Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cellphonology in India

I decided not to roam. Ed General had roaming but he made the mistake of loading only 103 pesos in his Globe. He was able to receive and send text in the first night and his load has not decreased. On the second day, his load suddenly decreased to P40 and despite about P250 loaded in his phone in Manila, his calls were blocked until he reached NAIA. Now Indians rarely text but they call a lot because calls are only 1 rupee per minute and about 30 centavos per texting. Hyderabad is touted as the IT capital of India in five years time. We stayed in a hotel one month old so no one outside the organizers of the conference knew the place. It was a very good hotel with flat TVs and free fruits everyday and many other extra amenities and I think it is projected to be the hotel for visiting Microsoft executives. Microsoft just opened a huge complex nearby. One telcom ad here fave me a good idea for an essay and the telcom is called !dea. It said "Na Hindu. Na Muslim. Na Innai." or "No Indian. No Hindu. No Innai." and it shows an artista looking at the apartment directory with only the cellphone numbers listed. How true. In parts of the world where identity matters and can be dangerous gound for discrimination, having only your cellphone number as your identity is a good idea. Forget what the Revelations said about us being reduced to numbers. Maybe that's really where we are going. But then the undercurrent there is that there is no "Na Dalit" or "No Untouchables" meaning those in the lower caste who can't afford a cellphone (they are much expensive in India). Until that digital divide is crossed, we still have miscommunication problems. Also on police boxes here, you see this warning: "Don't Use Mobile Phones When Mobile. Fine: Rs500" Nice.

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