Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Cell Phones pt 3

Posted by Chris on October 12, 2007

I left out a few things about the phone situation that I should have said that deal specifically with understanding life here. Every market has phone shops. And there are landlines, but like I said before, it’s pay by use. You see STD/ISD/PCO signs everywhere. STD is calling in India, ISD is international, and I don’t know PCO. Even food shops have these. You make your call and it’s hooked up with a system that prints out what you owe.

Even the smallest markets would also probably have at least one mobile shop. A larger market would have several. If you were to drive around you would see them all the time. It’s like coffee shops in the US. I was very surprised by this.

TATA is a family-owned conglomerate of businesses including steel, automobiles, and phone. It reminds me of GE when it was led by Jack Welch whose stance was that all of its individual businesses should be #1 or #2—the TATA brand is powerful in many different industries. TATA Indicom just announced that it got its one millionth subscriber in Kolkata alone. This is a city of 4.5 million with the metro area having 14.5 million. I’m assuming they are counting from the 14.5 million. Still, that number is very impressive to me. There are at least 3 other popular mobile providers. At least half the people would be kids or too poor to have a cell phone. And then not everyone remaining will choose or need to have one.

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