China Unicom and Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) have completed the deployment of a 1,500km terrestrial optical fiber link. It spans from the southwest Chinese province of Yunnan to Myanmar’s Ngwe Saung Beach in the Irrawaddy Delta. It is called China-Myanmar International (CMI) cable. This US$50 million cross-border telecommunication transmission link runs from Ruili and Muse on the Sino-Myanmar border ...

Vignesh Illavarasan is featured as ICT Champion by the IDRC Asia Office: P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), New Delhi has identified situations in which mobile phones lead to positive development outcomes. Since 2008, he has been involved in research on the economic and social impact of ICTs, especially mobile phones. His research interests are focused ...

The GSMA Asia team had come to Colombo for their annual staff retreat. Amid all the team building activities, they also thought they should replenish the knowledge conduits and asked LIRNEasia to put together a few sessions. Many ideas were presented, but I thought it surprising that a collective organization of users of international backhaul capacity had paid so little ...

The launch of the Myanmar version of Information lives of the poor, a book featuring LIRNEasia research among others, is featured in the latest issue of the IDRC Asia Office newsletter. The Burmese edition of Information Lives of the Poor: Fighting Poverty With Technology was launched in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, Burma, in July 2014. Part of IDRC’s in_focus ...

But the ability of small businesses in the developing world to use this resource rests on what can be done to ensure reliable, affordable connectivity, something they still do not have. Just a few years ago, public clouds like Amazon’s were considered experimental turf for tech start-ups. Today, companies like Johnson & Johnson, Intuit and General Electric are among the ...

There were some implicit references in a recent article in the Bangladesh Daily Star, but this is the first coverage based entirely on the systematic review. Mobile coverage in rural areas makes markets more efficient by matching demand and supply across a larger geographical space, resulting in benefits to consumers as well as producers, says the document, based on a ...

I’ve never had a conversation with a government before. But today they had assembled (almost) all the secretaries, all heads of government organizations including the heads of the armed forces and the police into one location. The government was launching its On(egov)ernment strategy, that has a whole of government approach that requires collaboration among government units. I had no part ...

I am not sure surveying current smartphone users, especially in countries where smartphone penetration is still low, is the best way to gauge the demand for smart-city services, but it is a useful input. Here are some key findings from an Ericsson study that is available on the web. The report – which surveyed over 9,000 smartphone users in nine ...

The recent Ebola crises in West Africa, has brought attention to the potential of leveraging mobile network big data in combating the spread of infectious diseases. Whilst it is Ebola that has everyone’s attention right now, the application of such methods is equally relevant to malaria and dengue, both diseases that have and continue to affect many in developing economies. ...

LIRNEasia’s image is tied up with ICTs, thought from the beginning we wanted to be an infrastructure shop. Ports are infrastructure, and for the city I live in, perhaps the most vital infrastructure. So this piece fits. But the fit is even more from the mindset side. Everything we do as a think tank is intended to get people to ...

There is no guarantee that companies always bet right, but I’d place weight on their wagers more than on those of armchair theorists who are still arguing for FTTH as the only solution. Ask Google why they want a big, Nexus 6 size phone, and the answer is ready: “We are moving from mobile first to a mobile only world.” ...

The Economist is a plum. In all honestly, I am thrilled to be mentioned. I wish they had gone to people with real data on Africa like RIA, rather than those who simply speculate, but still, a thoughtful piece. While the claim re radio may hold true for Africa, it definitely is incorrect for the Indo-Gangetic plain. Once restricted to ...

Last year, Helani Galpaya (CEO, LIRNEasia) made recommendations on improving The Alliance for Affordable Internet (AA4I)‘s Affordability Index. This year, on behalf of Helani, I attended the Affordability Index workshop in Cape Town. While the primary objective was to review the 2014 draft report, the working group members present at the workshop also voiced many concerns that are being considered by ...

Telenor has made a move to offer zero-rated services to its customers in Myanmar through Wikipedia Zero and Facebook Zero. This  will enable Telenor’s mobile users  to get access to lighter versions of Wikipedia and Facebook without running down  their prepaid credit balances.  We have seen this issue  (the running down of prepaid balances ) being a barrier to Internet use by BOP ...

The telecom operators in Myanmar are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. The demand for SIMs is so high that call and data quality is compromised. If they restrict supply, a black market develops. If they don’t, their image gets sullied. I was pleased to read that Telenor had postponed its rollout in Yangon until it did ...

The Open Technology Institute (OTI) finds that customers in the U.S. continue to pay higher prices for slower Internet. It examines broadband prices and speeds in 24 cities in the U.S. and abroad. Looking at the price consumers pay for 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) in each city, as well as the speed they can get for $50 in each ...

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