Saturday, February 05, 2005

Internet or Cellphone

A recent list put the internet as the most important invention of the last decade or thereabouts. I was at a railway station today and subsequently in a bus and at a construction site. Has the internet touched these persons lives? Perhaps not.
But there has been something, often talked about, that has made a difference. The mobile phone and the telephony revolution in India. (Strictly not invented in the last decade, but it got moving only now) From the days of waiting for years to get a telephone connection, booking a trunk(inter state or a different country) call, waiting outside STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialling, which means inter state) booths (kiosks) to get a line through to whipping a phone from ones pocket and getting in touch.
The (relatively) deserted STD booths outside the stations told their own story. Cellphones have overtaken them. If you have to receive someone at the station, take the phone out.
On the way back in the bus and later on at a constructio site, there were people who use cellphones to make their day to day tasks a lot easier.
Communities who need realtime information or whose superiority depended on information ( like brokers/agents) have found their lives transformed.

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