The Race for being the Best 3G network Provider in India has began

The Race for being the Best 3G network Provider in India has began

Detailed analysis of present 3G network conditions in India. Talk regarding the best possible 3G service provision from different mobile networks across India including Airtel, Reliance, Aircel, BSNL, Tata Docomo and Idea. prospects of 3G mobile TV also discussed.

Well in India 3G is buzzing everywhere thanks to launch of private service providers like Tata DoCoMo 3G and Reliance 3G, while Airtel 3G already started their test zones! But which one is best to choose? This we’re sure is a common confusion of most 3G maniacs, thanks to the rolling out of 3G by Private Operators because of the 3G Spectrum auction. Some more are in the process of launching the services too. As we know, BSNL 3G (and MTNL 3G) has launched 3G since early 2009 quite earlier to the spectrum auction. So, here we evaluate the basics of the Third Generation Services of BSNL 3G, DoCoMo 3G and Reliance 3G.

Pricing Of 3G General Services:
While 3G was expected to be a game changer for both the operators and consumers, it has not achieved the required target of reaching the common people. Expectations of some people to get 5-10 GB Data per month at a price tag of Rs. 150-250 has remained in a dream but BSNL has priced it quite to fit the middle class. Anyway, let’s check out the details of the 3G pricing on an as is basis.

BSNL 3G has priced Video calls at Rs 0.70 per minute (and in the recent past at Rs 0.30 per minute as a promotional offer for 1 year period which most 3G Users are enjoying now) while TATA DoCoMo has priced Video calls at 5p/second or at Rs. 3 per minute. Reliance has yet not announced Video Call tariff probably due to DoT temporarily issuing notice to 3G Operators to temporarily stop Video Call facility owing to security risks.

Similarly, Default data rates for BSNL 3G is at 1 paisa per 10 kB = Re. 1/ MB while for DoCoMo it is 1 paisa per kB = Rs. 10/ MB. And on the other hand, Reliance has priced it at 10 paisa per 10 kB = Rs. 10/ MB for first 50 MB usage and at 1 paisa per 10 kB = Re. 1/ MB for usage above 50 MB.

But well, DoCoMo and Reliance 3G have come up with several bundled offers wherein they offer a combo of call minutes and Data MBs at a given price.

If you go through all the various Data Plans, whether for limited or Unlimited, it is BSNL 3G which seems most affordable. For e.g. TATA DoCoMo 3G gives 10 GB Data for Rs. 1500 at 7.2 Mbps after which you get drastically low speeds of 128 kbps for next 10 GB and at the end of 20 GB, your internet is almost non-existent with speeds of just 10 Kbps !!! While Reliance offers upto 10 GB Data at Rs. 1499 at 21 Mbps. At the other end, BSNL 3G offers you Unlimited, mind it, Truly unlimited 3G Data at Rs. 1359 for Postpaid and at Rs. 1499 for Pre-paid at Rs. 1499 with speeds of 3.6/7.2 Mbps ( speeds varies with circles as BSNL is upgrading from 3.6 to 7.2 Mbps across circles)

Furthermore, Reliance and BSNL 3G have no restrictions on the Data Plans, you can use it with full speeds in your phone, in your Data Card or even in your Phone as a modem for your PC while TATA DoCoMo has loads of restrictions – Mobile Data Plans can’t be used for Modem purpose, speeds maybe reduced at peak times. Similarly, DoCoMo’s Unlimited Plans has very bad speed breaker policy – straight down to 128 kbps 2G Speeds from 3.6/7.2 Mbps!Tata DoCoMo 3G Fair Usage Policy needs to be however followed for the service offer plan.

3G USB Modems:
BSNL 3G offers 3G Modems at a price band of Rs. 2000 and Rs. 2500 for USB Modems with 3.6 Mbps and 7.2 Mbps downlinking capacity respectively while Reliance offers 7.2 Mbps Modem at Rs. 2599 and 21 Mbps Modem at Rs. 4499. Similarly, DoCoMo offers 7.2 Mbps Modem with HSUPA at Rs. 2600.Please note that all these modems are backwards compatible with 2G GPRS/EDGE Networks so that they are usable even if you travel to an area out of 3G Coverage.

3G Mobile TV Services:
3G Mobile TV Service is one of the most innovative VAS on the platform, which offers you entertainment on the move though the pricing is not really attractive so far. And additionally, you will be charged for every MB that is streamed during viewing of channels via Mobile TV.

It maybe noted that, Data Charges for Mobile TV is same as that for Normal Data usage at Re. 1/ MB for DoCoMo and Reliance while BSNL has priced it at a special rate of Rs 0.25 / MB.

Performance:
While BSNL initially offered speeds upto 3.6 Mbps which it is now upgrading to 7.2 Mbps private Operators have been shouting of amazing speeds of 21 Mbps by implementing the most advance HSPA+ Networks! How far is this true?

Well, in 3.6 Mbps circles of BSNL 3G, users have reported upto true 3.4-3.5 maximum speeds and upto 6+ Mbps speeds in 7.2 Mbps circles. On the other hand, most DoCoMo users have been getting just 2-3 Mbps speeds in average across the cities where it has launched though some have reported upto 7 Mbps at Best. Similarly, Reliance has reported speeds of around 6 Mbps though it needs further reports owing to the fact that Reliance 3G has launched since just a couple of days.

Additionally, as we know that all private Operators have got 3G License in only some of the circles, users have to face roaming charges upon travelling from one circle to other. Even proper 3G roaming is currently not available for other circles where the Operators don’t have a license though it is expected to commence very soon with operators indicating mutual tie-ups very soon.

In this regard, BSNL 3G is the only Pan India 3G Operator which offers FREE and seamless roaming across circles and even in the MTNL 3G Circles of Delhi and Mumbai.

So, now that we have presented you the details of the pricing and performance of various 3G Operators, it’s upto you now to choose the Best 3G Operator for yourself. But yes, as more and more operators roll out 3G Services, we can expect it to be cheaper too! So, you can be a ‘wait n watcher’ too!

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