Reconnecting the Bay of Bengal

LIRNEasia
That is the title of the talk I will be giving on 24th August at 0900 hrs as the 2nd BIMSTEC Foundation Lecture at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. Here I present (incomplete) evidence of the historical connectedness of the Bay of Bengal, reasons why the connectivity decreased after the Second World War, and information on current major developments in ...

Identifying poor households: Beyond night lights

LIRNEasia
As part of our big data work, we have been looking at sources other than mobile network big data for socio-economic monitoring. Night lights images from satellites was the favorite. But I’ve been always skeptical, partly because of looking down from the New Delhi-Colombo flight which flies through the middle of India and then right down the island from Jaffna. ...

How to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processors

LIRNEasia
Sixth course of the series of courses funded by Ford Foundation on “How to Engage in Broadband Policy and Regulatory Processors” is currently being held in IIT Delhi. This course is co directed by Dr. Rohan Samarajiva and Dr. P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan. Sessions are conducted by well renowned industry professionals, researchers from think tanks, academics and retired government officials of broadband ...

Myanmar consumers surprise Ooredoo again

LIRNEasia
All market projections in developing countries have been wrong, and all wrong in the same way: they have underestimated demand. This was true for voice, then for data, and now for 4G. The sharp increase in 4G usage is the second time the Myanmar market has taken Ooredoo by surprise, Mr Meza said. The first was the speed of smartphone ...

Discussing how research can inform broadband policy and regulation in India

LIRNEasia
The sixth iteration of the Ford Foundation supported course on how to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processes commenced today at IIT Delhi. An interesting mix of participants has been assembled by Dr Vignesh Illavarasan who is directing the course. He has also assembled a stellar cast of speakers, with perhaps the best gender balance we have achieved in ...

What role does WiFi play in connecting people to the Internet?

LIRNEasia
In most of the countries we work in, most people connect to the Internet over mobile devices and/or mobile networks. But as WiFi hotspots of various kinds become more common, it appears that WiFi is becoming the dominant mode. The Global State of Mobile Networks study, based on 12.3 billion measurements taken by 822,556 OpenSignal users in an 84 day ...

Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016

LIRNEasia
LIRNEasia CEO moderated a panel on “Private Public Partnerships – Getting Them Done, Getting Them Right” at the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2016. The key speakers of the panel were Mr. Gajendra Haldea (Advisor, Government of Rajasthan, India), Hon. Eran Wickramarathne (Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development), Mr. Kamal Dorabawila (Principal Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation). The panelists of the ...

IGF academy regional workshop in Colombo, Sri Lanka

LIRNEasia
A 2 1/2 day regional workshop on “Internet Governance Processes” for national champions selected from 4 countries (Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh) is currently being held in Renuka City Hotel, Sri Lanka. This regional workshop is the commencing workshop of the IGF Academy, Asia counterpart. This academy aims to strengthen Internet governance in global south. At the end of ...

Why Internet companies are investing in undersea cables

LIRNEasia
Looks like I did not get it exactly right with my parable. I thought joint ventures. Instead Google is building a parallel track. In recent years, content providers have outpaced carriers in terms of their capacity demand on major routes. Considering the scale of their bandwidth deployments, it increasingly makes sense for them to collaborate on new systems as part ...

China is good at mobile innovation

LIRNEasia
I was surprised to hear an otherwise knowledgeable person participating in the Grand Challenges discussion here at University of Washington say there was no innovation in China. The time and place were not right for that discussion. But then NYT came with a substantive refutation: Snapchat and Kik, the messaging services, use bar codes that look like drunken checkerboards to ...

50% of Millennials open to non-traditional forms of employment

LIRNEasia
Millennial Careers 2020 Vision: Report by Manpower group highlights, Though Millennials favor full-time work, over half say they are open to non-traditional forms of employment in the future—freelance, gig work or portfolio careers with multiple jobs. Self-employment is also a tempting future option. This is based on a quantitative research across 25 countries surveying 19,000 Millennials. They asked what they ...

Grand challenge: How to minimize impact on livelihoods from disasters

LIRNEasia
I am at the University of Washington in Seattle discussing grand challenges in tech policy. When asked to identify a grand challenge in the tech policy space that was uniquely relevant in my own country, I proposed action to minimize impact on livelihoods as described in the piece I wrote after the April Kelani river flood: As I read general ...

MPT seeks to differentiate itself through zero rating

LIRNEasia
MPT is the former monopoly supplier and still has the largest customer base. But their new managers have reason to be worried whether they can hold to the customers. Telenor is a major player skilled in implementing the budget telecom network model and is nipping at MPT’s heels. Ooredoo has deep pockets. When the VietTel led fourth operator gets going, ...

Podijobs.lk – First local Platform for freelancers

LIRNEasia
Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer are few of the international online platforms where Sri Lankan youth are registered with and making a sizable income. LIRNEasia is currently conducting a research study to access the potential of Microwork / freelancing industry. Our study reveals on average freelancers are earning 180-200 USD per month even working as part time and the interest ...

Nation State as a Service (NaaS) on the horizon?

LIRNEasia
As regional think tank, LIRNEasia sees its allegiance as being to the poor in the whole region, rather than a particular country. I’ve lived in three countries other than the one I was born in and have always been skeptical about excessive attachments to particular places. Albert Hirschman’s discussion of the nation state as a monopoly supplier of services with ...

UK OFCOM seeks to optimize infrastructure for competitive provision of services

LIRNEasia
The UK has been a leader in telecom reforms. Thus OFCOM’s encouragement of BT to have a de facto separate unit called Openreach to permit non-discriminatory use of the infrastructure caught the attention of many. Now, OFCOM wants to take next logical step and is proposing real structural separation: Openreach to become a distinct company. Openreach should be a legally ...

Myanmar mobile penetration hits 90%, government says

LIRNEasia
A recent report from the Myanmar Ministry of Post and Telecom states that mobile penetration has reached 90% (or 89.38% rather), and the number of Internet users has reached 39 million, according to supply-side data.  But as the Myanmar Times reporter rightly points out, multiple-SIM usership has to be taken into account to get a real picture of usage. We ...

International backhaul is a problem in ASEAN

LIRNEasia
The work that we began in 2010 with UN ESCAP on improving the international backhaul capacity of Asia is continuing to move forward. The latest step is a pre-feasibility study on ASEAN connectivity conducted in early 2015 and published in 2016. The study found that Internet traffic measurement of international paths (backbone trunk lines), undertaken in early 2015 as part ...

Myanmar’s backhaul expands, but more detail needed

LIRNEasia
According to the government as reported by Eleven, there has been much progress made on beefing up Myanmar’s international backhaul. The report does not say what the terms and conditions of access to the backhaul is and whether the necessary licenses have been granted to make possible the use of AAE1 and SEA-ME-WE 5, which were initially conceived of as ...

An article based on 2011 Teleuse@BOP published in Telecommunication Policy

LIRNEasia
It’s been a long time coming. The paper that Sangamitra Ramachander presented at CPRsouth 2011 based on Teleuse@BOP research has finally been published. We are happy, both for a young researcher getting published in a prestigious journal and for the fact that it gets our research out to academic readers. The private sector in developing countries is increasingly interested in ...