the Philippines Archives — Page 2 of 3


The Daily Mirror, a leading English daily in Sri Lanka, recently featured an article on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and its potential to drive productivity at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP). The article cited research conducted by LIRNEasia on telecom users at the BOP and the pioneering Grameen microfinance approach to extending telecom access to the poor. The notion that users at the bottom of the pyramid are either unwilling or unable to access telecommunication facilities is effectively dismissed by the findings of the LIRNEasia cross-country research, which indicates that low income users in Sri Lanka averaged about 23 calls per month, while those in India and Pakistan averaged more than 30 and those in the Philippines averaged around 16…A particularly interesting conclusion that emerges from this research is the perception that accessibility to telephony helps in reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and in instilling a feeling of social mobility among the poor. Continue reading ‘Driving productivity at the bottom of the pyramid: How ICT can help’. Print version also available here: .

Cell Phones Double as e-wallets in RP

Posted on October 4, 2007  /  1 Comments

Cell phones double as electronic wallets in RP By Oliver Teves Associated Press Last updated 10:42am (Mla time) 09/30/2007 Philippine Daily Inquirer SAN MIGUEL, Philippines–It’s Thursday, so 18-year-old Dennis Tiangco is off to a bank to collect his weekly allowance, zapped by his mother–who’s working in Hong Kong–to his electronic wallet: his cell phone. Sauntering into a branch of GM Bank in the town of San Miguel, Dennis fills out a form, sends a text message via his phone to a bank line dedicated to the service. In a matter of seconds, the transaction is approved and the teller gives him P2,500 (US$54), minus a 1-percent fee. He doesn’t need a bank account to retrieve the money. More than 5.

Mobile money in the Philippines

Posted on October 2, 2007  /  2 Comments

Cell phones double as electronic wallets – Yahoo! News Mobile banking services, which are also catching on in Kenya and South Africa, enable people who don’t have bank accounts to transfer money easily, quickly and safely. It’s spreading in the developing world because mobile phones are much more common than bank accounts. The system is particularly useful for the 8 million Filipinos — 10 percent of the country’s citizens — who work overseas and send money home, like Dennis’ mother, Anna Tiangco. Previously, she sent money via a bank wire transfer, which costs $2.
BANGALORE, India (AFP) — India remains the favoured technology outsourcing destination, an industry report said Sunday, amid concerns a rising rupee and soaring wages would blunt the country’s competitive edge. A study by industry publication Global Services and investment advisory firm Tholons put the Indian cities of Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune at the top of a list of 15 emerging outsourcing destinations for global companies. Kolkata at number five and Chandigarh at number nine were the other two Indian locations on the list, which contained three Chinese and two Vietnamese cities as well.
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).
Total broadband growth in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 was at 157% while Greece’s was 168%, Ovum said. The Philippines had 127,942 subscribers in 2005 and this number grew to 329,216 as of end-2006.   The cost of broadband in the Philippines is also expensive relative to average monthly disposable incomes of subscribers. The highest monthly fee in 2006 was $96.08, with the lowest at $17.

RP 2nd fastest-growing broadband market

Posted on September 25, 2007  /  0 Comments

BY VERONICA S. CUSI, Businessworld THE PHILIPPINES was the second fastest-growing market for broadband worldwide in 2006, according to a study by UK-based research and consultancy firm Ovum. This was primarily due, however, to the fact that broadband is just taking off in the country, and Ovum said growth could be significantly higher if regulators allow more competition that would lead to cheaper services. Greece took the top spot in the study, and the other countries in the top ten list were Indonesia, India, Ukraine, Ireland, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia and Turkey. Total broadband growth in the Philippines from 2005 to 2006 was at 157% while Greece’s was 168%, Datamonitor affiliate Ovum said.

Cell-phone number portability costly

Posted on September 5, 2007  /  0 Comments

…in the Philippines: The Manila Times REGULATORS are unlikely to support mobile- phone number portability, as the proposal to allow consumers to maintain their existing numbers when shifting from one service provider to another is too costly. “At this time, based on our study the number portability is costly and it’s not financially viable, but technically feasible,” Edgardo Cabarrios, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) chief for common carriers authorization, told reporters. Under the proposed number portability plan, a subscriber can switch among different service providers while retaining his existing mobile-phone number. This means the subscriber no longer has to buy a new SIM (subscriber identification module) card for every switch. Powered by ScribeFire.
The story below describes the second forced removal of a Chairman of the Philippines telecom regulatory agency since November 2006.   They are approaching the Sri Lankan benchmark of three Directors General of Telecom in one year (achieved in 2005).  What is interesting is what impact this activity will have on the generally satisfactory Philippines TRE performance recorded in mid 2006 (before the firing habit caught on).      Fixed terms for NTC commissioners proposed – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos An ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the House of Representatives said on Tuesday commissioners and deputy commissioners of the National Telecommunications Commission must be given fixed terms of office to insulate the quasi-judicial body from political influence.
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.
In one of the most detailed analyses of WiMax issued for Asia to date, the influential investment house says that it is “particularly optimistic about the prospects for fixed WiMax in developing markets in Asia, where the copper infrastructure is too weak or limited to provide broadband services using DSL.” It adds, “We believe that WiMax and other wireless broadband technologies will be particularly successful in markets with low broadband penetration, such as India, Malaysia, China, the Philippines, and Indonesia.” Read more.
Data and 3G may not be a priority in Asia: discuss. No, we’re not referring to Japan, Korea or Hong Kong. Not even China. This time we’re looking at the area’s so-called emerging markets – markets like Indonesia where the market-leading operator Telkomsel and third-ranked player Excelcom launched 3G services in early September. Or the Philippines, where rival operators Globe and Smartcom have been offering 3G for a slightly longer period.
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.
Sri Lanka: Cutting it Mobile phone use is taking off in Sri Lanka – though not, perhaps, in ways that service operators might have hoped. FROM THE ECONOMIST INTELLIGENCE UNIT In the world’s poorer countries, the purchase of a mobile phone has become increasingly affordable. Using it, however, can still be a struggle. Low-income mobile phone owners in Sri Lanka are getting around this problem with a novel method for keeping costs down. Known as ring cutting, mobile phone subscribers rely on ring tones to communicate with others, rather than actually staying on the line to talk.
Sahana, an entirely volunteer effort to create technology for managing large-scale relief efforts, is the recipient of the 2006 Free Software Foundation Award for Projects of Social Benefit. Sahana was created by the Lanka Software Foundation, in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in 2004, to compensate for the devastating consequences of a government attempt to manually manage the process of locating victims, distributing aid and coordinating volunteers.The Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to a free software project that intentionally and significantly benefits society through collaboration to accomplish an important social task. Sahana is built completely on donated funds and volunteer effort coordinated by Lanka Software Foundation. It has been officially deployed by the governments of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Indonesia.