India


Six water pressure sensors placed on the seabed in the southern Bay of Bengal and northern Arabian Sea will act as sentinels in India’s tsunami early warning system, which was formally inaugurated today. The sensors — four in the Bay and two in the Arabian Sea — will look for changes in ocean water level and send readings via satellite to the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) in Hyderabad, the hub for the system. The Rs 125-crore early warning system will also use a network of seismic stations, tide gauges and computer simulations based on seabed studies to issue alerts about tsunamis — waves sometimes triggered by undersea earthquakes. Continue reading “Tsunami sentinels on duty under sea – Six sensors in place, six more to be added”
The Daily Mirror, a leading English daily in Sri Lanka, recently featured an article on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its potential to drive productivity at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP). The article cited research conducted by LIRNEasia on telecom users at the BOP and the pioneering Grameen microfinance approach to extending telecom access to the poor. The notion that users at the bottom of the pyramid are either unwilling or unable to access telecommunication facilities is effectively dismissed by the findings of the LIRNEasia cross-country research, which indicates that low income users in Sri Lanka averaged about 23 calls per month, while those in India and Pakistan averaged more than 30 and those in the Philippines averaged around 16…A particularly interesting conclusion that emerges from this research is the perception that accessibility to telephony helps in reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and in instilling a feeling of social mobility among the poor. Continue reading ‘Driving productivity at the bottom of the pyramid: How ICT can help’. Print version also available here: .

Innovating for Asia’s BOP

Posted on October 12, 2007  /  4 Comments

Can dinosaurs dance? Oct 11th 2007 | From The Economist print edition Responding to the Asian challenge ARE consumers in India and China too poor to afford high-quality Western goods? That used to be the old idea of doing business in these countries as firms offered watered-down versions of their products at reduced prices. Mr van Houten, of chipmaker NXP, says Indian and Chinese consumers are forcing multinationals to design sophisticated products that more closely meet their needs, and this is making firms operating in Asia better innovators. By recruiting ingenious local engineers and designers in places like Bangalore and Beijing, and paying close attention to trends and practices in the market, firms are coming up with products and services that can be sold in other parts of the world too.
Net user base shrinks as Indians go mobile- Internet -Infotech-The Economic Times Even as net connections are falling, the number of people accessing the web on their cellphones increased by a whopping 7 million to cross the 38 million mark. This emphasises how the cellphone is fast becoming the primary medium for Indians to connect to the net as the number of people using their mobile handsets to access the web is now over four times those using a PC. That means over a fifth of India’s 200 million-plus mobile subscribers use their cellphones to log in to their favourite websites. Powered by ScribeFire.

SMS use declining in India?

