Pakistan Archives — Page 6 of 12


AM radio on mobile phones

Posted on July 20, 2009  /  0 Comments

The teleuse@BOP finding that mobiles have overtaken radios at the bottom of the pyramid in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh continues to resonate. In coverage of this story the leading Indian magazine in the IT space Voice and Data reveals that even AM reception is being offered in some Indian phones, in addition to the standard FM capability. Industry experts say it is an obvious phenomenon, with handsets turning in to a swiss-knife kind of solutions. Rural mobile penetration is now the focus of the service providers in these countries where the mobile markets are heading towards maturity. In India circles like Chennai are touching near 100% mobile penetration in that case the operator has to go to new markets.
Pakistan did it, with supposed good results. The Maldives studied it and decided it was not worth it. Sri Lanka is supposed to be thinking about it. It is mobile number portability (MNP). None of them had the benefit of the teleuse@BOP results.
The last burst of dissemination for the teleuse@BOP3 results is yielding good results, this time with an agency story about more BOP homes in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan having phones than radios, a story we had blogged about some time back. Phones are catching up with TVs, and the number of phones being used by ‘bottom of the pyramid’ households have already outpaced the number of radios and computers in South Asia, researchers have said. LIRNEasia, a Sri Lanka-based Asia-Pacific information and communication technology (ICT) policy and regulation capacity-building organisation, said in India a hundred bottom of the pyramid (BOP) households now had 50 TVs, 38 phones, 28 radios and one computer. Radio has been displaced from its No.2 position after television in India.
AT Kearny has issued the 2009 Global Services Index. The good news for South Asia is that Sri Lanka has moved up from 29 to 16 and Pakistan from 30 to 20. India, of course, sits at the top, no change from 2007. The advances of Sri Lanka and Pakistan have been at the expense of the Northern European countries (e.g.
Two years back China Mobile bought Paktel for US$460 million. That was a legitimate transaction. Last week two Chinese nationals were arrested while the authorities busted a bypass den at Islamabad. They have been allegedly the partner of an “influential Pakistani” in this illegal venture. It claims to have caused an estimated six billion rupees (US$74 million) loss to the exchequer.
The Pakistan Telecom Authority in their December 2008 quarterly review gives the reasoning behind the government’s decision to impose high taxes on mobile phone use. To reduce the high fiscal deficits, the government had increased taxes. The increase for the telecom sector was over 40 percent; for other sectors it was only seven percent. However, the end result was unexpected, though it could have been predicted from economic theory. In the two quarters after the tax increase, the tax revenue from mobile declined.
Until recently, I believed, with Richard Heeks quoted below, that radio is found in more homes (at the BOP or all) than phones and TVs. Survey data from the BOP at three countries that account for the world’s greatest concentration of poor people (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) tell a story that contradicts the common wisdom. In India, 58% of BOP households have TVs, while only 32% have radios. And some kind of phone in the household? 45%!
We’ve always wondered how new smart mobile phones, the technological marvels they are, go for so cheap. According to the teleuse@BOP3 study, the average price paid for a new phone by people in SEC groups D and E in Pakistan is USD 47 (down from USD 77 in 2006). The price of a second-hand phone is USD 27 (down from USD 45 in 2006). Counterfeit phones (HiPhone, instead of iPhone) may be part of the answer: Although shanzhai phones have only been around a few years, they already account for more than 20 percent of sales in China, which is the world’s biggest mobile phone market, according to the research firm Gartner. They are also being illegally exported to Russia, India, the Middle East, Europe, even the United States.
Last year, several LIRNEasia researchers were pleased to work with Nokia on explaining the reasons behind South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) being the only countries with a TCO [total cost of ownership] below USD 5/month, when the average for almost 80 countries studied was USD 13.15. According to the latest issue of Nokia’s Expanding Horizons magazine (p. 10), the TCO has come down further, to USD 10.88.

Are mobilephone markets saturated?

Posted on February 4, 2009  /  0 Comments

According to analysts who see the world as made up of the US market, yes: Analysts and investors are beginning to ask whether the industry can continue growing. The challenge is both simple and daunting: how to expand when more than half of the six billion people on the planet already have phones. And even in developing countries where there are underserved markets, subscribers spend less on phones and services. Craig Moffett, an industry analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, is one of the skeptics.
Several of the pilot projects presented at the 2nd Pan Asian evidence-based e-Health adoptation and application (in short form – Panacea), were m-Health projects. One of the Panacea projects THIRRA and LIRNEasia lead RTBP share some aspects one being working on disease information communication in Sri Lanka; however, differs in the goals where THIRRA aims to digitize the H-544 health form at the Public Health Inspector’s point of service – at the patient’s home. On the other hand, RTBP will digitize minimal set of parameters: location (postal code), disease (ICD Code), symptom, sign, age, and gender collected from health provider facilities. Some of the other m-Health projects; especially in Philippines, involved Filipino rural community health care workers strictly using SMS with prearranged formatted strings for communicating field data to a central database. Prof.

Use of mobiles in the Mumbai attacks

Posted on December 3, 2008  /  2 Comments

It is always informative to engage in a retrospective assessment of the use of technology in a terrorist atrocity and see what we can do to make their activities more difficult (and prevent knee jerk reactions that only make the lives of law-abiding people more difficult). The first reports on the use of mobiles by suicide attackers of Mumbai are coming out: Mr. Muzammil, who is the right-hand man to Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakvhi, the operational commander of the group, talked by satellite phone to the attackers from Pakistan when the gunmen were in the Taj and Oberoi hotels, the Western official said. The attackers also used the cellphones of people they killed to call back to Mr. Muzammil somewhere in Pakistan, the official said.
Pakistan is ranked fourth in terms of broadband Internet growth in the world, as the subscriber base of broadband Internet has been increasing rapidly with the total base crossing 170,000 in the country. The rankings are released by Point Topic Global broadband analysis, a global research centre. According to the statistics, there are around 382. 4 million broadband subscribers worldwide by the end of August 2008 as compared with 317 million in August 2007, showing 17 percent growth. Regional Broadband trend revealed that Western Europe has the largest share of broadband users with 26 percent followed by North America at 22 percent.

Mobile benchmarks overtaken by events

Posted on November 16, 2008  /  0 Comments

One of the main reasons for collecting and disseminating indicators data at the regional level is currency. By the time the ITU puts out its reports, two years have gone by, and the data are of historical value in these fast-changing times. Despite knowing all this, even we got tripped up this time. In attempting to release mobile and broadband benchmarks at the same time, we delayed the release of the mobile data collected and analyzed in early October and were overtaken by events. In the future, the data will be released without delay.

Pakistan numbers come crashing down

Posted on October 15, 2008  /  0 Comments

It appears that we were all fooled by the PTA’s data collecting and reporting practices. It now appears that the overcount of mobile SIMs may be over 10 million! Mea culpa for having believed PTA numbers. When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
“We must realize the fact that disasters threaten sustained economic growth of the society and the country.” These were the words of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani addressing the opening ceremony of the first National Disaster Risk Management Conference. The function, reported Associated Press of Pakistan, was organized to mark the Disaster Awareness Day observed annually after the catastrophic earthquake which struck country’s northern areas in October 2005, killing 73,000 people and leaving 3.5 million homeless. On the other side of the border Congress President Sonia Gandhi has said there is a need of effective disaster management to mitigate the woes of the people in future calamities, with floods affecting several districts of Bihar and other parts of the country.