Pakistan Archives — Page 9 of 12


Missed calling (also referred to as beeping, flashing and many other names) has been most talked about in Africa; Johnathan Donner has been talking and writing about it for some time now; his research provides interesting insights into what he calls the ‘rules’ of beeping. A recent Reuters article looks at the growing phenomenon in not only Africa but other regions too. LIRNEasia’s Teleuse@BOP survey findings also show that the phenomenon is considerably common among bottom of the pyramid (defined here as Socioeconomic Classification groups D & E) phone users in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. But what’s more interesting, is that the phenomenon was seen as being used more or less to the same extent in the ‘middle and top of the pyramid’ (defined in the study as Socioeconomic Classification groups A, B & C). This held true for phone owners in all five countries studied – Pakistan, India (with some of the lowest per minute call rates in the world), Sri Lanka, Philippines and even Thailand (the country with the highest per capita GDP among the set of countries studied).
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.
We could still do better; But more taxes could kill the industry The Nation Economist, Sunday 26 August 2007 | See Print version I have to say that JHU does not know economics. What is the rationale behind taxing the only sector that is growing? The industry is giving government enormous amount of revenue. Twenty percent of every mobile rupee goes to the government. If you squeeze the goose for more eggs the goose will ultimately die.
The Regional Development Dialogue, published by the UN Centre for Regional Development, in its most recent issue (volume 27(2), Autumn 2006, published in August 2007?!) carries two articles by Shoban Rainford, then at ICTA, and Harsha Liyanage, Sarvodaya  on e Sri Lanka and the telecenter component within e Sri Lanka.   In an invited comment, LIRNEasia‘s Rohan Samarajiva and Helani Galpaya,  identify the e Sri Lanka  initiative’s 1919 Government Information Center as  a good example of  pro-poor e-governance, because the information is available through the telephone, a technology that is more easily accessible to the poor than the Internet and telecenters. The special issue is edited by Subash Bhatnagar, an acknowledged expert on e government who provides a good summary, marred unfortunately by the use of wrong data in Table 1 (p.
The ITU’s World Information Society Report 2007 contains the following discussion of one of LIRNEasia’s flagship products, the Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) assessment, in Chapter 2, Bridging the digital divide (p. 32). “One innovative approach adopted recently in the Asian market is to try to quantify the extent of sector reform. LIRNEAsia has conducted research into the regulatory environment in six Asian economies (India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand). Their research is based on interviews rating performance in market entry, scarce resources, interconnection, prices, anticompetitive practices and universal service.
Pyramid Research has released a list of the Top Ten Trends that will influence the telecoms sector in the region (and elsewhere) throughout the coming year.  It claims that subscriber growth will be the number one ‘critical development’ in the Asia Pacific region through 2008. The new research shows that subscriber growth is expected to be highest in Indonesia, which will see a 45 per cent increase in its broadband market ever year for the next five years. By 2012, 80 per cent of Asia’s mobile subscribers will be from China, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan, with regional subscriptions totaling 2.2 billion.
The survey below, commissioned by Samsung in the US, contrasts with LIRNEasia’s research on teleuse by women at the Bottom of the Pyramid, still in the process of being written up.   Our Pakistan findings, being discussed on a PK focused blog, provide the starkest contrast. Survey Reveals Important Role Mobile Phones Play in Women’s Lives “A cell phone does much more than make calls for the Single Mobile Female,” said Randy Smith, vice president of channel marketing for Samsung. “The cell phone is an integral part of the SMF’s life, serving as a pocket-size detective, matchmaker, wing-woman and beyond. It is now officially a girl’s best friend.
There is no reason why Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and even the microstates of Bhutan and Maldives cannot get BPO business, not in competition with the Indian juggernaut, but in a complementary way. Sri Lanka had no BPO business to speak of prior to 2002, despite similarities with South India where it was booming. It was only after the international liberalization of 2002-03 that BPOs started in a significant way in Sri Lanka, though that promising start has been affected by the unsettled security situation. For the policy makers and implementors in these countries to contemplate: 1 percent of USD 60 billion is USD 600 million. That is not chump change.
