Don't Derail India's Mobile Revolution

India's government is set to reap a windfall from telecom spectrum auctions. Maybe it shouldn't be so greedy.

Selling mangoes by mobile.

Photographer: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

The most revolutionary development in India in the last 20 years has been the rise of the mobile phone. Until 1996, nobody in India had access to a mobile phone. Today, encouraged by rates that are among the cheapest in the world, some 800 million do. With the advent of affordable smartphones, India is one of the best-positioned economies to take advantage of the mobile revolution -- both in terms of designing and testing new apps, as well as transforming industry and commerce. So why is the Indian government putting all that potential at risk?

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