Data services are booming in India. Service providers are also trying to deploy better technology to cope up the enormous data demand, as we can see BWA operators are going for LTE-TDD though this technology is yet to mature.
If we check the record CDMA carriers brought the 3rd generation data services in India via EV-DO on their 800 MHz band.
While GSM operators who are on 900 or 1800 MHz band cannot offer 3G services, CDMA operators outsmart them with the technological advantages.
With HSPA services are rolled out, CDMA players are seeing some competition from GSM rivals. And so they are installing EVDO Rev B on their existing networks. With Rev B CDMA players will see increase in downlink capacity, increase in uplink capacity through BTS Interference Cancellation and others.
Till date MTS India and Tata Teleservices launched their commercial Rev B network on 800 MHz spectrum. MTS installed Rev B phase II network which offers upto 4.9 Mbps downlink per carrier of 1.25 Mhz band, they are deployed 2 carriers for Rev B and can offer downlink upto 9.8 Mbps at current scenario.
If they get more spectrum in coming days, the network capacity will increase with addition of spectrum.Tata Tele goes for Rev B phase I, which is just multi carrier upgrade from Rev A. So Photon MAX can support upto 6.2 Mbps (3.1 x 2) downlink using 2 carriers of 1.25 Mhz band.
Comparison between Ultra and Photon MAX:
|MTS MBlaze Ultra||Tata Docomo Photon MAX (6X)|
|Technical Details||EVDO Rev B Phase 2: Downlink at 9.8 Mbps and uplink at 3.6 Mbps||EVDO Rev B Phase 1: Downlink at 6.2 Mbps and uplink at 3.6 Mbps|
|Device Options||ZTE AC2791, Huawei EC306|
|Price||Rs 2499||Rs 1999/2749|
|Coverage||Jaipur||Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad|
|Bundle Plan||Pay Rs 4599 and get 1GB/month for 6 months||Pay Rs 3999 and get 1GB/month for 5 months|
|Other plans||1GB/FMC Rs 629, 3GB/FMC Rs 899, 10GB/FMC Rs 1359, 15GB/FMC Rs 1629, 20GB/FMC Rs 1899. Extra usage Rs 1/MB||FMR Rs 750 – 1.5GB/month, 1.5-5 GB @ Rs 0.50/MB and beyond 5GB speed will be @32kbps|
|Prepaid||Not Available||Not Available|
Notes to be taken from the above comparison table:
1.MTS brings the modems which are 14.7 Mbps supported. That means when MTS will add another carrier there is no need of upgrading the modem. I asked for Photon MAX modem details, did not get till date, so cannot comment on this.
2.When you look at the modem price, it is more than 3G-HSPA modems.
3.Bundle plans target users with less usage (1 – 1.5 GB). Tata Tele goes further – no plan more than 1.5 GB usage. But MTS Ultra has many plans with upto 20 GB of bundled usage.
4.In spite of MTS has mostly prepaid customers on MBlaze (Rev A), they at initial stage do not offer prepaid plans. So did Tata Tele. Is Rev B only for high spending postpaid customers?
CDMA Rev B Roll out Discussion:
I checked out all plans from MTS and TTL and came to some points which are shared below.
CDMA Data tariffs will have 4 tiers – 1x, RevA, RevB-I and RevB-II; for each type of services, you need different devices. While GSM players are offering data under two tiers – 2G and 3G.
High Entry Point & Handset Issues:
EVDO rev B modems are slightly costly. While 7.2 Mbps 3G modems are available at around Rs 1500. Also they are no handset supporting Rev B, but handsets with HSPA (14 Mbps or more) supported are already in the market. So Rev B will be restricted to modems, which means you need a computer to use the service.
Once you are on Rev B, you cannot choose Rev A tariffs or 1x tariffs. But even if you are on 3G, you can directly recharge for 2G packs or deactivate 3G & use 2G data packs. Also CDMA players put many restrictions to the users for eg: tethering not allowed, RUIM cannot be used on modem etc etc.
RevB is available now at fewer cities. This also tells why tariff will be same for Rev A & Rev B. But on 3G-HSPA coverage is huge. Even private players who are late entrant on 3G space has more than 100 cities with HSPA 3.6 Mbps or more coverage.
No Return Offer:
Though TTL has a offer – return Whiz device and get Photon+ device at discounted price, there is no similar offer on Photon+ MAX. MTS also does not.
Anything you like to add? Share here! Comments are appreciated.