Thursday, May 17, 2012

Internet on the move …

More than a decade and a half ago … let's say around 1995 … Internet was something associated with cyber cafes. Few people would access it from home. Not because you couldn't or it was expensive; simply because most did not have a computer at home. Young people would go out to the cybercafé and chat rooms were a rage then. Email forwards and chat room discussions became the staple diet for the youngsters and 'ASL' would mark the beginning of some many acquaintances rather than a hi or a hello.

By the turn of the century, the awareness about computers had increased and people began to buy home computers. Another 5 years and it became imperative that you buy a computer at home if you have kids who are about to finish schooling. Another 5 years passed and by 2010; a computer is very much a part of the house and there is probably one in every home that can afford it. it is no longer a luxury … slowly it has become a necessity.

And this rapid penetration of the computer was also because of Internet. There was a growing need to 'be online' and rather than kids spending hours and good money in cyber cafes on a daily basis; parents thought it was best to get the PC at home. This was helped by internet services getting better and having connectivity at home only increased the time spent online by youngsters.

The world of Internet exploded around that time and the avenues to spend time online increased to information websites, learning websites, extensive use of email for communication and plenty of other online applications and services.

Being online became a basic need for a significant percentage of the population who wanted to be connected to their network on a continuous basis. Or let's say 'as much as possible' since you couldn't possibly take the PC around with you.

While we witnessed the PC and Internet revolution happening all around; a similar revolution was happening in telecom. Mobile phones were introduced and as the call rates steadily dropped and mobile phones became cheaper, even the mobile penetration increased.

Youngsters would be glued to internet chat when at home and to sms chat when on the move. Technology in telecome was moving forward with leaps and bounds and soon the different modes of connectivity merged.

Now internet was not restricted to the PC or your portable laptop with a dongle … it came to the mobile. The mobile became full size touch screen smart-phones which can indeed be dubbed as hand help computers for all practical purposes. And then these smarter phones got cheap !!!

THIS has now led to 'internet on mobile' becoming a norm with every other person having it. Youngsters use it for fun while the grown-ups use it for fun and work. The explosion of smart phone apps has led to a massive increase in the usage of the PC-like abilities of the smart phone and the required internet connection.

Personally, I never liked using the tiny screen of the mobile for internet surfing / email etc but then the screen sizes increased and need for being connected on the move is increasing for me due to work related requirements. So after avoiding it for quite some time … I am now in the transition phase of being free while moving to being online while on the move. And I am looking forward to it.

A typical smart phone / android phone is no longer just a phone. It is practically an entire communication and entertainment centre with the millions of possible apps that you can load onto your phone and use the power of the internet to make life convenient and easier.

So now Gmail, FB, Twitter, Chat and networking through ChatOn or WhatsApp, internet surfing, Wikipedia, google maps, movie schedules, ticket bookings for movies, travel and other entertainment avenues, banking, information on anything and everything …. All this is literally at the touch of the fingertips …anytime and anywhere with the power of mobile internet.

I had been contemplating writing a post on these lines since some time but the push to actually do it came from the contest on held in collaboration with Vodaphone (

Looking back one also realizes the pace of change. Change is happening and it is happening now at a lightning speed. Things get obsolete so soon ... (remember Pagers & Orkut) and things get replaced by something better or by something that simply catches the fancy of the current generation. Technology fads change quicker than apparel fads :)

Yesterdays Science Fiction is becoming a Reality of Today ... Incidently this has also meant that there are no longer exciting science fiction novels coming up .. as writers find it difficult to imagine the future !!!!! And this is not good for sci-fi fans like me. But I digress from the topic here ;)

And this also reminded me of a maxim I coined ages ago (well ... about 6 years ago) ... I had blogged about it here ... Basic Necessity of Life - Bread, Butter and Broadband :)  

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