March 15th, 2006 at 08:22am
Cell Phones. One area where India rocks. No questions.
Ok, lets see the differences :
- In US, first of all, its very difficult to get a cell phone connection!. You need to have a good “credit history” to get a cellphone. If you don’t have a credit history, you need to pay some deposits. And guess what? I was told that I need to deposit $750 to get a cell phone connection since I did not have any credit history!!! In India, almost everyone can manage to get a cell phone service. No major deposits etc!
- In US, almost all the providers ask you to sign a 1 year or 2 year contract. In India … “What contract?? Are you kidding?”
- In US, you get a mobile phone with your plan. This is good one way, but then you will have to sign a one year contract for sure (and pay some money for the handset…offcourse less than the market price – but this depends on the plan and the phone in question)!. In India, you have the freedom and flexibility to select your phone, based on your budget, from Rs 500 to 25,000! And you can change your handset anytime (except CDMA providers)
- In US, the airtime charges (or the call charges) are way too high!! There is air-time charge for incoming calls too!. In India, incoming is *free*, and the outgoing calls tooo are hell lot cheaper compared to US. Infact, I had almost forgot the term “air time charges” !
- In US, some plans charge you for receiving SMS !.. Nice way to get screwed!. In India, I don’t know of any plans where you get charged for receiving SMSes.
- In US, sending out SMS is pretty expensive (from 4 cents to 40 cents!!!). In India…….its 1/10th the price!
- In US, prepaid SIMS are contract free, but are way too expensive. i.e., the postpaid plans them self are expensive, but prepaid is more expensive. In India, the call charges on pre-paid and post-paid are almost comparable.
- One more point is, in US, with most of the plans, you get some free minutes. If you are within the limit, then you are safe. But if you exceed, then you will be charged like crazy. And the minutes are used even if you call a Toll Free number! Most plans count the minutes for incoming call too!
I also noticed that in US, Nokia handsets are not that popular. I haven’t seen many people use Nokia handsets. I found more people using Motorola handsets.
Clearly, India is far ahead! Hope to see similar progress in other areas too!