Tata Docomo 3G Plans – Fits For Whom?

When Tata Docomo announced their launch of 3G services by Diwali, people got excited by dreaming of mainstream affordable 3G services. It was expected from an operator who shaked the market with their innovative tariff plans.

People got more excited when BSNL introduced their longer validity data plans on which you can enjoy Unlimited 3G connectivity at just Rs 700/month for 6 months.

Hoping a new tariff war on 3G data segment people became more hopeful. But Tata Docomo did not care listen to us, they bring some crazy plans which are basically sick, and nobody will opt for. Users favor BSNL and bully Tata Docomo in their own 3G Life forums, Orkut community and other online forums.

Now why Tata Docomo can not be a game changer on 3G, inspite of they are backed by world’s leader of 3G innovations NTT Docomo. Let’s check it.

21Mbps HSPA+ Network – Just a term ?

Tata Docomo says their network can enable to deliver upto 21Mbps downlink on HSPA+ network. But no user showed any speed test of more than 4Mbps. It strongly suggesting they currently deployed basic HSPA 3.6Mbps BTS over areas. Even as their website shows at present they are selling only HSPA 7.2Mbps 3G modem at Rs 2600 (that’s well priced) – 21Mbps from Tata Docomo is just a dream right now.

BSNL/MTNL has 3.6Mbps HSPA network, which is been upgrading to 7.2Mbps HSPA. Speedtest.net results from many users from Bangalore support the fact. So this 21Mbps download speed is just advertising gimmick ?? And as other operators are coming with 3G services, will follow this trend. Airtel, Reliance all are saying their network will deliver upto 21Mbps downlink.

In brief you will find most BTS (of any operator) will offer upto 3.6Mbps speed (on practical around 2Mbps), a few will offer 7.2Mbps and if you get a 21Mbps BTS that’ll be too lucky for you.

And Tata Docomo has offered speed based wireless data plans!

Mixing up Voice & Data plans – Tata Docomo 3G Tariff plans

Tata Docomo mixes up whole 3G thing; they introduced high cost 3G voice data combo plans. Voice tariff should be same on 2G and 3G network, main price difference will be on data connection. Tata Docomo’s 3G life plans are complex at a point – because not always you need high speed internet on mobile.

Have a look of current default GPRS/EDGE (2G) tariff plans from different operators:

OperatorDefault Tariff
Airtel30p/50kB = Rs 6/MB
Reliance5p/10kB = Rs 5/MB
Idea2p/kB = Rs 20/MB
Vodafone/Aircel and others10p/10kB = Rs 10/MB
BSNL/ MTNL  (2G/3G)1p/10kB = Re 1/MB

And you are expecting affordable 3G tariff plans from these private telecom operators? No Cheap 3G by Private Operators !!

Teethering will not be allowed when you are on Small-Screen plans

If you subscribe to any of small screen plans, you can not use internet on PC or laptop by connecting your mobile via USB.

So even if you have a 3G handset and Tata Docomo 3G connection, can not enjoy 3G high speed internet on PC/laptop unless you take their Large Screen plans with 3G USB Modem. Till now it is not sure they will allow to use your own data card or not!

speed Throttling – They care for network, not for users.

It is expected they will throttle the torrent speed also, even if that’s legitimate bittorrent download, for eg Linux distros.

Fair Usage Policy

They are saying it is Wireless Broadband and capping the speed to 128kbps after certain usage.  Broadband as per TRAI is always on connection with minimum 256kbps bandwidth! More fun come when you will see their ‘Limit 2 Speed Capping’ – they will restrict speed at 10kbit/sec!

And all these comes on Tata Docomo ‘Smart 3G life plans‘.

You can’t make calls/SMS from Tata Docomo 3G life USB Modem

Value Added Services

Value Added Services, I personally hate them  so much! There are lots of offerings and services (mostly at premiere price) will come with 3G. Operators will push Video calls and Mobile TV. A lot of 3G handsets do not have a front camera to support video calls.

And in case of Mobile TV you will be charged for each KB transferred to your mobile along with subscription charge. And Tata Docomo video calling comes at 5p/second i.e. Rs3/min and you can call only onnet numbers i.e. @5p/sec you can call only to Tata Docomo 3G users.

Though 3G roaming over all circles is not available at present from Tata Docomo and other private operators, but it will come very soon. And with pan India 3G presence BSNL/MTNL will be biggest gainer by these roaming agreements of private operators.


At this point I have a soft feeling for ex-telecom minister A.Raja who gave away 2G licenses and India saw cheapest tariff on mobile. Despite of the face 3G is a costly business mobile broadband has to be priced moderately from the very fast, to lure subscribers to use 3G services and generate profit.

Most important part of 3G is ‘Mobile Broadband’ and it has huge scope to kick up ARPU and operators will be able to recover money invested on 3G licese buy and network upgradation.

Brief Comparison of present Wireless Broadband Providers:

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