Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Forward ya Backward?

Remember the 1990s in India's telecom sector? If I were to describe it in two sentences, they will be the salient features of the landline phones and cell phone in that period.
  1. People used to wait for the night (9:30 pm) before placing long-distance calls (STD).
  2. People had to pay Rs. 16 a minute for incoming calls when the cell phones were just introduced.
It is all part of history now, thanks to the telecom revolution. But this revolution seems to have missed one important country, the USA. If someone would have told this to me a couple of months back, I wouldn't have believed him. But now I have a first-hand experience.

When I wanted to break the good news to my friend Anurag a few days back, I found myself waiting for the clock to tick past 9 pm.

Why? Because I had exhausted my cell phone call minutes for the month.

Why? Because I didn't realize that they would be charging minutes even for incoming calls (@ Rs. 4/minute approx.) until it was too late to avoid the inevitable.

Guess what? India is two steps ahead of USA in this regard. Not only were all incoming calls made free years ago, we now have operators who pay you to receive incoming calls. I haven't opted for SMS services in my plan, but my friends tell me that they have to pay to receive SMSes. Isn't that ingenious?

I never thought I would be using Skype for making domestic calls, but that's what I eventually did. It is much cheaper than my cell phone plan.

Ambuj Gets A New Car

The protagonist of this blog has got himself a new car...the 2008 Mazda3 4-door sedan (pictured below).

A first car is always a memorable experience, and I am loving it.