Friday, 24 April 2015

Top 10 Main Battle Tanks in the world


In many people mind there is a question, which is the best main battle tank in the world. Which is the greatest modern MBT and why. Our Top 10 analysis is based on the combined score of protection, firepower, accuracy and mobility. All of the tanks mentioned here are incredibly powerful and devastating, however none of them have seen combat against each other during military operations yet. Analysis is based on specifications and available data. Crew training of the tank is also important, as performance of the actual tank depends from the crew performance. This list do not contains tanks that are currently under development or are at the prototype stage.
   Currently top 10 best tanks in the world are these:

Leopard 2A7
Nr.1 Leopard 2A7 (Germany)

   It is a recent version of the proven and successful Leopard 2 design. It has additional armor and updated electronics.
   The Leopard 2A7 is well protected against conventional and urban warfare threats, such as RPG rounds and IEDs.
   This tank has better accuracy and longer range of fire comparing with other tanks due to its powerful gun and advanced fire control system.
   This MBT is powered by a proven engine, developing 1 500 hp. Despite increase in weight vehicle has increased mobility due to improved suspension components. Cross-country performance is similar to other Leopard 2 series tanks.
   German Army ordered a first batch of 20 Leopard 2A7 MBTs, upgraded from Leopard 2A6. Deliveries commenced in 2014. German army plans to upgrade 50 to 150 tanks to the 2A7 standard. Qatar ordered 62 of these MBTs and Saudi Arabia more than 200.

K2 Black Panther
Nr.2 K2 Black Panther (South Korea)

   Currently the Black Panther is one of the most advanced main battle tank in the world, outclassing anything North Korea or China have. Furthermore it is the most expensive main battle tank to date.
   This tank uses composite armor of undisclosed type and explosive reactive armor modules. The K2 is also completed with active protection and countermeasures systems. Its protection is broadly similar to the M1A2 Abrams, considering that the K2 is much lighter.
   This new South Korean tank is armed with the latest German 120-mm gun, similar to that used on the Leopard 2A6 and 2A7. This tank has a very advanced fire control system with can spot, track and fire automatically at visible vehicle-size targets, even low-flying helicopters, without needing any input from a human operator. The K2 also uses advanced munitions.
   The Black Panther is fitted with a powerful diesel engine. It is fast and has a state-of-the-art hydropneumatic suspension.
   Currently this main battle tanks is not yet in series production. It might enter service with the South Korean Army soon.

Nr.3 M1A2 SEP (USA)

   The M1A2 SEP is a successor to the M1A2 Abrams. This tank has incredible technology and armor. Also it has seen combat. It is one of the most feared MBTs.
   The M1A2 SEP offers significant protection against all well-known anti-tank weapons. This main battle tank uses advanced armor, reinforced with depleted uranium layers.
   Its gun and accuracy are slightly inferior to that of the Leopard 2A7. Yet it still packs a formidable punch.
   Its complex gas turbine engine offers good performance, but requires tremendous amount of maintenance, logistical support and is thirsty on fuel.
   A number of older M1M1A1 and M1A2 tanks were upgraded to this standard. The tank can be also fitted with a Tank Urban Survival Kit (TUSK), that improves survivability in urban environment. To date very few Abrams tanks have been destroyed in combat.
   The M1A2 SEP is in service with United States Army (at least 900). It is planned that this tank will remain in service beyond 2050. The M1A2 SEP has not been exported yet. However the previous M1A2 has been supplied to Kuwait (218) and Saudi Arabia (373).

Challenger 2
Nr.4 Challenger 2 (United Kingdom)

   It is a very capable tank. The Challenger 2 has the latest Chobham armor and is one of the most protected MBTs in the world today. It offers very high level of protection against direct fire weapons
   This British tank is armed with a very accurate 120-mm rifled gun. Its gun is rifled as opposed to smoothbore guns used by all other modern MBTs. Its maximum aimed range is over 5 km. Currently the Challenger holds the record for for longest tank-to-tank kill.
   Engine of the Challenger 2 is less powerful than of its Western rivals. Also it is not as fast as other MBTs. However this tank is famous for its mechanical reliability.
   The Challenger 2 is in service with United Kingdom (386) and Oman (38).

