Rural Telecom growth plans remain topsy-turvy.

Rural Telecom growth plans remain topsy-turvy.

Introduction: The proof of pudding is in the eating. Rural Telecom growth plans continues to remain topsy turvy. Except that Mr. Pitroda exhorts this in his planning commission papers and talks about it in every occasion; nothing much happened for years. The problem is that most of the proposals in the plan document is too futuristic and farsighted. The only thing government did right in the growth history of Telecom is the decision to privatize the industry. Everything Govt. did later helped to  put spokes in the effort of captains of the industry to take it on to greater heights that India truly deserve and has the potential for it.  Please read my blog NTP 2012: Much a do about nothing. Will reverse PAN India service and Rural Telecom growth:

1. Can’t wait for perfect solutions: Planning can never be perfect. Planning for the future can never be perfect especially in fast changing technology arena. It is nothing but fool hardy to wait for perfect systems, products and solutions which is never going to happen.  The planners job shall be to quickly realize the needs of the day using the contemporary technology,  systems and facilities with an eye to the future.

In the communication front, the need of the day is to make available communication facility to empower the huge mass in the lower social and economic strata for realization of inclusive finance and micro finance support. There is no point talking of digital connectivity in every village by 2020 without  commensurate growth in other fields like electricity, education and growth in per capita income. Futuristic and far sighted policies are ideal but the growth curve need to a continuous slope.

Therefore,  growth in telecom shall go hand in hand with changing Eco-system, starting with the present and growing with the future. What need to be done is to quickly implement the projects in urban, semi urban and towns where the eco system readily available. In rural areas use contemporary systems such as base model Telecom exchanges, systems and networks that can work on solar based power where there is no regular electricity, wherever possible now and expand to other areas.

In isolated areas give connectivity to gateways via satellite links instead waiting for Fiber optic connectivity everywhere.

Rural connectivity with Satellites

Make Telecom Systems, network, Phones, product and services for the common man.

Cost of user devices and products and services shall be also such that these can procured and used by the common man where the bulk of the customers are.

2. Prime object shall be ‘Financial Inclusion”of people in the lower strata.

It is possible to realize Financial inclusion and Micro finance support for huge section of people in the lower economic strata both in urban and rural areas with Adhar based subscriptions for dispersal of payments related to right to work, right to food, right to education/health care/transportation, payment of various pensions and other welfare payments direct  to the beneficiaries.  Use simple IT based solutions for financial inclusion with readily available technology such as  ‘Universal Money Management by phones’ that can work with base model fixed and mobile phones, systems and network. Please see my blog

IT based services as proposed in my article mentioned above can facilitate to remove all subsidies by giving out full money payment in advance so that the beneficiaries can buy their needs at market price and avail the services in the normal channels which will enable them to gain feeling of social equality;through direct payment systems as envisaged in my proposal of  ‘Universal Money Management using phones”.

Conclusion: From PM to the the low end political masters, every one talk of Inclusive Finance and and Empowerment of poor, but nothing seem to take of. The point to ponder is what has been done for financial inclusion of poor in Urban and sub-urban areas where broad band connectivity already available. The credit for the enormous growth of Telecom in India goes to the Industrialists. However, the environment of late and flip flop policies of government are not al all helpful. For the government, policies related to service industries shall be people centric and not money centric. The first thing government need to do is to stop devising methods to treat Telecom Industry a milch  cow and act fast. The joy of pudding is also in its making, not gloating around with indecision and interference.

Please read my blog:

The never ending Telecom muddle in India.

Abraham Paul. P  Tweet @PA_Paul


About Abraham Paul

Vision & Objective: Telecom has always been the passion of my life. After 60 years of outstanding career and many personal contributions to the industry, I still have same urge, and desire to give back to the industry, the abundant experience, knowledge and potential acquired, by providing consultancy service to forward looking enterprises and entrepreneurs in Legacy and New generation Telecom & IT in the areas of Business Management, Technology, Engineering and Services. Apolitical and religiously unbiased.
This entry was posted in IT based services, Politics & Governance, Social and Community affairs, Telecom Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

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