India Archives — Page 37 of 43 — LIRNEasia


Reach out and see somebody

Posted on January 6, 2007  /  0 Comments

Seems like a good business idea for entrepreneurs in countries like Bngladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, with large migrant populations. Even at double the US set up costs, it won’t take long to start earning returns. Of course, good broadband is a necessary condition. Abroad at Home – New York Times Because of stricter border enforcement since 9/11, increased broadband access and reduced cost of video equipment, more businesses are offering videoconferencing services to reunite immigrants with their families back home. Typically found in or near places immigrants frequent like money-transfer operations or consular offices, these kinds of services are often reserved for weeks in advance.
FLAG Telecom plans to deploy the largest IP-based submarine cable network that will connect 60 countries, including many that currently have poor connectivity by 2009. India, Indonesia, and Philippines are among the countries that FLAG’s NGN network will have a presence in. Reliance to carry FLAG far and wide: “We live in a world where there is too much of bandwidth for some, little for others and none for many – there is unequal access to bandwidth in and across countries, continents and communities,” said Anil Dhirubhai Ambani, chairman, Reliance Communications. “FLAG NGN will democratise digital access,” he added. FLAG NGN will comprise of our systems.
The strong quake off Taiwan’s coast on December 26 damaged six separate submarine cables and severely disrupted telecom links in the East, Southeast and South Asia. Internet connectivity in a number of countries are either down or are slowed down thanks to taffic that is being rerouted over networks that have escaped damage. Most of Jakarta (Indonesia) and Pondicherry (Southern India) have been without Internet until this afternoon (Dec 27) at least. In our office in Sri Lanka, SLT’s ADSL connection (though congested) is working. However, Lankacom’s leased line is down since it probably connects to the Internet backbone via Singapore.
The TRE 2006 results [PDF Download] of the first Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) survey applied across six Asian countries were released in New Delhi yesterday. The TRE Assessment, developed by LIRNEasia and already implemented in a number of countries, is a perceptual index which gauges regulatory performance across six dimensions. The TRE survey carried out in India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand as part of a multi-component study, closely reflected regulatory reform actions undertaken in the respective countries along with sector performance. The Hindustan Times, a leading newspaper in India, covered the findings from the TRE surveys [PDF Download] focusing on the comparison between India and Pakistan’s scores. Pakistan Bests India in Telecoms Regulation by M.
LIRNEasia Lead Economist, Dr. Harsha de Silva presented findings of a new study on telecom use at the bottom of the pyramid in five emerging Asian countries at the well attended ESOMAR global market research conference, Telecom 2006: Convergence Revolution held in Barcelona from 29 November – 1 December 2006. The study covers India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Thailand. de Silva presented some findings contained in a paper written with LIRNEasia researcher Ayesha Zainudeen on the costs and benefits of access to telecoms and the expected next billion subscribers. A particular finding of interest to local policy makers was that almost a quarter of Sri Lankans at the bottom of the pyramid believe that direct access to a phone (i.

More on Maldives

Posted on December 13, 2006  /  53 Comments

Several weeks ago we speculated on why the Maldives, with its tiny population, needed two undersea cables. The answer is that the first cable is a collaboration between the new entrant Wataniya and India’s disruptive competitor, Reliance (through its FLAG unit). This created enormous pressure on the complacent incumbent Dhiraagu, the result being the cable to Colombo. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO A new fibre optic undersea cable that connects Maldives to Sri Lanka will bring down international call charges from the Indian Ocean coral atoll, officials said Tuesday.Until the cable was commissioned this month, bilateral traffic of 600,000 minutes per month was routed via more expensive satellite links.
Until 2005, Sri Lanka had one undersea cable (if one did not count the aged SEA-ME-WE 2) and one operator controlling access to it. Then came SEA-ME-WE 4 and the BSNL cables. More cables, but still one operator, SLTL. Now finally, we have operator redundancy. This should be sweet music to the BPO industry.

