India Archives — Page 18 of 43 — LIRNEasia


Rohan Samarajiva, will deliver one of two invited lead talks at ICTs and Development: An International Workshop for Theory, Practice and Policy, to be held in New Delhi, India, 11 – 12 March 2010. Titled, “How the developing world may participate in the global “Internet Economy”, his presentation examines the potential mobile telephony has in enabling low-income earners first-time access to the Internet. He argues that a teleco business  model similar to the Budget Telecom Network Model arguably responsible for dramatic reductions in mobile tariffs, could be similarly applied to the case of mobile internet. View the full presentation here. Other notable speakers at the event include Dr.
Findings from LIRNEasia’s Mobile 2.0 study on m-government services has been published in India’s Economic Times, Ahmedabad.  The research examines the potential for the supply of government services over the mobile through a case study of such a  system developed by Mumbai-based Zero Mass Foundation, that has proved popular in the country. “This is one of the highly effective tools for achieving financial inclusion. But the system is suffering because of the lack of interest among government agencies.
In the end, it comes down to the Budget Telecom Network Model. The recent Bharti 10.7 billion USD offer for Zain has depressed share prices and generated a big debate. But it really boils down to this: The trick for Bharti, which pioneered low-cost telecoms in India, will be to bring down Zain’s high cost base and win subscribers, say analysts — and to get subscribers to talk more using lower tariffs. Bharti is famous for its so-called “minutes factory” business plan — the low-cost, high-volume model that has made it India’s leading mobile company.
Voice and Data, the leading telecom monthly, has done a good job unpacking the issues within India’s unholy spectrum mess. LIRNEasia’s Payal Malik is one of the participants in the debate. In case licenses are not de-linked, there will be rollout obligations. Some analysts suggest penalties to be enforced, like taking away extra/unused bandwith for spectrum that is not used optimally. According to Kunal Bajaj, MD, BDA Connect, “Open auction will remove all these problems.
I guess that means newspapers in hardcopy. Because many who read the news on the web, actually read news that originates in documents prepared by journalists, like the one below. But still, this is a significant shift. With more people at the bottom of the pyramid in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh owning mobile phones than radios, one wonders who the Internet will beat in our part of of the world: just newspapers or newspapers and radio? The Internet has become the third most popular news platform for American adults, trailing only local and national television stations, according to a survey released on Monday.
We now have evidence to support the claim that those at the “Bottom of the Pyramid” (and therefore, the majority of people in the developing world) are likely to enter the world of knowledge and convenience promised by the Internet through the path opened by the rapidly increasing capabilities of mobile networks and user devices. Mobile 2.0 describes the use of mobiles for “more‐than‐voice”. Mobiles are increasingly becoming payment devices which can also send/process/receive voice, text and images; it is envisaged that in the next few years, they will also be fully capable of information‐retrieval and publishing functions, normally associated with the Internet. Mobile 2.
Despite the fact that not all the frequencies have been cleared, India has announced the 3G auctions will be held in April. The original date was January 2009. Perhaps the driving force was the government’s need for money, rather than the conditions being right. India’s long-delayed auction of third-generation (3G) mobile phone bandwidth will be held on April 9, the government announced Wednesday. Applications from bidders for the multi-billion-dollar auction, whose proceeds are earmarked to help plug a gaping fiscal deficit, will be accepted until March 19, a government notice said.

On the benefits of services trade

Posted on February 17, 2010  /  0 Comments

Services trade, especially mode 1 services trade where the buyer remains in the buyer’s country and the seller remains in the seller’s country, is critical to the development of emerging economies. India has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of liberalized trade, but the NYT article below shows that the US is also a clear winner. The full article is worth a read. For example, will Washington offer tax breaks or other export incentives? While businesses may clamor for them, these would be a setback for freer trade — after all, for years it has been America that has been hectoring other countries to end their subsidies to exporters.
One way business models and innovations travel is through mergers and acquisitions. We have been waiting to see more African consumers benefit from the low prices and greater connectivity afforded by the Budget Telecom Network Model. Finally it looks like a big Indian telecom operator has got a foothold in Africa, with the transfer of Zain equity in a number of African countries to Bharti Airtel. Zain has fared badly in Africa along with other Middle Eastern operators perhaps because their home turf has been heavily regulated. Most acted as comfortable monopolists until only recently.

Latest on Indian ITES performance

Posted on February 9, 2010  /  2 Comments

An excerpt from a trade newsletter published by the Govt of India: According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), the apex body for software services in India, the revenue of the information technology sector has risen from 1.2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in FY 1997-98 to an estimated 5.8 per cent in FY 2008-09. Further, the industry body expects the sector to grow between 4 per cent and 7 per cent during 2009-10 and return to over 10 per cent growth next year. India’s IT growth in the world is primarily dominated by IT software and services such as Custom Application Development and Maintenance (CADM), System Integration, IT Consulting, Application Management, Software testing, and Web services.
Voice and Data has done a story on spectrum hoarding. Among the main sources is Payal Malik, who did the spectrum/licensing study that was part LIRNEasia’s mobile 2.0 work. According to Payal Malik, sr research fellow, LIRNEasia, “It is difficult to verify whether the spectrum is actually being hoarded, but given the way allocation has taken place, I won’t be surprised if it is. In an effort to eliminate competition, the existing players inflate subscriber numbers.
We documented the research done by Jensen and Aker on the benefits of mobiles to producers and consumers. Now we have a third good piece of research, this time not of decentralized information provision, but of centralized provision in India with the e Choupals. ITC Limited, an Indian company that is one of the largest buyers of soyabeans, felt it was paying over the odds, but was unable to monitor the traders closely. Starting in October 2000 it began to introduce a network of internet kiosks, called e-choupal, in villages in Madhya Pradesh. (Choupal means “village gathering place” in Hindi.
The Sivagangai District (Tamil Nadu, India) Deputy Director of Health Services (DDHS), Dr. Raghupathy, compared the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP) to a comprehensive machine with multiple flavors that can give the required surveillance results with the touch of a button. Kurunegala RE (Region Epidemiologist, Sri Lanka), Dr. Hemachandra’s words were “RTBP will give a booster to surveillance in our region”. Evaluation planning workshops took place in Karraikudi, Tamil Nadu and Kurunegala, Sri Lanka.

Tharoor tweets; MSM twit

Posted on January 6, 2010  /  0 Comments

Apparently MSM in India are conspiring against new media: The news media breathlessly chronicle each of Mr. Tharoor’s supposed Twitter missteps in editorials and talk show discussions. One news channel scrolled his latest Twitter updates across its screen under the rubric “Breaking News.” Twitter enthusiasts say the news media make a fuss about it because it usurps its traditional role as intermediary and interpreter between the powerful and the masses. “By constantly associating Twitter with controversies, Indian media will successfully dissuade other politicians from joining the social networking site,” Ajit Narayana, an avid Twitter user who is organizing a conference this month on Twitter’s use in India, wrote in an e-mail message.
Observed few things fresh on my day at the Abhayagiri monastery complex. One was a rock inscription in ancient devanagari. It was not about a donation made by a king or a minister, as usual, or even a notification of a new regulation. The Sanskrit stanza was meant for Buddhist monks. Not a rule; but more a guide.
The document describes the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for data collection, data processing, data reporting, and database/system administration. Data collection involves Setting up of the Biosurveillance Module (BSM) initial information (i.e. implement database) through the web application and direct Database Administration (DBA) functions Installing, configuring, and maintaining the m-HealthSurvey mobile application Health worker expected practices in submitting data Documenting and reporting problems associated with the BSM and m-HealthSurvey Data processing involves Installing, configuring, and maintaining the T-Cube Web Interface (TCWI) analytical tool Installing, , configuring, and maintaining the detection algorithms Health Officials (epidemiologist) expected practices in analyzing the health data Defining priority levels for particular diseases Documenting events of interest Documenting and reporting problems associated with TCWI and detection algorithms Data reporting involves Installing, configuring, and maintaining the Sahana Alerting and Messaging Module (MAM) Initializing the MAM contact lists, jurisdictions, geographical areas, message templates Verification and Authorization procedures for issuing health alerts