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Kudos Bangalore, the real technology city

Bangalore is going to be the second city in the world to be fully Wi-Max enabled, reports Puneet Mehrotra.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 17:41 IST

A question for all you Internet and technology geeks. Which is going to be the second city in the world to be fully Wi-Max enabled? Not sure. Ok, let's make this a multiple-choice question.

Choose one from these:

The Silicon Valley, California, USA, the original technology paradise

Shanghai, China, the citadel of the world's new economic order

London, the seat of the erstwhile rulers of the world and as Wikipedia describes it as"one of the world's most important business and financial centres"

Bangalore or Bengaluru in Kannada, the Silicon Valley of the east and as Wikipedia describes it as a city that "continues to struggle with problems such as air pollution, traffic congestion, and crime.

Wikipedia, pollution and traffic congestion and much more notwithstanding. The answer remains Bangalore.

Yes folks, that's correct. Bangalore is going to be the second city in the world to be fully Wi-Max enabled, something even the Silicon Valley can't boast of. According to news magazine Outlook, "In early 2007, when Wi-Max is introduced to Bangalore city - in the final plan it'll cover 696 Km of the city and 470 Km in the surrounding town and municipal regions - it will be only the second city in the world to be fully Wi-Max enabled, after Taipei."

Nomadic access to the Internet. Imagine sitting on the beach, in a café, or stuck in traffic. In the office, the drawing room, the balcony, the park. Just about everywhere. And being connected to the web, to your emails and to the rest of the world. That's exactly what the world of wireless broadband promises. Bangalore takes a lead in that. In other words, theoretically at least, Bangalore will be the most productive city of India from January 2007.

The Intellectual Capital of India

Guess which city is the hub of innovation? Not Hyderabad, definitely not Gurgaon. It is Bangalore. With over 5,300 patents filed from Bangalore it is the fourth-largest technology cluster in the world.

And these patents aren't just from the Research and Development wings of Multinational corporations. They are from the small and medium sized start-ups and other smaller companies.

Rocking Babugiri - A City for Mr Entrepreneur

What has happened to Gurgaon and Hyderabad? Why are there 5,300 patents filed from Bangalore while the sum total of Gurgaon and Hyderabad isn't anywhere near that number?

The answer is in the attitude of the government. On the one hand Bangalore is setting up more and more technology infrastructure and there are people like IT Secretary MN Vidyashanka who are working pro-actively. On the other hand cities like Gurgaon are almost collapsing under basic infrastructure woes.

The fact is that a GE or a Sap Labs or an IBM can set up units anywhere even in the middle of a desert, on the mountains or even in the middle of a lake. They have the money for the infrastructure to set up the most exquisite corporate island just about anywhere.

It is the indigenous talent, which is most effective. Neither Gurgaon nor Hyderabad offer anything close to what Bangalore does and the results are showing. For an innovator there isn't really a second choice in India.

The Last Word

Bangalore, the silicon valley of the east, sure knows how to keep the lead. Traffic woes and other problems apart, Bangalore sure is a role model for other cities, aping at being technology cities. For a technology company it is the place to be in. Kudos Bangalore!

Puneet Mehrotra is a web strategist at and edits you can email him on

First Published: Nov 15, 2006 17:41 IST