Indian Relations with Broadband, Cable and Wireless

This week’s reading, “Recycling Modernity: Pirate Electronic Cultures in India” by Ravi Sundaram is about India’s rise, maintenance and survival in electronic capitalism and software exportation.  Since software and programing is cheaper in the country compared to powerful technology corporations, there has been a high product and service demand that Indian companies are having difficulty keeping up.  Even more difficulty comes from establishing domestic lines of communication and modernization especially in one of the biggest Third World countries in the world.

It was a slow process, beginning with Public Call Offices (PCOs) being built in various parts of the country.  These were places where the general public could use new telephones, fax machines, photocopiers and other office services.  It is also an example of legality in Indian technoculture, meaning they are a widely accessible utility that is organized and welcomed into the Hindu way of life.  Compared to the introduction of cable television which was (and possibly still is) considered illegal, a disperse network that is difficult to reach the common Indian household.  That being said, different forms of communication and connectivity have been proven to either thrive or fail in the country.

Wireless and wider telecommunications grew with the creation of C-DOT, the Center for Developments of Telematics.  During its genesis in 1985, C-DOT manufactured telecom equipment for domestic enterprises regardless of outsourcing technology resources on occasion.  Eventually improvements in quality and quantity were being made with the domestic technology, maturing the networks and servicing more customers in India.  From 1995 and onwards to today, wireless has taken over most of the public telephone systems and telecoms are becoming increasingly privatized.  Because of this, C-DOT has lost its locality and has had a rocky transition into wireless technology.  To summarize India’s telecommunication systems and companies: “It has moved on from domestic ownership to that of foreign ownership” (Malerba 30).

If India wants to evolve into wireless production and connection, the country might have to put itself in more capable hands.  Since they recycle so much old technology, India needs to be partners with a country that is well versed with new products and software.  That is not to say they are not capable of making the switch over to 4G services, but it is likely to take some more time than others.

Works Cited:

Malerba, Franco, and Richard R. Nelson. “Explaining Divergent Stories of Catch-up in the Telecommmunication Equipment Industry in Brazil, China, India and Korea.”Economic Development as a Learning Process: Variation across Sectoral Systems. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2012. 21-30. Print.


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