By Robin Jeffrey, Assa Doron

In 2001, India had four million cellular phone subscribers. Ten years later, that quantity had exploded to greater than 750 million. Over only a decade, the cellular phone used to be remodeled from a unprecedented and unwieldy software to a palm-sized, cheap staple, taken with no consideration via bad fishermen in Kerala and prosperous marketers in Mumbai alike. The nice Indian mobile Book investigates the social revolution ignited via what could be the most vital communications machine in background, one that has disrupted extra humans and relationships than the printing press, wristwatch, vehicle, or railways, although it has features of all four.

In this fast paced research, Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey discover the entire surroundings of the inexpensive cellular phone. mixing journalistic immediacy with years of field-research adventure in India, they painting the capitalists and bureaucrats who keep an eye on the mobile infrastructure and strive against over bandwidth rights, the dealers and technicians who deliver cell phones to the loads, and the customarily negative, village-bound clients who adapt those addictive and infrequently frustrating units to their day-by-day lives. analyzing the demanding situations cellphones pose to a hierarchy-bound kingdom, the authors argue that during India, the place caste and gender regulations have outlined strength for generations, the disruptive capability of cellphones is even more than elsewhere.

The nice Indian cellphone Book is a carefully researched, multidimensional story of what can ensue while a strong and available know-how is put within the palms of a big, nonetheless predominantly bad inhabitants.

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Extra resources for The Great Indian Phone Book: How the Cheap Cell Phone Changes Business, Politics, and Daily Life

Sample text

We have written this book for people like us who wonder every day at head-spinning changes in technology and practices. We puzzle at new terms and ponder how telecommunications in the VYGPV[ſTUVEGPVWT[RTQFWEGFECRKVCNKUVKORTGUCTKQUKPVJGYC[ that railways and automobiles did in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The contribution of The Great Indian Phone Book therefore is to try to paint a whole picture—imperfect and incomplete but whole—from the corporate captain in the Mumbai penthouse to the weather-beaten oarsman in a boat on the Ganga.

Xxxii 1. Union of India: States, state capitals and places mentioned in the text. 2. Telecommunications circles: A, B, C and Metro circles as declared by the Government of India. INTRODUCTION ‘SO UNCANNY AND OUT OF PLACE’ +HYGYGTGYTKVKPIVJKUDQQMCUCſNOUETKRVVJGQRGPKPIUJQV YQWNFUJQYCRCKTQHſPGUNKRRGTUN[KPIDGUKFGCPGNGICPVFQWDNG bed. Two well-pedicured male feet slip into them. A phone rings. A man’s hand picks up a fourth-generation mobile phone, on YJQUGEQNQWTUETGGPŎWPMPQYPECNNGTŏƀCUJGUCPFVJGECOGTC pulls back to reveal through a penthouse window the skyline of EGPVTCN/WODCKCPFVJG#TCDKCP5GC6JGſNOEWVUVQDCVVGTGF sandals on a pair of cracked, dusty feet, braced against the deck of what proves to be a large row-boat.

A young Brahmin on pilgrimage in central India in 1857 echoed the limitations of bare feet: ‘my feet … were oozing blood. 46JGſTUVSWCNKV[QHVJGOCNG chauvinist trinity of subjection—‘barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen’—is ‘barefoot’. 5 Like shoes, they go everywhere an individual goes. Like shoes, they show off social class and ideas about fashion. Unlike shoes, mobile phones often get taken to bed. Compare the mobile phone to other devices that human beings have adopted in the past two hundred years.

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