India Archives — Page 33 of 43


Yahoo has upgraded its free email service to put users in touch with mobile subscribers.  The improved platform allows users to exchange text messages with mobile phones and comes as the portal experiments with making its Mail application “a stickier experience”.   It offers a trio of contact options including basic email, Web chat and the transmission of text messages to mobile.   The text-to-mobile feature is initially available in the US, Canada, India and the Philippines but will expand to a further 21 other markets within next six weeks.   Mail users simply type-in a phone number to the email address field to send a text message to wireless friends – although some carriers have already announced they will charge for delivery.
A comparison of the customer numbers for China and India for the end of July 2007 yields some interesting results.   Although in real terms China is still by far the largest mobile market in the world, with 491 million subscribers to India’s 189 million at the end of July, the Indian market continues to outpace the Chinese market in terms of growth.   The figures are somewhat skewed by the fact that the AUSPI, one of India’s regulatory bodies, has moved to including all Wireless Local Loop (WLL) customers in its definition of Mobile, as Reliance did some time back.   This move has positively impacted numbers by just over 4.7 million, which goes some way towards explaining the astonishing 12.
We could still do better; But more taxes could kill the industry The Nation Economist, Sunday 26 August 2007 | See Print version I have to say that JHU does not know economics. What is the rationale behind taxing the only sector that is growing? The industry is giving government enormous amount of revenue. Twenty percent of every mobile rupee goes to the government. If you squeeze the goose for more eggs the goose will ultimately die.
The Regional Development Dialogue, published by the UN Centre for Regional Development, in its most recent issue (volume 27(2), Autumn 2006, published in August 2007?!) carries two articles by Shoban Rainford, then at ICTA, and Harsha Liyanage, Sarvodaya  on e Sri Lanka and the telecenter component within e Sri Lanka.   In an invited comment, LIRNEasia‘s Rohan Samarajiva and Helani Galpaya,  identify the e Sri Lanka  initiative’s 1919 Government Information Center as  a good example of  pro-poor e-governance, because the information is available through the telephone, a technology that is more easily accessible to the poor than the Internet and telecenters. The special issue is edited by Subash Bhatnagar, an acknowledged expert on e government who provides a good summary, marred unfortunately by the use of wrong data in Table 1 (p.
As LIRNEasia plans its research program for 2008-09, the issue of money transfers through mobiles (first raised in the academic literature, to the best of my knowledge, by Professor Jens Arnbak  in his contribution to a book that I co-edited in 2002) is rising in importance in the news as well as in our own thinking.    Migrant Cash Is World Economic Giant – Forbes.com _ India is the world leader in remittances, taking in $23.7 billion in 2005 and an estimated $26.9 billion last year, the World Bank says.
Two of our researchers have been selected to present papers at the 35th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy which will be held in Virginia, USA on September 28-30, 2007. Helani Galpaya will present “The Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Assessment: methodology and implementation results from six emerging economies” at the session on Trade and Harmonizations of Telecommunication Policies on September 30 2007. Payal Malik will present “India’s Universal Service Obligation for Rural Telecommunications: Issues of Design and Implementation” at the session on Promoting Universal Connectivity on September 29 2007. The papers are available on the TPRC website: ‘Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) assessment: Methodology and implementation results from five emerging economies,’ by Rohan Samarajiva, Helani Galpaya, Divakar Goswami and Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara ‘India’s Universal Service Obligation for Rural Telecommunications: Issues of Design and Implementation,’ by Payal Malik The TPRC, a non-profit organization, hosts this annual forum for scholars engaged in publishable research on policy-relevant telecommunications and information issues, and for public- and private-sector decision makers engaged in telecommunications and information policy. The purpose of the conference is to acquaint policy makers with the best of recent research and to familiarize researchers with the knowledge needs of policy makers.
Smith Dharmasarojana is a hero to those in the disaster risk-reduction field. He was the Met Chief who raised the flag re a tsunami hitting Thailand well before 2004 December. He lost his job as a result. When the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami did hit, he was recalled and made the disaster-preparedness czar. Because of his drive, Thailand is among the best prepared for a tsunami or similar disaster today.

