It’s like a country with excellent seaports but bandits rule the roads and highways. Welcome to Nigeria, which has awarded four 3G licenses in 2007. It also boasts of four submarine cables with an installed capacity of over 19.2 terabytes international bandwidth. The country was never short of hype.
A story on fines imposed on Etisalat’s Nigerian affiliate describes its international reach (without mention of the Sri Lankan affiate): It is easy to see why the company continues to look outside its home market despite the risk of complications. Pressed by Dubai’s agile operator, du, Etisalat has seen eroding domestic profits and market share. Meanwhile, revenues from the company’s international operations, driven by strong performance in Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Afghanistan, grew 21 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the same period last year. Etisalat’s international gains helped first-quarter total revenue rise 2 percent to 8.2 billion dirhams, or $2.
We heard, back in 2005, that the Pakistan Telecom Authority and the Nigerian Communication Commission had calculated how much direct and indirect employment had been created by the telecom industries. Further inquiries revealed that the methods used were suspect and that the studies would not float under rigorous review. The difficulties are exemplified by the prepaid card value chain, where a whole series of resellers are involved in selling value and almost none are engaged solely with mobile. Now the NYT reports an attempt by Apple to quantify its job creation within the US. Apple has made its first attempt to quantify how many American jobs can be credited to the sale of its iPads and other products, a group that includes the Apple engineers who design the devices and the drivers who deliver them — even the people who build the trucks that get them there.
Improving the efficiency and inclusiveness of agricultural value chains is central to LIRNEasia’s current research. NYT reports on Nokia’s efforts in this area. Unfortunately for little countries, they are focusing only on big markets. On Saturday at dawn, hundreds of farmers near Jhansi, an agricultural center in central India, received a succinct but potent text message on their cellphones: the current average wholesale price for 100 kilograms of tomatoes was 600 rupees ($13.26).
Of the 4,283 bribery payments documented by the investigators, 2,505 (more than half) were made in relation to telecom contracts. Of the total of USD 1,400.7 million disbursed, USD 813.9 million (more than half) were for telecom. However, the complaint documents only three specific cases of large bribes paid in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Nigeria, all to government officials or politicians (including functionaries in government owned telecos).
There are still some who talk about the value of government ownership of telecom operators. In their talk of national interest and local control, rarely is mentioned the word corruption. The recent case in which Siemens pleaded guilty to massive “accounting violations” and paid large fines should be of interest to all who care about transparency. More than the fines, the court record is of great significance. Investigators and the law firm for Siemens amassed massive amounts of data, starting from the five terabytes of information seized from Siemens offices at the start.
In an interview with the BBC, Nigeria’s education minister questioned the need for laptops in poorly equipped schools. Dr Igwe Aja-Nwachuku said: “What is the sense of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don’t have seats to sit down and learn; when they don’t have uniforms to go to school in, where they don’t have facilities?” “We are more interested in laying a very solid foundation for quality education which will be efficient, effective, accessible and affordable.” Read full story in BBC
In the South Asian region, Pakistan has taken the lead in introducing mobile number portability. Who will be second? As the story below states, this takes some time and planning. LIRNEasia will shortly post a report on the MNP workshop conducted in Islamabad by the PTA last week. :: bdnews24.
The e-readiness rankings are relatively well regarded and do not contain absurdities such as Zimbabwe being ahead of India. The latest rankings are out and show India and the Philippines tied for 54th place (a one-place drop for India); Sri Lanka at 61 (dropping two places); and Pakistan at 63 (up four places and likely to catch up with Sri Lanka soon). Indonesia, another country of focus for LIRNEasia, has slipped 5 places to 67. Zimbabwe, the country that leads all of South Asia according to the ITU, is not in the top- 70 that is provided. Nigeria, on the other hand, is just behind Sri Lanka, at 62.
In 2004, 4.1 percent of Sri Lankan households had computers. As the data comes in from our six-country study, we will post the numbers for those countries as well. Looks like this will change the nature of the debate. The report states that Intel and Microsoft are not happy with Negoponte’s baby.
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.
The GSM Association (GSMA) has announced on Wednesday that it has teamed up with Ericsson and telecoms group MTN to establish bio-fuels as an alternative source of power for wireless networks in the developing world. Ecology and economy is equally critical for mobile phone coverage in the less lucrative emerging markets. Diesel generators energise the base stations at remote locations. Supplying fuel across the unfriendly terrain is also a logistical nightmare. Such expensive exercise, however, inhibits the operators to invest in the low-yield regions.
Licensing Framework for Unified Access Service in Nigeria In February 2005, the Commission issued a notice on the introduction of a unified licensing regime in Nigeria. It stated that: The market shall be opened up by adopting a unified licensing regime which shall allow existing fixed wireless and mobile licensees to provide both services subject to geographical/regional limitations contained in their licence For the post exclusivity period all wireless licences shall not be segmented in terms of mobile and fixed service categories. Once a spectrum is allocated, licensees shall be free to offer voice, data or multimedia services as they deem fit. All active wireless licences issued prior to the expiration of the exclusivity period shall be amended accordingly. Nigerian Communications Commission – REGULATORY FRAMEWORK Home Page Indian policy since 2003 aims for unification of mobile and fixed licenses, but has been moving slowly toward implementation.
Bangladesh Illegal VoIP operators make fortune as govt stalls licensing Sharier Khan While powerful illegal internet telephony operators keep on draining out hundreds of crores taka each year, the government is delaying the process of awarding licence for VoIP operation on various pretexts ignoring a fresh recommendation of Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Authority (BTRC). The government now says the licence for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will be given after setting up a common platform in four areas of the country under Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) through which Internet phone calls will be channelised. The four areas are Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Bogra. Such a common platform, to be connected to the submarine cable, will not start operation before June next, even if the authorities try their best. The submarine cable project is yet to be completed.
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.