Posted on October 8, 2007  /  11 Comments

TRAI: SMSs losing their flavour | The Economic Times NEW DELHI: Are text messages slowly losing their flavor with India’s growing cellular base? Even as operators say it’s too early to take a call and make such a ‘sweeping statement’, the figures, however, suggest so. Data compiled by telecom regulator TRAI reveal that SMS use has steadily fallen from September 2006. Consider this: GSM operators have witnessed close to 9% drop in the outgoing SMSs during the April – June quarter, as per the latest performance indicator report by TRAI. This implies, an average GSM user now sends about 35 SMSs per month as compared to 39 during the previous quarter.
Harsha de Silva, who studied the first least-cost-subsidy auction in Asia in Nepal as part of the 3rd cycle of WDR research, draws out the lessons for Sri Lanka in an op-ed piece published in Sri Lanka’s leading English language daily.   Now that Nepal is considering another least-cost-subsidy auction, the subject has become topical in Nepal too.   The detailed study is available  on the web. The article can be downloaded here. :: Daily Mirror – FINANCIAL TIMES :: An effective access regime that will allow optimal use of the existing backbone, better interconnection enforcement throughout the country, transparent licensing that would remove the pall of corruption or allegations of corruption hanging over the Telecom Regulatory Commission and the licensing authorities, more transparent and efficient spectrum management including the complete unlicensing of WiFi frequencies; deregulation of tariffs to the extent possible like in India are the low-cost option that will enable more people to use telecom and Internet services, not high-cost and low-thought subsidy schemes.
On October 25, 2007, LIRNEasia will hold its first regional dissemination workshop for the “Evaluating Last Mile Hazard Information Dissemination” (HazInfo) pilot project at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) through its Bangladesh Network Office for Urban Safety (BNUS) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The purpose of the workshop is to gather experts, practitioners and community organizations to discuss the findings of the HazInfo project and determine ways in which the project may be developed to suit community-based hazard information dissemination regionally. The “Sharing Knowledge on Disaster Warning: Community-based Last-Mile Warning Systems” workshop in Dhaka will feature five presenters from government, academia and NGOs. Dr. A.
On October 1, LIRNEasia’s Director of Strategic Development Helani Galpaya made a presentation at the University of Southern California.   Her title is a play on an old song celebrating the golden era of radio:  “Video killed the radio star.”  The slides she used are available here . USC Annenberg | Annenberg Research Network on International Communication Speaker Series: Helani Galpaya Join students and faculty for a presentation by LIRNEasia’s Director of Strategic Development, Helani Galpaya. Her topic: “Mobile Kills the Telecenter Star.
BANGALORE, India (AFP) — India remains the favoured technology outsourcing destination, an industry report said Sunday, amid concerns a rising rupee and soaring wages would blunt the country’s competitive edge. A study by industry publication Global Services and investment advisory firm Tholons put the Indian cities of Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune at the top of a list of 15 emerging outsourcing destinations for global companies. Kolkata at number five and Chandigarh at number nine were the other two Indian locations on the list, which contained three Chinese and two Vietnamese cities as well.
Missed calling (also referred to as beeping, flashing and many other names) has been most talked about in Africa; Johnathan Donner has been talking and writing about it for some time now; his research provides interesting insights into what he calls the ‘rules’ of beeping. A recent Reuters article looks at the growing phenomenon in not only Africa but other regions too. LIRNEasia’s Teleuse@BOP survey findings also show that the phenomenon is considerably common among bottom of the pyramid (defined here as Socioeconomic Classification groups D & E) phone users in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. But what’s more interesting, is that the phenomenon was seen as being used more or less to the same extent in the ‘middle and top of the pyramid’ (defined in the study as Socioeconomic Classification groups A, B & C). This held true for phone owners in all five countries studied – Pakistan, India (with some of the lowest per minute call rates in the world), Sri Lanka, Philippines and even Thailand (the country with the highest per capita GDP among the set of countries studied).
With foreign journalists barred from what is one of the world’s most closed states, much of the worldwide media coverage is coming from exiled newshounds in countries such as Thailand and India — and their clandestine contacts on the inside. Technology ranging from the latest Internet gizmo to satellite uplinks to camera phones are ensuring pictures of the massed marches of monks and civilians and the response by security forces is on TV screens around the world in hours. The contrast to Myanmar’s last major uprising, in 1988, could not be more stark. Then, as many as 3,000 people were killed when soldiers opened fire on the crowds but it took days for the news — let alone pictures or video footage — to emerge. “The difference is night and day,” said Dominic Faulder, a Bangkok-based British reporter during the 1988 uprising.
Paper titled ‘Wireless Mesh Networking as a means of connecting rural communities: advantages, constrains and challenges – an analysis based on a case study from rural Sri Lanka’ co-authored by Chanuka Wattegama (LIRNEasia) and Rehana Wijesinghe (Enterprise Technology) has been accepted to be presented at the Wireless World Research Forum Meeting to be held 5-7 November, Chennai, India.  The objectives of this paper are to discuss the appropriateness of Wireless Mesh Networking in a rural environment in empowering the community, the design and implementation challenges and how they were addressed, related policy issues including the unlicensing of 2.4 GHz and 5.1 GHz bands and explore the possibilities of replicating the Mahavilachchiya model.  WWRF (http://www.

RP 2nd fastest-growing broadband market

Posted on September 25, 2007  /  0 Comments

BY VERONICA S. CUSI, Businessworld THE PHILIPPINES was the second fastest-growing market for broadband worldwide in 2006, according to a study by UK-based research and consultancy firm Ovum. This was primarily due, however, to the fact that broadband is just taking off in the country, and Ovum said growth could be significantly higher if regulators allow more competition that would lead to cheaper services. Greece took the top spot in the study, and the other countries in the top ten list were Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Ireland, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia and Turkey. Total broadband growth in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 was at 157% while Greece’s was 168%, Datamonitor affiliate Ovum said.
Software That Fills a Cellphone Gap – New York Times Rural cellularization may not sound like much, but Mr. Bose is a follower of Clayton M. Christensen, the management guru, who also happens to serve on Vanu’s board. Mr. Christensen told him that the best place to start a new business is where there isn’t yet an established market.
The HazInfo paper titled “Last-Mile Hazard Warning in Sri Lanka: Performance of WorldSpace Satellite Radios for Emergency Alerts”, coauthored by Srinivasan Rangarajan, PhD (Senior Vice President Engineering, WorldSpace), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University), Gordon Gow, PhD (Assistant Professor, University of Alberta), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, LIRNEasia) was accepted for oral/poster presentation at the Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications (WPMC) at The Birla Science and Technology Center in the heart of Jaipur, India, December 03 – 06, 2007. WorldSpace, a lead technology partner in the HazInfo research project, field tested 16 Addressable Radios for Emergency Alerts (AREAs) in the Sarvodaya Communities and 34 AREAs in the Sarvodaya District Centers. Although the AREA solutions lacked bi-directional communication and seemed the least effective, the AREA solution proved to be the most reliable that worked with utmost certainty and greatest efficiency even when GSM and CDMA cells were deactivated for over 2 months, at the beginning of this year, during military operations in the conflict prone North-East regions of Sri Lanka. The HazInfo research introduced a concept called “complementary redundancy”, where coupling the AREA addressable/broadcast technology with a GSM mobile phone or CDMA nomadic phone improves the overall performance (reliability and effectiveness) […]
AFP (via Google) Home to some 1.5 billion people, South Asia is paying a high price to access the Internet as service providers have been slow to deliver cheaper broadband connections, analysts say. The region has embraced telephones, mobile phones and computers and India has a flourishing software and outsourcing industry, noted industry watchers at the first South Asia Broadband Congress here earlier this month. But South Asia has lagged behind in hopping onto the broadband bandwagon, observed Sanjay Gupta of India’s Midas Communication Technology. Powered by ScribeFire.