India Archives — Page 19 of 43 — LIRNEasia


Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency, said the South Asian and South East Asian countries are divergent in terms of regulatory risk. It says Sri Lanka has the highest risky regulatory environment while the risk is lowest in Malaysia.  Buddhika Piyasena, Director in Fitch’s TMT team, said, Sri Lanka’s high regulatory risk score reflects insufficient transparency in the regulatory process combined with the regulator’s strong connection with the political framework. The total regulatory risk score for each market is derived based on three major sub-categories: Political & Social Policy Risk. Industrial Policy Risk.
Multiple submarine cables with multiple landing stations, owned by different entities, don’t offer competitive wholesale international bandwidth in India. Today a chunk of 10-gigabytes bandwidth varies between $5 million and $9 million in India while it’s being sold from $1.5 million to $1.7 million in other Asian markets. It’s a huge challenge for the world’s fastest growing telecoms market where broadband penetration remains a national embarrassment.
Mobile phone message services like one deployed by the financial news agency Reuters to over a million farmers in India, could help Sri Lankan farmers earn more for their produce, experts said. Ranjit Pawar of Reuters Market Light, India said their SMS (short message service) in India provide farmers timely information and helps eliminate middlemen. “A farmer told me, ‘If I had timely information I could have made 40 percent more money,’ when we launched the short message service in India,” Pawar told a seminar on knowledge based economies. It was organized by LIRNEasia, a regional think tank based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Full story.
More coverage on LBO of the proceedings of the LIRNEasia@5 conference: “The biggest contribution from research is not what is adopted, but what is adopted,” says Bill Melody, founding director of World Dialog on Regulation for Network Economies. “Harmful policies that are avoided with the information generated from research.” R K Arnold the head of the executive secretariat of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India says all its recommendation is based on extensive but decisions are not “We used a (LirneAsia) research on a tax and the government reduced the tax. In infrastructure sharing we drawn heavily on your research,” Arnold said. “But whether the decision makers use it at the top depends on a very fluid situation.
Professor Xue Lan of Tsinghua University in Beijing participated in the inaugural session of the La@5 conference through a video link, kindly provided by Tata Communications Lanka. We were worried about this, because he was competing with real people (Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Justice and Law Reforms, Sri Lanka, and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Center for Policy Research, New Delhi) in the co-presence of the large audience. This report by an LBO journalist who was in the room suggests that the message overcame the limitations of the medium. Ad hoc public policy formulation can be disastrous and both China and India are evolving evidence based processes to back effective government action, academics and researchers said at a policy forum in Colombo. “The strategic direction is set by the Party and State Council and the People’s Congress makes legislation,” Xue Lan professor of Public Policy at Tsinghua University in China said, participating in a regional policy forum in Colombo.
Many countries have yet to open up government information. Even India, which has a freedom of information law, has so many exceptions to the duty to release. Simply releasing information is not enough. We need to have information in usable form. This NYT article shows some good examples.
We are always happy when people use our research. Happier when we are mentioned as the source too. We thank the writer and/or the source for attributing the results to us. While there is no separate data on the number of female subscribers in the country, according to a recent Lirneasia Teleuse Survey (a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank), mobile phone ownership is far lower among females than males in South Asia. Statistical analysis shows that gender has a significant impact on mobile phone adoption at the bottom of the pyramid in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India.
Prof. K. Vijayraghavan, Director of the National Center for Biological Sciences, in Bangalore is one of five recipients of this year’s Infosys Science Foundation prize, given to world-class researchers in social science in India. Along with our friends from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras’s – Rural Technology and Business Incubator, Prof. Vijayraghavan is one of the Investigators of the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP) carried out in the state of Tamil Nadu in India and Sri Lanka.
The health departments and health workers involved in the Real-Time Biosruveillance Program (RTBP) pilot see the benefits in the m­-HealthSurvey for real­-time data collection, T­Cube Web Interface for near­-real­-time outbreak detection, and Sahana Alerting Module for real­-time health risk information dissemination. Preliminary lessons to date indicate the need for more robust mobile application for data collection with complete standardized content in disease­-syndrome for reduction of noise and increase of reliability in the datasets. More rigorous capacity building and frequent use is required for health officials to take advantage of the full potential of TCWI. Further exercises need to be carried out with the Sahana Alerting Module to understand its shortcomings. Given that the system has been in preliminary use for less than six months, it is anticipated that the usability issues will subside in time to come.