Bharti to offer mobile 2.0

Posted on August 15, 2007  /  0 Comments

There has been much speculation about the strategy that will be adopted by the Indian juggernaut Bharti when it enters the Sri Lankan mobile market as the fifth player.   Bharti is offering food for thought, though of course, reality may not always match what is told at news conferences. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Bharti Airtel will offer value added services, especially music which has been a big hit in the Indian market. “We do more music in India than some of the music companies,” Kapoor said. With broadband and 3G services telecom firms can offer more applications for customers, Kapoor said, adding that they would be “aiming for share of wallet rather than share of telecom.
The ITU’s World Information Society Report 2007 contains the following discussion of one of LIRNEasia’s flagship products, the Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) assessment, in Chapter 2, Bridging the digital divide (p. 32). “One innovative approach adopted recently in the Asian market is to try to quantify the extent of sector reform. LIRNEAsia has conducted research into the regulatory environment in six Asian economies (India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand). Their research is based on interviews rating performance in market entry, scarce resources, interconnection, prices, anticompetitive practices and universal service.
India’s MTNL, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications along with France Telecom, South Africa’s Telkom, British Telecom and Kuwait’s Alkazar are vying for a 51 per cent controlling share of Kenya’s sole provider of fixed line services. In Nairobi last week the plan to privatise Telkom Kenya was presented in detail at a two-day government-inspired and sponsored conference. It was very successful and the proposed sell-off of the the East African country’s state-run incumbent has now attracted seven potential bidders. Read more.
LIRNEasia is privileged to be associated with Professor Ashok Jhunjunwala, who is featured in this special interview by Rediff.   Ashok serves as Chair of CPRsouth, LIRNEasia’s principal capacity building initiative, and on LIRNEasia’s International Advisory Board.   He will visit Sri Lanka for the first time to deliver a keynote address at the South Asia Broadband Congess and Expo in Colombo, 4-6 September, 2007.  He is truly an inspiring public intellectual. rediff.
The total electronic equipment production in India will reach US$32 billion in 2011, compared to $14 billion in 2006, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent, according to Gartner. Semiconductor consumption in India will more than double from $2.8 billion in 2006 to $7.2 billion in 2011. The growth in electronic equipment production is being bolstered by the rapidly growing demand for electronics equipments in India.
Pyramid Research has released a list of the Top Ten Trends that will influence the telecoms sector in the region (and elsewhere) throughout the coming year.  It claims that subscriber growth will be the number one ‘critical development’ in the Asia Pacific region through 2008. The new research shows that subscriber growth is expected to be highest in Indonesia, which will see a 45 per cent increase in its broadband market ever year for the next five years. By 2012, 80 per cent of Asia’s mobile subscribers will be from China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, with regional subscriptions totaling 2.2 billion.
Rohan Samarajiva will present a paper on ‘Sri Lanka’s telecommunications commitments under GATS: Assessment and issues for the future’ in the “Trade in Services’ session at the International Trade Law Conference 2007, on 1 August, organised by the Sri Lanka Law College in collaboration with The Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka and The World Trade Organization. The topic of this year’s conference is “The Doha Development Agenda and the Future of the Multilateral Trading System.” The conference will seek to facilitate an extensive discussion on the critical issues that have arisen in the course of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. The panel of speakers consisting of policy makers, academics and professionals of outstanding calibre have been drawn from the developed and developing world such as the US, EU, India and Sri Lanka, in order to stimulate debate and facilitate a holistic experience for the participants.The conference website is: http://www.

Hoarding USO funds in India

Posted on July 17, 2007  /  1 Comments

LIRNEasia research on Telecom Regulatory Environment (where India gets the lowest scores on the USO dimension) shows that Indian USO policy and implementation are flawed. LIRNEasia research on teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid shows clearly that lowering connection charges and keeping the use charges low are critically important in connecting the next billion. The policy recommendation that flows from this, made at meeting of regulators in New Delhi on the 15th of July, is that the USO levy should be phased out and the existing funds be disbursed as quickly as possible. But it appears that the Department of Telecommunications and the new Minister think otherwise: The Hindu Business Line : Raja rejects telecom industry plea to cut USO levy Operators had said that since the USO fund has over Rs 10,000 crore lying unused, the Government should consider lowering the contribution made by the telecom firms. “We realise that USO is an important tool to enable telecom services in rural areas.

Nokia focuses on rural markets

Posted on July 16, 2007  /  2 Comments

The Business Standard (Nokia focuses on rural markets) Sapna Agarwal / Pune July 16, 2007The rural markets account for around 5 per cent of the national GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) handset sales. The figure is expected to rise to 25-30 per cent, adding around 100 million new cellular subscribers by 2009, according to a recent study by LIRNEasia and AC Nielson.