Daily Archives: May 17, 2013

*** The Great Indian Phone Book

The Great Indian Phone Book: how the cheap cell phone changes business, politics, and daily life is a non-fiction book (but would be a great title for a novel, right?) that soberly explores the transformations brought about by massive access to telecommunications, in a country where getting a landline used to require years of waiting. The strength of the book is its measured approach. The authors never claim that cheap cell phones changed society, but they show how they allow boatmen to build a clientele, bring picture evidence to a reluctant police force, and are even changing the way wives, traditionally oppressed, can communicate with others, starting with their families of origin. I also found the description of the business model for cell phones in a poor country very interesting, from the rule of the prepaid card to the small entrepreneurs who service the phones outside the official repair centers. Well worth reading!

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