Lessons from Angola: Rings in 4G Services


At a time when some of the prominent telecom players have decided to write off their investments and are willing to quit India due to some crooks in the system and a total collapse of policy, I stumbled upon a small news on BBC titled: Angola Businesses Beats Most of Europe to 4G Mobile Services

Once pierced by a (seemingly) never ending civil war that continued for nearly 27 years and killed approximately 500,000 people (one million internally displaced) this small country is ready to roll out 4G services soon. It puts me (as an Indian) to a perpetual SHAME. The country that was directionless 10 years ago has not only made extraordinary strides in rebuilding its economy but also is expected to grow at a dazing rate of 8 percent this year. 

It seems India's telecom story goes to gallows and such examples are enough to baffle me how inept we are to tackle the growing influence of bureaucratic and political misnomer. 

The BBC report further suggests that Angola is on its way for a big upgrade in its mobile phone network. "They're in the process of getting high-speed 4G services - ahead of most of Europe and many parts of the US - thanks to a $100m project underway there. The phone operator Movicel is upbeat and is ready to tackle the challenges that come in its way to success."

Imagine the operator is taking a risk of running a sophisticated and upgraded 4G to serve a country where 70 percent population lives below poverty line - below $2 a day (as compared to India's 42 percent) but it feels the scenario is worth risk taking and there is a great amount of cooperation and willingness from the government to make it happen. 

On one hand where the sustainability of our growth story is under pressure and the whole world is questioning our political credibility, this small news gives me one message loud and clear - Leadership is all about direction, sensibility and progressive outlook. I feel India currently lacks in all three areas badly. 

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This post has received 3 Comments

Indeed thought provoking that such a small and backward nation seems to have a remarkable progressive business sense.

While uncertainty prevails in India, as of now; I am sure there are sensible people in the system who will work in the interest of nation rather than scuttle India’s growth story, where Telecom has been a flag-bearer of economic liberalization and exponential growth.

It’s truly a situation which evokes the historical sentiments of ‘tryst with destiny’; a true trial for Indian democracy whether this phase of history will be recorded as ‘progressive’ or ‘regressive’ — we all wait with baited breath, while doing our bit to be ‘progressive’ !!

That is a very interesting and thought provoking blog.

While I can’t comment on the political and cultural situation in India versus Angola, as someone who has overseen international implementations before, I have also some interesting experiences with implementing the same solution into first and third world countries.

I was sometimes surprised to find that it can sometimes be easier, and swifter to implement technologies into a third world country. Sometimes there are corruption issues to be aware of, but there is also often a great desire to have the improvements implemented and there often aren’t the same levels of compliance and protocol to go through to get the green light which can greatly reduce the cost and time to implement.

I imagine this can make these countries appealing test grounds for new technologies.


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