Merkava Mk.4
Nr.5 Merkava Mk.4 (Israel)

   It is the latest Israeli development which is a further development of the Merkava Mk.3.
   The Merkava Mk.4 is one of the most protected tanks in the world. This MBT has an unusual design with a front-mounted engine which gives the crew additional protection and chance to survive if the tank is knocked-out. All Merkava series tanks have a rear compartment which can be used to carry troops and cargo under armor. It can carry up to 10 troops when ammunition is unloaded.
   The Israeli tank is armed with indigenous 120-mm smoothbore gun. The Merkava Mk.4 is equipped with new fire control system, that includes some very advanced features. One of them is a high hit probability firing against low-flying helicopters using conventional munitions.
   Mobility of the Merkava Mk.4 is rather average due to excessive weight, even though it is fitted with a powerful engine.
   The Merkava Mk.4 is in service only with Israel (360), as this tank is not offered for export.

Nr.6 TK-X (Japan)

   The TK-X or Type 10 is the latest Japanese development. It entered service in 2012. Currently it is one of the most advanced main battle tanks in the world.
   This new lightweight MBT is more agile, however less protected than contemporary tanks.
   It is armed with a 120-mm smoothbore gun, broadly similar to that of the Leopard 2A5 and M1A2 Abrams. It also has advanced fire control system.
   This tank has great mobility due to its impressive power-to-weight ratio, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and state-of-the-art hydropneumatic suspension.
   The TK-X is in service with Japan (12). This tank is not available for export customers as far as Japan's laws do not allow export of military equipment.

Nr.7 Leclerc (France)

   This French main battle tank entered service in 1992. A number of design features of the Leclerc were later used on other Western tanks.
   The Leclerc has advanced composite armor with add-on modular armor.
   This MBT has a crew of three and is fitted with an autoloader. It is fitted a powerful gun and has a high hit probability against stationary and moving targets. Also it has a hunter-killer capability.
   This tank has good mobility due to its 1 500 hp engine and hydropneumatic suspension.
   Currently it is in service with France (406) and United Arab Emirates (388).

Nr.8 T-90 (Russia)

   The T-90 is currently the only tank produced in quantity in Russia. It is not as sophisticated as its Western rivals, however it uses proven technology and is cost effective. Currently it is the most commercially successful main battle tank on the global market. Also it is one of the cheapest among modern MBTs.
   The T-90 has a small profile which makes it a harder target to hit. Significant drawback of the T-90 is ammunition stored in the main compartment due to its carrousel-type autoloader. Once hit ammunition detonates by killing all the crew and destroying the tank. This drawback is common to all Soviet, Russian Ukrainian and recent Chinese MBTs. Western tanks have a separate compartment in the turret bustle with a blow-out panels
   The T-90 is not as accurate against long-range targets, however it can launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions.
   Original version has poor power-to-weight ratio due to its underpowered engine. Later models were fitted with more powerful engines.
   The T-90MS Tagil is a recent version with new armor, new engine, new gun, improved turret, updated observation and aiming system.
   The T-90 is currently in service with Russia (approximately 700), Algeria (305), Azerbaijan (20), India (620), Turkmenistan (40) and Venezuela (50 ~100).

Nr.9 Oplot-M (Ukraine)

   With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine continued development of the T-80UD main battle tank. Their latest version is the Oplot-M.
   The Oplot-M is fitted with explosive reactive armor of new generation. This MBT inherited from its predecessor automatic ammunition loading system, however ammunition is stored in the main compartment, rather than a separate compartment with a blow-out panels.
   The latest Ukranian tank is not as accurate against long-range targets as Western rivals, however it can launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions. The Oplot-M has a hunter-killer capability.
   The Oplot-M completed Ukrainian Army trials and is due to enter service with Ukrainian Army. Also it is in service with Thailand. This tank is broadly similar in terms of firepower, protection and mobility to the latest Russian versions of the T-90, however currently it is produced only in small numbers.

Type 99
Nr.10 Type 99 (China)

   This Chinese MBT shows a mixture of Russian and Western influence in its design and technology.
   Like the Russian/Soviet tanks the Type 99 also lacks accuracy against long-range targets, however it is also capable to launch anti-tank guided missiles in the same manner as ordinary munitions.
   Automatic loading system of the Type 99 was copied from the Russian/Soviet design. Hence its drawback, as ammunition is stored in the main compartment, rather than a separate compartment with a blow-out panels. This MBT is fitted with unique active laser protection system, which uses a high-powered laser to disrupt missiles laser or infrared guidance signal, disable enemy observation optics and damage eyesight of enemy gunner. This active laser protection system can also be used against helicopters.
   The Type 99 is fitted with a powerful engine and has good mobility.
   The Type 99G is the latest version with some improvements.
   Currently The Type 99 is in service only with China (approximately 200).

