United States Archives — Page 7 of 11 — LIRNEasia

An article entitled ‘Wireless Communication and Development in the Asia-Pacific: Institutions Matter’ by Rohan Samarajiva is featured in The Drum Beat, a monthly e-magazine published by The Communication Initiative. In October 2005, the Annenberg Research Network on International Communication (ARNIC) at the University of Southern California (USA) held a workshop – “Wireless Communication and Development: A Global Perspective” – as part of a multi-disciplinary effort to study the emergence of new communication infrastructures, examine the transformation of government policies and communication patterns, and analyse the social and economic consequences. In this 23-page paper, Rohan Samarajiva, Director of LIRNEasia traces regional trends related to the growth of wireless technologies – computers and telephones – and explores the regulatory and policy environment that is needed to continue to support these technologies’ “enormously important role in extending access to voice and data communications by hitherto excluded groups in society…” Read more…
Two new studies call into question whether the USA’s universal service subsidies received by cell phone companies generate benefits for consumers. Specifically, the studies show that subsidized cell phone companies actually provide less coverage than unsubsidized companies serving the same areas, and that there is no basis for wireless carriers’ claims that they use the subsidies to build out coverage to areas that otherwise would not be served. In the approximately 800 study areas where wireless carriers receive USF subsidies, unsubsidized carriers provide substantially more coverage. Unsubsidized carriers cover 97% of the population in these areas, while subsidized carriers cover only 70%. Read more.

Vietnamese telco opens US office

Posted on June 10, 2007  /  0 Comments

How times change. The Vietnamese national telecoms operator VNPT has opened an office in the US, partly with the aim of tapping into the two million and more Vietnamese now resident in the country and who make 400 million minutes of calls to their ancestral homeland each year. Read more.
China and India are emerging as powerhouses of innovation and creativity. “In 2005, the number of patent filings in China outnumbered those in the US,” said Partha Iyengar, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “Slightly less than one-tenth of world intellectual property organisation international patents were attributed to emerging markets. If the growth rates remain constant, the emerging market share could reach almost one-fifth in 2012.”
BSNL, the former incumbent fixed line and mobile carrier in India, is finalizing a $4.5-4.7 billion deal with Ericsson and Nokia Siemens to deploy 45.5 million GSM lines. Ericsson’s share of this deal is about $2.
The Bush administration is putting what pressure it can on a resurgent Democrat-led Congress to formulate legislation that would put a stop to the welter of lawsuits being taken out and accusing US telcos of riding roughshod over the legally-enshrined privacy rights of ordinary American citizens via the questionable mechanism of a post-9/11 surveillance programme that does not require individual warrants. Read more.
In the US, despite seventy years of telecoms legislation, some things haven’t changed that much. That’s why, in some parts of West Virginia it’s still harder to get telephone service than it is to buy a jug of moonshine liquor. The US Communications Act of 1934 legislated that all people in the United States should have access to “rapid, efficient, nationwide communications service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.” Then, sixty-two years later, the Telecom Act of 1996 broadened the established definition of universal service to include an affordable, national telephone service, to rural health care providers and eligible schools and libraries. But it still wasn’t enough.
China has just 530 point-of-sale (POS) terminals and ATMs per million people, far below the 10,000 per million found in the United States. Accordingly, cash is used in 83 percent of all payment transactions in China, compared with just 21 percent in the United States. With most of these terminals and ATMs in China’s cities, practically all rural transactions are cash based.  One way to wean rural consumers off their reliance on cash might be to add more ATMs and POS terminals. But it would cost at least $2 billion and add just 130 terminals and ATMs per million people.

India’s USD 100 computer

Posted on May 1, 2007  /  0 Comments

Not Negroponte’s USD 100 one-laptop-per-child, which is now priced at USD 175, but a thin-client application that depends on software from a distant server.   Makes sense if you have reliable connectivity, I guess. Made in India PC for just about $100 The machine, launched by Chennai-based Novatium Solutions in 2004, costs a little over $100 as of today in the US currency, thanks to the depreciation in the greenback, but it was priced at less than $100 till a few months back. Novatium is targeting 10 million users in the next five years for this innovative product, company CEO Alok Singh told PTI from Chennai. The company has already started a successful commercial pilot for its NetPC computer in Chennai, he said.
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.
Hutch’s entry into Indonesia’s mobile market as the 5th significant operator has started putting downward pressure on mobile calling prices, as I had predicted in my Oped piece Lower mobile prices: Through competition or profit regulation? in January of 2007. It is too early to call it a “price war” as the article below does, but the signs that prices are coming down is evident. Indonesia’s mobile retail prices are some of the highest in Asia and there is enough room for the prices to drop further. Currently, Hutch’s competitors are reacting by issuing promotions to match the new entrant’s offering, but this does not per se signify a permanent cut in prices.
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.
A new study filed with the USA’s telecoms regulator, the FCC, reports that the regulator’s use of auctions for assigning spectrum licenses could be subject to anti-competitive behavior by incumbent carriers. The announcement about the new study came from M2Z, a company which is seeking to build its own wireless network. Read more.

Global wireless ARPUs drops 6.4%

Posted on March 28, 2007  /  0 Comments

telecomasia.net | Mar 05, 2007 A new report has revealed that monthly ARPU is declining globally, but the gap between operators with the world’s highest and lowest monthly ARPU remains huge. The research study from analyst firm TeleGeography showed that based on a data set of more than 130 mobile operators, ARPU fell by an average of 6.4% between September 2005 and September 2006. “Not surprisingly, providers with higher ARPU tended to be in countries with relatively high incomes — predominately in Western Europe and the US,” the report stated.
Dhaka, March 23 (bdnews24.com) — Grameen Bank’s Muhammad Yunus stunned the world by unveiling a poverty alleviation initiative using mobile phone on March 26, 1997. He buys bulk minutes from Grameenphone’s GSM mobile network and resells among the microcredit borrowers in Bangladesh. The industry now recognises such business model as Mobile Virtual Network Operator or MVNO. Yunus and Grameen shared the Nobel Peace Price in 2006.