India Archives — Page 36 of 43 — LIRNEasia


At the invitation of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), LIRNEasia’s teleuse@BOP research of relevance to the question of increasing services provided to users in rural areas was presented at a session chaired by Mr Shantanu Consul, Administrator of India’s USO Fund.   In response to audience questions Executive Director Samarajiva stated that the higher-than-other-countries percentage of non-owner teleusers at the Bottom of the Pyramid in India showed that there was a real problem these people faced in getting connected.   They could afford USD 5 per month for the services (and in some cases paid even more), but the difficulty was with the cost of getting connected (and coverage, of course). The presentation can be downloaded here.
A number of Indian mobile operators have been pilot-testing transferring money using mobile handsets. There are 160 million mobile subscribers in India far outnumbering the bank branches in the country (70,000). The service could potentially allow mobile users to transfer money electronically via the handset directly and instantaneously to another mobile subscriber in the country without having to use bank accounts. However, this service cannot be rolled out until the operators are given regulatory approval both from the banking regulators and telecom regulators. But a more restricted service which would still keep banks in the loop may have a higher chance of getting a quicker approval.

Choices: Calls or gold?

Posted on March 10, 2007  /  0 Comments

By Rohan Samarajiva  LBO >> Choices : Priceless Link       08 March 2007 08:26:29 http://www.lbo.lk/fullstory.php?newsID=2020236857&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=24    March 08 (LBO) – Indonesia, like Sri Lanka, sends its women to foreign lands to work as housemaids.

India woos West with education

Posted on March 8, 2007  /  0 Comments

BBC News, Bangalore Long known for its outsourcing, India is now increasingly marketing itself as a destination for affordable education. From his bedroom in Bangalore, biology teacher Vishal Bhatnagar uses an electronic pen to highlight the main parts of the human endocrine system on the laptop screen in front of him. “What I’m trying to show you,” he says, speaking into a headset, “is that most of the chemicals in the body are poured into the blood to be effective.” One-on-one tuition Eight thousand kilometres (5,000 miles) away in London, student Veenesh Halai follows along, making notes and asking questions. They’ve been brought together by a high-speed internet connection and a growing global appetite for cheap, one-on-one tuition.
Sri Lanka’s telecom sector soared in 2006 to 7.3 million users, led by a 59% jump in new mobile phone connections on competition and falling call rates, an AFP report said.    Quoting the industry watchdog Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, the AFP report said despite a waiting list of around 366,000 for fixed-line phone services, mobile phones, including GSM and CDMA systems, had allowed rural residents to get phone services immediately.   The AFP report further said fixed-line subscribers rose to 1.9 million in 2006 from 1.
The ITU has just released Measuring the Information Society 2007: ICT Opportunity Index and World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators. This report includes the annual data on basic telecom indicators, which many rely on for research, writing and policy formulation. Contrary to the title, the data are from 2005, but still, this is one of the few sources of comprehensive data where all countries are represented. This particular report also ranks countries by something called the ICT Opportunity Index. According to this ranking, Zimbabwe (Rank = 127) has greater ICT opportunities than Pakistan (139), India (133) and Sri Lanka (128).
At the end of 2006, Asia-Pacific mobile connections passed the 1 billion mark.  The Asia-Pacific reached a 30% penetration rate and is expected to grow by 19% between 2006 and 2007, according to the respected newsletter Wireless Intelligence. India overtook China in terms of growth rate in Q1 2007.  Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia have gained strong momentum over the past few quarters with almost 50 million net additions between 2005 and 2006. Among these top markets, LIRNEasia is active in all but China, a gap we intend to fill shortly.

