Rohan Samarajiva Archives — Page 5 of 15 — LIRNEasia


Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, CEO of LIRNEasia, was invited to speak a the 18th Convergence India, held from 23 – 25 March 2010 in New Delhi, India. His presentation entitled, “South Asia: Challenges of the Budget Telecom Network Model” presents data on rising mobile ownership levels from the Teleuse@BOP3 study, as evidence of success of South Asia’s Budget Telecom Network Model which has allowed South Asian telcos since 2005‐06 to make excellent (if highly volatile) returns by serving “long‐tail” markets of poor people by for example, investing in the “prepaid” market (lowering transaction costs) and focusing on revenue-yielding minutes rather than ARPUs. A full webcast of the event can be viewed here. View the full presentation here.
DIRSI and ACORN-REDECOM (Americas Communication Research Network / Red Americana de Investigación en Información y Comunicación) are organizing a Training Seminar on New Technologies and their Challenges for Telecommunications Regulation in Latin America. The seminar will be held on May 13 2010, immediately prior to ACORN-REDECOM’s 4th annual conference in Brasilia. LIRNEasia’s CEO, Dr. Rohan Samarajiva will deliver the opening lecture on “:State of the art in telecom regulation around the world”. The seminar seeks to provide an overview of key regulatory issues in the ICT industry today, and to help develop the necessary tools to understand the implications of new technologies for spectrum allocation, universal access programs, competition policy and ICT-enabled economic development.

Population as a growth engine

Posted on March 10, 2010  /  0 Comments

The snap shot age distribution in a population can take three basic shapes. Pyramid is the most common in animal world where reaching the ripe old age is rare. Advances in medicine and economy have changed that in human societies. The pot shape is the best (till is lasts) as the workforce is larger with respect to the number of dependents (old and children). An urn, with a wider top and a bottom is the worst.
Rohan Samarajiva, will deliver one of two invited lead talks at ICTs and Development: An International Workshop for Theory, Practice and Policy, to be held in New Delhi, India, 11 – 12 March 2010. Titled, “How the developing world may participate in the global “Internet Economy”, his presentation examines the potential mobile telephony has in enabling low-income earners first-time access to the Internet. He argues that a teleco business  model similar to the Budget Telecom Network Model arguably responsible for dramatic reductions in mobile tariffs, could be similarly applied to the case of mobile internet. View the full presentation here. Other notable speakers at the event include Dr.
Findings from LIRNEasia’s Teleuse@BOP3 study have been cited in the latest issue of Nokia’s Expanding Horizons magazine. The article discusses the vast potential mobile phones have for providing those on the lower-incomes or the bottom of the pyramid, access to the internet for the first time. Read the full article here. Excerpt below: According to ICT policy think tank LIRNEasia, the evidence shows that mobiles, not computers, have the best potential to deliver services to rural areas in the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the world’s largest concentration of poor people. “This is the hardest case.
Perhaps it is time for Sri Lanka Telecom Regulator to be renamed ‘Telecom Revenue Commission’ as it generates more revenue for the government than two state banks and Port and the Petroleum Corporation, suggests Rohan Samarajiva in his column to Lanka Business Online. The 3.5 billion rupee question: Does it regulate? The answer may interest the new boss, Anusha Palpita, who took over the reins few days back. “There is no problem with the administrative aspects, but I will have to get a grip on the technical side of TRCSL’s functions and duties”, he said to The Island- Sunday Edition yesterday.
LIRNE.NET (through Research ICT Africa) together with University of Cape Town’s Infrastructure Management Programme, is organizing a five-day training course in telecom regulatory reform. The course is to be held from 12 – 16 April 2010, at the UCT GSB Breakwater Campus, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. The course is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of decision-makers in telecom and related sectors in developing countries and emerging economies. The aim of the programme is to address the many challenges posed by the current stage of telecom and ICT reform to governments, regulatory agencies, operators and other stakeholders.
At least some have first assumed it a practical joke, but Daily Mirror online confirmed President did send a New Year wish to all mobile users today. Using romanised Sinhala President wrote “Kiwu paridi obata NIDAHAS, NIVAHAL RATAK laba dunnemi. Idiri anagathaya sarwapparakarayenma Wasanawantha Wewa! SUBA NAWA WASARAK WEWA! Mahinda Rajapaksa” (As promised I delivered you an independent and free country.
The pictures that keep coming up on the right-hand side of the blog are for the most part those of the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. So we are not allowed to forget. Not that we want to. But anyway, Newsweek was the first to publish something with a quote from LIRNEasia. I was hoping we’d get a decent Disaster Act, but we’ll settle for greater awareness.

