The visionary turned arm-twister – Airtel.

Arguably, airtel provides one of the best cellular networks in India. In fact I have stuck on to airtel across the states, and the theory has been ascertained every single time, and generally speaking, I’ve not had much to complain about.

Now, I am contemplating switching to other providers, even though I can see that some of them offer services and interfaces which pale in comparison to Airtel.

With the emergence of all the Internet based communication offerings, the temperature in voice calls space has heated up somewhat, but airtel seems to have gotten it’s dance steps wrong and looks like a it’s reacting more than anything.

First they come up with the concept of differential pricing for types of data, which lead to all the debate on net neutrality.

Now again, they’re back. After having introduced the 4G network in various cities across the country, they are in a way “trying” to influence people into upgrading to that.

Earlier, it was about some lures like : Upgrade to 4G for the price of 3G, and stuff, but now I feel, the 3G network that I currently use, seems to be more flaky than before.

Also, complain to them about any of the broadband (fixed line) problems, and their sales team gets to you with a pitch about 4G hotspot.

The other “nail in the coffin” as far as I am concerned turned out to be when I traveled to a few places in Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. I’m not so sure to absolutely conclude it yet, but I have a hunch that the airtel network in south is not as big a deal. At least in 3 points I have experienced other phones (than airtel) to be working whereas airtel connection had stutters and drops.

Also the fact that airtel is the arm twister is not that big a secret. Following observation should suffice to say that.

The broadband plans they offered when I was in Delhi looked like over priced, and their services were nothing much to rave about either. So when I compared their offerings in NCR with that in Bangalore, I was in for a surprise. Simply being cut to size.

For putting it in numbers, compare the following:

  • Gurgaon plan : Rs. 1200 for 15GB @ 2Mbps.
  • Bangalore plan : Rs. 1100 for 60GB @ 8Mbps.

Looks like because of a monopoly in NCR they’re extorting what they can. I wonder how will I manage if I need to shift to NCR. 🙂

As for Airtel the saying holds : Make hay while the sun shines.

My thought process through the Google I/O.

Watching today’s Google I/O keynote evoked a rather familiar sequence of emotional impulses. A trained mind (sensitized from previous Apple WWDC and such) events reminds the enthralled heart to cool it off a little. A level headed wife helps the situation also.

I usually beef up my mental rejection shield before starting to watch such moving presentations. Like when iphone 5s and 5c were being unraveled, at once I thought that this would be a bad idea. I mean same screen size as previous one ? What was apple shooting at ?

The way they talk about the seemingly technological advancements, with the 64 bit processor and all, slow motion camera, finger print sensor and the song Applause  kind of  takes your logical reasoning away for that brief moment.

I mean if they somehow open the sales counter/website at the same time they present the features, I’m convinced the’ll witness a major spike in their sales.

Of course, cooling down a little (and sleeping over it) through the next day does lead me to other conclusions. Except the finger print sensor, the majority of that feature list was a load of crap. I mean, just seeing what the android devices were up to those days. Iphone, for the first time ever seemed to have looked the inferior product.  Fan boys excuse.

Cut to today.

They were using the stuff in such an elegant manner that it seems to look magic, however orchestrated it might be. It was sheer ecstasy watching those devices interplay. The  watch, with notifications. The car with phone, the TV which would whip up so much information as one searches through content.

Apart from the wear stuff, most of us already have much of the interactions happening at home already, right ? I mean a phone controlling your TV, Phone showing directions/entertainment content. My XBMC  rig suddenly seemed like a dated product. Believe me, it’s a setup many folks would term as “advanced”.

I excitedly asked my wife to get one item of each kind as soon as they are available (are they ever?) in India. She seemed to broom the idea under a rug which is where it is right now. Maybe, if I sleep over this , I’d realize this is not as exciting as I currently think it to be.

Maybe, maybe not. What do you think of the Google I/O? I feel android is looking like a very solid platform right now. But then again, I felt the same about iphone immediately after seeing the presentation.