Mobile Archives — Page 6 of 28


LIRNEasia organized and moderated two panels at CommunicAsia 2015 in Singapore earlier this week. Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan will write about the session that he moderated. I was about to write about mine, when Don Sambandaraksa, one of Asia’s best telecom journalists, did this piece for Telecompaper: Myanmar currently has three mobile operators, namely Telenor, Ooredoo, and state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT), which has partnered with Japan’s KDDI. Myanmar will soon have a fourth operator, ISP Yatanarpon Teleport (YTP). Demand for mobile services in Myanmar is on the rise.

2G has a longer life than 3G?

Posted on June 3, 2015  /  0 Comments

I was at a CommunicAsia session on 5G thinking about the meaning of generations of mobile technologies. I had just read this piece, and was thinking how interesting it is that Telenor is planning to shut down 3G before 2G. Confirms the centrality of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication in everyone’s thinking about the future of wireless. Telenor Norway’s CTO, Magnus Zetterberg, said the company plans to completely shut down its 3G network in 2020, five years before it closes 2G in 2025. Speaking at the company’s analyst and investor day, Zetterberg talked up the company’s evolution of 4G, established in Norway in 2012, which now accounts for 60 per cent of all mobile data traffic in the country.
Telenor Myanmar has reported how many lawful intercept requests ity received in the first six months of operation: On the institutional side, the government still lacks the skills, process and willingness to make decisions, Furberg said, which can lead to delays. “Corruption is still very high on our agenda,” he said, admitting that Telenor Myanmar has received one claim of corruption in its supply chain that it investigated but was unable to prove. Telenor also has to tread carefully when law enforcement make requests for historical usage data about its customers to ensure it strikes the right balance between crime prevention and privacy. “We can’t hand out information without a court order,” Furberg said, but at the moment it is not always clear which courts in Myanmar handle these cases. So far, Telenor has received 15 requests for historical usage data and has complied with three, he said, which were linked with drug offences and missing persons.
It was in a difficult-to-find room, as far away as one could get from the conference registration area. But we had 50 engaged participants at the open session on systematic reviews organized by LIRNEasia at ICTD 2015. The presentations are below. Introduction Impact of mobiles Mobile financial services ICT in classroom ICTs in MSME The session report can be found HERE
Interesting reaction to Ken Cukier’s data evangelism at MSF. Additional proof that Ken wrote the editorial on ebola and mobile data for the Economist. The idea that big data from mobile phones could have helped predict how Ebola spreads and so saved lives in West Africa, if only telecom companies had released it, seemed both powerful and out of sync at a gathering of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff last week. Ken Cukier, data editor of The Economist, kicked off the first of the medical aid charity’s two scientific days on 7 May with a charismatic talk that made the case for big data as the inevitable future and, in the case of Ebola, the “gold dust” that could have reduced fatalities. It was difficult to judge the audience’s reaction — there was enthusiasm on Twitter but big data came up just once again in the course of the day.
The first surprise comes from Telenor which has more customers than Ooredoo despite a late start and less money to spend. The second surprise also comes from Telenor, which has apparently made an unexpected profit. There are now at least 18.1 million SIM cards in active use, according to the operators, not including cards that have been sold but are not used regularly. MPT told Reuters last week it had 8.
Some questions that came to mind as I read the report linked below. Myanmar has 325 townships, the third level of administrative units. So, 199 out of 325 is pretty good. But is it that Telenor is in a central location in 199 townships or they cover the entirety of 199 townships? How does Ooredoo calculate its population coverage?

Facebook is now mobile and video

Posted on April 23, 2015  /  0 Comments

We’ve been tracking Facebook’s transition from the desktop to mobile for a while. In 2012 the process was just beginning. But now, with 3/4ths of its revenues coming from mobile, it looks like the transition is complete. The world’s largest social network reported on Wednesday that almost three-quarters of its advertising revenue and most of its 1.44 billion users came from cellphones and other mobile devices in the first quarter of the year.
A Ratings Agency has put specific numbers behind the entity-based and mobiles-sector specific taxes in 2015 interim budget. Should the proposals go ahead, 2015 FFO-adjusted net leverage for Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT, BB-/Stable) and Dialog Axiata (Dialog, AAA(lka)/Stable) is likely to deteriorate to 1.8x and 2.5x, respectively (2014: 1.2x and 1.

Another story on Facebook v Internet

Posted on February 22, 2015  /  0 Comments

This story has legs. Someone has riffed off the Quartz story. Report.
Discussions on net neutrality usually generate more heat than light. Based on her star turn at IGF 2014 in Istanbul where she sought to bring data from the trenches to the soaring abstractions that characterise the debate, LIRNEasia CEO has been invited to speak at a high-profile panel in Barcelona. The panel description.
First results from Telenor Myanmar, from Telecom Paper. Telenor ended its first quarter in Myanmar with 3.406 million mobile customers. The new mobile operator generated NOK 287 million in revenues in Q4 2014 and an EBITDA loss of NOK 248 million. It spent NOK 598 million in Q4 and NOK 4.
Yesterday, I was the only non-politician on a political debate show on TV known as “Satana” (battle). The topic was the new President’s/government’s 100 Day Program (of which more than one-third has passed). I was not expecting to talk about the taxes imposed on the mobile industry, but right in the middle, one of the “referees” asked me about one of the three (or two, depending on the company size) taxes imposed on the mobile operators. I briefly answered saying it was not a good idea since its retroactive and mobile-specific nature was likely to have the effect of depressing investment that was needed if Sri Lanka is to move to the next stage of connectivity beyond voice. I had taken this position without any serious pushback in other media since shortly after the interim budget was announced.
A 24/7 news channel interviewed me about the mobile-only taxes proposed by the new government. It is not online (yet) so I cannot give a link. The last question I was asked by the interviewer was about my recommendations to the government. Here is what I said: 1. The proposal that the mobile operators should pay the 25 percent tax on voice calls currently paid by mobile users should be withdrawn.
Last night (4th February 2015), the TV Channel Derana invited me to participate in a debate in Sinhala on the interim budget presented by the new Minister of Finance. Here I used the case of punitive taxes on mobiles as a way of discussing the possible implications for investment in general, and for the ICT sector in particular. There was an intriguing tangential discussion on mobiles being bad per se that I will write about separately. Link to video clip in Sinhala.
One thinks that the case has been made over and over again that the connectivity made possible by ICTs is a good thing. Governments appear to act on this basis when they formulate telecom and broadband policies and sometimes even direct subsidies to encourage greater connectivity. Yet, whenever there is need for money all that falls by the wayside and Willie Sutton takes over. Willie Sutton was a famous bank robber who was asked why he robbed banks. “I rob banks because that’s where the money is,” he said.