Friday, April 8, 2011

The Pitfalls of MNP

The long awaited MNP is here finally ! I was so excited. I generated my Unique Porting no (just send an SMS PORT to 1900 - but you may not want to do that after reading my first hand experience). Any guessess for the 2 providers involved ?

The first indication that the actual story was going to be different from the script drafted by TRAI was when I got a call from my existing provider (the donor ). The chap at the other was literally pleading that I reconsider my decision to port my number. He offerred all sorts of discounts and free beeies. TRAI mandates that providers do not attempt to contact the user and try to retain him/her. So much for TRAI's guidelines.

Exactly a wek after giving the request, I started getting complaints from people that my number was coming as switched off. I releasied that MNP must have kicked in. I inserted the SIM of the new provider. Lo & Behold! My number was working with my new provider ! It was a small matter that no one bothered to inform me.

But the complaints of not reachable continued to come in. Further investigation revealed that users from my old network could not get through. Could it be because I had removed the SIM and my no was still active in the old network? Contacted both the providers - but no response. I tried the only option left - I got hold of a handset and inserted my old provider's SIM - as suspected the no was active on the old network. So here I was in a peculiar situation - I had 2 sim cards from 2 different providers, both with the same no and both active. Calls from the old provider's network were received on the old sim, calls from all other networks were on received on the new set for one whole day,

In my next post I shall describe my travials for Blackberry service activated

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Viral Effect of Social Media

Recently I have been observing the good side of Social Media .. be it the Chaka Jam movement started in Mumbai or Its Your Turn Crusade of Bhavin Turakia or the recent campaign against cnorruption in support of Anna Hazare's fast. The last is a classic example of how traditional ways can leverage their reach and effectiveness by harnessing the power of the social media.

Support for Anna Hazare has spread like wildfire, aided by facebook posts, tweets and broadcast messages on BlackBerry Messenger. Public opinion is been built on the fly, with one RT (retweeted ) message even dishing out the President's number and asking people to call up and register their support for the Lok Pal bill !

National issues apart, localised websites are also leveraging social media sites to spread news far, wide and FAST. A prime example is the Powai.info web site which uses facebook status updates and twitter to diseminatej local news and comments / enquires / requests from residents of  Powai area. Manoj Nayak, the creator of the site is doing an excellent job and his site is a role model for other areas to emulate.

Sucn examples highlight the empowerment of the Aam Admi through the usage of Internet. More power to the Net !