Take a Walk.......

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Airtel sucks!!!

India is the fastest growing mobile telephony market in the world!, Indian mobile call rates are the lowest in the world, Bharti has added X million of customer in on month, Reliance has added another Y million of customers in a month etc.

These are usual lines that we get to read or hear daily through different mediums of news and media. Underneath all this hype and hoopla lies the truth i.e about the quality of our telecom networks which ranges from poor to pathetic on most networks. I am really pissed of with my current service provider which is Bharti Airtel and would focus on them for now.

I got my Airtel connection around 5 months back prior to which I used a basic tata indicom phone, Though the quality of service was very poor, I always suspected it would be because of low quality handset and also the fact the CDMA quality is overall considered poorer in our country. That was the reason I moved Airtel when I bought a new handset, over the months I have realized that it wasn't the problem with my handset alone, infact the story is same for all mobile networks, following are some of the issues I face with Airtel.

Land line users not able to connect -> I am frequent traveler between Bombay and Pune that was a reason I opted for Airtel as it was one of the few which did not charge roaming charges between the two cities at that time. But to my surprise people from Bombay were never able to call me from their land line phones, the problem was not with MTNL or some single provider almost all land line phones would need many efforts at connecting to me. I am really thankful to Airtel for this though as this assures that only people who are really dying to talk to me are going to take the pain of trying a dozen times before they can reach me, but bloody hell what if someone is stuck in a life or death situation?

Call drops -> The worst thing that one would want to happen between an important conversation is a call drop and thanks to Airtel's great service I have started enjoying the suspense that a call drop brings in. I mean just imagine the amount of hard work that your brain can do guessing what the other person would have been saying just when the phone got disconnected and also the relief when an unwanted caller is pissing you off and the call drops in the middle. In fact last night itself a friend of mine was talking to his girlfriend in Europe when the call was lost, we had great fun seeing him irritated and later when his girlfriend blasted him for disconnecting her call. We would have missed out all this fun had Airtel not provided the call dropping facility.

In fact I think Bharti should officially launch a call drop facility for which users can subscribe by paying a certain amount per month. There should be an algorithm based on speech recognition software that should disconnect the call at some interesting points in the conversation and off course I don't mind being paid a royalty for this suggestion.

Number busy -> The worst thing that you would want to happen is your girlfriend calling you up to asking who were you talking to for so long? initially I would be bewildered since my phone would be idle for all the time. Now we have realized that its not the phone but the network which is always busy that causes all this trouble.

Peculiar situations-> Along with the usual troubles that people keep facing every day due to inefficient telecom networks, there has been a peculiar situation in the last few weeks that I am facing with Aritel, i.e. I don't receive sms sent from Hutch network from Bombay when I am in pune but receive the same once I reach Bombay. I know it sounds really stupid but that's how the network works.

In addition to all this there are these billing issues etc which come up every now and then. After all these issues I would have surely changed my provider but the problem is I can't do that every now and then for obvious reasons. Secondly since most of the service providers provide nearly same quality of service I don't know if it would be of any help.

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Slow down to taste the joys of life...

It might be just another forward but something which we really need introspect into our fast paced life.

What all people want is “someone" to listen.

An interesting reflection: Slow Down Culture

It's been 18 years since I joined Volvo, a Swedish company. Working for them has proven to be an interesting experience. Any project here takes 2 years to be finalized, even if the idea is simple and brilliant. It's a rule.

Globalize processes have caused in us (all over the world) a general sense of searching for immediate results. Therefore, we have come to posses a need to see immediate results. This contrasts greatly with the slow movements of the Swedish. They, on the other hand, debate, debate, debate, hold x quantity of meetings and work with a slowdown scheme. At the end, this always yields better results.

Said in another words:
1. Swedenis about the size of San Pablo, a state in Brazil.
2. Swedenhas 2 million inhabitants.
3. Stockholm, has 500,000 people.
4. Volvo, Escania, Ericsson, Electrolux, Nokia are some of its renowned companies. Volvo supplies the NASA.

The first time I was in Sweden, one of my colleagues picked me up at the hotel every morning. It was September, bit cold and snowy. We would arrive early at the company and he would park far away from the entrance (2000 employees drive their car to work). The first day, I didn't say anything, either the second or third. One morning I asked, "Do you have a fixed parking space? I've noticed we park far from the entrance even when there are no other cars in the lot." To which he replied, "Since we're here early we'll have time to walk, and whoever gets in late will be late and need a place closer to the door. Don't you think? Imagine my face.

Nowadays, there's a movement in Europename Slow Food. This movement establishes that people should eat and drink slowly, with enough time to taste their food, spend time with the family, friends, without rushing. Slow Food is against its counterpart: the spirit of Fast Food and what it stands for as a lifestyle. Slow Food is the basis for a bigger movement called Slow Europe, as mentioned by Business Week.

Basically, the movement questions the sense of "hurry" and "craziness" generated by globalization, fueled by the desire of "having in quantity" (life status) versus "having with quality", "life quality" or the "quality of being". French people, even though they work 35 hours per week, are more productive than Americans or British. Germans have established 28.8 hour workweeks and have seen their productivity been driven up by 20%. This slow attitude has brought forth the US's attention, pupils of the fast and the "do it now!".

This no-rush attitude doesn't represent doing less or having a lower productivity. It means working and doing things with greater quality, productivity, perfection, with attention to detail and less stress. It means reestablishing family values, friends, free and leisure time. Taking the "now", present and concrete, versus the "global", undefined and anonymous. It means taking humans' essential values, the simplicity of living.

It stands for a less coercive work environment, more happy, lighter and more productive where humans enjoy doing what they know best how to do. It's time to stop and think on how companies need to develop serious quality with no-rush that will increase productivity and the quality of products and services, without losing the essence of spirit.

In the movie, Scent of a Woman, there's a scene where Al Pacino asks a girl to dance and she replies, "I can't, my boyfriend will be here any minute now". To which Al responds, "A life is lived in an instant". Then they dance to a tango.

Many of us live our lives running behind time, but we only reach it when we die of a heart attack or in a car accident rushing to be on time. Others are so anxious of living the future that they forget to live the present, which is the only time that truly exists. We all have equal time throughout the world. No one has more or less. The difference lies in how each one of us does with our time. We need to live each moment. As John Lennon said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans".

Congratulations for reading till the end of this message. There are many who will have stopped in the middle so as not to waste time in this globalized world.