Sam Pitroda Sam Pitroda, chairman of India’s National Knowledge Commission has been honored by the presitigious British weekly The Economist for pioneering India’s communications revolution.

“In 1987 Mr Pitroda was asked by Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian prime minister, to help democratise access to telecommunications. His response was to deploy instantly-recognisable yellow telephone kiosks in every town and village. In the process, he helped to release the Indian telecoms industry from state control and opened it up to dozens of private companies, paving the way for India’s telecoms boom. Through World-Tel, he now promotes similar policies in other parts of the developing world,” the magazine said.

Here’s what Dr. Pitroda said after the award:

“It is gratfying that over two decades after we began the process of telecom overhaul in India its results have become so pervasive. What I find particularly satisfying that during that phase I was able to tap into the youthful energies of India,”

Thank you Dr. Pitroda.


Latest post on Technology Walla:

So what will it take to make the Internet an integral part of the digital life of the Indian consumer? Will the PC be the primary device of access to the Internet for Indians? Going by trends, the mobile phone is emerging as a strong contender to becoming the main Internet access device in India. The number of mobile users in India has grown to more than 110 million. That is nearly six times the number of PCs in the country. And the growth rate of mobiles is far greater than that of PCs–India is the fastest-growing mobile market in the world and expected to touch 300 million users by 2010. Nearly all but the lowest segment of new-generation mobile phones are Internet-capable. Indian operators are seriously thinking of pre-enabling the Internet and introducing zero-rental GPRS by charging for data usage only.


If Sino-Indian co-operation had taken off as intended during the 1950s, we would be reaping the benefits now. Imagine the advantage indigenous telecom manufacturing and services companies could have had with a combined market size that huge.

Putting competition and comparison between these two giants aside, here is another telecom stat worth noting.

According to a recent Wireless Intelligence report, the global mobile industry has been growing at around 40m subscribers per month and 25% of that growth this year is coming from India and China.

The global mobile user base by end of 2007 is expected to touch 3 billion and 25% (700 million) of that user base will be in India and China. The neighbours are expected add around 70-80 million subscribers each by then.

India added 5.9 million new telecom subscribers in August 2006, while China added 5.19m in the same period.

For the first time ever, India has overtaken China in terms of new additions according to COAI.


I will be BlogCamping in Chennai over the weekend.

Will present on two topics:

  • 360 degree view of the Indian BlogosphereWill share some experiences and stats from BlogStreet. Also launch the new version of
  • Mobile Blogging in the Indian contextBeta launch of our mobile media sharing tool Mofotu.


ET has a candid piece on the fraudulent practises many operators use to make more money off the gullible user.

  1. Operators introduce greetings SMS into the system on days like Diwali, Friendship day etc. to induce users to forward them
  2. Ignorance of premium pricing for VAS services leads to inflated bills
  3. Within-network offers won’t neccessarily work cheaper for most users
  4. Freebies are meant to make it a habit for you
  5. Little transparency in billing systems of operators

Out of the 5 things, not one comes as new to me. Must read.


My latest post on Technology Walla.

Even if DTH only manages to reach the projected 25% penetration of cable homes in 5 years, it would have gained a major victory for the consumer. DTH gives the consumer an alternative to the cable operator, an option which he did not have before.


India is celebrating its 59th Independence Day today. Wishing all of you a great 15th August. Jai Hind!

Indian Tricolour


After content aggregators, Indian mobile payment companies are attracting VC funding.

Helion Venture Partners has announced an investment of $2.2 million in Bangalore-based mobile commerce company JiGrahak.

NGPay JiGrahak’s product NGPay is a free downloadable mobile application which enables users to book flight tickets, buy movies tickets, to buy goods and services, and make payment through mobile phones. It supports all kinds of Credit card and Visa.

Sourabh Jain, CEO, JiGrahak:

NGPay has gone live and presently it has tied up with Air Deccan and SifyMall and will tie up with Inox shortly, so the end-users can avail its services…

One can make bill payments, recharge pre paid cards, order a pizza, or buy gifts, books, through NGPay

Helion had announced its $140 million India Venture Fund a week back. It provides multistage funding from the early stages of strategy formulation till the mergers and acquisitions, which ranges from $1-2 million at early stages to $8-10 million to scale up the organization.

Ashish Gupta and Kanwaljit Singh, MD, Helion will join the board of directors at JiGrahak.

Also Read:
Sherpalo and Kleiner Perkins invest in Paymate
SifyMall to use NGPay
Air Deccan deploys NG Pay

Source: CIOL


Santa & Banta got tired of mobiles.
So they decide to use pigeons.
One day a pigeon reaches Banta without message.
Angry Banta calls Santa and asks for an explanation.

Santa says “Oye, this was a missed call yaar!”


Mobile Monday The second event of Mobile Monday Mumbai will be on the topic “Mobile User Generated Content” and will be hosted at the office of

Faisal Farooqui of, Krishna Durbha of Reliance Communications and Karan Grover of Nokia will be leading the discussions.

Check out MoMo Mumbai’s website for more details and registration info.