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Galaxy S6 vs. iPhone 6 face off in performance tests – and the results may shock you

Galaxy S6 Vs iPhone 6
Pitting a brand new octa-core monster of a flagship Android phone with 3GB of RAM against a dual-core iPhone with 1GB of RAM doesn’t seem like it should be a fair fight. As we saw in a number of performance tests ahead of the Galaxy S6’s debut and following its launch, Samsung’s new flagship smartphone crushes every other phone on the planet in a number of key areas.
When it comes to gaming, however, performance tests paint an entirely different picture that might really surprise you.
Apple’s iPhone 6 is surprisingly scrappy, as we saw when the phone first launched. Despite only having a dual-core CPU and just 1GB of RAM, the iPhone outperformed every single widely available Android smartphone across the board.
But what about performance tests that focus on gaming?
GameBench on Wednesday published the results of an in-depth series of tests that compared gaming performance among four top smartphones: the iPhone 6, the Galaxy S6, HTC’s One M9 and Google’s Nexus 6. Logic might dictate that quad- and octa-core smartphones with faster clock speeds and more RAM would crush the lowly dual-core iPhone 6, but that simply isn’t the case.
Here are the results of a few tests performed with popular games:
As you can see, the iPhone 6 doesn’t just keep pace with its Android rivals, it outperforms them by a huge margin in some cases.
Here’s the overall result:
The results may seem surprising, but they’re actually not as shocking as you might think.
Efficiency is the name of the game for Apple, and this holds especially true in the case of the iPhone 6. While the phone’s display looks just as impressive as any other smartphone screen on the market, its resolution is only about 720p. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S6 packs a quad HD display.
Samsung’s new smartphone screen is perhaps the most stunning panel ever seen on a phone, but packing 2K resolution into a 5.1-inch display is overkill and it comes at a cost.
The full analysis and more test results are available via the source link below.

Cybersecurity Experts: Internet of Things Punches Holes in Web Defense

Webcams may guard our homes against burglars, and Fitbits may protect us against the flab we’d put on without exercising.
But the proliferation of such connected devices is also perforating the Web with millions of holes that hackers can drive through, network security experts reported as the annual RSA Conference on cybersecurity got under way at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco this week.
Webcams, routers, sensors, tablet computers and smartphones all provide entry points that cyber-invaders can use to flood a business network with an overwhelming tide of messages, shutting down service, Santa Clara, CA-based network security company NSFOCUS said in its twice-yearly Threat Report.
What makes these devices such tempting targets? They’re often operated around the clock; they frequently have weak passwords; and they may never be upgraded or replaced once they’re put into use, NSFOCUS says. Their networks also have enough bandwidth to pass along malicious information traffic.
The businesses now most frequently victimized by attacks that result in a denial of service are the ones most engaging to consumers: online retailers and media companies. But online game makers are the fastest-growing group of hacker targets, NSFOCUS found in its analysis of breaches in the second half of 2014.
Cyber saboteurs may be trying to help a competing game company, or they may be setting up their victims to pay blackmail to prevent a repeat attack. When a game slows down or stalls, online players may lose patience and switch to another game, eroding the company’s profits, NSFOCUS says.
The cybersecurity company expects an exponential increase in attacks worldwide as innovative Internet of Things companies add billions more connected devices to the global market. The breaches may spread to many new industries as they begin using connected devices to do things such as monitor utility operations,measure patients’ vital signs in the field, and keep self-driving cars in the right lanes.
As NSFOCUS reported its findings, the non-profit trade organization Cloud Security Alliance released its own report to help early adopters in the Internet of Things arena understand the security risks and grapple with them.
However, the alliance warned that more research must be done before anyone fully understands the vulnerabilities created by connected devices well enough to design fully effective security systems.
“In the absence of this research, organizations will be forced to make substantial architectural decisions without sufficient data to understand the risks and identify appropriate mitigations,” said Cloud Security Alliance executive Luciano Santos in the report.
The alliance is now conducting this type of research to discover the distinct kinds of exposure that will come with the use of connected devices in various sectors, which could include banking, policing, homeland security, manufacturing, and energy. Cyber villains could some day hijack devices to achieve a host of dangerous ends, such as injuring someone wearing a medical device, stalking, opening locked doors, silencing alarms, creating false online profiles, and stealing from bank accounts.
In the meantime, the organization offered some recommendations to businesses already planning to use connected gadgets and sensors. For example, the alliance advises them to get involved early in the design of the devices they plan to link to their networks, so that security safeguards can be built in from the beginning. As innovative companies have rushed to bring their devices to market, many have left out key security elements, such as authentication procedures for users and routes for upgrading the device with patches and new versions of software, the Cloud Security Alliance said.

