Two publications, with chapters by LIRNEasia researcher Chanuka Wattegama, were launched during the GK3, third global Knowledge conferences held in Kuala Lumpur in December, 2007. The biennial Digital Review of Asia Pacific is a comprehensive guide to the state-of-practice and trends in information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) in Asia Pacific. The third edition (2007/2008) covers 31 countries and economies, including North Korea for the first time. Each country chapter presents key ICT policies, applications and initiatives for national development. In addition, five thematic chapters provide a synthesis of some of the key issues in ICT4D in the region, including mobile and wireless technologies, risk communication, intellectual property regimes and localization.
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…
Rohan Samarajiva Information Technologies and International Development (ITID) – MIT Press, Winter 2006, Vol. 3, No. 2, Pages 57-71 Abstract: Wireless technologies play an enormously important role in extending access to voice and data communications by hitherto excluded groups in society, especially in the world’s most populated region and now the largest mobile market, the Asia-Pacific. The present rates of growth and levels of connectivity could not have been achieved without wireless in the access networks, for mobile as well as for fixed, and in the backbone networks. But the solution is not simply wireless; it is wireless combined with new investment; it is wireless combined with other inputs and systems.
The low-cost and quick deployment time of wireless technologies give them the potential to connect communities and regions that are currently disconnected. However, governments in many developing countries have not unlicensed the use of spectrum that is necessary to deploy wireless networks like Wi-Fi. In many countries, transmission of data using unlicensed spectrum over public areas is prohibited, which makes connecting villages, for example, impossible. In some countries like the United States, telephone companies are actively lobbying against unlicensed use of the spectrum. These were some of the key issues that came up at the Air Jaldi wireless infrastructure summit held in Dharmasala.
The Economist Dec 2, 2004 http://www.economist.com/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3446429 …today almost all broadband connections in the world are fixed links provided either by telcos or cable companies.