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H-ASIA Sept 6 2012 Pacific Affairs Sept 2012 Issue now available *********************************************** From: "Grant, Carolyn" <email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>> Pacific Affairs Vol 85, No. 3 September 2012 Special Issue - Celling South Asia: The Mobile Phone’s Impact on a Region Guest Editors: Robin Jeffrey and Assa Doron The Mobile Phone in India and Nepal: Political Economy, Politics and Society. By Robin Jeffrey, Institute of South Asian Studies & Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore Assa Doron, The Australian National University Keywords: cell phone, social networks; consumption; political economy This introduction scans the effects of mobile-phone communication, particularly in South Asia. It focuses on three important areas: political economy, politics and social practices. By 2012 India had more than 900 million telephone subscribers, 96 per cent of them on cell phones, and the majority of users were the poor. At the other end of the social scale, the mobile phone provoked bitter struggles among some of India’s biggest business houses and branches of government, and was responsible for criminal cases against politicians at the highest level. The essays in this volume are a reminder that technology is anything but neutral. The essays examine the many facets of mobile phone communication and the institutions, agents, mechanisms and networks such communication relies on. The essays contribute to efforts to interpret the effects of this technology and to gain insight into the most important aspect of the mobile phone: the sheer variety of activity (political, social and cultural) on which it impinges. Cellular Mobile in India: Competition and Policy By Subhashish Gupta, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India Keywords: competition, cellular mobile, telecommunications, policy, market behaviour Telecommunications has been one of the success stories of economic reforms in India. From a teledensity of 2% in the not too distant past the sector has grown to a point where the teledensity exceeds 60%. The Indian cellular market is marked by strong competition, a large number of operators and some of the cheapest tariffs in the world. The sector experiences growth rates in excess of 80% in terms of number of subscribers. However, all is not well in this sector. There have been a number of upheavals in the past and the latest one involves alleged favouritism in allocating spectrum.This paper analyzes the state of competition in cellular mobile in India. Standard measures of competition such as HHI and concentration ratios are used as well as market share, revenues, access to funds and profits. We also look at the degree of rivalry in the industry through changes in rankings in market share. We provide a brief discussion of the major developments in telecommunications and cellular mobile in particular after the introduction of reforms. Effects of policy making by different institutions within India are discussed in relation to their effect on competition and market development. The Mobile Communications Services Industry in India: Has it Led to India Becoming a Manufacturing Hub for Telecommunication Equipment? By Sunil Mani, Centre for Development Studies, Kerala, India Keywords: telecommunications, fixed, mobile, telecom equipment, India India has one of the fastest growing and largest telecommunications services market in the world, Much of the increases in telecom services were met through imports to begin with The state has now responded to this by attempting to make India a manufacturing hub for telecommunications equipment. Although there is evidence of increased domestic production of telecom equipment, the surging demand has necessitated imports. The value added by domestic manufacturing is still very low, but is likely to increase as the scale of domestic manufacturing increases. Dragon in the Elephant’s Backyard: Chinese Imports in India’s Mobile Revolution Amitendu Palit, National University of Singapore Keywords: China, India, trade, import, mobile, telecom, China-India The explosive growth in India’s mobile telephony during the last decade coincided with a robust growth in its trade with China. A variety of imported equipment from China played critical roles in augmenting use of mobile phones and expansion of networks in India. This paper studies the trends of these imports and examines the reasons for their penetrating deep into the Indian market. It argues that Chinese imports bridged a serious supply-side deficiency in India’s telecom sector: absence of a modern indigenous equipment manufacturing industry. Pointing out that development of the latter has been stunted due to low R&D, limited innovations, lack of access to finance, and liberal access to imports, the paper argues that Chinese imports are likely to continue till these conditions prevail notwithstanding security concerns over such imports. Shutting Down