The sad Broadband workshop…

Posted on November 21, 2009  /  4 Comments

We reproduce fully below, Carlos A. Afonso’s post to a thread on Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility responding to discussions at the IGF workshop “Expanding broadband access for a global Internet economy: development dimensions”, in which Rohan Samarajiva, Chair/CEO LIRNEasia was the keynote speaker. We retain the original title. As neither we nor most of our readers do not have access to the thread it was posted, we like to continue the discussion here. __________________________________________________________________ Hi people, I come from one of the ten largest economies in the world, with nearly 200 million people, 8.
“When a business model, rather than direct government action, is delivering the goods the most appropriate government action is that which supports the business model. Policy and regulatory actions must be derived more from analysis of the requirements of the business model and less from public administration theory.” How it applies to Internet and broadband is what Rohan Samarajiva, Chair and CEO, LIRNEasia explained in his keynote speech at the workshop ‘Expanding access to the Internet and broadband for development’ on November 16, 2009, at the Internet Governance forum 2009.  His presentation entitled, ‘How the developing world may participate in the global Internet Economy:  Innovation driven by competition’, can be downloaded here. The session was chaired by Dimitri Ypsilanti, Head of Information, Communication and Consumer Policy Division, OECD.
Some of our best friends are at in the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), but still warms our hearts when they quote our writing, especially when we go out of our way to wave the red flag before those who still believe in the benevolent state. In a submission to the UN Group on the Information Society, they frankly debate the wisdom of continuing with universal service funds, among other things, quoting us: Rohan Samarajiva of LIRNEasia suggests in a recent paper that explores the success of the ‘budget telecom network model’ in South Asia that ‘the idea of making universal service transparent by creating universal service funds …was a good idea in its time ..but experience suggests that it is an idea that has run its course’. He identifies two problems: Billions of dollars of universal levies lie unspent in government accounts.
Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia’s CEO, delivered a keynote address at the recently concluded South Asia Mobile Summit, held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 21 – 22 October 2009. The two-day event was organized by the South Asia Mobile Forum, a consortium of telecom industry players in the SAARC region, with the aim of creating a platform for market, institutional and technological issues to be discussed and progress made. Rohan made a presentation on South Asia’s  Budget Telecom Network Model, that has been adopted by many regional telcos in providing voice services to the bottom of the pyramid (BOP), and how the same can be applied to broadband services as well. The presentation drew on findings from LIRNEasia’s Teleuse@BOP, telecom regulatory environment (TRE) and mobile benchmark studies. The full presentation can be downloaded here.
Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia Chair and CEO, made the lead presentation on access to ICTs at an OECD/infoDev Workshop on the Internet Economy yesterday in Paris. The workshop, “Policy coherence in the application of information and communication technologies for development,” is currently underway. In his presentation, Dr Samarajiva described the new “Budget Telecom Network Model” developed in South Asia that is enabling mobile operators to serve low-income customers who yield very low ARPUs [Average Revenues per User] and discuss its extension to enable broadband use.  Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have offered the lowest total costs of mobile ownership since 2005-06 while still yielding adequate, though somewhat volatile, returns to ensure continued investment in network extension and new services.  LIRNEasia research shows that this has been made possible by business process innovations to reduce operating expenses, and the minimizing of transaction costs made possible by widespread prepaid use.
Full participation in the global Internet Economy requires electronic connectivity of considerable complexity. Today, due to a worldwide wave of liberalization and technological and business innovations in the mobile space, much of the world is electronically connected, albeit not at the levels that would fully support participation in the global Internet Economy. Yet, many millions of poor people are engaging in tasks normally associated with the Internet such as information retrieval, payments and remote computing using relatively simple mobiles. Understanding the business model that enabled impressive gains in voice connectivity as well as the beginnings of more-than-voice applications over mobiles is important not only because widespread broadband access among the poor is likely to be achieved by extending this model but because it would be the basis of coherent and efficacious policy and regulatory responses… This is an excerpt from a background report by Rohan Samarajiva, to be presented at “Policy coherence in the application of information and communication technologies for development,” a joint workshop organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Information for Development Program (infoDev) / World Bank from 10-11 September 2009 in Paris. The report has been published in the OECD’s Development […]
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) once the political ally to ruling Peoples’ Alliance of Sri Lanka, has come up with an innovative idea to link 300,000 plus Internally Displaced Persons with their relatives. Why not create Face Book accounts? Daily Mirror story does not say so, but perhaps JVP wants it done by the government. Rohan Samarajiva made a less complex and more effective suggestion: Why not give them mobile phones? ‘The technology that allows freedom to talk even without the freedom to walk is the phone.