We didn’t quite think we’d be generating news at the conference, but apparently some of what was said was truly newsworthy. Capital investment in Sri Lanka’s telecom infrastructure has plummeted amid a price war and high taxation which will crimp expansion in the future and broadband roll out in the island, top telecom operators said. “Before the price war each operator was spending about 150 to 200 million (US dollars) a year in capital expenditure,” Dumindra Ratnayake, head of Tigo Sri Lanka said at a forum organized in Colombo by LirneAsia, a regional policy research body. “This year all operators put together may have invested about 150 million.”
The Aspen Institute has published a report entitled, ‘m-Powering India: Mobile Communications for Inclusive Growth’ co-authored by Mahesh Uppal and Richard P. Adler, which documents the discussions from the Aspen Institute India/ C & S Joint Roundtable on Communication Policy held in Kovalam, India in February, 2008. LIRNEasia’s Executive Director, Rohan Samarajiva, participated at the event, which brought together senior representatives from the telecommunications industry, government and academia. The objective of the meeting was to develop policy proposals that would contribute to the development of low-cost and high-quality telecom infrastructure needed to facilitate seamless transactions of mobile commerce. A summary of the main recommendation (as documented in the report) is given below.
Most Indonesians access the Internet primarily using fixed wireline infrastructure, mostly dialup. Because of lack of competition in the fixed line sector due to various reasons fixed line growth has been stagnant which has also affected Internet growth in the country. Not only are no new lines being added to bring more homes online, the inadequate backbone infrastructure in large swathe of the country makes deployment of broadband services unviable even if incumbent’s local loop bottleneck could be bypassed. However, yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (March 15, 2007) seems to suggest that high speed 3G wireless technology like HSDPA can bring broadband on a large scale to Indonesians. It (misleadingly) implies that since HSDPA is merely a software upgrade to 3G networks it will not require any new major telecom infrastructure investment in Indonesia.
Joji Thomas of the Hindu Buisness Line reported this on August 21, 2006. LIRNEasia research by Payal Malik had recommended USO funds should be technology neutral as well as fund infrastructure creation, but the funds from the USF are not being released as mentioned in this report. Read on… JOJI THOMAS PHILIP NEW DELHI [ MONDAY, AUGUST 21, 2006 10:27:47 AM] DEPARTMENT of telecom has demanded that the finance ministry allocate an additional Rs 2,000 crore towards the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF), over and above the Rs 1,500 crore that has been allocated in the Union Budget. It has also said that all telecom companies should pay 5% of their adjusted gross revenue towards the USOF, which is used for building and supporting telecom infrastructure in rural India. DoT move is likely to cause a showdown with the finance ministry .
The service sector drives network economies and information societies. The foundation of this sector is the communication network. As such, modern network economies depend on effective reforms in telecom infrastructure to strengthen links among local, national, regional and international networks and markets. Professor William H. Melody Technical University of Denmark London School of Economics … in his presentation on public administration in an e-economy to the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration.