Mobile Revolution

Financial Times writes:

Tools such as e-mail and instant messaging may have been around since the dawn of the internet era, but it has taken a wireless communications revolution to turn them into a constant and inescapable fact of life for a growing part of the population. WiFi networks – a low-cost technology that can beam large chunks of data over short distances using part of the radio spectrum that was previously the preserve of gadgets such as garage door openers and baby monitors – assure the digitally addicted of a permanent and ubiquitous connection to the wider world. At the same time, more versatile mobile phones have turned text messages into the communications tool of choice for teenagers in Asia and Europe, if not yet the US, while also bringing e-mail to many handsets. For those in the grip of these new networks, life has changed. Theres no such thing as solitude any more, no fragment of time that cannot be filled with digital chatter.

It is hard to deny the extent to which mobile phone communications have already crept into many, if not most, corners of our lives: children texting from the bus stop; suburban streets clogged with housewives on the phone while at the wheel (at least in countries where it is still legal); executives bowed, fetishistically, over their BlackBerries. In equal parts liberating and intrusive, the mobile phone has changed the way many people relate to their work, or to their friends and loved ones. It seems a fair bet that its next incarnation will have a much deeper and wider impact.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.