At the Pakistan Telecom Authority-LIRNEasia workshop held in Islamabad on June 14, 2007, the Chairman of the PTA announced the most recent data on the telecom sector in Pakistan.   Given the lack of a definition of a mobile subscriber and evidence that multiple SIMs are being used by individuals, it is LIRNEasia’s practice to refer to mobile SIMs rather than subscribers.  That does not take away from the tremendous achievement of the Pakistan operators and the regulatory agency in increasing connectivity to levels above Sri Lanka and India. Pakistan exceeds in Telecom Regulatory Environment – PakTribune Chairman PTA said that PTA had provided level playing field in different areas of tele use in the country. He appreciated the research activities in communication sector as they motivated to perform even better.
LOW-INCOME TELEPHONE USERS IN ASIAHello, can you connect us? By Francis Hutchinson & Lorraine Carlos Salazar, For The Straits Times Source: The Straits Times, June 12 2007 – Review Section See print version NEW research on the use of telecommunications among low-income groups in India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand challenges the conventional wisdom that, in developing countries, customers for high- technology goods are to be found only among high-income groups. According to a multi-country survey, the poor are already accessing telecommunications and form a large untapped market with significant unmet demand. This wide and deep client base offers vast opportunities for enterprising telecommunications companies if they can develop appropriate business models to cater to them.
14 June 2007) Rohan Samarajiva, Joseph Wilson, Harsha de Silva and Tahani Iqbal presented recent research conducted by LIRNEasia at a media and stakeholder event organized by the Pakistan Telecom Authority in Islamabad today. Following opening remarks by Chairman of PTA, Major General (R) Shahzada Alam Malik, Samarajiva and Wilson presented the new improved version of the six-country Telecom Regulatory Environment study, with emphasis on Pakistan. de Silva discussed the results of the Teleuse @ the Bottom of the Pyramid (T@BOP) survey conducted in five countries, including Pakistan. Among other things, he discussed the disparate access to ICTs between men and women at the BOP as well as the tremendous progress made in connecting large numbers of people at the BOP in the past few years. Iqbal presented comparative analysis of mobile prices in three countries of South Asia, using a basket methodology adapted from one used by the OECD since 1995.
Rohan Samarajiva and Helani Galpaya discuss how research can influence the policy process. We are an evidence-based policy organization. We work around: Inputs (money, people, etc etc) Outputs (reports, training courses, etc) Outcomes (positive changes in the policy process) IDRC: Putting money into research organizations which produce knowledge produces development. Not just putting money into ICTs. Ways that research can affect policy: 1.
The government of Pakistan seems set to issue three 3G licences by the end of this year, according to recent Reuters reports. Pakistan is one of a number of populous Asian nations whose hunger for more widely available communications services are proving to be a major growth engine for telecoms groups with global ambitions. However, it does remain to be seen if there exists a solid business case for investment in third generation networks in a region where the most basic prepaid voice and SMS services are stimulating economic activity by providing consumers and businesses with connectivity. This has not deterred the state-owned GSM operator in Nepal, one of the world’s poorest countries, from launching 3G services. The 3G SIM card reportedly costs about US$64.
Bangladesh government seems to be convinced to open its last monopolistic area of telecommunications; international telephony. This is a good initiative, which needs to be supported as it would bring quality and cheap international telecoms services. However looking at the on-going debate on various aspects of this subject in the name of “VoIP Licensing” no one seems to focus on the most important area: Whether Bangladesh will come out as winner or loser after liberalization in terms of valuable foreign exchange? Pakistan’s Regulatory Consultant M. Aslam Hayat writes.
The latest figures from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority show that March 2007 was the best month for proportionate growth in the mobile market in Pakistan since the sudden change of gear in November 2006. The monthly growth rate in the first ten months of last year averaged almost 7.5% but dropped to below 5% in the final two months, a trend which continued into January and February 2007. Whilst growth in March did not reach the heights seen last year, the rate was back over 5% – 5.2% to be precise – as customer numbers climbed to 55.
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.