the Mobile Phone and the Downfall of Nepalese Society, Economy and Politics By Peng Hwa Ang, Nanyang Technological University, Shyam Tekwani, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, USA, Guozhen Wang, Zhanjiang Normal University, Guangdong, China Keywords: mobile telecommunications, Nepal, blackout, impact of mobile phone, shutdown in telecommunications On 1 February 2005, the Kingdom of Nepal cut off all public telecommunication links to the outside world. According to the king, the shutdown in communications was to enable security operations against the Maoist insurgents. Landline and Internet services were restored gradually over the following weeks. But the pre-paid mobile phone service, the service used by the majority of Nepalese, stayed off for the public for 88 days. The shutdown in communications provided the environment for a natural experiment to look at the impact of the mobile phone. Researchers conducted interviews in three regions of Nepal that are taken by the Nepalese as representative of the country. Among those interviewed were politicians, including the then-prime minister, business owners, journalists, as well as military and police officers. The study found that the shutdown in mobile communications had limited success in helping security operations. The insurgents did not trust the mobile phone network and had developed their own parallel communication network. The larger impact was negative: it hurt the economy and alienated large swathes of the public, perhaps even contributing to the downfall of the king. The study suggests that the mobile phone is a social device and that if there is to be any shutdown of the mobile phone service, it should be done only briefly and for very clear security reasons. Consumption, Technology and Adaptation: Care and Repair Economies of Mobile Phones in North India By Assa Doron, The Australian National University Keywords: Cell phones, Class; Consumption; Informal economy, Appropriation, Middle class On the edges of the digital world in India, there are millions of mobile phone users. To cater for these consumers, an economy of mobile phone care and repair has emerged in almost every town. Through the experiences of consumers and repairers, this article explores technology distribution, service practices and economic opportunity. How do they learn their trade? How do they make a living? And how do they position themselves in relation to the official branded manufacturers and licensed agents? Conceptually, the article is concerned with the nexus between consumer culture, the Indian middle class and the poor and how they engage global capitalism. It argues that middle class ideologies and practices of consumption are both exclusive and expansive. At the same time, the poor seek to engage this economy by tapping into the unauthorized sector that responds to their demands for local participation in the global economy, while keeping them also at a certain distance from the forms and symbolic capital of the new economy. Re-Sourceful Networks: Notes from a Mobile Social Networking Platform in India By Nimmi Rangaswamy, Microsoft Research India, Bangalore, India Edward Cutrell, Microsoft Research India, Bangalore, India Keywords: Social Media, Mobile Social Networking, India, Case-study The paper analyzes SMSGupShup, a mobile-centric social networking platform in India. It focuses on a set of dominant users (young, male) who are re-defining the nature of micro-blogging and the creation of mobile networking communities. Like many social networking sites, assembling, maintaining and growing social networks are primary behaviors on GupShup. Unlike many others, where maintaining a personalized profile and conversing with a networked community take prominence, users of GupShup show markedly different messaging or broadcasting practices. While captivated by the idea of connecting with people all over India for the first time through the GupShup platform, the primary motivation of users is not conversation, forging a “second life” or building interest groups but optimizing the networking service to expand one’s own group membership. From a qualitative study of user profiles, the paper demonstrates how GupShup can inform thinking about facets of mobile communities in developing countries: specifically, changing ideas about the networking platform as “second social life” to one of pecuniary “resource.” Book Reviews Asia General Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History. Volume 1: 1850-1920. Edited by Sven Saaler and Christopher W. A. Szpilman. Reviewed by Jessamyn Abel Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History. Volume 2: 1920-Present. Edited by Sven Saaler and Christopher W. A. Szpilman. Reviewed by Jessamyn Abel APEC: New Agenda in Its Third Decade. By Ippei Yamazawa. Reviewed by Robert L. Curry Water: Asia’s New Battleground. By Brahma Chellaney. Reviewed by Richard Paisley ASEAN-India-Australia: Towards Closer Engagement in New Asia. Edited by William T. Tow