India Archives — Page 28 of 43 — LIRNEasia


Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, which had announced its entry into the Sri Lankan mobile phone sector with much fanfare last year, is experiencing delays and may well be re-drawing its investment plans for the island country, says a Sri Lankan telecommunication expert. Rohan Samarajeewa, former head of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), told IANS that while there was no doubt that Bharti Airtel was committed to operating in Sri Lanka, it had altered its timetable and could well be scaling down its original investment plans. The reasons for the delay in starting the operations were in the realm of speculation, Samarajeewa said. But he did point to a possibility of difficulties in getting frequencies from the TRC, as it is generally recognized that the allotment of frequencies tends to be “highly politicised” in Sri Lanka. The parent company in India could also be changing its priorities as regards capital allocations, in the context of the growing challenges in the more lucrative Indian domestic market, Samarajeewa said.
LIRNEasia has come up with startling evidence on how transaction costs in agriculture could be reduced by simple mobile phone applications. The organization’s Lead Economist, Dr. Harsha de Silva called for a multi-stakeholder action plan to implement a series of actions that would help poor farmers as well as consumers by reducing information costs in agricultural markets and value chains. He was speaking at a panel following a public lecture by Indian Institute of Management Professor, Subhash C. Bhatnagar, who spoke on the benefits of ICT applications to farmers, taking India as an example.

Mobile investment boom in India foretold

Posted on February 20, 2008  /  0 Comments

Telecom sector to see funds bonanza, tariff cuts – Business News – News – MSN India – News India’s booming mobile services market will see investments of over Rs 100,000 crore (around $24 billion) by 2010, the fastest investment ramp-up seen in any telecom market globally even as analysts predict a bruising battle that will see tariffs fall sharply. The investments include between Rs 48,000 crore and 60,000 crore ($12 billion to $15 billion) from six new telecom players (including Reliance and Tatas’ proposed GSM mobile services) over 12 to 24 months to create capacity for 250 million more mobile subscribers. This fresh investment will be over and above the estimated Rs 48,000 crore ($12 billion) being put in by incumbents like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Essar, Idea Cellular, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices (the latter two for ramping up CDMA mobile operations) in 2008-09 alone. Powered by ScribeFire.
Rohan Samarajiva participated in the Third Annual ‘Joint Roundtable on Communications Policy – The Future of Indian Mobile’ in Kovalam, India from 7-9 February. The Round table was organized by the Aspen Institute India in collaboration with the Aspen Institute, USA. The objective of the conference was to convene Indian and American business leaders, government policy-makers, leading academics, and other experts to discuss government and business approaches to mobile commerce, mobile banking and m-governance that will have a positive effect on India’s economic and social development.
21 – 23 February 2008 at Kandalama Hotel, Kandalama, Sri Lanka LIRNEasia hosted a Workshop to discuss the policy level implications and business level possibilities of using ICTs to reduce transaction costs in the agricultural value chain as well as to improve traceability and enhance quality of products sold. The Workshop brought together key stakeholders consisting of policy makers, private and public sector participants and researchers, both in agriculture and ICT. It was based on the pilot projects conducted by LIRNEasia in 2007, which was discussed in detail at the Workshop. All presentations made at the Workshop can be found below: Traceability: International Perspective – Visoot Phongsathorn Linking Sri Lankan farmers to global markets – Dr. Harsha de Silva Traceability in agricultural markets – Shamistra Soysa Benefits of ICT applications to farmers with emphasis on transaction costs: experiences from India – Prof.

Need for redundancy highlighted again

Posted on January 31, 2008  /  1 Comments

Indian outsourcing sector hit by Internet disruption – LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE India’s vital outsourcing industry, which relies heavily on the Internet, was grappling with a major communications disruption Thursday after damage to undersea cables thousands of kilometres away in the Mediterranean. Internet connections may take up to 15 days to return to normal, businesses said, adding that telecommunications in neighbouring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were also affected. Powered by ScribeFire.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has said that mobile operators may be pushing consumers to give up fixed line telephone by charging a higher tariff for cell-to-fixed line calls. The regulator has asked the operators to stop the differential tariff as it was not justified. “The differential and higher charges levied by cellular service providers for calls to fixed lines do not have adequate justification. This can be viewed as an attempt to promote substitution of fixed line traffic by mobile traffic and may lead to forced substitution of fixed lines by mobiles, thereby reducing the target market for fixed line broadband,” senior TRAI officials said. Read the full story in ‘The Hindu – Business Line’ here.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday (Jan 23) recommended guidelines for rolling out mobile television services to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on various issues related to licensing and technology. TRAI has suggested that the choice of broadcasting technology should be left to the service providers but should be recognised by an authorised body. There are broadly two routes for providing mobile television services. One is operated by using the telecom network with spectrum already allotted to Unified Access Service License (UASL) and Cellular Mobile Telephone Service (CMTS) licensees, and the other using broadcasting method using separate spectrum. According to TRAI, telecom operators with CMTS or UASL licenses will not require any further licence or permission for offering mobile television services on their own network using the frequency or spectrum already allotted to them.
State-owned telco BSNL on Monday said it plans to launch India’s biggest IPO to raise over US$10 billion. “The company is valued at well over US$100 billion. We are looking at offloading up to 10% stake, subject to government approval,” BSNL finance director S K Saxena told reporters. When asked about the development, telecom minister A Raja said: “The government is considering it (an IPO). The department of telecom (DoT) will discuss the issue and take a final decision soon”.
A United Nations survey of global e-government readiness has found that many Asian countries are sliding down the rankings. Just one Asian country—South Korea—made the top ten coming in at sixth, with Japan next on 11th.   The next highest was Singapore at a surprisingly low 23rd, and Malaysia at 34th. The top 35 countries are otherwise dominated by Europe, Australasia and North America.  The biggest revelation was that most Asian countries are sliding down the rankings.

