Airtel had launched its 3G Wi-Fi datacard in Delhi-NCR in July, and followed by a launch in Mumbai. We have already reviewed the device and the service in Delhi, and have been using the device in Mumbai for the last few weeks.
We'll directly get into the speeds and its performance, as we have already discussed about the other aspects in the other review article.
During our extended usage of the device, we found the speeds to be consistent throughout Mumbai, suburbs and Navi Mumbai. However, the service failed us in Thane region giving us only 600-700Kbps of speed. However, the upload speed worked well.
The device gave us consistent speed between 6-7Mbps downstream and 1-1.5Mbps upstream throughout Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai.
Downloading and streaming videos
If you are a media buff and on road most of the time, Airtel's 3G Wingle is a perfect device. We streamed couple of live events and music videos in HD from YouTube, and did not require to buffer the video after the initial lag. On Torrents as well, we were able to download a 400MB file within 15-20 mins and received a peak speed of 350Kbps on some files.
Things Airtel could work on
Provide a USB adaptor
The box we received didn't come with an USB adaptor. As the device is supposed to be used a WiFi hubspot, we feel that Airtel should also include an USB adaptor with the device. There were instances where Vodafone's 3G didn't work on our phone and we wanted to just plug Airtel's 3G Wingle into the nearest power plug but couldn't.
While the Airtel's dashboard provides all information that you would ideally like to know - like your data consumed, data limit warning, among others, the dashboard itself is less intuitive. Airtel could learn a bit or two from Reliance's 3G WiFi dashboard which does not bombard users with too much information.
The device, if used for longer hours, heats up so much that one can't hold it in hands for more than 3-4 seconds. We are not sure if its the issue with the device we received but this certainly is the one negative points for the device.
Should you buy it?
Unless you're extensively travelling in Thane district, the device is a perfect fit for media consumers and casual users. Unlike some other data cards we've used, Airtel's service was consistent in all the areas where we used the device. We definitely feel that Airtel's service is something that you can rely on.