.
I can recall the astronomical ARPUs in Afghanistan (over USD 80/month) when that market was opened up. Then, after normal Afghans who were not earning expat salaries started using the service, the ARPUs came down to more normal levels. There are plenty of expats roaming the streets of Yangon, but they have no discernible impact in the fast-expanding networks of this country of 50 million plus. But the ARPUs are high. We can confirm this from the sample survey we conducted in Feb-Mar 2015.
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.
The speculation about Jio Infocomm has been going on for too long, it seems. Here‘s what Mukesh Ambani says it will be: And the benefit of its “legacy-free, next-generation voice and broadband network which can be seamlessly upgraded even to 5G and beyond” will be in extending digital connectivity to a wide set of Indian consumers. “In rural areas, we are prioritising connectivity to thousands of schools. This is to ensure that the benefits of our broadband initiative is first and foremost felt by the young students who stand to gain the most by accessing the information superhighway,” he said. “Jio’s true success will be measured by a whole new generation of entrepreneurs, stepping-up to leverage the digital assets that Jio has built.
LIRNEasia organized and moderated two panels at CommunicAsia 2015 in Singapore earlier this week. Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan will write about the session that he moderated. I was about to write about mine, when Don Sambandaraksa, one of Asia’s best telecom journalists, did this piece for Telecompaper: Myanmar currently has three mobile operators, namely Telenor, Ooredoo, and state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), which has partnered with Japan’s KDDI. Myanmar will soon have a fourth operator, ISP Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP). Demand for mobile services in Myanmar is on the rise.
Cisco predicts that tablets, smartphones, etc will contribute more than half the IP traffic, up from today’s 33 percent. For the first time in the history of the internet, mobile and portable devices will generate more than half of global IP traffic by 2018. That’s one of the headline findings of Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index (VNI), which forecasts global IP traffic for fixed and mobile connections between 2013 and 2018. Cisco finds 33 per cent of all IP traffic originated with non-PC devices in 2013. By 2018, however, that figure shoots up to 57 per cent.
Is their ability to generate massive transaction-generated data streams that will yield insights into human behavior. Packed with sensors and software that can, say, detect that the house is empty and turn down the heating, Nest’s connected thermostats generate plenty of data, which the firm captures. Tony Fadell, Nest’s boss, has often talked about how Nest is well-positioned to profit from “the internet of things”—a world in which all kinds of devices use a combination of software, sensors and wireless connectivity to talk to their owners and one another. Other big technology firms are also joining the battle to dominate the connected home. This month Samsung announced a new smart-home computing platform that will let people control washing machines, televisions and other devices it makes from a single app.
When US competition regulators turned down the AT&T-T-Mobile merger, many thought that would be the end of T-Mobile. Instead, it was the end of business as usual. T-Mobile branded and marketed all this as the “Un-carrier,” rolling out new versions of its plans — already five and counting — even as competitors have struggled to match the previous one. “Surprise is an effective competitive tactic,” Mr. Legere said.

Big data in agriculture

Posted on October 4, 2013  /  0 Comments

Several years ago, I was in Chennai learning about what Ashok Jhunjhunwala’s teams were working on. One idea Ashok had was that of basing agricultural extension advice tailored to micro-climatic and soil data. So when a farmer calls/texts, the advice he would get would be specifically for his land and the climatic conditions relevant to that land at that time. I’ve talked about this with many people since, but only as a theoretical construct. I was skeptical the enormous data base that it required could ever be constructed (and maintained, since the soil and climate conditions changed all the time).
A wide ranging discussion on ICTs carried in a government-owned newspaper I refuse to read. In Sri Lanka the amount of money that we spend on communication is about 700 rupees a month per household on average according to the government survey – According to the Household income and expenditure survey it is about 3.5 percent of our non-food expenditures. “We are getting more and more for the rupee that we spend for communication and we are using it more. So what I see is, the industry has to be very efficient and innovative because people expect more from them, for the same amount of money.
Facebook is about to announce the results of a major initiative to make its services accessible to those at the bottom of the pyramid who do not yet use smartphones. More than 100 million people, or roughly one out of eight of its mobile users worldwide, now regularly access the social network from more than 3,000 different models of feature phones, some costing as little as $20. Many of those users, who rank among the world’s poorest people, pay little or nothing to download their Facebook news feeds and photos, with the data usage subsidized by phone carriers and manufacturers. We saw this phenomenon back in 2011 when our researchers were in the field in Indonesia and heard them say they use Facebook, but not the Internet. I have also discussed the possible rationale for serving low-income users who may not be generating revenue at this time.
If most people will access the Internet over mobile platforms, those in our countries must actually start using mobile broadband. Turkey seems to have some lessons. Turkey has been one of the main mobile broadband growth engines in the region and all three operators in the country benefitted from significant data revenue growth in the year to Q1 2013. Turkcell has been particularly active in marketing data services, with its own-branded range of low-priced smartphones (the “T” series) contributing to a smartphone penetration of 22% at the end of Q1 – some 6.9 million devices.