India


A major telecom event in one of the most exciting markets in the world, India, is underway in New Delhi, Dec 12-14, 2007. LIRNEasia presented its teleuse@BPO research at the first session: rs_indiatelecom07_final.ppt/   The central message was that India had to take the road less traveled by, focusing on developing the mobile as an interface to the Internet and its communication, information retrieval, publishing, transacting, etc. functionalities, if it is not to leave behind the people at the Bottom of the Pyramid.   A most fascinating presentation by Steve Rondel of Conversay showed that voice interface with the mobile was not as distant as some think it might be.
Among the five countries LIRNEasia has conducted its survey on teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), which country do you think we found people who are least willing to share their mobile phone with a another? (a) India (b) Pakistan (c) Philippines (d) Sri Lanka (e) Thailand This was one of the interesting questions asked during the interactive quiz show at the LIRNEasia organized session at GK3, ‘Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid’. The session addressed issues like the misconceptions about the teleuse (including Internet) at the BoP; exact nature of the demand at the BoP (in terms of using common facilities, getting connected, staying connected); strategic behaviours do users at the BoP engage in and policy and regulatory barriers stand in the way of the BoP being served. Team Blue emerged as clear winners scoring 105 marks against 35 scored by Team Red. Part 2 of the quiz show will be there today (Dec 13) from 14:00 – 15:30 hrs @ Room 302, Level 3, KLCC.
LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Although seen as India’s greatest challenger in terms of its potential scale, China fared poorly for language skills, Gartner said. China, India and Singapore all had strong government support for the promotion of their country as an offshore services location. The political and economic environment remains a concern for many companies when moving work to offshore locations and so Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam rated poorly, Gartner said. Powered by ScribeFire.
Buzzcity got the top award for mobile networking applications at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress held in November 2007.   This blog describes how they are changing their charging structure, partially based on LIRNEasia research. gammalife: BUILDING MOBILE COMMUNITIES We organised a session of BuzzCity-NUS Digital Media Forum a few weeks ago with presentation by Dr. Rohan Samarajiva, who leads a regional ICT policy group called LIRNEasia. His group had a done a study across five Asian nations – India, Pakistan, The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand – and asked people the main reason why they use a mobile phone.
LIRNEasia’s first book, ICT Infrastructure in Emerging Asia: Policy and Regulatory Roadblocks, edited by Rohan Samarajiva and Ayesha Zainudeen will be launched on December 16 2007. The Chief guests at the event will be Shri K.Sridhara, Member (Technology) & Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications & IT, and Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Professor of the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras. The book looks at the policy and regulatory barriers to the expansion of information and communication technology infrastructure in emerging markets, based on Asian experience and is co-published by SAGE Publications and the International Development Research Centre.
The Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications (WPMC2007) symposium was held in Jaipur, India, December 03 – 06, 2007. The paper by N. Waidyanatha, S. Rangarajan, G. Gow, and P.
India’s Bharti Airtel, China Mobile and PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia are UBS’s top three telecom investment picks in Asia for 2008, as their home markets enjoy strong growth rates. “Growth features such as rising consumption, elasticity of demand and economies of scale will continue to be the main themes for the growth markets, including China, India and Indonesia, which are still under-appreciated by investors, in our view,” UBS said in a report. India and China, the world’s fastest-growing mobile markets, added around 8 million mobile phone subscribers in October, taking their user base to approximately 217 million and 531 million, respectively. Read the full story in Forbes.com
A new documentary film, titled Teleuse@BOP,  recently produced by TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP) and based on LIRNEasia’s  study on Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid, highlights a communication revolution happening in Asia’s emerging telecommunication markets. When it comes to using phones, the film says, people at the bottom of the income pyramid are no different from anyone else; they value the enhanced personal security, including emergency communications, and social networking benefits. Increasingly, poor people are not content with just using public phones or shared access phones (belonging friends or family). They see a utility and social value of having their own phones.
by Harsha de Silva & Ayesha Zainudeen In Does inequality matter? Exploring the links between poverty and inequality (p. 135-167), Edited by Prashan Thalayasingam & Kannan Arunasalam. Published by CEPA, Colombo, 2007 Pre-publication version available for download. The paper was presented at the Centre for Poverty Analysis Annual Symposium on Poverty Research in Sri Lanka (6-7 December 2007, Colombo) Introduction: Much has been said of the benefits of access to telecommunication especially at the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’.
Telecoms in India | Full-spectrum dominance | Economist.com The operators added more than 8m mobile-phone subscribers in October, bringing the total to over 217m. India has met its ambitious target, set two years ago, of 250m fixed and mobile-phone connections. But the government is sadly unprepared. It has not given India’s mobile operators enough space on the radio spectrum to carry calls crisply and reliably.
On Monday, November 19th, Rohan Samarajiva, Nuwan Waidyanatha, and Natasha Udu-gama of LIRNEasia, along with Menake Wijesinghe of Sarvodaya‘s Community Disaster Management Centre went to New Delhi, India for the second in a series of workshops on the “Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) entitled “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-Based Last-Mile Warning Systems” at the India Habitat Centre in conjunction with the All India Disaster Management Centre (AIDMI). The workshop included a variety of stakeholders from Indian government, civil society, international organizations, private sector, and NGOs. Mr. Mihir Bhatt, Honorary Director of AIDMI, along with Mr. Mehul Pandya, Risk Reduction Transfer Initiative Coordinator and Ms.
Mauritius-based private equity venture Seacom has started the construction of a fibre optic cable that will link southern and east Africa with India and Europe.   The $650 million project covers more than 15,000 kilometres to link South Africa to India and France through Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania. It is expected to provide first broadband access to countries in East Africa, which are currently using satellite connections.   In a similar project, NEPAD e-Africa Commission signed a deal with an American firm 5-P Holdings in November 2007 for the construction of an undersea submarine cable to link every country in Africa with the outside world.   This is a joint project between African investors and US telecommunications development company Herakles Telecom.
Having made its mark on software in style, there is nothing wrong India becoming ambitious to do the same in hardware. That seems to be the message we hear now. Instead of resting on its laurels as the preferred IT services destination, technology players and academics in India must look to creating compelling products for the domestic and global market with an eye on cornering at least $15 billion worth business by 2015. This was the challenge thrown out by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) to the Indian IT industry, at its annual Product Conclave that opened in Bangalore on Nov 19, 2007. (Read the report in ‘The Hindu’) Interestingly, last month Prof.
National Disaster Management Guidelines Released “We all know that India like any other nation in the world has its own share of vulnerability, risk and its capacity to respond to the disasters. The equations of these three factors can be well visualized in some of the worst disasters of the past – the Super Cyclone in Orissa in October 1999, the Bhuj earthquake in January and Tsunami in December 2004. All these revealed the mass casualty potential of natural disasters. ” “The underlying message is whether it is natural or manmade, these disasters have the potential of causing mass casualties and we need to address these issues squarely. We need to adopt multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach for prevention/mitigation strategies so as to develop capacities to improve response.
The simmering tension over spectrum allocation among Indian telecom companies has erupted into a public spat with warring mobile phone operators leaving no stone unturned in their battle to acquire more air waves. The fight is so intense that Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin too jumped in, dashing off letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and communications minister A Raja, complaining against the stiffer spectrum allocation norms proposed by the Telecommunication Engineering Centre, an arm of the department of telecommunications. Reliance Communications chief Anil Ambani, whose company uses CDMA technology, too wrote to the Prime Minister. He accused some “large GSM players”, a reference to Vodafone and Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Telecom, of spreading “misleading and false propaganda” to block fresh competition in telecom, hoard spectrum and indulge in “anti-consumer practices like cartelisation”. Read the full story in ‘The Times of India’ Other related stories: Anil Ambani takes telecom rivals to PM – Hindustan Times Telcos sweat under spectrum deadlock – Business Standard Telecom tussle engulfs all major players, Ambani writes to PM – The Indian Express quoating PTI
Does not compute | Economist.com “PROLIXITY is not alien to us in India,” admits Amartya Sen in his essay “The Argumentative Indian”. “We do like to speak.” He supports his contention with quotations from India’s classical texts, but it is also borne out by India’s phone habits. The average owner of a mobile handset spends 471 minutes (almost eight hours) on the phone each month, and sends 39 text messages.