Friday, November 5, 2010

Where no wire has gone before

Edit, 16/2/14 : Sheesh, so naive I was! There's much much more to problems-solving than 3G.

3G mobile services are poised to come in a big way into our lives. The sort of internet speeds that were previously available only with a fixed, somewhat expensive and inevitably limited infrastructure, will now be available in the places that wires would only have dreamed of venturing to.
So the questions going around everywhere : "What will 3G mean to you" and its variants. A lot of techies, geeks, bloggers, gurus, industrialists, and what not have jumped in with their answers.

But I think we've committed an error here.
We haven't asked the right people.

Flashback : Dawn of the internet
In the very early days of the internet, it wasn't available to the breadth of the world's population that enjoys it today. Only a limited section of people in developed countries who were already well-connected to modern technology, could use it. If we created a time machine and went back then and asked the question "What will the internet mean to you" to only those people who were already well connected, do you think their response would have been any reflection of what the internet has really turned out to be? Would they have predicted the amazing transformation that has happened in the last two decades due to the internet?
I doubt it. Because the internet has brought the maximum transformation to the lives of those who, till then, didn't enjoy all the benefits of being connected to the rest of the world.

Back to the present:
So back to the question : What is 3G going to mean to... whom should we be asking, to get the best answer?
The welll-connected netizen? Nope. For him/her, at least at the beginning, it will simply be a substitution or at best an upgrade.
The people whose lives are REALLY going to be transformed by 3G, are the ones whose lives haven't been transformed by the power of the internet yet.

I'm talking about the last mile, baby. The places where no wire has gone before.
That's right. The rest of humanity that we haven't been able to reach till now.
With a 3G-enabled phone, or better yet, a 3G-enabled tablet like Adam, anyone, anywhere, gets access to the rest of humanity.

Across the seas, plains, hills and valleys, into the depths of countries where you can't even find a fuel pump let alone a Starbucks, that's where 3G is going to take full-blown communication to.

Children who have never seen a textbook will suddenly be able to educate themselves from KG to Phd, accessing the contents put forth by the best educational institutions on the planet. Farmers who were limited by what they knew will now know more than any middle man or moneylender would have ever allowed them to.

Masses in economically backward sections will get full access to the detailed track records of the politicians vying for their vote banks. A world of opportunities beyond their wildest dreams will open up before them.

Who knows? A boy in a village in Africa may collaborate with a girl in the hinterlands of India and together they might set up the next Google!

Of course, it looks far-fetched. So did the internet, remember? Never underestimate the power of communication. Right now it's not cheap or convenient enough to have the effect, but 3G services are going to change the game.

This post is an entry for the 3G Life Blogger contest.


Manjunath said...

Many people i know still thinks 3G means good voice clarity. and other few people thinks 3G is something which can be used in only mobiles...

But many still don't know that it can be used from pocket-Pc, tablet computer(ipad, adam), car dashboard, to remote controlled spy plane ;) btw nice post and promoted ;)

uma.a said...

Good post...the power of communication.
Promoted ..
Technicals of a 3g Family

Stray Pet said...

Nice post.Liked the touch points :)

parwatisingari said...


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