Monday, 29 March 2010

We got the Cars…But whither the Roads? The Sad State of India’s Mobile Infrastructure

To clarify, this entry is linked to my previous entry about Mobile Technology.

Yes, I know, I know, the actual roads in my country are more potholes than tarmac, but I’m not going to rant about that, as there are enough activists, bloggers, public interest groups, etc breathing down NHAI’s neck and begging for PPP. PPP is Public Private Partnership – the closest concept to privatisation of transport infrastructure that India can achieve today.

Mobile Infrastructure in India takes two steps forward and one step back, thanks to our Government’s constant vacillation and inter-departmental fights, namely the Telecom Ministry, Defence Ministry & DRDO, and the latest Bug-Bears the Municipal and Metropolitan City Administrations.

I sympathize with The Defence Ministry, who, according to my opinion, is right in refusing to dispense with 3G radio spectrum that is currently being used by The Indian Armed forces.

Jawans battling and dying for our continued freedom at places like Siachen and Kargil are using outdated and bulky radio equipment that has been in service for over 30 years with 2G radio relay hubs, which translate to 50 Kg Backpacks.

The pressure from the telecom lobby on the Telecom Ministry, has given the Defence Ministry, a weak but effective leverage to push The DRDO to provide infantry platoons and the Jawans with integrated GPS-based navigation systems, secure lightweight walkie-talkie radio sets and better protective gear with a helmet that incorporates a built-in head-up display.

How effective this ploy is in getting DRDO approvals, is debatably dubious. As the 1972 model refurbished Arjun Tanks’ upgrade requests to DRDO are still “considered” as unessential.

The Telecom Ministry, has played favourites and released 3G spectrum to its own mobile service providers – MTNL & BSNL over a year ago, and has just recently announced the auction for the spectrum to the much bigger private corporate mobile phone. When the auction is concluded, and all disagreements sorted out…. The private players who will be licensed the 3G spectrum will begin upgrading their existing 2G infrastructure… How long this will take, is anyone’s guess… Safe to be thankful, atleast the process has been started!  

Coming to the latest Bug-Bears -  the Municipal and Metropolitan City Administrations- they have all of a sudden woken up and announced that the Cellular Tower Infrastructure, already in place, is of dubious safety standards, and many hundreds have been ceased and sealed, making them inoperative, causing immense trauma to the public.

Cell tower infrastructure providers need to furnish about 10 different NOCs/ clearances & certificates for each tower to be reactivated - Two steps forward and one step back…

So for all those Cadillacs (iPhones), BMWs (Android phones) and Mercedes (Nokias) out there… you still have to ride on the rocky cobblestones of India’s mobile infrastructure…. God save our suspensions!


External Links in this article –


End quote – “What if this weren’t a hypothetical question?”

Monday, 22 March 2010

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? Noooo! It’s a CELLPHONE!

Well, I admit the headline is a bit over-exaggerated, but I couldn’t resist using this famous line from the Superman Comic,

This post has a slight link with my earlier one, as I originally thought of using what Apple’s CEO had said here –

“Steve Jobs’ Post his Liver Transplant”

There is so much Buzz in the Mobile Technology space, by the time I write about it, most of it would have changed radically, so please forgive lapses in my reading of the pulse.

What is evident is that the “handheld” is what the world is converging too, and empirically that has turned out to be the ubiquitous cell-phone.

Cell Phones are so common that some people are even more nervous of using a public payphone STD/ISD/PCO phone than before, as they feel that they are used by the dirtiest people, dregs of society, who do not have a cell phone – incidentally my local vegetable cart seller has two of them.

To paraphrase my good friend @arorasaurabh – “Cutting edge Computer Programmers are now mobile phone programmers”.

Cell-phone buyers are now not just concerned with the hardware, look and feel, but the OS (Operating System) and other software loading capabilities, as well…. The form is now secondary to the content.

I once again thank the donor who gave Steve his liver, as it all started with the iPhone and the OS wars started –

> First there was Symbian (s50, s60, ver 3, UIQ, etc.)
> Mac OSx - Then came Steve with his new liver
> Google’s Android
> Windows 7 mobile
> Samsung’s Bada
> Nokia’s Meego (earlier Maemo and Intel’s Moblin)
> Palm OS
> Blackberry OS
> etc etc

Admitted Blackberry was in existence much before Apple launched the iPhone, the average cell-phone user started thinking of the cell-phone, as an information and communication device, rather than just a telephone, after the iPhone.

Moreover, it was the iPhone that shook up the market place; prior to it, LG Prada was the only touch-screen only phone…. And now, every manufacturer has atleast 2 touch-screen only models.

Personally, though I do not like to play favourites, and have been a staunch believer of open software (GIMP over Photoshop), OSes (Linux over Windows) and Hardware (Assembled over Branded, or DELL over Mac) and have been, till recently, a staunch anti-apple activist…

I have been defeated by one man’s vision of what a cell-phone should be, rather than the collective democratic vision of others – iPhone 3GS and the iTunes App Services, like it or not- RULE THIS SPACE … and all other mobile phone manufacturers are falling over each other to catch up.

While Steve Jobs and Apple have moved onto the iPad…

God Bless the Donor who gave him a Liver.


End Note: Paraphrased From another good friend @nagadeepan
Old concept       “Do or Die”

New concept      “Do before you Die”

Latest concept    “Don’t Die before you Do”

Our concept       “What to Do NOW ?!?!?” 

Monday, 15 March 2010

Respect Recycle & Reuse - a Clarion Call to Organ Donors

In Tribute to Corporal Ben Kopp

 Corporal Benjamin Kopp
(born: 20 Jan 1988 - immortalised: 18 July 2009)

Corporal Benjamin S. Kopp was a rifleman assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, in the US Military, who died in Afghanistan, saving 6 soldiers in a firefight and then saved the life of 75 others by donating his organs…Now, his heart beats in 57-year-old Judy Meikle of Chicago.

I do not understand the stigma associated with Organ Donation -  Everybody is thankful to be a recipient but wary and scared of being a donor.

The Golden Rule, articulated in the Bible by Jesus is enshrined in most faiths is ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you!’

All the major religions believe, that the human soul resides in the body and The Body Is The Temple of The Soul.

If the body is a Temple for the Soul, why not let others use its bricks to continue living in their temples?

When the soul has departed, shed its mortal coil and all that is left is the shell …. Why can’t the shell be used by other souls ???

Can you imagine what the world would be like without the iPod revolutionizing the Music Industry, the iPhone revolutionizing Mobile Technology and now the iPad all set to do the same for Computers? These leaps and paradigm changes in consumer technology have happened all thanks to the Anonymous Organ Donor who gave Steve Jobs a new Liver.

To all those who oppose organ donation for the supposed desecration of the body, I adjudge that Ben and all organ donors, I am sure have been forgiven for (supposedly) “desecrating” their bodies, as The Golden Rule could also be worded as do for other as you would want them to do for you.

God Bless & Long Live Ben!

To Read more about Ben’s Immortality –

To Learn how to can become a Donor in India visit –



Ansari Nagar, New Delhi- 1100 29


Date                                                                                        Regd. No.

I, ……………………………………son / daughter / wife  of

…………………………………… the hope that I may

help   other  hereby   make   this  anatomical  gift,  if  medically  acceptable,  to   take

effect upon my brain death.  I hereby with to donate the following organs.

Hearts, Lungs, Kidneys, Liver, Corneas & ……………………………

My blood group is …………………………………

Special wishes - ……………………………….…………

Signed by the donor in the presence of two witnesses:

          Signature of donor with date                                Date of birth of donor

Address of the donor ……………………………………………………………

Telephone No.………………………..

    Witness    (1)                                                                    Witness (2)

Monday, 8 March 2010

Can Refusing a Customer Create Goodwill? Yes, it did for me.

With the worldwide recall of cars by most major auto companies... i thought of this personal anecdote, which has far-reaching repercussions for the business in question, apart from the Management Principles it illustrates.

I was at the outlet of a well-known fast-food business, and when I reached the counter, I ordered a specific burger “X” from the brand representative.

The brand representative, looked at his inventory monitor, and said, “I have one burger X …but would you please wait a second?” – he asked sincerely, as if I had a choice.

So I waited…

He went to the back of the store and came back in about 15 seconds, and said, “I am extremely sorry sir, but I will not be able to serve you a burger X, please choose some other item…”

“But why?” I interjected vehemently, “You just told me you HAD one!” I exclaimed loudly.

“Sir, you are right, I have one burger X,” replied the brand rep, “But I’m very sorry, I will not serve it, as it has been over 30 minutes, since it was cooked, please choose some other item…”

I was amazed!

Since then, I have been an ardent fan, follower and propagator of this fast-food establishment. Their (1) customer courtesy & (2) speed of response, (3) the business’ QC and (4) frontline employee empowerment, have created Brand Loyalty by Refusing a Customer.

(5) Admitting an error or mistake, and taking extraordinary remedial measures, can actually improve customer loyalty.

What other Management Principles do you find?


End Note: Obesity is the curse of the Middle Class… who work their ass off, but don’t have the time to work their abs off.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Terrorism & the Success of Stupidity

The Hon’ble Home Minister of India Shri Palaniappan Chidambaram has clearly stated that the recent Pune Blast at the German Bakery was not “Intelligence Failure”.

I agree, it was the Success of Stupidity, ignorance and cowardice; it was the hole-hearted, brain-dead act of imbeciles & anarchists, who have lost faith in themselves and their own belief systems.

Here are quotes from the four major religions of the world, that abominate violence –
1)     ChristianityThe Bible Says: Seek peace, and pursue it. (Proverbs 34:14) Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9) Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.(Hebrews 12:14)

2)     IslamThe Quran Says: Making peace between people, is a virtue (2:224,). Making peace with an unbeliever is a mark of a true believer (25:63). Allah is the bringer of peace (59:23). Even the word “Islam” is related to (derived from, some say) the Arabic word for “peace” - “salaam”.

3)     HinduismThe Rig Veda Says: Let your aims be common, and your hearts of one accord, and all of you be of one mind, so you may live well together. The truth is One; the wise call it by many names. Kindled in various forms, the perennial flame is one; sprinkling the world with golden beams at dawn; painting the evening clouds with changing colors, the sun is one. One should perform karma with nonchalance without expecting the benefits because eventually one shall definitely get the fruits. He who gives liberally goes straight to the gods; on the high ridge of heaven, he stands exalted. (10.191)

4)     BuddhismThe Vinaya Pitaka Says: In due season will I speak, not out of season. In truth will I speak, not in falsehood. Gently will I speak, not harshly. To his profit will I speak, not to his loss. With kindly intent will I speak, not in anger.

Then, what incites these cowards to perform such horrifying acts is a lack of a belief in themselves and being Uneducated Illiterates of their Faith.

The only solution to these issues is educated literacy.

Providing people with an education is more than just teaching them to read and write, it is creating an individual who has independence of thought, a thirst for knowledge and the courage to question.

The Quest for Truth is the ultimate goal of education and ALL faiths – including Communism.

 I would like to end this post with a Prayer –

“God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

Amen/ Ameen/ Aum


End Quote – “The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.” - Justice Robert H. Jackson