USD Archives — Page 5 of 14


In an interview with the BBC, Nigeria’s education minister questioned the need for laptops in poorly equipped schools. Dr Igwe Aja-Nwachuku said: “What is the sense of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don’t have seats to sit down and learn; when they don’t have uniforms to go to school in, where they don’t have facilities?” “We are more interested in laying a very solid foundation for quality education which will be efficient, effective, accessible and affordable.” Read full story in BBC

US may slice USF for rural broadband

Posted on November 26, 2007  /  0 Comments

The US policymakers overseeing universal service fund (USF) have recommended for the first time that it be used specifically to help offset costs of deploying broadband Internet services in rural and poor parts of the country. The board said the FCC should limit the USF’s largest part to $4.5 billion and also recommended a more specific limit on subsidies for wireless service in those areas.   The $4.5 billion figure represents the current size of the rural subsidies.

Tales of the mobile web

Posted on November 25, 2007  /  0 Comments

Mobile Web: So Close Yet So Far – New York Times ON the surface, the mobile Web is a happening place. There’s the iPhone in all its glory. More than 30 companies have signed up for the Open Handset Alliance from Google, which aims to bring the wide-open development environment of the Internet to mobile devices. Nokia, which owns nearly 40 percent of the world market for cellphones, is snapping up Web technology companies and has made an eye-popping $8.1 billion bid for Navteq, a digital mapping service.
Indonesia’s largest telecommunications company, Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), said Wednesday it has asked unit Telkomsel to appeal a ruling that Telkomsel has broken the anti-monopoly law.Indonesia’s competition watchdog (KPPU) ruled on Monday that Telkomsel, the largest cellphone carrier here, has broken the competition law. The KPPU fined it 25 billion rupiah (2.7 million dollars) and ordered Telkomsel to lower its tariff by a minimum of 15 percent. “As the majority and controlling shareholder of Telkomsel, Telkom has requested Telkomsel to immediately carry out a legal review in accordance with its own internal processes and governance practices,” Telkom said.
By this time next year, LIRNEasia will have much to say on this subject. Western Union Empire Moves Migrant Cash Home – New York Times With five times as many locations worldwide as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Burger King and Wal-Mart combined, Western Union is the lone behemoth among hundreds of money transfer companies. Little noticed by the public and seldom studied by scholars, these businesses form the infrastructure of global migration, a force remaking economics, politics and cultures across the world. Last year migrants from poor countries sent home $300 billion, nearly three times the world’s foreign aid budgets combined. Powered by ScribeFire.
Mauritius-based private equity venture Seacom has started the construction of a fibre optic cable that will link southern and east Africa with India and Europe.   The $650 million project covers more than 15,000 kilometres to link South Africa to India and France through Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania. It is expected to provide first broadband access to countries in East Africa, which are currently using satellite connections.   In a similar project, NEPAD e-Africa Commission signed a deal with an American firm 5-P Holdings in November 2007 for the construction of an undersea submarine cable to link every country in Africa with the outside world.   This is a joint project between African investors and US telecommunications development company Herakles Telecom.
Having made its mark on software in style, there is nothing wrong India becoming ambitious to do the same in hardware. That seems to be the message we hear now. Instead of resting on its laurels as the preferred IT services destination, technology players and academics in India must look to creating compelling products for the domestic and global market with an eye on cornering at least $15 billion worth business by 2015. This was the challenge thrown out by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) to the Indian IT industry, at its annual Product Conclave that opened in Bangalore on Nov 19, 2007. (Read the report in ‘The Hindu’) Interestingly, last month Prof.
Does not compute | Economist.com “PROLIXITY is not alien to us in India,” admits Amartya Sen in his essay “The Argumentative Indian”. “We do like to speak.” He supports his contention with quotations from India’s classical texts, but it is also borne out by India’s phone habits. The average owner of a mobile handset spends 471 minutes (almost eight hours) on the phone each month, and sends 39 text messages.
A new report from Portico Research reveals that over half of the population of the entire world will have a mobile phone by 2008. The study predicts that the global mobile penetration rate will pass the 50 per cent mark next year, with a further 1.5 billion new mobile phone subscribers expected to join their ranks over the next four years.   Portico Research says global mobile penetration rate will be at 75 per cent by 2011.  It is now believed that some 65 per cent of these “new-to-the-world” users will come from the Asia Pacific region, rather than from Africa as has previously been though most likely, with the majority being from rural regions in countries such as India and Pakistan.
Does Sri Lanka have a comparative advantage in tuition? Hello, India? I Need Help With My Math – New York Times A leading candidate to watch, according to analysts, is TutorVista, a tutoring service founded two years ago by Krishnan Ganesh, a 45-year-old Indian entrepreneur and a pioneer of offshore call centers. Concerns about the quality of K-12 education in America and the increased emphasis on standardized tests is driving the tutoring business in general. Traditional classroom tutoring services like Kaplan and Sylvan are doing well and offer online features.
Reliance Communications took the competition in domestic telecom head-on as it reported operating margins similar to bigger rival Bharti Airtel in the July-September quarter. RCom’s robust performance was aided by higher growth in its wireless and broadband services along with increased operating efficiency. Net profit has surged 86% to Rs 1,305 crore (USD 330 mil) year-on-year backed by 30% rise in sales to Rs 4,579 crore (USD 1,166 mil). Operating profit has grown 46% while revenue from wireless business grew 45% and the broadband segment 61%.  Read the full story in ‘The Economic Times’ Meanwhile India’s largest wireless operator Bharti Airtel on Wednesday announced a 73% increase in second quarter net profit at Rs 1,617 crore (USD 412 mil) , compared to Rs 934 crore (USD 238 mil) for the quarter ended September 2006.
India’s mobile phone market has become the fastest growing in the world, with Indians adding nearly six million new connections every month. As Anjana Pasricha of VoA reports from New Delhi, much of the growth is among low-income consumers. Telecom companies are going all out to woo such customers, offering them deals that make cell phones affordable for even those who earn as little as $125 a month. Handsets are available for $45. Users can buy new pre-paid phone cards for less than 50 cents.

