|ASEAN Concludes TELSOM/TELMIN Meetings|
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Malaysia hosted the 11th ASEAN Telecommunications & IT Senior Officials and Ministers Meeting this week (TELSOM/TELMIN) with the launch of the ASEAN ICT Master Plan 2015. The Master Plan sets out clear action items and projects with timelines to articulate a shared "Vision" of ASEAN of working "Towards an Empowering and Transformational ICT: Creating an Inclusive, Vibrant, and Integrated ASEAN".
The Vision is driven by 6 strategic thrusts (Economic transformation, People Empowerment & engagement, Innovation, Infrastructure development, Human capital development, and Bridging the digital divide) to deliver 4 key outcomes (ICT as an engine of growth for ASEAN countries, Recognition for ASEAN as a global ICT hub, Enhanced quality of life for peoples of ASEAN, Contribution towards ASEAN integration).
One of the specific projects proposed in the Masterplan is to set up its own internet exchange to facilitate greater internet traffic and to reduce costs. While details of the new exchange are being worked out, Malaysia and Singapore will lead the way by lowering mobile roaming charges by up to 30% for voice calls and 50% for data services. Malaysia will deliver a letter of undertaking on this to Singapore next week, and roll out the new rate structure within two months.
Other measures laid out in the Masterplan include leveraging on Universal Service Obligation (USO) or similar policies with a view to include IT components and training as part of USO funding, advocate early ICT education, facilitate access to ICT devices such as laptops, smart phones and computers and promote public education on ICT for community development.
The Masterplan was launched at the heels of IDC reports that technology spending is on the rise in ASEAN countries.
The Ministers also endorsed the 2010-2011 work plans with their respective ASEAN Dialogue Partners: China, Japan, and Korea. It is worth mentioning that Japan contributes USD 150,000 to the ASEAN ICT Fund to carry out specific projects. In addition to the meeting with the mentioned dialogue partners, the Ministers also met with the European Union, and the ITU.
The Masterplan is a promising document. The six thrusts covers 4 out of the 6 six key areas that would enable them to promote the use and development of ICTs as catalysts for economic growth and development, as outlined in the APEC Digital Prosperity Checklist. Given ASEAN’s record, the region does have the potential to become an ICT hub in Asia but challenges remain. Some member countries are just getting started, while others are in the ICT industry but are now trying to move up the value chain (from assembling a computer to writing computer software or providing computer services).
With infrastructure remain uneven especially in remote areas, bridging the digital divide would also be one of the main challenges.
In addition, it is unfortunate to learn that the ASEAN Secretariat, as a coordinating body that should oversee the ICT projects laid out in the Plan is so thinly staffed. As a matter of fact, the ICT unit of the Secretariat has been dissolved, and the ICT portfolio is managed under only two persons-staff. Excellent point to use in an analysis. Everyone knows that plans which are successful in producing real results often have strong institutions.
It certainly is encouraging to know that ASEAN as a whole understands very well the role of ICT to growth, development, and even ASEAN integration. But like many other ASEAN's "Visions", implementation will likely determine the measure of success.
The 10th Asean Telecommunications and IT Ministers (TELMIN) meeting here ended on a highly-successful note today with the launch of the Asean ICT Masterplan as a definitive action plan to enhance connectivity among South-East Asian nations and raised their competitiveness on the international arena.With Malaysia playing host and facilitating deliberations on a common ground, the masterplan launched, would provide clear action plans in the next five years for Asean to position its future economic growth with ICT as a key enabler in empowering life and the regional economy.Details of the plan formalised during the meeting would serve as a blueprint to propel the ICT sector to greater heights and reinforce its role for crucial Asean integration by 2015.
AIM 2015: Holistic Approach For Asean Economic Community - Rais Bernama, Jan 14
The Asean ICT Masterplan 2015 (AIM 2015) is a holistic approach to ICT development in order for Asean to become an economic community by 2015.Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said ICT development was crucial, which was why the masterplan was developed in consultation with all stakeholders to chart out the priority areas for ICT in the next five years."Similar to other regions, Asean is poised to embrace the future, riding on the wave of innovation and technology that has brought wealth and prosperity to this region in the last decade," he said in his closing remarks at the 10th Asean Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (Telmin), on Friday.
