Shashi Tharoor—The cell phone revolution: Mobile phones have empowered India’s underclass

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the first edition of my book "The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cell Phone," I reported that, in April 2007, India set a world record by selling 7 million cell phones that month, more telephone connections than any country had ever established in one month. By the time the book was printed, bound and distributed to bookstores, that figure was already out of date. And in 2010, India sold 20 million cell phones three months in a row.

India has now overtaken the United States as the world's second-largest telephone market, with 857 million SIM cards in circulation and an estimated 600 million individual users. China has more, but India is ahead in phones per capita, is adding them faster and is projected to overtake China before the end of 2012.

What is wonderful about this capitalist "mobile miracle" is that it has accomplished something that our previous socialist policies proclaimed but did little to achieve -- it empowered the less fortunate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAsiaIndia

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