The Aspen Institute has published a report entitled, ‘m-Powering India: Mobile Communications for Inclusive Growth’ co-authored by Mahesh Uppal and Richard P. Adler, which documents the discussions from the Aspen Institute India/ C & S Joint Roundtable on Communication Policy held in Kovalam, India in February, 2008. LIRNEasia’s Executive Director, Rohan Samarajiva, participated at the event, which brought together senior representatives from the telecommunications industry, government and academia. The objective of the meeting was to develop policy proposals that would contribute to the development of low-cost and high-quality telecom infrastructure needed to facilitate seamless transactions of mobile commerce. A summary of the main recommendation (as documented in the report) is given below.
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.
Mahesh Uppal, Director, Com First (India) and a frequent participant in LIRNEasia events contends that the Indian telecom regulator’s authority and independence have been undermined by recent actions of the Minister of Telecom. T V Ramachandran, Director General, COAI [cellular operators association] argues otherwise and states that the Minister’s actions promote Indian consumers’ interest. We would like to get your view on this subject, please comment below. The full debate is available at the Business Standard. No one’s doubting Maran’s recent initiatives, but the TRAI remains emasculated on critical issues like interconnection and BSNL’s monopoly Mahesh Uppal, Director, Com First (India) “A regulator without robust control of the interconnection regime can hardly ever be effective” Given the tasks before them, of ensuring a competitive and efficient market, telecom regulators can be effective only if they have sufficient say in entry and exit of players and if they can ensure that new entrants can interconnect their networks to the existing network.