ASEAN plans own Internet exchange Channel News Asia, Jan 14
Southeast Asian nations will set up their own Internet exchange by 2015.This is to facilitate greater Internet traffic within the ASEAN grouping, as well as to reduce costs.The move is part of ASEAN's ICT (Information and Communications Technology) masterplan launched in Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur on Friday.Pledging their commitment to enhancing online connectivity, communications ministers from the 10 ASEAN members vowed to embrace ICT as the engine of growth.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said on Thursday that it is imperative for Asean to be in the mainstream of global information communication technology (ICT) development.ICT, he said, was "probably the most fundamental tool" member countries had at their disposal to further strengthen the grouping by facilitating communications for the exchange of ideas and to strengthen bilateral as well as people to people relations.For many Asean countries, however, inter Asean connectivity remained a challenge as rolling out ubiquitous modern broadband networks required huge investments, he added.
The ASEAN needs independent regulatory bodies that provide legal certainty and avoid protectionism in order to boost the growth of its telecommunications industry.Christophe Forax, European Commission councilor for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Audiovisual for the ASEAN, made the remarks in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 11th ASEAN Telecommunications & Information Technology Senior Officials Meeting (TELSOM), Forax said ASEAN countries could look at the European experience in terms of its regulatory best practices in the industry.
Asean Government Officers Positive About ICT Masterplan Bernama, Jan 10
Asean government officers are optimistic about the execution and benefits that the Asean ICT masterplan could bring to their respective countries in the years ahead. The Asean ICT masterplan is a strategic plan to bring the information communication technology (ICT) field of Asean to higher level and reinforce the role of ICT for Asean integration by 2015.
Telco, IT officials target lower roaming rates across Asean The Star, Jan 10
Cheaper mobile roaming charges across Asean is a chief aim at the 11th Asean Telecommunications and Information Technology Senior Officials Meeting (TELSOM).The project, in the planning stage now, faces the challenge of getting most of the telecommunications and cellular providers (telcos) in the 10 Asean countries to agree on a common rate structure.
Asean Telecommunications Meeting Begins Bernama, Jan 10
The 11th Asean Telecommunications & Information Technology Meeting kicked off on Monday with senior officials fine-tuning the agenda for the 10th Asean Telecommunications & Information Technology Ministers Meeting on Thursday.Held at the Royale Chulan Hotel here, the officials' meeting takes place until Wednesday.
Should Indonesia look to Singapore and Malaysia on ICT policy? FutureGov, Dec 9
If Indonesia is to precipitate an information society by 2014, as the government is hoping through its 2010 e-government masterplan for a 'Digital Indonesia', it needs to adopt a ?carrot and stick? approach to policy implementation, a senior official has said...Though a state budget is in place for government ICT projects, the mandate to invest in ICT across ministries has not been sufficiently strong."An uncoordinated government budget for ICT investment is one of the root causes of the problem,"...
IT Spending In Malaysia To Grow By Nine Per Cent This Year Bernama, Jan 14
Total IT spending in Malaysia is to grow by nine per cent to US$6.5 billion this year compared to US$5.9 billion last year due to growing confidence in the local economy.Total spending for telecommunications in Malaysia is expected to grow by 5.3 per cent, hitting US$7.3 billion this year from last year, said International Data Corporation (IDC) in a statement today.
Malaysian University To Be Regional ICT Training Centre Bernama, Jan 14
A local university will serve as a centre for training and research in information communications technology (ICT) to further develop the field in the Southeast Asian region.Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said this was one of the forms of cooperatioon agreed upon at the Asean Telecommunications and IT Ministers (Telmin) meeting with Japan, here, Thursday.He said at the 10th Telmin Meeting, the ministers had a special meeting with Japan's Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Yoshihiro Katayama, who expressed his country's wish to collaborate with Asean through some projects."Among the projects is a training scheme for the new generation in connectivity at a Malaysian university as the training centre," he said after chairing the meeting at a hotel, here.
