Yuan Ze University is a leading private university in Taiwan. In keeping with its strategy of differentiation and internationalization, it has invited LIRNEasia to interact with its new Center of Excellence known as the Innovation Center for Big Data and Convergence. Even though Taiwan is not a country of focus for LIRNEasia, we have had considerable interactions with Taiwan academics over the years within the framework of CPRsouth. Professor Yu-li Liu was one of the founder members of the CPRsouth Board and helped us establish relationships in the Peoples Republic. Professor Yuntsai Chou of Yuan Ze in currently on the CPRsouth Board.
Shabbir Syed Abdul, is an academic we know; he’s of Indian origin but living in Taiwan; working with a team of Bioinformatics researchers at the National Yang Ming University. Him and his team have leveraged Facebook to engage the masses in getting their Health Minister to change health policy – “… Early on one of the members posted “Is there any use of these posts? Does our minister have time to read Facebook?” The Minister replied by posting “every message is read by me and my staff”. This modest gesture satisfied the emergency-room staff that their concerns were being taken seriously by the Department of Health, and further motivated them to engage in discussing the issue…“; The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9783, Click to read full story
It was impossible not to notice the dramatic changes in the mobile handset market in the past few years, with new brands coming up and putting pressure on the old warhorses. Who was responsible? Vijay Govindarajan gives the credit to MediaTek in his guest blog at Harvard Business Review. Both Vijay and MediaTek are worth keeping an eye on. MediaTek’s strategists and engineers figured out a way to design a much less expensive phone system.
Recently I presented a paper titled – Robustness of the mHealthSurvey Midlet for a Real-Time Biosurveillance program at the 2010 International Symposium on Medical Informatics and Communications Technology – in Taipei, Taiwan. The main focus was on mobile computing; especially surrounding Body Area Networks (BAN) that is in the working mills of the IEEE 802 standardization process under the auspices of Task Group 6. The present day challenges that countries like Taiwan and Japan face, also propagating in to other Asian countries, are increase in chronic illnesses, aging population, and need for convenience. Within this frame, researchers are realizing the growing need for remote sensing and maintenance of health; such remote maintenance ICT based services would reduce patient admissions (or inward patients), which countries like India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, etc, fully subsidize and can be drastically reduced. The mHealthSurvey has proven the capability to transport digitized data compressed to ~ 2KB over GPRS-10 and higher networks in rural India and Sri Lanka.
Undersea cable operators have a nasty habit of laying cables close to each other. When they get cut, they tend to go in sets. The first question I have is why Maldives would lose 100% of traffic when it is connected by two undersea cables, one to Colombo and the other to India. That’s serious redundancy, especially for a tiny country of 300,000+ people. I can understand the traffic on Reliance’s Flag system going down because it was Atlantic focused.
LIRNEasia’s Executive Director will speak at the International Conference on Information, Communication and New Media & the First Annual Convention of the Information and Communication Association of Taiwan, being held in Taipei on 17 May 2008. His presentaiton, Asia at the leading edge of communication and new media developments? can be downloaded by clicking on the link.
Bangladesh has been elevated to ninth position among the top 10 mobile phone markets in the Asia-Pacific region during first quarter of 2007. A recent study of UK’s The Mobile World revealed it. Three months ago, in the fourth quarter of 2006, Bangladesh was in the 10th position. But it overtook Taiwan after adding nearly three million subscribers during the first three months of 2007. Read more.
Divakar Goswami made a presentation at Indonesia’s ICT 2007 Summit and Technoconference in Jakarta on May 3, 2007 organized by the President’s ICT Council, the Indonesian ICT Ministry, the Chamber of Commerce and MASTEL, the telecom industry association. In his presentation titled Backbone of convergence: Getting the foundation right, Divakar argued that without sufficient “big pipes” (domestic and international backbone) the potential of convergence and NGN services will not be realized. Indonesia’s inadequate international backbone infrastructure and high prices have acted as a bottleneck to the development of the Internet in the country. For example, Indonesia’s international private leased line circuit (IPLC) to Singapore costs 21 times the price of equivalent service from India based on route kilometers. Divakar contented that the Government’s plan of licensing one additional international operator will neither stimulate international gateway infrastructure nor bring down international bandwidth prices sufficiently.