GSMA honours Indian government

Posted on February 14, 2007  /  1 Comments

Barcelona, Feb 13 (bdnews24.com) – The GSM Association (GSMA) has presented its Government Leadership Award 2007 to India for exceptional achievement in mobile communications policy. India has been selected because of its success in establishing a framework of policies and regulations, which have stimulated the growth of mobile telecommunications over the past three years. The latest data from the Indian government shows that India’s mobile operators are now collectively adding six to seven million new subscribers each month. GSMA’s CEO Rob Conway presented the award to Thiru Dayanidhi Maran, India’s minister for communications and information technology.
Hutchison exits India and Vodafone enters.   Will this accelerate Indian mobile growth to Indonesia and Pakistan levels?  No clear evidence of increased investment; new pricing strategies, etc. yet. BBC NEWS | Business | Vodafone buys Indian mobile firm Vodafone has bought a controlling stake in Indian mobile phone firm Hutchison Essar for $11.
LIRNEasia intended the Telecom Regulatory Environment scores to serve as a diagnostic instrument for regulators, policy makers and stakeholders, not exactly a “league table.” However, the news value seems to be in the inter-country comparisons. We are grateful for whatever coverage we get. Businessworld: Pak Betters India The sharp growth in the Indian telecom industry has been talked about for quite sometime. That growth happened after many contentious issues got straightened out over the years at the regulatory level.

India: Broadband Target Will Be Met

Posted on February 9, 2007  /  6 Comments

With the current growth rate of mobile subscriptions, India is the clear global leader in mobile net additions, but its broadband sector still has not met market expectations. Due to poor fixed line coverage, low PC adoption, and service pricing, broadband service has not been embraced by Indians in the way mobile phones were. However, the ministry of communications and operators intend to change that by labeling 2007 the “Broadband Year,” hoping to reach a 20m broadband subscribers by 2010. With the help of telecom and PC manufacturers and operators’ deep pockets, the government believes their goal can be achieved. Pyramid Research argues that the country’s broadband aspirations will not be achieved for 2007, however it will exceed its 2011 target.

Missed calls in the news

Posted on February 3, 2007  /  1 Comments

LIRNEasia has been moved to Denmark, but hey, we take whatever coverage we can get! Missed call virus bugs telecom firms A study by Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies (Lirne), a Denmark-based NGO that focusses on telecom issues, shows that over half of India’s 140 million mobile subscribers make missed calls to convey a pre-agreed message. As many as 95 per cent of the pre-paid customers used missed calls for this purpose, the study added. For operators, missed calls clog networks without earning them revenue, also frustrating genuine callers with “network busy” messages. “Missed calls use microwave links, the backhaul and the exchange and yet we make no money,” said a senior executive of Hutchison-Essar.
Nokia, which had a few bad years, appears to be making a comeback on the shoulders of exploding markets in the Asia Pacific.   LIRNEasia research shows that there is plenty of room for market expansion in the Asia Pacific, especially at the bottom of the pyramid.  If Nokia and other equipment suppliers address this market proactively, they can have many more good years.   Nokia Net Up 19%, Topping Estimates – New York Times Nokia, which is based in Espoo, Finland, shipped a record 106 million units in the quarter, up 26 percent from a year earlier and 19 percent from the third quarter. Nokia said its fourth-quarter market share was unchanged from 36 percent in the third quarter and up from 34 percent a year earlier, led by gains in all regions except North America.
LIRNEasia’s Executive Director and Lead Economist participated at the 10th annual telecom conference and exhibition organized by Informa Telecoms and Media,  GSM>3G, held in Mumbai, India on 22-23 January. LIRNEasia’s Lead Economist, Harsha de Silva presented the Indian findings of LIRNEasia’s five-country teleuse study, ‘Teleuse on a Shoestring:2,’ during the session entitled ‘Connecting the Next Billion.’ | View presentation slides Executive Director, Rohan Samarajiva was also invited as a panel discussant on ‘Widening Access for Rural Communities,’ along side top administrator of India’s universal service obligation fund as well as President of New Projects of Indian operator, Spice Telecom. The conference brought together key players in the GSM community from around the world as well as India to discuss key issues affecting the mobile industry, including 3G, regulation, international investment, Next Generation Networks, coverage, penetration, IMS and MMS. It was organized by Informa Telecoms and Media, as a part of a world series of annual conferences, located in regional hubs within fast growing markets.
As part of a special review of ICT policy in Indonesia, e-Indonesia, the Indonesian ICT monthly magazine, interviewed a number of key stakeholders including the Minister Sofyan Djalil, Commissioners from BRTI, the regulatory body, civil society group, industry reps and ICT experts. LIRNEasia researcher, Divakar Goswami, was also interviewed. The interview is featured in the online edition here. The interview is in bahasa. The English text of the interview is below: 1.
This is not rocket science and Bangladesh can easily achieve similar growth. All it needs is a “literate” leadership and “sane” regulator. Details of Indian and Pakistani markets is in http://www.telecomtv.com/news.