Adblock Plus Develops First Mobile Ad Blocker for iPhones

Adblock Plus's iPhone software could eliminate marketing that users consider intrusive but websites deem lucrative.
A top ad-blocking service is targeting mobile this year, and plans its first product that could zap paid marketing on iPhones. Adblock Plus, the European software company that has shaken up the traditional ad-supported Internet, is developing an ad blocker for iOS, the company told Adweek.
It will likely be a browser to navigate the mobile Web free of ads—or at least free of ads that users choose to block, according to industry sources. Adblock Plus already has products that work on Google's Android phones, but Apple regulates apps more closely.
Adblock Plus is one of many companies that give consumers a way to access the Internet but avoid ads—from pre-roll video to pop-up page takeovers on desktop and mobile devices.
"We will have a product announcement for iOS," said Till Faida, founder and CEO of Adblock Plus. "Mobile is a huge focus for us this year."
The new service for iPhones comes at a time of growing interest in mobile ad blocking and growing dependence on mobile ad revenue. Faida would not share specifics on how Adblock Plus would work on iPhones.
Apple iPhone users make up 40 percent of the U.S. market, but the real ad impact could hit Google, because it could increase competition for its Chrome browser.
"If Adblock Plus is able to convert people to download its own browser, that changes everything for Google," an ad software executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Internet companies have tried to fight ad blockers, sometimes claiming users are effectively stealing content if they strip paid marketing from their sites. Just this week, a German court ruled that blocking software is legal, showing how tough it will be to stamp out such software.
Adblock Plus has been working with the industry on an acceptable ads program that allows some ad formats to be served to its users. The program was developed for desktop where ad-block usage has been surging, especially in Europe.
Adblock Plus does charge big Internet companies for its services, and acting as a gatekeeper between publishers and users raises concerns that Web publishers could pay to win safe passage for their ads. Faida said that's not the case, and that all companies are held to the same advertising standards.
Industry experts say it makes sense for Web companies to work with Adblock Plus because it would be nearly impossible to stop all the ad killing software out there. Users would find a way to access an ad-free Internet, and it's better to sell "acceptable" ads than none at all.
Of course, publishers and ad networks want to find ways to block the ad blocking. Some websites withhold content from visitors employing ad blockers; some rely on subscriptions.
There are websites, however, that see the value in a user who doesn't pay or view ads. These visitors could promote links on social media or drive traffic in other ways.
Meanwhile, the digital advertising creative community is interested in video, eye-popping imagery and interstitials that take over screens with magazine-style gloss—the type ad blockers resist.
PadSquad is one mobile company building brand campaigns that make a splash on phones with such high-impact ads.
"Ad blocking is migrating to the mobile Web," said Daniel Meehan, CEO of PadSquad. "We can see the amount of people in private mode or using an ad blocker on mobile, and we know that some of the percentages of users are pretty staggering."
Faida said that most users recognize the need for ads to support their favorite Web properties, but they want non-intrusive formats.
"We're working closely with the advertising industry, ad networks, large and small publishers, and all the stakeholders to make sure we facilitate this compromise," Faida said.