and Chin Kin Wah. Reviewed by Virginia Watson Rebalancing Growth in Asia: Economic Dimensions for China. Editors, Vivek Arora and Roberto Cardarelli. Reviewed by John Whalley China and Inner Asia China’s Reform In Global Perspective. Edited by John Wong, Bo Zhiyue. Reviewed by Arthur R. Kroeber Beyond the Middle Kingdom: Comparative Perspectives on China’s Capitalist Transformation. Edited by Scott Kennedy. Reviewed by Stephen Noakes Negotiating Religion In Modern China: State and Common People in Guangzhou, 1900-1937. By Shuk-wah Poon. Reviewed by Virgil K.Y. Ho Conflict Management and Dispute Settlement in East Asia. Edited by Ramses Amer and Keyuan Zou. Reviewed by Pitman B. Potter Mao’s New World: Political Culture in the Early People’s Republic. By Chang-tai Hung. Reviewed by Michael Schoenhals Arrested Histories: Tibet, the CIA, and Memories of a Forgotten War. By Carole McGranahan. Reviewed by Joseph G. Morgan The Struggle for Tibet. By Wang Lixiong and Tsering Shakya. Reviewed by Jack Patrick Hayes Northeast Asia Popular Democracy in Japan: How Gender and Community are Changing Modern Electoral Politics. By Sherry L. Martin. Reviewed by Lynne Y. Nakano Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion And Security: From Pacifism to Realism? By Paul Midford. Reviewed by Thomas Stow Wilkins Spending Without Taxation: FILP and the Politics of Public Finance in Japan. By Gene Park. Reviewed by Junko Kato Troubled Natures: Waste, Environment, Japan. By Peter Wynn Kirby. Reviewed by Scott Schnell Minorities and Diversity. Edited by Kunihiro Kimura. Reviewed by John Ertl Civic Engagement in Postwar Japan: The Revival of a Defeated Society. By Rieko Kage. Reviewed by Daniel P. Aldrich Imperial Japan at its Zenith: The Wartime Celebration of the Empire’s 2,600th Anniversary. By Kenneth J. Ruoff. Reviewed by Roy A. Starrs Airborne Dreams: “Nisei” Stewardesses and Pan American World Airways. By Christine Yano. Reviewed by Joy Hendry Sex in Japan’s Globalization, 1870-1930: Prostitutes, Emigration and Nation Building. By Bill Mihalopoulos. Reviewed by Timothy David Amos Reconstructing Kobe: The Geography of Crisis and Opportunity. By David W. Edgington. Reviewed by William J. Siembieda Mapping Mongolia: Situating Mongolia in the World from Geologic Time to the Present. Edited by Paula L.W. Sabloff. Reviewed by Dalaibuyan Byambajav The Korean State And Social Policy: How South Korea Lifted Itself from Poverty and Dictatorship to Affluence and Democracy. By Stein Ringen et al. Reviewed by Joseph Wong South Asia India Since 1980. By Sumit Ganguly, Rahul Mukherji. Reviewed by Sudha Pai Nationbuilding, Gender and War Crimes in South Asia. By Bina D’Costa. Reviewed by Purna Sen Rethinking Religion in India: The Colonial Construction of Hinduism. Edited by Esther Bloch, Marianne Keppens and Rajaram Hegde. Reviewed by Chris J. Fuller No Man’s Land: Globalization, Territory, and Clandestine Groups in Southeast Asia. By Justin Hastings. Reviewed by David Martin Jones The Limits of Alignment: Southeast Asia and the Great Powers since 1975. By John D. Ciorciari. Reviewed by Donald E. Weatherbee Vietnam and the West: New Approaches. Wynn Wilcox, editor. Reviewed by Tracy Barrett The Constitutional System of Thailand: A Contextual Analysis. By Andrew Harding and Peter Leyland. Reviewed by Andrew Walker Revolution Interrupted: Farmers, Students, Law, and Violence in Northern Thailand. By Tyrell Haberkorn. Reviewed by Charles F. Keyes Saying the Unsayable: Monarchy and Democracy in Thailand. Edited by Søren Ivarsson and Lotte Isager. Reviewed by Jim Glassman Chinese Indonesians And Regime Change. Edited by Marleen Dieleman Juliette Koning, and Peter Post. Reviewed by Wu-Ling Chong Australasia and the Pacific Region Experience and Representation: Contemporary Perspectives on Migration in Australia. By Keith Jacobs. Reviewed by James Jupp Consuming Pleasures: Australia and the International Drug Business. By John Rainford. Reviewed by Dean Wilson The Lihir Destiny: Cultural Responses to Mining in Melanesia. By Nicholas A. Bainton. Reviewed by Geoffrey Hobbis Imperial Archipelago: Representation and Rule in the Insular Territories Under U.S. Dominion After 1898. By Lanny Thompson. Reviewed by Glenn Petersen Cultures Of Commemoration: The Politics of War, Memory, and History in the Mariana Islands. By Keith L. Camacho. Reviewed by Stephen C. Murray Intimate Strangers: Friendship, Exchange and Pacific Encounters. By Vanessa Smith. Reviewed by Martha Macintyre Pacific Island Artists: Navigating the Global Art World. Edited by Karen Stevenson. Reviewed by Anne Allen ****************************************************************** To post to H-ASIA simply send your message to: <H-ASIA@h-net.msu.edu<mailto:H-ASIA@h-net.msu.edu>> For holidays or short absences send post to: <email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>> with message: SET H-ASIA NOMAIL Upon return, send post with message SET H-ASIA MAIL H-ASIA WEB HOMEPAGE URL: http://h-net.msu.edu/~asia/