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.
A study by RAND noted the vulnerability of submarine cables to undersea attacks by hostile forces in order hamper communication links to the United States. Using Taiwan as an illustrative case, the study said the following: As seen in Table I.2, a recent survey of the number of international submarine cables reaching Taiwan is particularly disconcerting. Four out of five undersea fiber optic cables reaching Taiwan do so at either Fangshan or Toucheng (the fifth, a “self-healing loop” reaches Taiwan at both, meaning that both cables would have to be damaged for Taiwan to be cut off). Two more planned cables have landing areas at Fangshan.
The strong quake off Taiwan’s coast on December 26 damaged six separate submarine cables and severely disrupted telecom links in the East, Southeast and South Asia. Internet connectivity in a number of countries are either down or are slowed down thanks to taffic that is being rerouted over networks that have escaped damage. Most of Jakarta (Indonesia) and Pondicherry (Southern India) have been without Internet until this afternoon (Dec 27) at least. In our office in Sri Lanka, SLT’s ADSL connection (though congested) is working. However, Lankacom’s leased line is down since it probably connects to the Internet backbone via Singapore.
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.
Bridging the digital divide is important. It may not be as important as ensuring safe water for all, or adequate healthcare, in terms of meriting investment of scarce public resources, but it is definitely important enough to merit concerted action to remove the artificial barriers to private supply. One of the best ways this can be done is by improving the knowledge that is brought to bear on the process. The optimal way to achieve this is to create an environment within which international best practices are adapted to local circumstances by in-situ policy intellectuals. Some of these local experts could be in regulatory agencies and in government; but the optimal results will be achieved through participatory processes where all stakeholders, including the consumers are represented by knowledgeable experts.
BBC News | Taipei to embrace net telephones The city of Taipei, in Taiwan, could have 200,000 people making phone calls using wi-fi by the end of 2006. Ten companies are pushing a “Taipei Easy Call” initiative which involves mobiles which can switch between calls using wi-fi and the phone network. “If this is successful, then the model could be copied in cities elsewhere in the world,” said Daniel Wongg, of the Taipei Computer Association. The wi-fi mobiles provide a cheaper alternative to mobile phone calls.
Dr Huichuan Liu, former Chair of Department of Information and Communication at TamKang University arranged a 3-hour meeting of 8 telecom policy-regulation researchers at the downtown campus of TamKang. Six researchers attended the session and participated actively: Professor Yu-Li Liu, National Chengchi U, Dept of Radio TV; Asst Professor Kuo-Feng Tseng, National Chengchi U, Dept of Radio TV; Associate Professor Eunice Hsian-Hui Wang,Yuan Ze U, Dept of Information Communication; Asst Professor Ying-Hsun Wang, TamKang U, Dept of Information and Communication; Assoc Professor Huichuan Liu, TamKang U, Dept of Information and Communication; Dr YunTsai Jessica Chou, Chairperson, Research Development and Evaluation Commission, Taipei City Government. A photo of the researchers who remained until the very end of the session Given the fact that is in the process of enacting legislation to create a National Communication Commission, LIRNEasia work was of particular interest, especially to the attendees who serve on the committee working on the legislation. Dr Chou arranged for a visit of the Taipei City Government’s WiFi project, which is reported on here.
a speech by Executive Director Rohan Samarajiva In one of my intemperate moments I’ve said that Asia is a category that is of use only to international bureaucrats. There is little that the entire region holds in common. This is the area that has the largest concentration of poor people in the world. Asia is seen, however, as driving the world economy. The Asian Tigers, and the Juggernauts of China and India.