telecommunications Archives — Page 3 of 4


i4d, a reputed Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) magazine, recently featured an article co-written by LIRNEasia researcher Ayesha Zainudeen based on LIRNEasia‘s Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid study conducted in 2006. The article highlights the study’s main findings with a special emphasis on the gendered aspects of telecommunications use at the BOP. Phones at the bottom of the pyramid: Telecom Accessibility – i4d Magazine In a 2006 five-country study, which was conducted by LIRNEasia, researchers asked 6,269 respondents in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Thailand about their access to, and use of telephones. Those surveyed were all users at the lowest socio-economic strata in the countries, at ‘the bottom of the pyramid’ (BOP). Their responses revealed many differences between users in the five countries, but more interestingly, inter-country inequalities in phone use between men and women.
‘Getting a Dial Tone: Telecommunications Liberalisation in Malaysia and the Philippines’ by Lorraine Carlos Salazar, Senior Researcher at LIRNEasia and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), was published by ISEAS this week.The book analyses the telecommunications reform process in Malaysia and the Philippines where far-reaching reforms have taken place.By looking at the institutions and actors that drove these changes, this book examines state capacity, market reform, and rent-seeking in the two countries. In doing so, the study challenges conventional depictions of the Malaysian and Philippine states. It contends that despite the weakness of the Philippine state, reform occurred through a coalition that out-manoeuvred vested interests.

GPhone aims to conquer mobile net

Posted on October 11, 2007  /  0 Comments

Miguel Helft October 11, 2007, New York Times For more than two years, a large group of engineers at Google have been working in secret on a mobile-phone project. As word of their efforts has trickled out, expectations in the tech world for what has been called the Google phone, or GPhone, have risen, the way they do for Apple loyalists before a speech by Steve Jobs. But the GPhone is not likely to be the second coming of the iPhone and Google’s goals are very different from Apple’s. Google wants to extend its dominance of online advertising to the mobile internet, a small market today but one that is expected to grow rapidly. It hopes to persuade wireless carriers and mobile-phone makers to offer phones based on its software, according to people briefed on the project.
Two of our researchers have been selected to present papers at the 35th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy which will be held in Virginia, USA on September 28-30, 2007. Helani Galpaya will present “The Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) Assessment: methodology and implementation results from six emerging economies” at the session on Trade and Harmonizations of Telecommunication Policies on September 30 2007. Payal Malik will present “India’s Universal Service Obligation for Rural Telecommunications: Issues of Design and Implementation” at the session on Promoting Universal Connectivity on September 29 2007. The papers are available on the TPRC website: ‘Telecom Regulatory Environment (TRE) assessment: Methodology and implementation results from five emerging economies,’ by Rohan Samarajiva, Helani Galpaya, Divakar Goswami and Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara ‘India’s Universal Service Obligation for Rural Telecommunications: Issues of Design and Implementation,’ by Payal Malik The TPRC, a non-profit organization, hosts this annual forum for scholars engaged in publishable research on policy-relevant telecommunications and information issues, and for public- and private-sector decision makers engaged in telecommunications and information policy. The purpose of the conference is to acquaint policy makers with the best of recent research and to familiarize researchers with the knowledge needs of policy makers.
How the technical, political and business realities in Africa hinder technological development and connectivity there. Africa, Offline: Waiting for the Web Attempts to bring affordable high-speed Internet service to the masses have made little headway on the continent. Less than 4 percent of Africa’s population is connected to the Web; most subscribers are in North African countries and the republic of South Africa. A lack of infrastructure is the biggest problem. In many countries, communications networks were destroyed during years of civil conflict, and continuing political instability deters governments or companies from investing in new systems.
Sri Lankan PC shipments (desktops and notebooks) reached 52,230 units in the first quarter of 2007, which was approximately a 17.5% annual growth rate. Desktop remains the primary form factor as it accounts for almost 87.5% of shipments. Notebooks, however, have been performing relatively well.
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.
The Grameen Foundation has announced a new online assistance center to help microfinance institutions (MFIs) bring the benefits of telecommunications to poor communities around the world. The Village Phone Direct Assistance Center, was launched in Nairobi, Kenya during the International Telecommunications Union’s “Public & Private Sectors Partnership Forum” (PPPF-Africa 2007) conference. It features a how-to manual, a message board, customizable templates and other information that will help MFIs work independently with local telecommunications providers to develop Village Phone Direct programs for their clients. Read more.
The report examines the untapped potential that the mobile / wireless devices have in provisioning of next generation of business and public services. This report , prepared and published by Mckinsey and Company, can be a very valuable tool for the professionals in the public sector as well as the industry. It makes a point that the next generation of services for the evolving knowledge society would be provisioned through mobile / wireless devices.  http://mckinsey.com/clientservice/telecommunications/WirelsUnbnd.
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 Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s 2006 Annual Report states that: “The GDP deflator, which measures the price changes of all goods, produced in the economy, increased by 10.3 per cent in 2006 compared with the rate of 9.9 per cent in 2005. High price increases were recorded in most sub-sectors except in mining and telecommunications, where prices were lower compared with the previous year. Higher fuel and material costs together with the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee during the year led to the increase in prices of most finished goods and services.
By Rohan Samarajiva The findings of a pilot project on learning how information-communication technologies and community-based training can help in responding to disasters such as tsunamis were discussed by community leaders and international experts at a workshop on “SHARING KNOWLEDGE ON DISASTER WARNING, WITH A FOCUS ON COMMUNITY-BASED LAST–MILE WARNING SYSTEMS” held on March 28th and 29th, 2007 at the Sarvodaya headquarters in Moratuwa. These finding ranged from the difficulties experienced in communicating disaster warnings to villages when mobile GSM and fixed CDMA telecom networks were not functional due to conflict conditions to the importance of not leaving newspapers on top of sensitive electronic equipment which can overheat and shut down as a result. In terms of the five communication technologies that were evaluated across multiple criteria, the addressable satellite radio sets and the java-enabled mobile phones performed the best, with the GSM-based community warning device developed locally by Dialog Telekom, MicroImage and University of Moratuwa following closely. The VSAT based warning system did not perform too well in the tests. The objective was not to declare a winner among the technologies, but to find out how they could be improved to perform reliably in the difficult conditions of Sri […]
The Indonesian government imposed unreasonable burdens on the new entrant for international service in a recently issued White Paper 140. LIRNEasia highlighted the unfairness of burdening new entrants with obligations that the two existing incumbents (Telkom & Indosat) were not subjected too in comments it submitted to DGPOSTEL (one of the two regulatory bodies): 4.4 The Indonesian policymakers may have misunderstood the concept of asymmetric regulation. Asymmetric rules place additional burdens on dominant group of providers that other operators are not subjected to. In the current White Paper, many additional burdens are imposed on the new entrant that are not imposed on the two incumbents, PT Telkom & PT Indosat.

