Telecommunications in South Asia [Country Briefs by Ken Zita]
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- Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 10:56:51 +0500
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Telecommunications in South Asia
[Country Briefs by Ken Zita]
Introduction by Amit Mathur
As the developing countries of the world rush to embrace the information society, it is important to remember that their success depends largely on the strength of their telecommunications infrastructure. Without this critical foundation the potential for ICTs to advance the development agenda will never be fully realized. We invited Network Dynamics Associates to share their survey of the telecommunications sector in South Asia. The following articles were adapted from submissions to the U.S. Trade and Development Agency conference on South Asia Communications Infrastructure held in New Delhi, India in April 2004.
Each country survey provides a comprehensive political and economic overview as well as detailed analysis of current telecommunication policy and local market conditions. In most countries the shift away from traditional state monopolies to deregulation and privatization has promoted competition and vastly increased the delivery of communications services. This approach has been most successful when accompanied by the appropriate legal and regulatory reforms to guide the transition. India leads the region in this aspect of telecom policy owing in part to the demands of its relentless high-tech sector. In contrast, the good intentions of Bangladeshi policy makers have lacked vision and fallen prey to political infighting that has severely limited the growth of the telecommunications industry.
Despite differing levels of development all the countries in the region have placed an emphasis on mobile technologies. In Afghanistan, a country struggling to recover from 23 years of continuous conflict, mobile growth has been extremely rapid. The country has developed several strategic plans that include the goal of increasing mobile teledensity. A competitive spectrum policy is also crucial in advancing the development of mobile technologies and is discussed in several of the reports.
The cultural impacts of the growth of the telecommunication sector cannot be ignored. Bhutan, a historically insular country that only introduced telephones in 1963 and televisions in 1999 is taking a guarded approach to infrastructure development as it tries to balance modern life and traditional values.
This series of telecom briefs on South Asia provides an insight into the latest developments in the respective countries and encourages the reader to draw lessons learned for other regions of the world. With increasing privatization and competition in these markets an important topic for discussion is the uniformity of such infrastructure development. Specifically, what can be done to encourage development in rural and traditional underserved communities in a country? How can this process be enhanced to provide access to all members of society so that all may participate in the information revolution?
- Afghanistan Telecom Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do?itemId=1005701>
- Bangladesh Telecom Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do?itemId=1005702>
- Bhutan Telecom Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do?itemId=1005705>
- India Telecom Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do?itemId=1005710>
- Maldives Telecom. Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do?itemId=1005715>
- Nepal Telecom Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do%7EitemId=1005721>
- Pakistan Telecom. Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do%7EitemId=1005725>
- Sri Lanka Telecom Brief <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/filedownload.do%7EitemId=1006080>
- Learn About the Author: Ken Zita <http://topics.developmentgateway.org/ict/rc/UserProfile.do%7EuserId=136872>