Mobile multiple play

Posted on December 9, 2006  /  0 Comments

Just returned from the sensory overload of the ITU Telecom World exhibition and forum in Hong Kong. One of the buzzwords/phrases floating around this year is multiple play. Triple play is passe though a few are hanging on with quadruple play. Given my recent column in LBO, my mind was on payments. Where in the multiple play talk was payments?
Rohan Samarajiva and Divakar Goswami, chaired sessions at the first Telecom World event , ITU Telecom World 2006, to be held in Asia, in Hong Kong SAR, 3-8 December 2006. This event, held once in four years, is normally held in Geneva. It was moved to Hong Kong to recognize the leading role of the Asia Pacific in the ICT sector today (see Figure 1).Samarajiva and Goswami were the only persons from Sri Lanka featured in the program of the Forum at Telecom World. Figure 1: Goswami, lead researcher on LIRNEasia’s Indonesia ICT sector and regulatory performance study, chaired a session that included keynote presentations by Dr Sofyan Djalil, the Indonesian Minister of ICTs.
India’s Department of Telecom (DoT) has mandated non-discriminatory access to international cable landing stations which are an essential facility for a host of international data and voice services. VSNL has agreed to open three landing stations to all operators on a non-discriminatory manner. LIRNEasia has been pushing for having access regimes in place for telecom infrastructure bottlenecks like cable landing stations and backbone in a number of countries we work in. Hopefully, this will be emulated in other countries in the region. DoT will also introduce resellers for international bandwidth in order to further bring down international bandwidth prices since the liberalization of the international gateway (IGW) in 2002.

Indian Ocean tsunami detection buoy

Posted on December 1, 2006  /  0 Comments

Early warning regarding tsunamis depends on skilled interpretation of earthquake data from seismic monitors like the one at Pallekale and data from ocean based buoys that detect fast moving bodies of water. The ocean between Sri Lanka and Thailand now has one. It is up to us to make sure that the warning that get communicated from international and regional warning centers will be communciated to the affected communities promptly and that those communities will be prepared to respond properly. NOAA Provides First Tsunami Detection Buoy for the Indian Ocean: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance Following a ceremony in Phuket, Thailand, where the 2004 Boxing Day event caused the most extensive tsunami damage in Thailand, the MV SEAFDEC set sail today to deploy the buoy about mid-way between Thailand and Sri Lanka.
As part of the Six Country Indicators Project, Malathy presented the interim findings from the Sri Lankan country study (over Skype). The study assesses Sri Lanka’s telecom sector and regulatory performance. It employs the common methodology and list of indicators adopted for the Six Country study.
The Study of India’s Universal Service Instruments by LIRNEasia researchers  Payal Malik & Harsha De Silva, critiqued the  Indian government’s policy that made only fixed line operators eligible for USO funds: As of today, the government is giving USO fund support to only the fixed line operators offering services in the rural areas. The over defining terms in the law is a bad idea in a rapidly evolving technology environment, though this correction has been suggested it is quite possible that the previous auctions have left huge amounts of rents that have been appropriated by the incumbent. In an industry that manifests the potential for rapid technological change and innovation, such as telecom, an economic analysis of a problem should not focus too narrowly or exclusively on the best use of society’s resources from the standpoint of today’s technology and resource availability i.e. static economic efficiency but should be viewed from a dynamic perspective.

Broadband battles

Posted on November 24, 2006  /  0 Comments

Here is an issue that will feature large in India and even Bhutan, but not Sri Lanka.   The reason is that the former countries have a sizable number of cable connections, which will in the future be used to provide broadband access in competition to phone companies.  Because of the profligacy of frequency-based broadcast licensing in Sri Lanka, there is no cable industry to speak of.   What there is uses frequencies.  That means it cannot easily be turned into a conduit for broadband.

Bhutan ends integrated monopoly

Posted on November 22, 2006  /  2 Comments

18 November, 2006 In an auction, which lasted four hours with the bid climbing 168 times, the Tashi Group clinched the deal to operate the first private mobile service in the country with a Nu. 777 million (USD 17.32 million) offer. The Tashi Group outbid three other joint venture companies in the auction that was held in Thimphu on October 16 to operate the license for a period of 15 years. The three other local companies vying for the license were the Singye Group, which had tied up with Reliance mobile in India, Druktel Private Limited, a consortium of Bhutanese companies, which had joined Airtel also in India and Bhutan Steel, which had tied up Thai company, Shin Satellite Public Corporation Limited.
TRAI has asked to amend the current international long distance guidelines to discourage restrictive and monopolistic practices of the incumbents and provide a level playing field to new entrants. Currently, six international cables, owned by BSNL, VSNL, Reliance, and Bharti carry international voice and data to India. They allegedly charge 40% to 60% more than international rates. Full report: http://www.telecomasia.