World-Tel In Venture for Internet Community-Access Centres in India
Sam Pitroda, chairman and CEO of London-based World-Tel
and former chairman of India’s Telecom Commission, recently visited India
to discuss the development of Internet community centres in the
states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
“Our goal really is to
transform Internet use by creating local market, local databases,” said
Pitroda. Local information will include school and university admissions
and exam results, employment, house rentals, farm prices, public health
care, food distribution, transaction business, commerce, art and culture.
WorldTel is expected to bring in foreign investment to the tune of $50-60
(Economic Times, India; September 10, 1998)
IBM Japan In Venture for Integrated Service for Multiple Cybermalls
IBM Japan, Dai Nippon Printing and Japan Telecom started testing a
service to link four virtual malls.
The “Mall Pipeline”
concept, announced last October,
includes search services across multiple virtual malls and allows companies
to post their joint banner ads across malls to maximise the effects of such
Participating cybermalls are expected to use Net.Commerce, IBM Japan’s
software to construct the malls.
(Nikkei BizTech, Japan; September 11, 1998)
Thai Association Urges Government Not to Stifle E-Commerce
The Association of Thai Computer Industry (ATCI) has urged the National
Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) not to introduce too
many rules or regulations which many stifle electronic commerce.
ATCI President Manoo Ordeedolchest said the association was concerned about
unnecessary limitations being put on e-commerce. ATCI also wants the
government agency to educate the general public on e-commerce.
“We should take time studying, analysing and adopting e-commerce laws of other
countries or organisations to meet the needs of our own culture and
position,” he noted.
(Bangkok Post; September 9, 1998)
MSN Revamps British Edition of Portal Service
Microsoft plans to launch an updated version 1.6 of the MSN portal
HotMail is now the most prominent feature of
the new opening page; MSN estimates the number of HotMail users in Britain
at 711,000. The next addition, in November, will be Expedia.co.uk– the
British version of the successful U.S. travel service.
(Internet magazine, Britain; September 10, 1998)
Telecom Deregulation, Lower Computer Duties Boost Net in Sri Lanka
The customer base of most of Sri Lanka’s seven ISPs doubled in the past
year and the number of Internet subscribers is estimated to pass 50,000 by
year 2000, up from 12,000 to 14,000 users now.
Most computer vendors now
throw in a free Internet connection with every purchase. Sanjay Mendis,
assistant product manager of Eureka On Line, said the growth is directly
linked to the deregulation of the telecom industry and licensing of two
wireless loop operators–Lanka Bell and Suntel–two years ago.
(Reuters News Agency; September 8, 1998)
The new service will use technology from Excite, the local business expertise of LibertyOne and content from the J.B Fairfax media network. George Bell, CEO of Excite said the venture will give them a
strong basis from which to launch into the Asia Pacific market.
Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that it will soon launch its Hotmail service in the country.
(I-Net.com, Australia; September 8, 1998)
Singapore Government Gazette To Be Published On Web
The Singapore government gazette will soon be posted
online, according to the Ministry of Information and the Arts.
It will provide updates of government notices, tenders, changes in legislation and
appointments at 5 pm every weekday. Archived material will be available to
paid subscribers of eGazette.
(Singapore Business Times; September 8, 1998)
New Zealand Needs New Economic Strategy For the Internet Age
New Zealand needs a new economic strategy, based around using information
and the Internet to turn ideas into money, according to Howard Frederick,
chair of communications at Victoria University.
Government needs to formulate some kind of legal framework for digital signatures to get
businesses harnessing secure online transactions and deal with other
regulatory issues. However, beyond setting the rules in these areas, New
Zealanders don’t want direct government intervention, he said.
(InfoTech Weekly, New Zealand; September 7, 1998)