The Indian Net-Neutrality Debate

In the last few weeks, on Social Media circles where I am present, there have been shrill cries on alleged “Net-Neutrality” compromises in India based on an opposition to Airtel Zero plan and Internet.Org setup by Reliance.

I have been pointing out the flaws in the arguments and have received a lot of flak. An analysis of arguments from the other camp led me to conclude that there is a lack of understanding on what is “Net-Neutrality”, that there is a “transference of anger” from another problem and triggered some thoughts on future needs.

Here I would like to share some of those thoughts…

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Blackberry acquires Movirtu to boost BYOD

Read: Light Reading India News Analysis

An interesting start to BYOD by Blackberry, no doubt. However, the availability of this capability does not take away from the fact that the device must have features to be useful in both personal and official contexts.

Having been a Blackberry user in the past, I am able to conceive that a device can be designed by Blackberry to be useful in the context of official requirements. When it comes to  personal requirements – I am not sure.

I am not familiar with the latest situation vis-à-vis Blackberry’s ecosystem for Apps. The device I carry helps me track my exercises, dietary intake, my budget during travel and a host of infotainment requirements through native Apps!

Should Vendors Run Your Network?

I recently came across news about an old friend with who I had worked with, in my previous job, looking at statistics on network usage, billing etc., correlating the data and coming up with useful predictions about business & the network. It brought back memories of an incident involving our Equipment Supplier.

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Engineering The Economics Of Communication Services

Communication Services are an important part of the economic well-being of communities. It has been established over a century, for example, that the Gross Product of communities has a high correlation with teledensity in the community. It is no surprise that progressive societies have tried to ensure equitable access to communication infrasructure for all sections of society.

Universal availability of services is a concern that has been addressed for more than eight decades in the USA, with the last three seeing some significant interventions. I was catching up on FCC’s “Connect America Fund” related news.

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Competing In Low ARPU Markets

I was recently involved in some discussions where we were talking about the challenges faced by operators in an emerging market. The market was characterised by very low ARPU levels making it difficult to put in place even a minimum level of IT infrastructure in a cost effective manner. To top it there were a number of challenges in operating the IT infrastructure.

With multiple trans-national operators in the market – lured by historic ties from the colonial era or by a genuine belief that the market challenges provide an opportunity – the demand for world-class IT solutions existed but was not feasible.

How could this operator meet these challenges? Although there is no silver-bullet for this problem, here are a few thoughts…

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The Launch Of A Digitised Ecosystem

The Indian Government has proposed a scheme by which the subsidies for the poor will be disbursed as cash / credit electronically to a smart card issued as part of the program for Unique Identity called Aadhaar. Having seen how the Electronic Voting Machine has been deployed successfully, I feel that there is a possibility for this idea to be successful too – provided a suitable digitised ecosystem is created around this.

In fact, this model of issuing a smart card throws up some interesting opportunities for digitisation. Here is some crystal ball gazing…

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Reinvesting The Digital Dividend

Television broadcasting through terrestrial transmission has been ongoing since the 1920s. Typically these transmissions use the UHF and VHF part of the electromagnetic spectrum (RF), where multiple channels are arranged next to each other, separated by a guard band – called the white-space.

After nearly 80 odd years, this method of transmission – which has, over the years continued as the cheapest way of delivering programs, and has been favoured by Governments in some parts because of this – is being sunset.

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