Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Open Communication

Teach a man to fish the old saying goes and he is soon faced with the travails of competition, oversupply and diminishing demand- while not a faithful rendering of the traditional tale an accurate account, at least, of the recent state of affairs for fishermen in kerala as told in an article in the Economist.

The story outlines how the ready availability and use of cell phones has opened up new pockets of demand to fishermen who otherwise were once forced to sell their hauls at devalued prices in saturated local markets.

The cell phone as a fixture in every strata of Indian society today owes a large debt to the enlightened vision of the late
Dhirubhai Ambani, former CEO and founder of Reliance Industries.

The story might well some day assume a mythic status on the retelling such was the seismic shift it caused in the country at the time.

Telephone calls across the length and breadth of India at negligible rates of pennies a call: Ambani's dream entailed laying down a massive infrastructure of fibre optic cables across land that often had largely remained free of modern innovation. Reliance possessed the enormous capital to finance the undertaking but the scale, ambition and risk undertaken in the venture was awe inspiring. It is well described here in an article in SupplyChainBrain.com.

Overnight the telecommunications industry was transformed in India. For anyone who was there at the time the results were immediately apparent. It became commonplace to see people everywhere walking around with cell phones glued to their ears where weeks before there had been few. Talk was cheap but it translated into action as well as the Kerala Fishmerman story readily attests.

Now Sun Industries is hoping to up the ante as CNET reports.

The server and software company hopes to sell a version of Java to phone companies that will bring network access to the world's computers, executives said here at the JavaOne trade show.
This appears the next phase. Sun's new gambit has given them the edge in the ongoing drive by Computer giants to tap into combining Wi-Fi networks into low priced handsets for really dirt cheap universal access to the Internet not to mention using Voip to make calls across the world at next to no expense.

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