CHAKULA is a newsletter produced by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). Named after the Swahili word for ‘food’, it aims to mobilise African civil society around ICT policy for sustainable development and social justice issues. The latest issue features an e-interview with LIRNEasia’s CEO Rohan Samarajiva, but it is not the only reason why we thought of highlighting the issue. The content is interesting and very readable. We publish two e-interviews from July 2010 issue here fully, as they are not available on public domain.
A report just released by DIRSI shows that Peru’s regulatory environment has improved slightly during the period from 2007 to 2009. The report, Entorno regulatorio de las telecomunicaciones: Perú 2007-2009 (Telecommunications Regulatory Environment: Peru 2007-2009), prepared by Jorge Bossio, used the Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Assessment methodology that was developed by DIRSI’s partner LIRNEasia as an approach to gaining insight on regulatory performance. The TRE methodology is based on the assumption that investment is a necessary condition for good telecom sector performance, and investment decisions are influenced by perceptions of investment risk. Using interviews and a questionnaire administered to a statistically significant cross-section of industry stakeholders and experts, the TRE assessment traverses six dimensions of regulatory risk for both the fixed and mobile sectors. The new report, the second assessment of Peru’s regulatory environment, reports that the overall influence of the regulatory environment in Peru has improved since the previous assessment (2006-2007) but remains neutral – neither encouraging nor discouraging investment.
LIRNE.NET (through Research ICT Africa) together with University of Cape Town’s Infrastructure Management Programme, is organizing a five-day training course in telecom regulatory reform. The course is to be held from 12 – 16 April 2010, at the UCT GSB Breakwater Campus, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. The course is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of decision-makers in telecom and related sectors in developing countries and emerging economies. The aim of the programme is to address the many challenges posed by the current stage of telecom and ICT reform to governments, regulatory agencies, operators and other stakeholders.
That is the phrase I brought back from Harvard Forum II that I attended on behalf of LIRNEasia a few weeks back. In 2003 they held Harvard Forum I (which, among the LIRNE.NET group only Alison Gillwald attended). One of the results was the funding of organizations like LIRNEasia that seek to remove policy and regulatory barriers to the use of ICTs. This time the focus was on “what next.
Reading the WEF and INSEAD Global Information Technology Report 2008-09, I was struck by the presence of several references from within the LIRNE.NET community. I would have of course preferred some mention of LIRNEasia (in the same way DIRSI had been mentioned) and or a URL, but still, nice to know our work is being read and used. It is noteworthy that the second author on the first reference below, A. Aguero, is currently with LIRNEasia completing a professional internship.
Reading an article by Araba Sey on a small-sample study of teleuse among non-owners in Ghana in a special issue of info, edited by two colleagues in LIRNE.NET, I was surprised to see no references whatsoever to our work. We who are at edge of the global academic system had excuses, but really, after Scholar.Google, no one has excuses. Further, I was told that Araba had been at a talk given by Helani Galpaya at USC Annenberg School in October 2007 and had been given an entire set of teleuse@BOP2 findings, which makes the omission even more saddening.
The 13th telecom reform course for regulators and stakeholders offered by LIRNE.NET in collaboration with the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town will start on the 14th of April 2009. The LIRNE.NET courses started in the Netherlands, moved to Denmark, then were offered in multiple locations in Africa and the Caribbean, until settling in Singapore since 2005. Now the baton has passed to our colleague Alison Gillwald at the EDGE Institute in South Africa.
The 13th Executive Course on Telecom Reform will be held from 20 – 24 April, 2009, in Cape Town, South Africa. It is being offered by the Edge Institute and the University of Cape Town Business School. Themed, ‘Connectivity and Convergence: Alternative Regulatory Strategies for Telecommunications’, the course is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of senior decision-makers in telecom and related sectors in Africa and elsewhere. After having been offered in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America, this executive programme is now being offered in Africa to meet the challenges it faces in this sector. Target delegate profiles include decision-makers in telecommunications and related sectors in Africa including government; regulatory agencies; operators; unions, ICT journalists, consumer groups and NGOs active in the sector Confirmed faculty members include Rohan Samarajiva, CEO of LIRNEasia, Alison Gillwald, Associate Director, the Edge Institute and Tracy Cohen, former Councillor on the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
LIRNEasia researchers participated at the International Telecommunications Society (ITS) 17th Biennial Conference in Montreal, Canada, from June 24-27 2008. The theme of the conference was on, ‘The Changing Structure of the Telecommunications Industry and the New Role of Regulation’. The picture above shows Professor Sudharma Yoonaidharma, Commissioner, National Telecommunciations Commission of Thailand commenting on the presentations made at the second of the two LIRNE.NET sessions, watched by (from left) Rohan Samarajiva and Payal Malik from LIRNEasia, Roxana Barrentes from DIRSI and Anders Henten from LIRNE Europe. The session was chaired by Hank Intven, Partner at the leading Canadian firm of McCarthy Tetrault (not in the picture).
