January 23, 2006

NEW! Prepaid mobile numbers guaranteed for life in India

Filed under: Wireless — Administrator @ 10:20 am

Shailendra Bhatnagar, a writer for Reuters, reports that Indian mobile phone companies are taking cheap handsets and life-time prepaid services to India’s hundreds of millions of low-income earners ; the new service guarantees a number for life for just over $20. In the past, a prepaid number would cease to exist if it was not topped up after a certain period of time.

Less than 40 percent of India’s total area is covered by mobile networks, and fewer than 8 in every 100 Indians use mobiles — compare this with China where 30 in every Chinese use a mobile — sort of amazing how far China has come in such a short period of time…

What is also amazing is how fast technology becomes a commodity — even in a country like India with a lower mobile penetration than China (i.e. so much growth potential), carriers are forced to slash prices and design creative marketing campaigns — makes you rethink some of those business plans touting “breakthrough proprietary technology” as the core barrier to entry?!

So really, at the end of the day, I guess it does all come down “stuff” like controlling a proprietary network/database, branding, team and yes, execution. Funny ol’ world, ain’t it?

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