Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Engineering 101

When I joined B.Tech in Electronics and Communications nearly two decades ago, I was told that whatever I learn in the college will be of little use to me in my life because we will not be using any of the stuff taught in the program.  I took that advice quite seriously.  Instantly I convinced myself that it didn’t really matter if I did not pay any attention to the classes.  I just had to pass and somehow make it through the 4 years.  The campus itself had enough reputation that it will carry me through in my life, so why waste time in studying something which is of no use to me in the long run?

The graduating seniors who had passed out came back a year later to visit us and reaffirmed the same opinion, that not much of what I learn in my B.Tech will be of any use in ‘real’ life.  Because the ‘real’ life is so different that I would end up doing something quite different.  It was true.  Most of my seniors who graduated from the college ended up in MS programs in USA but had already switched to Computer Science, while few others got into IIMs thereby leaving nearly 95% of our subjects behind, and some others got into jobs at Hindustan Lever, Infosys, HCL, etc, securing jobs in marketing or software for health, insurance, banking, never having to bother with B. Tech subjects ever again. 

I guess I was always a 'big' picture person even as a student.  My 'big' thinking suggested that the scores and marks in the B.Tech subjects will not affect my life at all.  I decided not to study more than what was required to pass the exams.  Why unnecessarily waste time on something that is irrelevant in ‘real’ life?  Instead, I spent time on other things which seemed to make sense- like painting, art, debating, and of course, making friends and falling in love.  Since I believed these other things will remain with me for the rest of my life, it made sense to invest in them. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Future of wireless in India

India’s Mobile Revolution is still underway baffling even the most optimistic pundits who did not anticipate such unprecedented growth.  According to TRAI, India has more than 500 Million mobile subscribers now.  That number could be inflated because many old pre-paid connections may not be valid.   Even if we believe the number is 350 Million, it is still a very big market and it is growing strong adding 10-15 Million subscribers per month – bigger than entire mobile subscribers of some European countries.

India has delayed its 3G UMTS spectrum auctioning for many years now.  The question that I pose is whether India should even consider 3G UMTS or should we skip it altogether to move to FD-LTE?


I recommend that India should hold off 3G UMTS spectrum auctioning for another year, completely skip 3G UMTS and instead embrace FD-LTE.