Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Airtel - BlackBerry - GPRS

Today while reading the economic times i noticed this article about the announcement by AIRTEL, one of the leading Cellar Service Providers in India, that it was launching the blackberry service, well like all gadget freaks i wanted one immdly.

So i called the Care Touch center of Airtel, I am a previliged customer so i dont need to listen to the machine first before i talk to the person, i get the person straight, i appreciate this service a lot. And like the part where the send me an sms after the call and check if i enjoyed the experience, they close the feedback loop also immdly, which is pretty impressive.

Sorry for digressing, back to the black berry, i asked the operator about the Blackberry Service they are offering and was expecting an answer that they didnt know and would check and get back to me but to my surprise they had the information ready....surprise!!!!...oops back the berry - I would love to buy the black berry, but the problem is the "cost" both onetime and ongoing.

In the case of the berry the costs are HIGH! not only do i have to shell out some 35000rs for thier top end device, i also need to pay them a minimum/without voice call costs included monthly charge of almost 2000rs, Yes there will be a lot of people with that sort of disposable income who will pick it up , but i am thinking what if they reduced the charges and made it more avialable for the masses and then they would have a lot more users, they can atleast reduce the ongoing charges.

This problem is common to their GPRS service as well, it costs a good 600rs per month flat retal fee, it is not based on usage. This is expensive, now! get the charges down and imagine the number of people that will start using the service, imagine the number of applications that would become available,i am sure there will be a lot of teenagers willing to play online games on thier mobile phone if only it was affordable. I have a nokia ngage, it was touted as the mobile gameboy...there is now the ngage QD which has comeout , and there are a lot of people with GPRS enabled phones. So i think its time the CSP (AIrtel) in this case got its act together and started seeing value in the bottom of the pyramid(Prahalad CK)

Bottom of Pyramid:
Quick Overview: I had once had the pleasure of visiting a presentaion at the CLRI center in chennai, this is where he spoke about he pyramid principle, Where he was asking organisations to look at the masses, where there is less disposable income but more numbers rather than focusing on the top of the pyramid which had more money but were fewer in number.

There is a book on this concept read about it at

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid
by C.K. Prahalad
Wharton School Publishing, Pearson Publications, 2004
Is your company missing a market of four billion people?


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