Mobile Archives — Page 19 of 28


Hard truth about why the successful mobile payments model pioneered in Kenya has failed to spread. However Kenya’s success has yet to be replicated much elsewhere. More than half of all the world’s mobile-money transactions are handled by Safaricom. Mobile money is popular in one or two chaotic countries, such as Sudan and Somalia, but barely used in most places where it could do immense good, including India and China. Not all countries need mobile money, of course.
I have heard many absurd proposals related to the mobile industry, but this about takes the cake. Pakistan’s government is considering a radical plan which could dramatically alter the mobile phone industry in the country – as it mulls proposals to ban Prepaid SIM cards from sale. The Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the government is considering a phased ban on all prepaid SIM cards in an effort to clamp down on terrorism in the country. However, with something in the region of 97% of the entire mobile subscriber base on PrePay tariffs, the impact on the industry would be huge. In addition to the costs of upgrading billing systems to cope with the surge in contract customers, and having facilities in retail stores to cope with the migration – the networks would also face a hole in their finances as payments switch from in advance, to monthly in arrears.

Five billion mobile SIMs

Posted on July 25, 2012  /  1 Comments

It is estimated that the world’s population went past the seven billion mark in 2011. Why do I use this cautious language? Sri Lanka just conducted a census and is looking for some half a million people that are short of the previous projections. So estimate we must. GSMA’s Mobile and Development Intelligence website estimates that the number of mobile SIMs went past the five billion mark, at end of 2011.
We’ve been talking about mobile devices becoming the primary interfaces with the web. But this is an attack from another direction, the cloud: Much the way Salesforce wasn’t really about ending software (the company writes plenty of software that is up in the cloud, not inside a computer), Pano is not really about the end of chips, or the software needed to run them. Pano counts on chips and software that are in servers elsewhere to do its computing. But that shift of complex chips could presage a deeper shift in the computer industry, as cloud-based businesses change how information is controlled. A company in the traditional personal computer business “is like a saguaro cactus that has been shot,” Mr.
A high profile regional event intended to foster exchange of ideas among government officials and their suppliers attracted participants from the region as well as many from within government here in Sri Lanka. I was given the opportunity to present LIRNEasia’s research in 15 minutes in the first session. I chose to highlight the agriculture work and push a single policy recommendation: that government should free up data and information that it sat on (e.g., agricultural extension information) so that young people developing apps would have the necessary raw material.
Interesting, but perhaps not fully accurate, first read of the emerging cloud-centric model from the NYT. We are seeing a new business ecosystem with all sorts of mobile and cloud-connected devices. Each is a powerful computer, with connections to a nearly infinite amount of data storage and processing in the cloud. “We’re entering this era where consumer electronics is the hardware, and the software and the cloud,” said Matt Hershenson, Google’s hardware director. His view increasingly holds for business computing, too.
The Sri Lanka Medical Association is organizing a Symposium on eHealth Opportunities and Challenges in Sri Lanka, July 6th 2012 at BMICH, Colombo. Senior Research Fellow Nuwan Waidyanatha is one of the invited speakers at the session on e health initiatives: Current e health initiative in Sri Lanka 1.15 am eIMMR Dr N.C. Kariyawasam, MBBS, MSc Medical Officer (Health Informatics) Ministry of Health & Dr B.
BDnews24.com reports that The minimum tax of Tk 3,000 was endorsed by the MPs, barring those from the boycotting opposition, while the Minister withdrew his proposal to impose tax at source on mobile phone bill.
Less than a month ago, we expressed an opinion on the Bangladesh Finance Minister’s proposal to pile on more taxes on mobile use. Obviously, we could not have been the only people who objected, but looks like it has worked. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given to pressure from exporters as she asked Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday to cut the proposed export tax to 0.8 percent at source. Speaking on the proposed budget for the next fiscal beginning on July 1, she also wanted the planned 2 percent tax at source on mobile phone bills altogether waived.
The author of the op ed is an Australian Professor of Engineering who worked mostly on water projects in South Asia. In Australia, a copious water supply and sanitation takes around 2 per cent of the economic resources of a family. In South Asia, barely enough potable water to survive can take 20-40 per cent of a family’s economic resources. Effective engineering in Australia accounts for much of the difference. Therefore, it is not the lack of money that influences national poverty as ineffective engineering that imposes crippling high costs for water, energy and other essential services.

Real risk and perceptions of risk

Posted on June 19, 2012  /  1 Comments

I started reading about cancer because people kept pestering me about electro magnetic radiation from mobile handsets and towers. Siddhartha Mukherjee is the best writer on cancer. But I have to admit I have yet to read his Pulitzer winning “The emperor of all maladies.” In Ohio, where I lived for over a decade, they took asbestos really seriously. Buildings were condemned because of asbestos.
Given below in sober scientific language is the outcome of decades of deliberation: After a week-long meeting of international experts, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), today classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer. The New York Times explains that the implications are more serious for people in developing countries : The W.H.O. decision, the first to elevate diesel to the “known carcinogen” level, may eventually affect some American workers who are heavily exposed to exhaust.
The Government of Bangladesh announced its intention to impose more taxes on mobile bills last week. My op-ed in the Daily Star drew on economic principles and regional experience. There is no debate about the government requiring money. A dynamic sector such as telecom must make its fair contribution. Collection leakages in telecom are much less than in other sectors because it is a modern sector with automated billing and collection mechanisms.
An oped by Khairul Islam and Nilusha Kapugama on how mobiles can help match supply and demand for cold storage space for Bangladesh potato harvest has been published in Daily Star. The most widely accessible form of ICT in Bangladesh is mobile phone. An information management system can ensure that information on the availability of space can be sent out to traders and farmers. The cold storage owners are a part of the Bangladesh Cold Storage Owners Association. The association can collect the information about the availability of space from members.
Is it that the Top of the Pyramid is more into multi-SIM use than the BOP? It appears from the report that multi-SIM use may be higher than was reported by Teleuse@BOP4. Or, it could be indicating that multi-SIM use is on the increase, with greater availability of multi-SIM handsets. CyberMedia Research (CMR), a computer and electronic market research firm said 35 of percent of handsets sold in 2011 could have more than one network connected (multi-subscriber identity module). Around 5.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was in Bangkok for the World Economic Forum. One of the questions she was asked was “what sectors she would look to promote first?” The summary of her answer was that the telecom sector is important as the need to have mobile phone for development is real and will look to support advancement in this field. She wants to target what she calls “low-hanging fruits” sectors to create jobs and bring Burmese migrant workers home. There is no doubt that telecom, especially voice and data communication over wireless platforms, is a low hanging fruit.