The $47 Aakash Android Tablet Will Revolutionize Internet Access

aakash internet access technology

Last year, the Canadian/Indian company Datawind, announced the $35 Aakash Android tablet computer as an ICT solution for education. While I still believe that the Aakash will fail education like OLPC did, do not take that as a mark of complete failure. The Aakash Ubislate 7 should be viewed as consumer electronics, and as such, it will be a roaring success.
Free Internet access
Just look at Datawind's core technology, which is all about squeezing waste from Internet data transfers to make even 2G bandwidth feel fast and snappy on a weak chipset.
Its Internet compression technology (18 patents issued & approved) reduces network load, and speeds delivery of content by factors of 10X to 30X. Like the Amazon Silk browser, Datawind offloads much of the browser computation to servers, so just the pertinent web content downloads to the device, not all the webpage bloat that now consumes most browsing bandwidth
During a talk at the World Bank, the Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli revealed that his goal was to use this technology to make the bandwidth usage so cheap that it became ad-supported. In effect, free to the end user. This is the modern killer app - free Internet.
Today, Internet access costs us all significantly more than hardware or software, more than electricity even. Even Intel says that bandwidth costs are the single largest barrier to ICT adoption. And Datawind has cracked that nut.
Just look at the numbers
Now a $47 tablet is exciting. I know a number of geeks who got all lustful for it, who don't even live in India. And in India... Well, let us read what the Wall Street Journal has to say:

On December 14... the Aakash [went one sale] on sale for the absurd price of 2500 rupees, or around $47, hoping to move 100,000 units over the course of 2012. That figure was seen as staggeringly optimistic, since it represented 40 percent of India’s total market for tablet computers. But as soon as the announcement went all, their call center was jammed with calls, and their website started crashing due to excess traffic, to the point where their Internet provider warned them they might be experiencing a malicious hack attack. Their initial inventory of 30,000 units sold out in three days. Within two weeks, they’d built up a backlog of 1.4 million preorders. According to CEO Suneet Tuli, that reservation pool is now over 2 million - and still going strong.
Just wait till the word gets out that $47 is close to the total cost of ownership in India! If the Ubislate 7 uses the Datawind servers when it connects to the Internet from Africa or America, expect this revolution in Internet access to spread faster than Facebook and Twitter combined!

Get ICTworks 3x a week - enter your email address: