India Archives — Page 38 of 43


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.

Evidence-based policy advocacy

Posted on November 15, 2006  /  0 Comments

To get thinking started on a topic that we will be studying in more detail in 2007. Are there historical figures like this, for example in India, that we can refer to in our work? Looking Back on Louis Brandeis on His 150th Birthday – New York Times
(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Cellular phone subscribers rose in India by a record 6.6 million in October, keeping the country’s place as the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market, according to data released over the weekend. Subscribers for the GSM network grew by 4.7 million in September, while the number of mobile phone subscribers using CDMA technology increased by 1.9 million.
LIRNEasia HazInfo project partner Nalaka Gunawardene has written an excellent piece on ICTs and disasters, referring in some detail to the ongoing HazInfo project. Bridging the long ‘last mile’ in Sri Lanka / 2006/4 / Media Development / Publications / Home – World Association for Christian Communication While the countries of South and Southeast Asia were largely unprepared to act on the tsunami, it was not really a complete surprise. As the killer waves originating from the ocean near Indonesia’s Sumatra Island radiated across the Indian Ocean at the speed of a jetliner, the alert about the impending tsunami moved through the Internet at the speed of light. Scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) in Hawaii, who had detected the extraordinary seismic activity, issued a local tsunami warning one hour and five minutes after the undersea quake. That was a bit too late for Indonesia – which, being closest to the quake’s epicentre, was already hit – but it could have made a difference in countries further away, such as India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
CPRsouth Chair and LIRNEasia international advisory board member, Professor Ashok Jhunjhunwala was on a blue-ribbon panel discussing ICTs and rural access last night on NDTV. CIOL : .NET & Windows : Make bandwidth available to all, says Kalam NDTV’s Prannoy Roy moderated a discussion in which Ballmer, N R Narayana Murthy, Ashok Jhunjhunwala and Manvinder Singh of Ranbaxy participated. He started off by asking Ballmer about the contrasting personalities of the top two at Microsoft: small, shy and geeky versus flambuoyant and six feet six. Opposites make for the best partnerships was the reply.
Dhaka, Nov 9 (www.bdnews24.com) – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report for 2006, launched globally Thursday, revealed that Bangladesh had shown impressive gains in water and sanitation sector although Asia’s emerging giants were lagging. “Income matters, but public policy shapes the conversion of income into human development,” said the report, entitled “Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis.” “India may outperform Bangladesh as a high growth globalisation success story, but the tables are turned when the benchmark for success shifts to sanitation: despite an average income some 60% higher, India has a lower rate of sanitation coverage.
As part of the Six Country Indicators Project, Divakar presents the interim findings from the Indonesia country study. The study assesses Indonesia’s telecom sector and regulatory performance. It employs the common methodology and list of indicators adopted for the Six Country study.
Dhaka, Nov 3 (bdnews24.com) – GrameenPhone’s coverage beyond Bangladesh’s boundary has forced the Indian government to deploy cellular mobile network in the neglected northeastern states, reports Kolkota-based The Telegraph Friday. The Indians along the Bangladesh border in Meghalaya and other north-eastern states “are forced to use prepaid cards of GrameenPhone, the largest cell phone service provider of Bangladesh, paying ISD call rates.” People without mobile phones cross the border and use Bangladeshi phone booths and they pay hefty amounts of international tariff to call own country, the report alleges. Villagers have complained to the Telegraph correspondent that the Indian government does not provide them basic telecoms facilities on the pretext of security.
Three articles on LIRNEasia and its research have appeared in Business Line, one of the leading business newspapers in India belonging to the Hindu group. The most recent one appeared today, focussing on LIRNEasia‘s research activities in the Asian region. The way to go The Hindu Businessline, October 23, 2006 By Ambar Singh Roy […]Founded in September 2004, LIRNEasia (Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies) was initially focused on India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia. This year, LIRNEasia’s research footprint has been extended to the Philippines, Thailand and Pakistan. Says Prof Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia: “The Asia-Pacific is a leading region in ICT, both in manufacture and use.
According to a recent report, the total number of mobile subscribers in Asia Pacific has doubled in the course of two years and by the end of 2006 will account for 45% of mobile subscriber growth worldwide. China,India and Pakistan account for 70% of the growth in the region.
Zee News – South Asian countries lose 2-16 % GDP in natural disasters “Studies show two to 16 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of South Asian countries is lost every year due to natural disasters. They also show a dollar spent on mitigating disasters saves five dollars to be spent subsequently on relief and rehabilitation.”The point of course being that there’s nothing natural about this horrendous loss of lives and growth. It is because we do not take the necessary human actions and engage in the required institutional reforms, that these losses are as high. The micro-level approach that is being proposed in India has significant similarities to the objectives of the HazInfo project and Sarvodaya’s overall approach to disaster preparedness.
  Leased Line Tariffs to be Regulated Bisnis Indonesia, September 27, 2006 JAKARTA: The Indonesian Telecommunication Regulatory Body (BRTI) will regulate the tariffs for leased lines through a ministerial decree, which is expected to be signed end of this year. The regulator most likely will force network operators to lower leased line tariffs by more than 50 percent to push internet penetration in Indonesia. BRTI said this in a public meeting with Mastel, internet service providers, and network operators yesterday. Heru Sutadi, a member of BRTI, expected a decline of more than 50% in the tariffs will increase ICT usage, internet interconnection, telephone penetration and increase the number of internet users in Indonesia. “The regulator expects the decline in leased line tariffs will be followed by the acceleration of local internet content, so that bandwidth doesn’t get used outside the country and internet tariffs can drop significantly,” he said yesterday.