WhatsApp Updates iOS App With Voice Calling Feature

WhatsApp, the popular mobile messaging service owned by Facebook, has released a major update to its iPhone app today. The update includes the highly-anticipated WhatsApp Calling feature, which rolled out to every Android user late last month. The WhatsApp Calling feature is comparable to Skype and the FaceTime Audio service on iOS. Data charges may apply while using the WhatsApp Calling feature.
“Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls uses your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes,” said WhatsApp in its app update description.
Unfortunately, The WhatsApp Calling feature is rolling out slowly so you may not see it right away. The new calling feature should be available for every iOS user within the next few weeks. Prior to launching WhatsApp Calling for Android, the messaging company ran a lengthy beta test.
WhatsApp version 2.12.1 also includes an iOS 8 share extension, a quick camera button in chats, the ability to edit your contacts right from WhatsApp and an option to send multiple videos at once. You can also crop and rotate videos before sending them. The iOS 8 share extension lets you share photos, videos and links to WhatsApp from other apps. And the quick camera button lets you seamlessly capture photos and videos or choose a recent camera roll photo or video.
How does WhatsApp Calling for iOS work? If someone calls you through WhatsApp, you will see a push notification from the messaging service showing who the call is from. Once you answer the call, you will notice that there are options to mute the call or put it on speakerphone. You can also send a message to the person calling you. If the WhatsApp Calling feature for iOS is similar to the Android app, then you will see a Calls tab that has a list of your incoming, outgoing and missed WhatsApp calls. Personally, I do not have access to WhatsApp Calling for iOS app yet.

Launched in 2009, WhatsApp started out as a simple group text messaging app. Four years later, WhatsApp added a voice messaging service. And then Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $19 billion in February 2014. Several months ago, WhatsApp launched a desktop client called WhatsApp Web — which you can activate with an Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone or Nokia S60 device.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp hit 800 million monthly active users. WhatsApp has been adding about 100 million monthly active users every four months since August. In January, WhatsApp hit 700 million monthly active users. WhatsApp now has more users than every other messaging app, including Facebook Messenger. It took Facebook about 8 years to hit 1 billion users. Facebook now has about 1.4 billion monthly users and Facebook Messenger has roughly 600 million users.
Have you updated to the latest version of WhatsApp? Do you have access to the voice calling feature yet? What are your thoughts about WhatsApp Calling? Let us know in the comments section.

5 Best Dynamic DNS Providers You Can Lookup for Free Today

Last year, DynDNS shut down its free plans and left a big hole in its place. It’s a shame because DynDNS was always a top mention when free dynamic DNSes were brought up. But now that it’s gone, are there any good alternatives? There sure are.
Dynamic DNSes allow a single web address to map to a changing IP address, which is great for home users since IP addresses don’t always stay the same. If you want to connect to your PC from anywhere or set up a home web server, then a dynamic DNS is one of the easiest ways to do so.
So, about those alternatives. What are they? Are they worth using? Let’s take a look.


Dynu‘s dynamic DNS service allows both top-level domains (using your own domain) and third-level domains (grabbing a subdomain on dynu.com). Top-level domains will work no matter which country the domain belongs to.
The great thing is that Dynu makes setup easy by providing a Dynu Client that runs on your computer in the background. Any time your IP address changes, the client will automatically update Dynu so you don’t ever have to worry about being out of sync.
Features include web redirect, unlimited aliases, wildcard alias, enterprise-level round robin support, unlimited MX records, and custom records. Free accounts get one subdomain while paid members get unlimited subdomains for $9.99 per year.


While the DNSdynamic website is reminiscent of the 90s, their service is one of the best. You’ll see what they offer right on the front page: free and secure dynamic DNS for absolutely free. They also offer a free VPN service if you’re interested.
Like Dynu, DNSdynamic lets you keep your non-static IP address updated by running a simple client in the background. This client comes in two versions — command line and graphical — but both are only available for Windows. Other operating systems can use their secure web interface.
What’s great is that free accounts get unlimited subdomains. What’s even better is that you aren’t stuck with dnsdynamic.org as your only domain choice; there are dozens of other domains you can use.


No-IP was one of DynDNS’s biggest competitors in the free dynamic DNS market, and now that DynDNS is gone they’re in a good position to snatch the crown for themselves. In fact, the two services are only one year apart in age (DynDNS launched 1998, No-IP launched 1999).
For a free account, you’ll get three subdomains on a single domain choice, but these subdomains will never expire as long as you confirm activity every 30 days. You also get port forwarding and URL forwarding, which can be useful depending on your use case.
It’s a pretty basic but robust package. For $19.95 per year, you can upgrade to 25 subdomains on 80+ domain choices and eliminate the need to confirm activity. If you want to use your own domain, you’ll need to upgrade to the $32.95 per year package, which also includes 50 subdomains.