TRAI to issue Mobile TV licences

Posted on January 4, 2008  /  0 Comments

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday (Jan 3) recommended open bidding process for granting licences for mobile television service in the country. Allocation of spectrum to mobile TV licensees should be automatic for successful bidders and should not require any further selection process. The FDI limit for mobile television service providers should be 74 per cent, it said.Releasing its recommendations on issues relating of mobile TV service here, TRAI said there were two routes for providing the services — one by using the telecom network with spectrum already allotted, and the other using the broadcasting method — and both can be used for launching the service. Telecom operators, having the Unified Access Services License (UASL) or the Cellular Mobile Telephony Service (CMTS) License, will not require any further licence or permission for offering mobile TV services on their own network using spectrum already allotted to them.
Responding to complaints from harassed consumers who are offered “broadband” at speeds much slower than those stipulated by the government, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has taken a tough call. It has written to operators saying they can no longer advertise broadband services that say they offer “up to” 256 kbps speeds, thereby circumventing the rules by offering services at far lower speeds Instead, Trai has directed all operators to clearly mention the minimum guaranteed download speeds in various packages. The regulator said operators have promised to abide by the new direction. Meanwhile, the regulator has also mooted a discussion paper, which was released today, on whether the present level of 256 kbps defined as the minimum speed for a broadband connection should be raised to bring it on a par with international standards. The paper said in countries like France and Singapore, broadband is defined as a minimum speed of 512 kbps.

Coverage for LIRNEasia book

Posted on December 31, 2007  /  1 Comments

Click on the links to see the full articles covering LIRNEasia’s book, ICT Infrastructure in Emerging Asia: Policy and Regulatory Roadblocks. ‘BSNL’s monopoly over infrastructure a hindrance to growth’ – Financial Express (India) Rural connectivity is now the focus of every telecommunication player in the country. Almost all stakeholders, from handset manufacturers to service providers, believe that the next wave of growth is in the rural areas.”However, India’s roll out (of telecom services) in rural areas has been slow. BSNL has the backbone infrastructure but is not yet ready to share it with private players,” he added.
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO A digital satellite radio disaster alert system that can be remotely activated which was field tested in Sri Lanka is now ready for use in the region to give early warning of tsunamis, officials said.The Addressable Radio for Emergency Alert (AREA) system can send disaster alerts within seconds of its transmission by government authorities and also has the advantage of activating a siren. The system is also expected to be adopted in India, which along with Sri Lanka, was among several countries that suffered from the 2004 tsunami. The system, which has early-warning emergency messages, audio and visual alarms, was tested in a study conducted by LIRNEasia, a regional policy think tank, and Sarvodaya, a charity, in 32 Sri Lankan coastal villages. Powered by ScribeFire.
The story of telecommunications reforms in India offers a fascinating example of how determined leadership can overcome even the fiercest opposition to reforms, says Arvind Panagariya The total number of phones in India as of October 31, 2007 is placed at 256 million. India has been adding phones at the rate of 6.65 million per month. Tele-density — the number of phones per 100 individuals — now stands at 22.52.
The Ink Fades on a Profession as India Modernizes – New York Times the professional letter writer is confronting the fate of middlemen everywhere: to be cut out. In India, the world’s fastest-growing market for cellphones, calling the village or sending a text message has all but supplanted the practice of dictating intimacies to someone else.And so Mr. Sawant, 61, and by his own guess the author of more than 10,000 letters of others, was sitting idly at his stall on a recent Monday, having earned just 12 cents from an afternoon spent filling out forms, submitting money orders, wrapping parcels — the postal trivialities that have survived the evaporation of his letter-writing trade. Powered by ScribeFire.