PVT CDMA Operators & Their Meaningless 1x Unlimited Plan

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PVT CDMA Operators & Their Meaningless 1x Unlimited PlanPioneered by Qualcomm, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is one of the most popular wireless air interface standard which provides excellent data and voice services.

Though mainframe CDMA is not widely used over the globe, WCDMA – a variant of CDMA is deployed as 3rd generation GSM networks. Read more CDMA in India – Past, Present and Future.

CDMA2000 1X, a major upgrade over CDMAone is the core CDMA2000 wireless air interface standard, supports packet data speed upto 153kbps (DL & UL).All CDMA operators in India migrated to CDMA 1x & also upgraded their network with EVDO to provide high speed internet services.

Though 1x network is used mainly for voice traffic, operators also offer data services over 1x networks. But there is hell-and-heaven difference between the 1x data plans from private operators (Reliance, Tata/Virgin & MTS) and Govt-owned PSUs (BSNL & MTNL) let’s have a look on this

MONTHLY UNLIMITED 1X DATA PLAN:

OPERATORBASE RATEMONTHLY UNLIMITED PACK
RELIANCE Netconnect60p/Min at Night

30p/Min at Day

Rs.801(Prepaid)

Rs.1500(Postpaid)

MTS MBrowseRs.2/MBRs.799

Varies from circle to circle,

Also Rs 799 for 60 days.

VIRGIN vLink25p/Min at Day

13p/Min at Night

Rs.801
TATA Photon Whiz Rs.555
MTNL 1x1p/10KB (Rs.1 per MB) Rs.75 (Delhi)

Rs.299(Mumbai)

BSNL 1xData usage charges (peak hour) 5 paisa per 100KB

Data usage charges (Off-peak hour- 11.00 PM to 07.00 AM)
0.025 paisa /100 KB

Rs.250 (Without Roaming Facility)

Rs.350 (With Roaming Facility)

MONTHLY LIMTED 1X DATA PLAN(ON AVGERAGE BASIS):

OPERATOR RATE AS PER USAGEVALIDITY
MTS2GB @RS.60030 Days
RELIANCEMRP: 202

BENEFIT:  10Hrs Day/20Hrs Night

30 Days
VIRGIN CDMAMRP: Rs.349

BENEFIT: 21Hrs Day/42Hrs Night

30 Days
TATA INDICOMALMOST SAME LIKE VIRGIN CDMA30 Days

All these data plans are mostly for using via data cards. It should be noted CDMA players due to lack of good handsets at affordable price can not enter the internet-on-mobile market properly. GSM players with their EDGE/GPRS enabled network are the first choice for internet-on-mobile.

Before we blame the private CDMA operators, we should know their limitations – spectrum crunch (thanks to Indian Govt who can not provide 800Mhz spectrum to them) & load of voice customers.

At this scenario they are not pushing their 1x data services. Reliance already put a stop to its Wireless Fixed Phone services.

PSU duo, BSNL & MTNL who are predominately GSM players never push their CDMA productline. Have you ever seen BSNL EVDO ad on TV? But you must watch Deepika Padukone & Abhinav Brinda posing for BSNL 3G thousand times! Due to less voice subscribers BSNL and MTNL can offer IX unlimited at a very nominal price.

As 1x is slow you can not consume heavy data, so unlimited plans are not really useful. For average users, 2-5GB/month is fair enough.

And that’s why GSM players are choice of internet users who don’t have broadband. For 2-6GB usage of EDGE/GPRS cost is below Rs 100. With low cost data enabled mobile phones mango-people tastes the internet first time. You can also use the GSM SIM on your 2G/3G data cards to user internet on PC/laptop.

Internet via CDMA mostly comes via data cards. With the entry of 3G in the market it is fact people will move to higher bandwidth sooner or later. As price drops on HSPA data services, people will dump this slow 1x or EDGE.

So I think it is better and economical to provide 4GB-6GB 1X data packs (kind of unlimited for many users) at Rs.100-Rs.200. It will certainly give more value for money.

Also they can cover some remotest area where GSM coverage is still unavailable to kick start rural internet penetration with CDMA1x’s superior coverage technology on 800MHz spectrum.

But still there is a doubt, private CDMA players have to earn profit, they do not have social responsibilities like PSUs have.At this point I do not foresee any price drop from private CDMA players.

Now we ask you what is your take on it ?

Reported By

Anirban hails from Kolkata and works as an IT Consultant for a MNC. He is currently based out of Gurgaon now. He loves to write codes and blogs both.

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