DuckDNS is a dynamic DNS service built using Amazon’s infrastructure. Their website is extremely basic, but that’s fine because dynamic DNS is such a simple service that it doesn’t really call for extravagance.
That being said, the weak design of their website is indicative of what they offer: they only do one thing and they focus all of their efforts on it. It makes sense once you realize that DuckDNS is only run by two software engineers (albeit engineers with a lot of industry experience).
What’s great is that they have a bunch of written tutorials that will help you get DuckDNS set up on a variety of platforms ranging from Windows, OS X, and Linux all the way to DD-WRT, Amazon EC2, and even Raspberry Pi.
Accounts can have up to four subdomains on duckdns.org, though you can unlock more by donating to the team. Plus, they keep as little of your data as possible and store all necessary details in a private database that will never be sold.


Don’t let the strange name of afraid.org scare you away. This dynamic DNS service — they also offer other kinds of free hosting as well — just might be the best one on this list. One quick glance at their feature list and you’ll be amazed by what’s on the table.
You get five free subdomains. You can also use an unlimited number of your own domains if you want, plus 20 subdomains for each one. Account setup takes less than five minutes, DNS pointing is instant, and there are over 90,000 domains to choose from thanks to their shared domain pool. URL redirection is available as well.
Premium accounts, which are $5 per month, get an additional 50 subdomains, a wildcard DNS, and three stealth flags to hide your domains from any kind of sharing mechanism through the service.

Which Will You Choose?

If you ever want to set up some kind of server on the web using a home box, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with a dynamic IP address that could change at any moment. A dynamic DNS allows you to use one single address that can point to you regardless of what your IP address actually is.
Fortunately there are plenty of people out there offering dynamic DNSes for free, so why not give it a try? These are the best of the best, but feel free to look around for alternatives.
Do you use a dynamic DNS? If so, who hosts it for you? Ever had any bad experiences with a dynamic DNS provider? Would you ever pay for this kind of service? Let us know in the comments below!

Net Neutrality in India: Tech startups write letter to PM Modi asking him to save the Internet

Net Neutrality in India: Tech startups write letter to PM Modi asking him to save the Internet
One of the biggest debates over net neutrality were how programs like Internet.org and Airtel Zero will destruct the startups community in India.
We’ve been hearing about how Net Neutrality is extremely important for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs, who can simply launch their businesses online, advertise the products and sell them openly, without any discrimination on the basis of cost or speed. It is essential for innovation and creating job opportunities. Big companies like Google, Twitter and several others are born out of net neutrality. With increasing Internet penetration in India and given that we are becoming a breeding ground for startups and entrepreneurs, the lack of net neutrality could be worrisome.
Now, the team at savetheinternet.in, with its several members from startups, have drafted an open letter to PM Narendra Modi. The team is urging everyone who is a part of India’s startup ecosystem to sign the letter, asking TRAI to preserve the open, competitive internet by enforcing net neutrality.
The letter talks about how one of the Indian startups could go on to become the next Google or Amazon. It urges PM Modi to preserve the startup ecosystem and explains net neutrality will be in the public interest.
“We dream that an Indian startup may one day become the next Google, Facebook or Amazon. We know that you share our dream. We share another dream with you, the dream of a Digital India. We dream of this as Indians, and also as businesses that wish to serve a fast-growing Indian internet market. These dreams cannot be achieved without the open Internet,” the letter says.
The letter also talks about how startups will help fulfill his dream of Digital India. “Bringing them (people in India) online is not merely a question of infrastructure or affordability; there should first be demand for Internet access. No-one will begin using the Internet just because access is cheap or even free, if all the content and applications are in foreign languages and don’t solve their problems. The key to attaining a Digital India is to let Indian startups experiment and build the must-have apps for the next 100 crore Internet users,” it further adds.
The letter emphasizes on the effects of zero rating and its discrimination. “They (apps) are not free but bundled with a paid mobile connection, just as when a toothbrush is given “free” with toothpaste, it is really priced together as a bundle. They don’t even pretend to provide Internet access — the Internet has 100 crore websites and the freedom to start your own, while these offers only have a few dozen cherry-picked websites,” it reads.
The letter is also marked to Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.
Read the complete letter below:
Shri Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
Copy to
Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad
Minister of Communications and Information Technology
Copy to
Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry
Dated: April 24, 2015
Subject: Protect the Open Internet in India
Dear Sir,
We are writing to you as founders and stakeholders of Indian technology startups.
Each of us set out on this entrepreneurial journey with a dream to create a world-leading technology company from India. We dream that an Indian startup may one day become the next Google, Facebook or Amazon. We know that you share our dream.
We share another dream with you, the dream of a Digital India. We dream of this as Indians, and also as businesses that wish to serve a fast-growing Indian internet market.
These dreams cannot be achieved without the open Internet.
Preserving the Startup Ecosystem
The Internet is a fountain of creativity because it is a single, global market where anyone can offer a product and be reachable by every user. This results in global competition and exchange of ideas, and drives innovation and progress.
If startups or online service providers had to first obtain a government license, or pay each Internet Service Provider in the world (there are tens of thousands of them), this global market, competition and innovation would disappear.
This is what we stand to lose if telecom operators are allowed to strike deals to favour some online services over their competitors. Under these deals, companies may pay the ISP to make their competitors’ websites inaccessible, slower or more expensive to access than their own.
These practices, if allowed, will exclude promising startups from the Internet and end our dream of seeing them flourish. The western companies that dominate the Indian internet ecosystem today will use their deep pockets to perpetuate their position. The few startups that can afford it will be forced to find growth in foreign markets before they can return to India with the funds to pay ISPs, while the rest shut shop.
This would be a catastrophic outcome for our startup ecosystem.

