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How To Choose 3G Services


Presently 3G is being used mainly for Data and some Video calls because 3G network has yet not been fully deployed even within a circle by the service providers. Hence most of the (TSP’s) Telecom Service Providers are providing voice calls and sms on 2 G network with 3 G data plans. Also bear in mind that you need a 3G enabled handset as well to utilize 3G services. 

1) In most cases one would like to use the existing connection to be used for 3G service. This will decide the TSP as well as Pre-Paid and Post-Paid connection. 

2) You have to decide whether you want 3G connection with you existing SIM or you want to go for a new connection for 3G. This will depend upon - 

  •  Whether the existing TSP is providing 3G services in one’s area of interest 
  •  Whether the 3G plans being offered by the current TSP suited to the user 
  •  What is the feedback from friends and relatives about the services of the current TSP 
  •  Whether one is sure of his usage or he wants to explore in the beginning 


Analysis of above criteria will help a user decide whether - 

  •  Conusmer wants to continue with the current TSP or needs a new connection for 3G 
  •  Wants a Pre-Paid or a Post-Paid plan 

3) If you are a beginner not sure of your requirements go for either 1-7 day Pre-Paid plan or if you are a Post-Paid consumer go for the least value plan. Decide whether you will be using the data plan in your home network or you need to roam frequently. Your data requirement is predominantly browsing or you have substantial upload/download requirements.




SPEED Download up to 21 Mbps; Upload up to 5.7 Mbps Download up to 236 Kbps; 
Upload up to 236 Kbps  
CALLS Video calls   Voice calls  
MESSAGES MMS - Video Messages   Basic SMS  
VAS Video on Demand, Location based services and lots more Caller Ring Back Tunes, Ringtones etc. 




How To Choose 3G Services

The tariff plan can be divided into PRE-PAID PLANS & POST-PAID PLANS: 

Pre-Paid plans range from 1 to 90 days validity as well as data based and time based plans. MTNL offers the cheapest plans (effectively 2p/10KB) whereas costliest offering is from Vodafone (10p/10KB). All other TSPs fall in between. TataDoCoMo does not offer 3G for Delhi circle. 

Time Based Plans: These are typically 1 to 7 day validity plans where after exhausting the free data limit charges are on per minute basis. Like Airtel charges Rs. 3/Min for its 1 Day validity Rs.11 plan with 30 mts free limit or MTNL 3G20 Rs.20 plan with 250MB free data and further usage charged at 25p/Min. 

Data Based Plans: All TSPs offer data based 3G Pre-Paid plans with validity from 11 hours to 180 days and different free data options. The cheapest are from MTNL whereas Vodafone is costliest. 

Unlimited Data Plans: Idea, Reliance and MTNL offer unlimited data usage plans as well but there are restrictions in terms of speed, time of day use and others. 

Pay As Used: All except Tata offer Pay as used plans wherein there is plan charge and you pay for the data usage at a flat rate. 

Combo Plans: MTNL and Reliance offer few combo plans as well combining 3G Data and Video calls with 2G voice calls and sms including free voice calls and sms built in.

Recommendation for Pre-Paid Consumers: For short duration Aircel, MTNL and Reliance are cheaper. For regular mainly browsing use, Aircel and MTNL are better. However, for heavy data usage Reliance and MTNL unlimited plans are more suited. 

Post-Paid Plans: Post-Paid plans of all the TSPs are comparable. For mainly browsing and light data usage, MTNL and Aircel may be preferred though Idea and Reliance are also acceptable. For heavy data usage again MTNL and Reliance unlimited plans are recommended. You should also consult the respective companys customer care or retail outlet for latest price plans and offerings. 

Hemant Upadhyay 
Advisor IT & Telecom 

TD-LTE: A 4th Generation (4G) mobile communication technology: 

TD-LTE is a fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication technology that allows a peak download speed of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) on wireless devices, against 20 Mbps for 3G technologies. Its main advantage, in addition to speed, is that it is an extension of the popular GSM wireless technology and is compatible with both 2G and 3G networks. This essentially means that when a user moves out of an area covered by a 4G network, he will still be able to access communication services in wider 2G or 3G networks using the same device. It has a variant called Frequency- Division Long-Term Evolution (FD-LTE).
State-run telcos, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd also operate WiMax technology-based wireless broadband services, but all other operators that won spectrum in the 2010 broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum auction are rolling out TD-LTE-based services. The US-based mobile chip maker, Qualcomm Inc., recently announced that it was selling its BWA companies in India to Bharti Airtel Ltd in a staggered deal ending in a complete acquisition by end-2014. Bharti has already launched 4G services in Bangalore and Kolkata. Other companies expected to launch services soon include Tikona Digital Networks Pvt. Ltd, Aircel Ltd and Augere Ltd.

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