Yet again im searching for a wireless internet option in India. When you dont have a permanent residence or if you are in IT industry like me change is the only permanent option. After enjoying few years of uninterrupted high speed broadband access now im pushed to plow the local wireless options which are at best pathetic. But then I dont have a choice. Many of the below mentioned options must be verified in different areas, in your area the results may differ.
Airtel GPRS/EDGE Network :
When was in south I always relied upon Airtel GPRS/EDGE which is very reliable and with prepaid this is one of the cheapest options.
All the below options are unlimited in Airtel (No excess charges) and best part all these options available in Prepaid
Monthly rental : Rs 375 (topup with 375)
Daily pack : send a SMS GPRS to 56789 (Rs 20 deducted from balance) 24 hour unlimited access.
Weekly pack : send SMS GPRS7 to 56789 (Rs 75 deducted from balance) 7 days unlimited access.
APN name : airtelgprs.com
Username: (leave blank)
password : (leave blank)
If your area has good Airtel Signal then Airtel is the cheapest and best option available. In Mumbai airtel signal is not good in high towers.Whereas in Chennai Airtel is the best. Airtel also has USB and PCMCA data cards available.
When I tried last time Vodafone was nothing better than Airtel but it was more irritating with lots of restrictions in download limits. It really doesnt have any unlimited options and actually there is no proper data plan in its prepaid. So Vodafone might not make the cut against other operators unless it does something special.
But I remember Vodafone having a Rs 19 recharge for 1 day internet. But this is nowhere to be found nowadays in Vodafone website.
BSNL – (GPRS/EDGE/3G/WLL)
Currently BSNL is the only complete operator with services in all spectrums and speeds of wireless access. Though BSNL at times can be irritating currently the public mobile operator has the best plans in market.
BSNL’s GPRS/EDGE in postpaid is very cheap starting at Rs 150 with unlimited option of Rs 349.
With its WLL data cards it offers unlimited internet faster than dialup for just Rs 250 per month and this was much better than I expected even in a rural area. But WLL data cards are allowed to roam only 200 km surrounding your actual locations.So for roaming users throughout India this maynot be best option.
3G is definitely an option to checkout but with its high prcing and low monthly download limits, I wonder anyone will be willing to take the risk. Moreover 3G coverage is limited to certain cities.
Reliance Netconnect :
I never really had good opinion of either Reliance or TATA indicom. But Reliance’s Netconnect with a datacard seems to be very reliable, Im able to get average of 10Kbps download speeds in peak hour (8-9 PM) and decent speeds of 20Kbps download at off peak hours. It is definitely better than a 64 kbps / 128kbps line. But for that matter you should not expect blazing speeds of broadband with this option.
Many users get disappointed because of this misconception, anyway Reliance Netconnect seems to much faster than Airtel/BSNL GPRS/EDGE. But if you have an option of taking BSNL/Airtel Broadband always go for the broadband lines as Broadband is reliable , cheaper and faster.
In my case I was getting poor speeds in my hotel bedroom and much higher speeds in the hall. If you are in a relatively open space speed is very good. This was the case with Airtel and BSNL as well.
TATA indicom walky:
TATA indicom offers unlimited internet through its walky, it definitely depends on the area in whihc you live, If nothing else is available and TATA indicom WLL phone has good reception there is nothing wrong in selecting TATA Indicom’s WLL service walky.