Unit I - Chapter 1 - The Mobile Revolution

There was a time when the world was a big place to live in. People in one part of the country could not talk to people with one part of the country. Voyages that took years were needed just to convey information from one part of the world to another. Then slowly the world began to change. The wired telephone, the telegraph and the radio came. The government and the rich in every country could now afford to communicate over the long distances. In fact the rise of the ‘Mega Corporation’ can be partly attributed to the economies of scale in communication. But the wheel of innovation did not stop there.

In the later part of the twentieth century two big revolutions started silently. Nobody knew for a long time what was coming before them. The first revolution was the information revolution whereby the computer chip was invented and that computer chip started to shrink. The computer was so expensive that an eminent person once said that the world will need just 4 computers. The world would soon know that Moore’s law will change everything. The chip as it shrunk also shed off its price. This revolution brought upon us the Mainframe, the PC and the PDA.

The other revolution which too started off quite calmly was the wireless revolution. Everything started to become wireless. The cordless phone arrived in mass numbers freeing us to roam in our house. Then the mobile phone was introduced to the masses. Socialists thought of mobile phones as the ultimate luxury tools. The call charges were exorbitant. But then the ‘economies of technology’ started working.

By the turn of the century both the revolutions had firmly taken hold of every nation, every company and near about every organization on this planet. Now both these revolutions have joined forces to further accelerate the process of shrinking the planet. Today a person in a developing country like India can get hold of a J2ME enabled mobile phone which has many features of a computer for as low as US $11 down payment. The socialist’s enemy has become his biggest friend. Developing countries like India and China may never have even 25% PC penetration but the day is not far away when nearly everybody in these countries will be able to afford a mobile phone. In fact some analysts estimate that by the end of year 2006 the global market for mobile phones sales will reach the mark of 1 billion devices. No other innovation in the history of planet reached so many people individually so fast. If a market for 100 million PCs could spawn of companies like Microsoft and Dell think of what a market of 1000 million mobile devices will fructify!

The goddess of learning and technology has enshrined upon us a unique opportunity to be a part of this super information revolution and also simultaneously get the blessings of the goddess of wealth.