Good practice in telecom reform

Posted on March 12, 2007  /  0 Comments

Friend of LIRNEasia, Sherille Ismail (Senior Counsel, Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis of the FCC) has written an excellent review of theWorld Bank’s “Information and Communications for Development 2006: Global Trends and Policies,” concluding with: “The telecommunications sector has performed in a spectacular fashion over the past two decades, bringing modern technologies at affordable prices to consumers throughout the world. The future holds the promise of even greater gains, as ICT ripples through economies, increasing productivity and generating efficiencies. To achieve the desired results, governments, scholars, investors, and the international community must successfully negotiate many challenges. Not the least of these is the particular challenge of dealing with issues in developing countries, where “there are often fundamental differences between what is proposed by technological visionaries, many of whom have never seen a village, and what is actually needed by end users, many of whom have never used a telephone.” This book is filled with reliable data, thoughtful analysis, and time-tested policy prescriptions.

The next billion is from Asia and Africa

Posted on February 15, 2007  /  1 Comments

Another story that reinforces our emphasis on the emerging Asia-Pacific and the Bottom of the Pyramid: LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Making affordable phones and targeting consumers with smaller budgets have now become priorities for the largest companies in the sector who were all present at this week’s 3GSM trade show in Barcelona. “There are between 2.5 and 2.8 billion people who have a mobile phone: the next billion will come from the high-growth market,” said David Taylor, strategy director for Motorola. The areas representing the most opportunity are Asia, Africa and the Middle East, he said.
LINK Public Policy Research Paper No. 8 January 2007 (pre-publication) Steve Esselaar & Alison Gillwald Despite the continued overall growth of the telecommunications sector in South Africa, the full potential of ICT to contribute to the growth and development of the country is not being realised. The fourth South African ICT Sector Performance Review (SPR) seeks to measure and assess some of the recent market developments in South Africa against national policy objectives such as access to services, cost of usage and competitiveness. The full report can be downloaded in pdf format here: 2006 South African ICT SPR