Based on LIRNEasia’s broadband QoSE research findings, we ran an advertisement in the Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka’s leading English daily) on 24 November 2009.  The advertisement focused on four facts. The first three were on value for money, advertised download speed as opposed to actual download speed and bandwidth bottlenecks.  The lack of regulation on contention ratios (how many users per “channel”) was highlighted as the fourth fact We pointed out that LIRNEasia’s recommendation about imposing contention ratios of 1:20 (Business) and 1:50 (Residential) had been adopted by the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with minor changes.  TRAI mandates contention ratios of 1:30 for Business and 1:50 for Residential.
There is a massive mismatch between the supply and demand for education in journalism and electronic media in India. All media markets, MSM and new, are booming, with a massive demand for people to work in them. Demand is being met mostly by unaccredited private establishments, and by on-the-job training. The government appears to be supplying significant funding for journalism and electronic media education at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (originally an open university, where people were to study from afar). They held a national symposium to assess the challenges and opportunities.
I wish the question mark was not necessary, but the record so far does not allow me exclude it. We started this process in the weeks before the 2008 SAARC Summit. When the issue was mentioned in the SAARC Chair’s speech and included in the Declaration, we were, naturally, pleased. I recall telling a journalist that at most it would take a few months to get this implemented. We raised the issue with the then Chair of the South Asian Telecom Regulator’s Council, Mr Nripendra Misra of India.
In addition to giving the keynote at the OECD/infoDev workshop on the Budget Telecom Network Mode at the IGF in Sharm el Sheikh, I attended several sessions, one being that on reducing interconnection costs. The key recommendations seemed to cluster around two actions, creating Internet Exchanges in each country and reducing leased line costs by introducing competition and breaking incumbent control on essential facilities such as cable stations. Our findings from countries that have had working Internet Exchanges at various times such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka show that their effects fluctuate (there is an unfortunate tendency of internal dissension in these things) and that getting leased line prices (both domestic and international) down is, on balance, more important. That unless the leased-line problem is not solved, the good work done on Internet Exchanges will be washed out. There is an assumption that every country should have an IX.
“I can’t imagine how and based on what measure TRAI set 256kbps internet connection as broadband. It’s very difficult for users to work with this speed. Please don’t compare Bangladesh and Sri Lanka while setting standard for India.” This was how a reader responded when Indian Express online carried a story on the dissemination of the findings of LIRNEasia’s broadband research at the GRT Grand Hotel convention centre in Chennai on November 3. Another story in ‘The Hindu’ quoted Timothy Gonsalves PhD, Head of Computer Science and Engineering Department, IIT-Madras, our research partner from IIT Madras saying the implication [of the latency introduced by complex routing of network traffic] for consumers is that though a user may get close to the speeds advertised by the operator while accessing servers within India, the download speeds from an international server for even a supposedly fast broadband connection would only be in the 200 kbps range.
Findings from LIRNEasia’s latest round of broadband quality of service experience (QoSE) testing has been published in Chennai’s Financial Chronicle and The Indian Express, two leading print newspapers in India. Read the two of the articles here and here. There is disparity in the advertised broadband speed and the actual speed, according to the findings of a research project jointly carried out by Learning Initiative on Reforms for Network Economies Asia (LIRNEasia), TeNeT Group of the IIT Madras. Excerpt below: “There is disparity in the advertised broadband speed and the actual speed, according to the findings of a research project jointly carried out by Learning Initiative on Reforms for Network Economies Asia (LIRNEasia), TeNeT Group of the IIT Madras.There is disparity in the advertised broadband speed and the actual speed, according to the findings of a research project jointly carried out by Learning Initiative on Reforms for Network Economies Asia (LIRNEasia), TeNeT Group of the IIT Madras.

Why postal reform is part of ICT policy

Posted on October 31, 2009  /  0 Comments

All over the world, postal services are hemorrhaging red ink. They are being done in by the phone and the Internet. Yet their salvation is also the phone and the Internet. As commerce becomes e commerce, there is a high demand for reliable delivery services. In countries ranging from Korea to Sri Lanka the postal service is NOT reliable.