While experts are saying there will not be any tariff war on 3G market in coming days, 3G device market is already heated up. Latest and cheapest addition comes from iWEBLEAF, as they are selling 3G data card(USB modem) at an unbelievable price tag of Rs 1300!
Compared to market's average price of 3G data card Rs 2500, iWEBLEAF's 3G data card which comes at half of that certainly will draw attention and lure more users to try highspeed wireless internet services on 3G network.
Interestingly, this is not another piece of Made-in-China gadget, rather it is made by two engineer students of Bhubaneswar's Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Chandrasekhar Panda and Saswat Swain.
iWEBLEAF 3G HSDPA Data Card can offer upto 7.2Mbps download speed (HSDPA) and 384kbps upload speed. It also supports 2G network - GPRS/EDGE. It comes with genuine IMEI number and a SIM card slot, to use with any GSM operator.
It also has a microSD card slot to double the device as 4GB pen drive. Currently it is supporting data/sms/call function with USB 2.0 interface and can be used on any Windows (200/XP/Vista/7), Mac and Linux system. The device will autoinstall all required drivers and softwares, which includes a mobile TV application which offers 150+ channels, including three Odia channels, including the OTV, ETV and Naxatra TV free of cost without using any TV Tuner or any additional gadgets.
Though the young innovator duo think that this cheap data cards with WiFi hotspot facility can bring a broadband revolution in villages, I personally feel without any affordable 3G data plan that can not be achieved.
It should be remembered that Reliance, latest 3G operator in town says there will not be any tariff war on 3G market.
One of the developer of the data card Mr. Saswat told that “We are really excited to bring this service for the common public but we need the intervention of the Government of Orissa, as this project will create direct as well as in direct employment opportunity in the state and towards research & development we need more focus and exposure. If the volume of this product is increased we can drastically reduce the product price to Rs 900.”
These students have already wrote letters to the President of India, Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Odisha and also to the Department of Science of Technology, Odisha but unable to get any positive response from the state government.
Update: After an email conversion with Team iWEBLEAF it is confirmed that iWEBLEAF 3G DATA CARD can support upto 64Mbps download speed (HSPA+), but it can not be tested as most 3G enabled areas has either 3.6Mbps or 7.2Mbps HSDPA supported BTS. The device can offer maximum upload speed of 1.6Mbps. The chipset used in this iWEBLEAF 3G Data card is equivalent to Qualcomm's new MDM8200 HSPA chipset.
Commerical production of the device has not been started, though iWEBLEAF expects to produce 2000 pc/week if funding from Orissa Govt can be obtained. Currently the company is in talk with Future Group, expecting retail launch end of this year. The device will be available on eZone, Gen M, M Bazaar, Future Axiom and other retail chains of Future Group and hopefully it will also be sold via Future Group's online store FutureBazaar.com. They are also planning to provide EVDO Data card at a price of around Rs 850 and 1X USB dongle at Rs 600.
You can also reach Team iWebleaf on mobile, Chandrasekhar at +91-9853334919 and Saswat at+91-9438419742.
They have more in the bag to surprise us. Stay tuned to Telecomtalk.