The Chinese are coming

Posted on October 27, 2007  /  1 Comments

The stunning impact of the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers observed in South Asia in as early as 2005 is now being observed in the balance sheets of the old established equipment suppliers.   Telecoms-equipment makers | Toughing it out | Economist.com First, the market for wireless networks is beginning to mature. After years of bumper profits, telecoms operators are facing more competition and are having to cut costs. In America carriers have delayed purchases, which explains much of what went wrong for Alcatel-Lucent.
Mobile phones are about to become the simplest and quickest way to transfer money across borders, under a deal announced yesterday by Western Union and GSM Association, the main mobile phone operators’ body. The agreement could have a big impact on global cross-border remittances, worth an estimated $500bn a year, and provide a springboard for mobile carriers and Western Union to offer other mobile banking services using “mobile wallet” technology. Cross-border money transfers valued at up to $100 in countries such as India, the Philippines, Mexico and China – which have large volumes of remittances from migrant workers – will be an early priority of the deal. Thirty-five mobile operators with 800m customers in more than 100 countries have signed up to take part in the GSMA Mobile Money Transfer pilot scheme led by Sunil Mittal, managing director of Bharti Airtel. Other participants include MTN, Orange, Orascom, Smart, Telenor and VimpelCom.

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.

Internet telephony pioneers stumble

Posted on October 3, 2007  /  1 Comments

Last updated 10:01am (Mla time) 10/03/2007, Philippine Daily Inquirer NEW YORK–In spite of its global popularity, Internet telephony (VoIP), which is almost free for users, has not become a gold mine for its pioneers such as Skype and Vonage. Popular online auction firm eBay, which bought Skype two years ago for $2.6 billion, affirmed that message in a costly way earlier this week when it devalued the once-darling firm, knocking $1.43 billion off its value. The accounting move was long anticipated.