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Big, or Bigger: Southeast Asia’s Tech Economy in 2025

Google and Temasek have been taking a crack at estimating and predicting the size of Southeast Asia’s ecommerce economy for the past four years, starting in 2016 (yes, I know that’s three years but they’ve put out four reports, the latest this week, so there.)  I’ve not had a close look at this report, there’s obviously some good stuff in there, and it’s easy to pick holes in this kind of thing, but it pays to be humble. I’ve done my own chart, below, taken the data from each report about their predictions for 2025, and how they’ve changed over time. The four left columnsContinue readingBig, or Bigger: Southeast Asia’s Tech Economy in 2025

Narrowband Goes Broad

Seems LoRa is really taking off. Citing data from research firm Analysys Mason, Chris Donkin writes that 85 new networks were announced as live, in a trial phase or in development in 2016 compared with 29 in 2015. While early LPWA deployments were concentrated in the US and Western Europe, Analysys Mason found interest in the technology spread during 2016, with strong traction being seen in the APAC market. During 2015, two thirds of initiatives took place in the US and Western Europe whereas in 2016 the figure was down to less than a third. Simultaneously APAC showed growth from 4 per cent in 2015 to 30 per cent in 2016. The report identified developmentsContinue readingNarrowband Goes Broad

Innovative Complacency or the Wisdom of the Deceived?

  This is where I see a real problem for developed Asia: a complacency and disinterest in the role of technology and innovation. Or is it the clarity of vision from too much innovation? In a survey conducted by IDC on behalf of Avaya (no link available, you need to sign up to get a copy), key IT decision makers from developed Asian countries (leaving aside Australia for now) were much more likely to downplay the role of innovation in driving business. Singapore came lowest with 14% of respondents believing the statement “innovation is extremely important to drive business.” Compare that to around 40% inContinue readingInnovative Complacency or the Wisdom of the Deceived?

Mind the air-gap: Singapore’s web cut-off balances security, inconvenience | Reuters

A piece I co-wrote on Singapore’s decision to effectively air-gap most of its government computers — beyond security, military and intelligence. This is not something they’ve done lightly, but it does feel as if they might not have thought it all the way through. On the other hand, there were quite a few people I spoke to who said this might be the thin end of a larger wedge. And what does this mean for the cybersecurity industry?  Mind the air-gap: Singapore’s web cut-off balances security, inconvenience | Reuters: By Jeremy Wagstaff and Aradhana Aravindan | SINGAPORE Singapore is working on how to implement aContinue readingMind the air-gap: Singapore’s web cut-off balances security, inconvenience | Reuters

Singapore’s M1 aims narrowband deployment at the sea

Singapore telco M1 is getting Nokia to install an NB-IoT network atop its 4G one, interestingly with an eye not just to land but to sea.  NB-IoT stands for Narrowband Internet of Things, and is the GSM world’s answer to narrowband technologies such as LoRa and Sigifox that threaten to take away a chunk of their business when the Internet of things does eventually take off. Why use expensive modems and services when you’re just trying to connect devices which want to tell you whether they’re on or off, full or empty, fixed or broken?   Techgoondu reports: “While that network caters to heavy users whoContinue readingSingapore’s M1 aims narrowband deployment at the sea

Taxi Dating Apps?

I’ve been meeting a better class of taxi driver lately. It’s been made possible by something called GrabTaxi, which I have begun to think of as a dating app for passengers and taxi drivers. Of course, it’s not really, that would be weird. But it kind of is. It’s just one of many apps and services across the world seeking to make the process of booking taxis easier. At one end of the scale there’s Uber, which aspires to allow anyone to be a taxi driver, matching car and driver with passenger. At the simpler end are apps like GrabTaxi, which offer taxi drivers anotherContinue readingTaxi Dating Apps?

Digicel takes on the big boys in Myanmar

Here’s a piece I wrote about the, for some somewhat obscure, Digicel and its efforts to win a slice of Myanmar’s mobile pie. You can read the rest here. SINGAPORE, April 29 | Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:54pm EDT(Reuters) – Cellular operator Digicel Group Ltd jumped into Myanmar early and big, hiring staff, funding local sports, negotiating land deals for thousands of cell tower sites and signing up hundreds of partners for retail outlets.The strategy helped propel it onto the shortlist for a mobile licence in one of the world’s last mobile frontiers, putting an operator that ranks 65th globally in terms of customers up against giantsContinue readingDigicel takes on the big boys in Myanmar

Singapore startup Viki aims to take local TV global

Viki has long interested me and their deal with Warner offered a news peg:  Who would want to watch a South Korean soap that was a flop back home? Lots of people, it turns out – something that Singapore-based startup Viki feels vindicates its business model: an ad-supported streaming TV and movie site where unpaid fans add the foreign subtitles. “We call it content arbitrage,” said Razmig Hovaghimian, Viki CEO and co-founder. “Ninety percent of content is trapped within borders. We’re taking things that aren’t travelling and making them go places.” The service plays on a number of trends both in Asia and worldwide: aContinue readingSingapore startup Viki aims to take local TV global

Inside the Web of Things

This is a slightly longer version of a piece I’ve recorded for the BBC World Service I’ve long dreamed of an Internet of things, where all the stuff in my life speaks to each other instead of me having to the talking. The vision is relatively simple: each gadget is assigned an Internet address and so can communicate with each other, and with a central hub (my, or my computer, or smartphone, or whatever.) The most obvious one is electricity. Attach a sensor to your fusebox and then you can see which or your myriad appliances is inflating your electricity bill. Great idea! Well sortContinue readingInside the Web of Things

The Fate of New Acquisitions: Whither or Wither?

By Jeremy Wagstaff I’m writing this on a Windows PC using a great piece of Microsoft software called Windows Live Writer. And that’s only part of the problem. As you no doubt know, Microsoft have announced they bought Skype, the Internet telephony company, for $8.5 billion. You’ll have to look under a lot of stones to find someone who thinks this is a good deal for Microsoft. Skype made $20 million last year on revenue of $860 million, posting a net loss of $69 million because of interest expenses. In short, this is not a company about to fill Microsoft’s coffers with dosh. Whenever aContinue readingThe Fate of New Acquisitions: Whither or Wither?

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