Building a Digital India

India has the fastest growing internet user base in the world, but over 100 crore Indians still don’t use the Internet.
Bringing them online is not merely a question of infrastructure or affordability; there should first be demand for Internet access. No-one will begin using the Internet just because access is cheap or even free, if all the content and applications are in foreign languages and don’t solve their problems.
These content and applications will not be created by the large western companies that dominate the Internet today, but by Indian startups like us. We can only do this if there is a level playing field, freedom to innovate, and yes, competition to drive us. Which of our apps solves these problems best is a decision for each user to make, and not for a corporate gatekeeper.
As consumer demand rises, and the profitable market for data will drive an expansion in infrastructure. Cellular operators claim, contradicting their own annual reports, that providing internet access is not profitable enough to expand infrastructure. The fact that they haven’t increased prices and continue to advertize their internet plans heavily show that these claims are untrue.
The key to attaining a Digital India is to let Indian startups experiment and build the must-have apps for the next 100 crore Internet users.

Zero Rating is Harmful Discrimination

Some telecom operators and large foreign companies try to use Digital India against the open Internet. They attempt to justify a form of discrimination called zero-rating by saying it allows them to offer “free internet for the poor”. We must point out that these offerings are neither “free”, “the internet” nor “for the poor”.
They are not free but bundled with a paid mobile connection, just as when a toothbrush is given “free” with toothpaste, it is really priced together as a bundle. They don’t even pretend to provide Internet access — the Internet has 100 crore websites and the freedom to start your own, while these offers only have a few dozen cherry-picked websites. Finally, these plans are not marketed to the poor or those who currently lack access, but only to existing internet users of competing operators.
Some argue that even with these flaws a few bundled websites are better than none. On the contrary, permitting these plans will cause serious harm — as a proprietary alternative to the public Internet, it will slow down Internet adoption and delay Digital India. It must be noted that websites of government departments, educational institutions, healthcare providers and others are not accessible in these plans. In addition, these offers will also cause a collapse of competition as crores of Indians will be locked into a few cherry-picked services, resulting in a decline in quality of service and progress.
There are other, equally economical ways to offer non-internet users a bundled data plan to get acquainted with the Internet, that does not take away their freedom.

Net Neutrality is in the Public Interest

Our desire for a level playing field on the Internet is shared overwhelmingly by consumers. Over the last two weeks over 10 lakh of India’s best-informed citizens have written to TRAI to ask it to uphold equality on the Internet.
Many foreign nations share these views as well. Several, most recently Brazil, have passed laws to ensure “network neutrality” or non-discrimination by ISPs; many more countries like the US and European Union are in the process of doing so.

The Way Forward

We sincerely wish that our government would also protect the open, competitive Internet in India. We request that network neutrality is enforced and all discriminatory practices by ISPs are forbidden — including zero-rating, throttling, blocking, paid prioritization, toll-gating and others. We also hope that the regressive proposal to license online services will be dropped.
We, the startups that are at the forefront of creating the next wave of online applications, request you to take action now. We need you to protect our nation’s innovation ecosystem.
Best regards,