Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Airtel Zero - India Net Neutrality Debate- My 2 Cents

 This is a reply to one of Mahesh Murthy's post on Linkedin.

OK, so for now there's facebook's alliance and the airtel zero/paid clients alliance. There is more to come. We will have the Google loon project. BSNL has plans to wifi all cities, reliance jio has similar plans as well. So essentially Airtel Zero may have a first mover advantage in all this- people who sign up on this alliance need to be careful before signing multi-year lock-in contracts. They will lose out! The world is essentially open. Until someone monopolizes air we'll hear of disruptive innovation like this. Airtel Zero is what I'd call a very poor design from a company desperate to earn as much money as possible before another disruption comes along. Mind you, it will happen very soon. That's for sure! I see Mukesh Ambani nodding. BSNL will retaliate too! As long as net neutrality is legally binding in the US, I feel there's no need for India to feel threatened. Someone will simply design an app/proxy to work around the restriction. People are smart, believe me!