LIRNEasia researchers will participate at International Telecommunications Society 17th Biennial Conference in Montreal, Canada, June 24-27, 2008. Rohan Samarajiva, Helani Galpaya and Payal Malik will be among panellists at a double session on ‘New regulatory approaches in the face of rapidly changing demand’. This session showcases key findings from recent LIRNE.NET research in four different continents. In a separate session, LIRNEasia researchers will present a paper entitled, ‘Re-examining Universal Service Policies in Telecommunications: Lessons from three South Asian countries’, co-authored by Malik and Samarajiva.
DIRSI – Regional Dialogue on the Information Society – Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Assessment Series Using interviews and a questionnaire administered to a statistically significant cross-section of industry stakeholders and experts, the TRE assessment traverses six dimensions of regulatory risk (market entry, access to scarce resources, interconnection, tariff regulation, regulation of anti-competitive practice and universal service) for both the fixed and mobile sectors. The TRE methodology focuses on the environment as a whole, rather than only on the regulatory agency. This broadens the scope and usefulness of the study to different actors. DIRSI and LIRNE.NET are currently undertaking TRE studies in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
Dr. Harsha de Silva participated in the LIRNE.NET and WDR expert meeting entitled “Wireless Opportunities and Solutions: A Regulatory Perspective” held in Montevideo, Uruguay during 7-9 March 2007. He made a presentation during the first session entitled “Getting a clearer picture: Demand side ICT data collection”, sharing with the audience some of the findings and the methodology used in LIRNEasia’s recently completed research on teleuse@BOP. During the discussion sessions and on the sidelines of the conference he engaged substantially with the DIRSI researchers planning to replicate the Asian study in Latin America.
Inside the LIRNE.NET community, we have for some time been discussing a program of research centered on what we all mobile multiple play, a convergence of services around the transactional capabilities of the mobile phone and its unparallelled connectivity. Our friend and colleague Abu Saeed Khan is reporting on a major development on these lines from the GSM Congress in Barcelona: :: bdnews24.com :: Spearheaded by a special group of 19 mobile operators with networks in over 100 countries and representing over 600 million customers, GSMA believes the programme could double the number of recipients of international remittances to more than 1.5 billion, while helping to quadruple the size of the international remittances market to more than one trillion dollars by 2012.
Nov 17, 2005, infoDev session, organized in partnership with IDRC A panel of distinguished experts responded to this broad question dealing with what role policymakers and regulators can play in balancing the public interest and fostering a flexible environment for ICT innovations. Rohan Samarajiva’s response is available as a video. [please allow file to load completely before playing] Moderator: William Melody, LIRNE.NET, Center for ICT, Technical University of Denmark Panelists: 1. Muna Nijem, Chair, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Jordan 2.
Pro-Poor, Pro-Market ICT Policy and Regulation World Summit on the information Society, Matmata Room, Kram Centre Tunis, November 17, 2005, 9:00 – 16:45 LIRNE.NET and the World Dialogue on Regulation (WDR), LIRNEasia, Research ICT Africa (RIA), Diálogo regional sobre la sociedad de la información (DIRSI) Sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and The Information for Development Program of the World Bank (infoDev) 9:00-9:15 Welcome Randy Spence 9:15 – 10.15 ICT Demand, access and usage by the poor Chair: Heloise Emdon, IDRC Telecom Strategies on a Shoestring (Household Income Below USD 100/Month)(PDF download) (LIRNEasia) Ayesha Zainudeen, LIRNEasia team Digital Poverty in LAC (DIRSI) Roxana Barrantes Measuring ICT Access and Usage in Africa (RIA) Alison Gillwald, Christoph Stork 10:30-12:00 Core Networks and Policy Issues Chair: Olivier Nana Nzepa, RIA Having a Backbone; Making Best Use of What You’ve Got (LIRNEasia) Harsha Vardhana Singh, Rohan Samarajiva SADC Universities Connectivity Initiative (RIA) Lishan Adam Telecoms Funds & Regulatory Challenges (DIRSI) Hernan Galperin Universal Service Funds, Access Deficit Charges & Least-cost Subsidy Auctions (PDF download) (LIRNEasia) Harsha de Silva, Payal Malik African Regionalism, National Policy Formation and International Governance (RIA) Lishan Adam, Andrew Barendse 12:00 - 13:15 Extending Access Networks Chair: Ben Petrazzini […]
LIRNEasia’s maiden telecom reform course was successfully completed by 36 participants from 18 countries. The 10th telecom reform course was co-organised with LIRNE.NET, in association with the School of Communication and Information of Nanyang Technological University, and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore. Themed ‘Catalyzing change: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence,’ the course took place at the Elizabeth Hotel in Singapore on the 24th-30th September 2005. see pics The course aimed to prepare regulators to face the challenges that lie ahead to achieve connectivity and convergence.