Friedman: Do Believe the Hype
Thursday, November 4, 2010
The Hindustan Times carried a small news item the other day that, depending on your perspective, is good news or a sign of the apocalypse. It reported that a Nepali telecommunications firm had just started providing third-generation mobile network service, or 3G, at the summit of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, to “allow thousands of climbers and trekkers who throng the region every year access to high-speed Internet and video calls using their mobile phones.”
I can hear it already: “Hi, mom! You’ll never guess where I’m calling from …”
This is just one small node in what is the single most important trend unfolding in the world today: globalization – the distribution of cheap tools of communication and innovation that are wiring together the world’s citizens, governments, businesses, terrorists and now mountaintops – is going to a whole new level. In India alone, some 15 million new cellphone users are being added each month.