It is time to draw stumps on 2014 and enjoy the holidays. For those of us who have a fascination for cricket, like me, the break provides an opportunity to switch off from the daily grind of telecom and think about the upcoming cricket World Cup. Let’s imagine for a moment that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is suspended for a day and the job of the industry watchdog is given to the ICC panel of cricket umpires. What would be their verdict on a telecom user’s day-to-day experience?
You scampered out of the building to maintain a weak call signal, but the call dropped by the time you stepped out.
Umpire’s verdict: RUN OUT
You are in your car, driving through Mumbai, and your email freezes as your phone keeps toggling between 3G and EDGE.
Umpire’s verdict: TIMED OUT
You become so fatigued swiping the screen of your smartphone for weeks that you permanently injure your left forefinger. You have to go to a physio and downgrade to a basic text/voice phone before making any more calls.
Umpire’s verdict: Out, RETIRED HURT
During a kite-flying competition, an enthusiastic participant wraps his strings around a telecom tower and pulls all the equipment down.
Umpire’s verdict: Out, HIT WICKET
The four bars of signal on your phone rapidly slip to none as a truck carrying lead pipes stops in front of you at the traffic lights, blocking the line of sight to the nearest radio base station.
Umpire’s verdict: Out, OBSTRUCTING THE FIELD
You craftily try to use your wife’s phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot as your own data bill is too high, and both phones crash at once.
Umpire’s verdict: Out, HANDLED THE BALL, subject to a “hotspot” review
You again craftily use your wife’s phone as a hotspot, but she catches you in the act and swiftly dismisses you to go use your own balance.
Umpire’s verdict: Out, LBW. Umpire warns that you have reached the limit of two spouse handset transgressions for the week
The network signal is so fast that you don’t actually see the page load up when you click… err, yes, wishful thinking on this one!
Umpire’s verdict: Out BOWLED and OVER
You are so engrossed in the discussion as you pace about during a conference call that you unwittingly wander out of office, down the stairs, into the underground car park, out of network range, and get disconnected.
Umpire’s verdict: Out, STUMPED
There is a special ultra high speed 5G network trial going on at Delhi airport, but you fall asleep and completely miss out.
Umpire’s verdict: CAUGHT (napping)
You decide to have a New Year’s Day conference call with your team, but the call drops when the 11th person joins due to lack of system capacity.
Umpire’s verdict: INNINGS FORFEITED
You thought you’d topped up enough balance to last the day, but by afternoon, your phone isn’t connecting and you miss a number of important calls.
Umpire’s verdict: Lose the game due to a DUCKWORTH-LEWIS MISCALCULATION
Since you are the boss and nobody says anything to you, you start wearing a helmet during long phone calls.
Umpire’s verdict: You are worried about EMF RADIATION exposure
In this convergent world, we are getting up to telephonic activities that go well beyond the traditional scope of basic communication. If he observes us for a day, how would Sanjay Manjrekar and his crew at Star Sports commentate on what we do?
You jump into the car and drive to the DLF Cyber City mall to buy the latest Burberry iPhone cover, just before the store runs out of stock.
Commentary: Oh that was a superb COVER DRIVE, and well timed too
Wife and husband have a tussle over who will use the iPad during a fog-delayed journey to Delhi.
Commentary: What an amazing display of SHORT-ARMED JABS and PULLS as we cruise over the Himalayas
You use your phablet to adeptly bat away a mosquito that’s been buzzing around your ears while you try to have an afternoon snooze.
Commentary: A blistering SQUARE CUT
You use your phablet to bat away a mosquito that’s bothering you, but it’s too late as you’ve been bitten thrice already.
Commentary: An attempted LATE CUT, trifle too late unfortunately
You are driving across town in your car to visit your girlfriend and talk to her on the way without using a hands-free kit.
Shot: He tries the ON DRIVE with a dash of risk without the hands-free, but sublimely wristy gear change
You use your handset to brush biscuit crumbs off your lap following afternoon tea.
Commentary: LEG GLANCE for a single
You call your wife at 3 pm to let her know that you’ll be late for evening drinks.
Commentary: FORWARD DEFENSIVE
You forget to call your wife to let her know that you’ll miss drinks altogether, and text her at 10 pm to offer an unconditional apology.
Commentary: BACKWARD DEFENSIVE
After almost four years, I am calling time on India and moving out of Mumbai this year end. Thank you for reading my posts over the past few years–I am happy to say normal telecom services will continue in 2015, but expect a more international twist with delivery from offshore locations!
Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2015!
(Tweet me @mtchowdhury)