The Struggle to find a perfect 3G Operator in Mumbai

By May 26th, 2014 AT 4:10 PM

Trying to find the best 3G operator is like trying to find Nirvana. More so when the price war between the operators have ended and there’s little or no difference in the quality of service these carriers offer.

I have been dependent on Vodafone’s 3G service in Mumbai circle for a very long time. However, it’s getting frustrating when it switches to edge while commuting in local trains where I spend more or less 3.5 hours a day. Now I don’t mind if the speed lowers to edge, but the Edge connection on Vodafone is such that it literally takes 10 minutes to just open up a page, which is again frustrating and more of a reason for fights in the ladies compartment.

Hence, I recently decided to make a switch. Over the last few quarters, we have seen heck loads of consolidation in the telecom market making it easier for carriers to offer little to nothing innovation when it comes to pricing. I tried to collect and analyze 1GB 3G data plans in Mumbai offered by all the telecom operators in Mumbai circle.


Turns out:

  1. Most of the operators offer same rates for 1GB 3G, be it postpaid or prepaid.
  2. Only RCOM seems to offer somewhat inexpensive 3G data.
  3. While all operators offer similar 3G tariff on both, prepaid & postpaid connections, Idea seems to punish postpaid customers. Quite idiotic!
  4. MTNL does it right by favoring its postpaid users who are committed to them for a longer.


For now I have shifted from my postpaid Vodafone connection to prepaid, which is again a horrific experience with the kind of customer service it provides, but that’s for another topic, and have got an extra prepaid RCOM connection.

Here’s how I eliminated options:

  1. I’ve previously had a very horrible experience where Airtel charged me outrageous amount of money accidentally clicking on banner ads on my touchscreen mobile. Considering Airtel again was out of question as it tries in engage in unethical tactics to charge users.
  2. I was previously with Idea for few months, until DoT decided that carriers shouldn’t be allowed to share their 3G network among themselves. At that time Ideas was sharing Vodafone’s 3G data service to offer to its users. While I’m not aware of whether it still share’s Vodafone’s 3G service, but my gut feeling says that it does, which means I would be getting back on Vodafone’s network.
  3. I eliminated MTNL for the sole reason that I have to visit MTNL’s office to a SIM card, and I wanted some quick process to get a new SIM.

Do share which carrier you are using for 3G data in Mumbai.

Apurva is a tech enthusiast who loves her gadgets and talks about digital media usage. She is currently developing and works for an IT company.

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Armaan MalikGaurav MittalNeerav KothariDarshanVishal Ahuja Recent comment authors
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Neerav Kothari
Neerav Kothari

they had sold the 4g spectrum at a staggering price. so only the customer will have to bare the brunt. but since people will not adopt to 4g if it is priced high, it will be priced lower compared to internation markets (just like 3g) and will be sold with lower speeds. the reason why 3g is so bad in india is because it has to be sold at a reduced price. one of my friends working with a telecom company that does testing of cell sites for service provider says that internationally the cell site equipment use is of… Read more »

Gaurav Mittal
Gaurav Mittal

Advertisement of Vodafone 3G seems to broadcast as Fastest 3G network in India, which I will oppose, speed is around 1 to 2 MBPS at my Home area of NL Complex in Dahisar East. whereas in my office at Nariman point speed is around 4 to 5 MBPS. Several complaint has been escalated to Vodafone Grievances, Nodal and Appellate officer and i got false assurance of stipulated time period stating they will survey the near by cell site and yet the issue has not been resolved. Moreover there are frequent call drop and connectivity issue on my 5th floor residence.… Read more »


There is no option for Mumbaikars instead of Vodafone, airtel 3G network is good but again same price but with good speeds
Reliance is cheaper but its network works well in Mumbai only
Idea is cheaper than airtel & vodafone and it has ICR pact with airtel so you get benefits of good 2G network of Idea & 3G coverage of airtel at cheaper price
Else stay with Vodafone and complain on their customer care mail id or log complain on pgportal

Neerav Kothari
Neerav Kothari

The problem is other services are even worse than vodafone.

Gaurav Mittal
Gaurav Mittal

Finally I have ported to Idea, as I have already faced billing problem and service activation problem with Airtel nearby 10 to 12 years ago and have to discontinue with Airtel. For last 3 days with Idea network experience it has much more better network at my residence, within Local Train From Dahisar/ Borivali to Churchgate and even to my office at Nariman Point. Moreover there is no call drop with Idea during peak hours on both 2G and 3G network. Whereas about 3G Experience at my residence on speed test is download at 4.5 MBPS and upload around 2.5… Read more »

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