Malaysian Government's Proactive Policies Spur ICT Growth Bernama, Dec 29
Development of information and communications technology (ICT) in the country continued to accelerate in 2010, primarily spurred by Malaysians' insatiable appetite for gadgets and online lifestyle. This was matched by the government's proactive policies to enhance penetration and connectivity among the people and businesses alike. As a transformation agenda, ICT has also been outlined as a catalyst for economic growth and to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation under the New Economic Model (NEM). To demonstrate its seriousness in harnessing the potentials of ICT, the government had, among others, launched the high-speed broadband (HSBB) and National Broadband Initiative (NBI) in March 2010, aimed at increasing broadband coverage and usage in the country.
IDC: Tech spending in PH to continue in 2011 GMA News, Jan 12
Following a recovery in information and computer technology (ICT) spending last year, the Philippine market will be characterized by further revitalization and sustained growth in technology spending in 2011, analyst firm IDC said on Thursday as part of its annual predictions for the Asia Pacific region.Across Asia Pacific and in the Philippines, a significant majority of businesses will be focused on further business expansion, both in terms of market share and penetration, and will leverage heavily on ICT as a key business enabler, IDC said.
Preparing the youth to be tech-savvy The Inquirer, Jan 6
The government launched recently the Global Filipino Schools (GFS), a competency-building initiative of the Department of Education, in coordination with the private sector, under the public-private partnership program, to provide teachers, students, and the schools the means to meet the challenge of globalization in the field of information and communications technology (ICT).
BPO growth depends on supply of good manpower The Inquirer, Jan 5
The business outsourcing process (BPO) industry in Cebu remains bullish about continued growth despite challenges in recruitment, steady power supply and infrastructure needs for incoming investors.Benedict C. Hernandez, Contact Center Association of the Philippines president, said the issue of shortage of manpower was raised over the past eight years, but BPO companies continue to expand.?There's that appetite for growth. Demand is there and people have started to react to this. Organizations are linking with the academe to ensure steady supply of quality manpower. That's the reason the industry remains booming,? Hernandez said.
IT-BPO aims for $11 billion revenue in 2011 PhilStar, Dec 31
IT-BPO (Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing) , the Philippines? sunshine industry, was reported to have gained global leadership in voice BPO services or call centers and is expected to shine even brighter in 2011.The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) with its government counterpart, the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) project that the Philippine IT-BPO industry could yield about US$11 billion in revenues for the year 2011, which would be a 20% increase from 2010?s estimated revenue of US$9 billion. BPAP and CICT also project that the industry could create an additional 84,000 jobs next year, bringing the total number of IT-BPO workers in the Philippines to around 610,000.
Asia to see greater Net neutrality discussion ZDNet, Jan 13
Once a topic debated more vigorously outside the region, Net neutrality is seeing more interest in Asia due to unique government initiatives and rapid Web infrastructure development. In contrast, the topic has lost steam in the United States.
Patents filed by S'pore firms on the rise CNA, Jan 6
Foreign companies still dominate the number of new patents registered in Singapore, but experts at an intellectual property (IP) forum here said they expect local firms to step up with more patented inventions too.IP creation in the Asia Pacific region has rapidly increased in the past five years, with Japan and China leading the number of patents granted by the US Patents and Trademark Office.
NGNBN to generate more services in 2011 CNA, Dec 29
With the further rollout of the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network next year, small and medium enterprises can expect to find more services to drive productivity and cost savings.The wider coverage is expected to attract a larger market for retail service providers, offering related services such as cloud computing.By the end of next year, the number is expected to at least double from the current six. The current six comprise of SingTel, M1, StarHub, LGA, ViewQwest and SuperInternet. The NGNBN network coverage is scheduled to hit 60 per cent by end-2010, and hit 95 per cent coverage by mid-2012.
Dial 'C' for confusion Bangkok Post, Jan 5
The local telecommunications industry is preparing for the endgame this year in a protracted dispute over mobile concessions, though the government is still uncertain how to resolve the many legal issues involved. Operators have been working on the issue for years in the belief that amendments made over the past 15 years or so might be challenged one day and could cause turbulence in the industry.
Vietnam will restructure telecom market VietnamNet Bridge, Nov 27
Vietnam has a population of 90 million, while it has seven mobile service providers with their own network infrastructure. There are also ?virtual? developers, who provide services with hired infrastructure. State management agencies have admitted that seven is more than enough and that it is necessary to restructure the telecom market.