Monday, January 23, 2012

India's telecom revolution -- a missed opportunity

A lot is said about India's telecom revolution and it is a positive story but now making this claim almost sounds like repeating yourself again and again. I have not heard of a positive outcome of this revolution in last 4 years. Why is it so? I believe if we look at this closely, we will realise that it is a story of lost opportunities.
Anybody with even a little knowledge of telecom would appreciate that telecom is nothing but a communication medium. It was revolutionary initially because it provided a voice communication medium to masses that government run operator coud not provide in 50 years but once we reached a significant population with this medium, nothing was done to leverage it further.
None of the e-governance initiatives exist on mobile phones as applications or mobile web. Even the applications for which data readily exists in digital form have not been translated to run n mobile phones. Look at, it has mandi rates from most of the mandis from all over India on a daily basis. If a farmer can look at the rates in mandis around his place, he can make decisions on when and where he wants to sell his produce. Similarly weather information can be made available in more granular and location targeted fashion to farmer. For urban poor, making whole e-governance infrastructure in a mobile friendly fashion would result in real revolution.

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