India’s Mobile Future : Part 1

(via emergic) a brilliant summary of why mobilie phones have become ubiquitous and what lies in store for the future. Marko talks about the issues and future of the mobile business and bringing into its fold the next 2 billion customers. Some real good points from the article ….. The mobile industry grew on the fundamentals of social interaction, person to person voice communication and ability to text or sms. The other was device acquisition which had implied financing, most new subscribers paid monthly payments to the carriers with 2 year contracts. The last being personal identity, before mobiles arrived, landline phones had a family or home identity. In India many families got one after a wait of 4-5 years. It was common that a complete neighbourhood shared a phone. Mobile phones in India actually entered through the private and deregulated route. Also many functionalities like clock, calculator and camera have been integrated.

What are the challenges moving forward ? Extending reach via lower device cost, lower service cost, applications that improve lifestyles. Note we are talking about extending reach to the next 2 billion. In India how do we move from 50 million to 250 million phones.

The other issues include making the device seem off in a always on world. Personalization via providing building blocks that will let consumers chose and complete the phone offering. How do we enable more social functions that will enable better social interaction ( my favourite topic). How can instant communities be enabled on and off. In India many will have their first computing experience on the mobile phone, my daughter 5 years old sent me an sms the other day vs mine sent from a VAX mini computer worth millions of dollars when I was 22. For content producers it will require governments to implement regulation to ensure open access to the world wide web which will ultimately see the disintegration of walled gardens that telephone operators now control. Making the phones more easy to use will be key to expanding reach, so simplicity in the device will be key. In the words of bassist Charles Mingus: “Making the simple complicated is common place, making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” Simpler and cheaper interface will be key for easy to use and compelling price point devices.

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