Saturday, 26 July 2008

David & Goliath

I am a huge fan of "David & Goliath" business stories. Came across this one in the economist recently, and believed I must share this with you.

"Dabba" is a South African wireless start up which has pioneered the "village telco", making phone calls more affordable. Using reprogrammed wi-fi routers as base stations with open source software weaving them into a network and cheap wi-fi handsets, the folk at Orange Farm, near Johannesburg can make calls at cheap rates.

They have brilliantly connected with the mainline telecom networks and actually buy airtime which is then resold to their customers! Revenues arise from call termination charges, sale of air time to retail customers and in the future selling this model and set of garage technologies to other prospective villages. And all this at an astronomical investment of USD 5,000!

Dabba intends to present an aggregated front to the mainline telcos for the village telcos as and when the model proliferates.

Yet again, illustrating the sheer drive and innovation that is fueled by the opportunity presented in markets where most large organizations falter.

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