India Archives — Page 30 of 43 — LIRNEasia


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.

Seacom laying Africa undersea cable

Posted on November 22, 2007  /  0 Comments

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.

India prepares for Mass Casualties

Posted on November 14, 2007  /  0 Comments

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.

Telecom spectrum war in India hots up

Posted on November 12, 2007  /  1 Comments

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.

Mesh Networking at WWRF

Posted on November 7, 2007  /  1 Comments

At Wireless World Research Forum meeting currently held in Chennai, there were two presentations on Mesh Networking. While Chanuka Wattegama of LIRNEasia spoke about the Sri Lankan experience, Sharad Jaiswal of Bell Labs, India presented a similar initiative in Bangalore. There were many similarities between the two on the approach. VillageNet, the Bangalore initiative, is a low cost IEEE 802.11 WiFi based mesh network designed for connecting villages in rural India, providing low-cost broadband Internet access for wide regions.
Paper titled: Challenges of Optimizing Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) for SMS based GSM Devices in Last-Mile Hazard Warnings in Sri Lanka (authors N. Waidyanatha – LIRNEasia, D. Dias – University of Moratuwa, and H. Purasinghe – Microimage) was presented at the 19th Meeting of the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF), in Chennai, India, 5-7 November, 2007. The paper was discussed in Working Group 1 – Human Perspective and Service Concepts (WG1).
There was a big story about SMS use declining in India. The response to a question whether Sri Lanka SMS use is declining like in India was answered in the negative by Supun Weerasinghe, the new CEO of Dialog Mobile (Hans Wijayasuriya is now the Group CEO).   The question was triggered by the decline of SMS and VAS revenues from LKR 1,468 m in 2006 3Q (8% of total revenues) to LKR 1,223 m in 2007 3Q (5% of total revenues).
i4d : The first monthly magazine on ICT4D Our vision is to build a new outsourcing model to provide employment in rural India with the following objectives: New sources of skill enhancement – currently the opportunities available in rural areas are either related to agriculture or skills like masonry. Such opportunities will introduce the rural workforce to a new set of skills. Increasing the purchasing power – new sources of income from the rural BPOs will ensure greater purchasing capability and help improve the quality of life in rural areas. Increasing the income earning capacity of rural Internet kiosks – Additional revenue from DesiCrew would also make the existing Internet based businesses more viable. Reducing the gender divide – Educated young girls and housewives who cannot traverse distances can be brought into the workforce, hence enabling the enhancement in existing household income levels.
i4d, a reputed Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) magazine, recently featured an article co-written by LIRNEasia researcher Ayesha Zainudeen based on LIRNEasia‘s Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid study conducted in 2006. The article highlights the study’s main findings with a special emphasis on the gendered aspects of telecommunications use at the BOP. Phones at the bottom of the pyramid: Telecom Accessibility – i4d Magazine In a 2006 five-country study, which was conducted by LIRNEasia, researchers asked 6,269 respondents in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Thailand about their access to, and use of telephones. Those surveyed were all users at the lowest socio-economic strata in the countries, at ‘the bottom of the pyramid’ (BOP). Their responses revealed many differences between users in the five countries, but more interestingly, inter-country inequalities in phone use between men and women.
A new report from Portico Research reveals that over half of the population of the entire world will have a mobile phone by 2008. The study predicts that the global mobile penetration rate will pass the 50 per cent mark next year, with a further 1.5 billion new mobile phone subscribers expected to join their ranks over the next four years.   Portico Research says global mobile penetration rate will be at 75 per cent by 2011.  It is now believed that some 65 per cent of these “new-to-the-world” users will come from the Asia Pacific region, rather than from Africa as has previously been though most likely, with the majority being from rural regions in countries such as India and Pakistan.
Does Sri Lanka have a comparative advantage in tuition? Hello, India? I Need Help With My Math – New York Times A leading candidate to watch, according to analysts, is TutorVista, a tutoring service founded two years ago by Krishnan Ganesh, a 45-year-old Indian entrepreneur and a pioneer of offshore call centers. Concerns about the quality of K-12 education in America and the increased emphasis on standardized tests is driving the tutoring business in general. Traditional classroom tutoring services like Kaplan and Sylvan are doing well and offer online features.

Friedman on rural outsourcing

Posted on October 31, 2007  /  9 Comments

If I.T. Merged With E.T. – New York Times To appreciate that potential, look at how much is being done with just car batteries, backup diesel generators and India’s creaky rural electricity grid.
In internal discussions, I had expressed skepticism about Facebook/Linked In type services for anything other than social interactions.  But it looks like I am being slowly proven wrong! In India, Poverty Inspires Technology Workers to Altruism – New York Times Manohar Lakshmipathi does not own a computer. In fact, in India workmen like Mr. Manohar, a house painter, are usually forbidden to touch clients’ computers.
India’s mobile phone market has become the fastest growing in the world, with Indians adding nearly six million new connections every month. As Anjana Pasricha of VoA reports from New Delhi, much of the growth is among low-income consumers. Telecom companies are going all out to woo such customers, offering them deals that make cell phones affordable for even those who earn as little as $125 a month. Handsets are available for $45. Users can buy new pre-paid phone cards for less than 50 cents.