Archive for August, 2005|Monthly archive page
A couple of days earlier was the 10th anniversary of the foray of mobile communication in India which has been one bumpy and an extravagant ride. While one company converted its assets worth 25 crore to 9000 crore in the space of 10 years (Bharti Airtel), another company which was a pioneer in this field (in fact, this was the provider for the first mobile call in India between Jyoti Basu and the then Communications Minister…by the way, the company’s name is Modi Telstra) was bought by some other. From a handful of users in 1995, we have grown to a user base of over 2 million and it is expected to touch 10 million by 2010 which will make us the 4th largest user base in the world.
We have made a big leap if we consider the following statistics. A bulky mobile phone cost Rs.52000 with an incoming charge of Rs. 8 and outgoing charge of Rs. 16, while we now have some of the sleek phones for as little as Rs.3000 with no incoming charge and an outgoing charge of Re. 1…It used to take around 2 weeks to get a landline connection, if not more while it takes only around a day or so to go mobile – and that explains the explosion in the consumer base.
Apart from the basic feature of conversing, mobile phones as such have evolved into facilitating transfer of messages, images, video recording, fm radio and an mp3 player all bundled together. Not to mention the furore over the MMS exchanged between thousands of people which created a lot of controversy but died without a whimper. A completely radical use was found in criminology. Mobile phones have also helped the crime authorities to track criminals by a process of triangulation. Without going too much into detail, it is a process wherein the coordinates of a person is tracked using the signal exchange between the phone and the mobile towers near it. Viruses have taken quite some time to jump into the bandwagaon while eavesdropping of mobile phones is much more technical than the ordinary landline and hence the security is leaps and bounds over the landline.
A new technology, which is set to revolutunise the way we interact with others is emerging in this field which is called 3G (Third Generation technology). The transfer rate as of now is 6-8 kbps while in 3G it is 2 Mbps. A quantum jump which would enable people to have video conferencing just like the multinational companies do it everyday.
An interesting scenario if I may say so, when we consider that the boom in the mobile communications industry coincided with the boom in consumer spending and the IT boom. Categories across consumer durables have witnessed a tremendous growth over the past 10 years and not very surprisingly, mobile phones seem to be the priority. Mobile phones have become another extension of our own personality day in and day out. People seem to enjoy the very fact that they don’t use the same mobile phone for more that 15 days and change the ringtone every 3 days. The frightening growth in the usage of mobile communication has considerably brightened the lives of a hawker on the street to a CEO of a company. Euphoria is one small word which can be associated with the boom and I am proud to be a part of one in every way possible of the greatest revolutions of the millenium.