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Airtel Broadband Doesn’t Want To Be A Dumb Pipe

Bharti Airtel is planning to introduce an applications store for its fixed line customers, reports Business Line. The company, which has over 3.1 million fixed line users and 1.3 million broadband connections, will be looking to partner with content owners for this. K Srinivas, President (Telemedia Services) Bharti Airtel is quoted as saying "Within the next 6-12 months, we are working on moving a dumb pipe to an enriched pipe." Business Line suggests that fixed line users will have access to mobile applications, and as unlikely as that sounds, it's possible if there's either a simulated environment for running mobile apps, or if users opt for a platform change to, perhaps, the Chrome OS or Android. Airtel currently does have an applications marketplace for its Nivio powered Airtel Net PC, which we reviewed, here; the applications available are desktop services, some for free, and some for a fee. This is a highly controlled environment, with most being accessed via the cloud, and almost nothing stored at the user end. This isn't likely to be the service being used currently by most of Airtel's broadband subscribers. In the broadband scenario, the 'dumb pipe' is a consumer friendly situation: telecom operators provide only access to the Internet for a fee, and don't offer preferential treatment to specific websites or services. Airtel's plan to be an 'enriched pipe' is welcome, because it can serve as a key resource for first time Internet users to discover online content. AOL built out AOL.com in exactly this manner,…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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