Sunday, January 26
Cellphones, changing the face of India
Saptarishi Sanyal,, January 26, 2003

Cellular phones started out in India as the rich man's plaything, with charges up to almost Rs 17 per minute. But six years and a series of price cuts later, they are now a force to reckon with.

Dulal owns a fish stall in a market in Delhi's predominantly Bengali neighbourhood - Chittaranjan Park. The market has no phones, so he chooses to stay in touch with a mobile. In fact, with two mobiles!

But the newest riders on the Infotech bandwagon are priests in Orissa! Do not be surprised if you spot them talking away on their mobiles in the congested roads of the temple city of Puri. For these pandas, the mobile phone has come as a boon. It may have been a status symbol for some, but for most it is a professional tool.

.... With over 2,000 other boat owners raking in over Rs 3,000 crore in foreign exchange for the country, this fishing belt in Sakthi Kulangara is probably the only place in the country where mobile signals are available close to 100 kilometres off-shore and ensure there is enough for everyone to be happy.

Charley Joseph, a trawler operator, said, "For the fishing industry, a mobile phone is a very useful equipment and it is a boon for its vast use by the fishermen. When we set out for deep sea fishing, if there is any sort of accident or a great catch in an isolated area we can quickly pass on the information." ...(more)
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