India’s mobile market, over crowded by around 17 mobile operators shows intense competition – which helps to drop down call rate as low as half a paisa per second and SMS over India costs merely 1paisa! But it is sad data tariff or Internet on mobile Phones is not that cheap.
GPRS/EDGE speed is often too slow to surf Internet unlimited Low Cost GPRS/Mobile Internet is offered by a few operators in 2G segments, incidentally BSNL and MTNL the Govt owned operators offering some attractive limited plans and Unlimited Faster Data Connectivity on 3G network at Rs 2500, well that is out of reach of most people, still you can expect it to be cheap in future.
Interestingly CDMA operators has not entered Internet-on-the-go in that exclusively way, though they are in Data card business with 3.1 Mbps EVDO technology. Tata Indicom recently rolled out Photon+ on mobile, though tariff will keep most users at a bay with a few handset supported! MTS has not entered Internet on the go services (on Mobile Phones) till.
Aircel is pioneer in cutting down GPRS price, offering unlimited net-on-mobile or on PC at just Rs 98 for a period of 30 days. Aircel even has a trial pack of Rs 14 offering unlimited Internet for 3 days. Aircel GPRS speed is not bad, but differs circle to circle, zone to zone and time to time, peak hours offers slower speed and this is applicable to all operators. MTNL has same GPRS tariff like Aircel on 2G network.
Airtel brought GPRS tariff cut down to compete Tata Docomo’s offers, now offering internet on phone/PC 2GB for Rs 98 for 30 days. Tata Docomo is also offering GPRS services, offering 200MB free usage in day and 4GB at night at Rs 95 for 30 days. For high end users Tata Docomo is not a good option. Reliance GPRS is also costly. BSNL has different packs for different needs in different circles; See here. (Check Tata Docomo vs BSNL GPRS – exclusive comparison.) Vodafone has one of the few operators who did not hear to market needs. Recently in Kolkata circle, Vodafone launches unlimited GPRS at an affordable Rs 251 for 30 days. Idea fails to create hype in GPRS market, offering some crappy pack in some circles, basic browsing comes at a 2paisa/KB compared to others’ 1p/KB or 10p/KB! STel has to roll out GPRS.
Now enter Uninor! Though Uninor’s voice tariff failed to attract Indian people, this time Uninor (and Telenor too) understands the value-for-money sentiment of Indians and stirs the market with its GPRS packs. Uninor is offering 3GB internet at Rs 90 for 30 days with free browsing on Facebook, Orkut and Twitter. It’s a damn good deal! Uninor with free browsing on Facebook and Twitter outnumbers Tata Docomo (don’t count Buddynet with daily rental Re1)! As Uninor’s network is less congested, speed is expected to be good enough.
Have a look to compare GPRS(2G) Packs:
|Unlimited pack||Other pack (taken maximum free usage)||Post free usage charge
|Aircel||Rs 98, 30 days Rs 14,3 days||N/A||N/A|
|MTNL(2G)||Rs 98, 30 days Rs 14, 3 days||N/A||N/A|
|Airtel||N/A||Rs 98, 2GB,30 daysRs 23, 200MB,3 days||30p/50KB|
|BSNL(2G)||Rs 274, 30 days||Rs.219 ,1 GB (day)- 4 GB (night), 30 days||1p/10KB|
|Tata Docomo||N/A||Rs 95, 200MB (day)- 4 GB (night), 30 days||50p/MB|
|Uninor||N/A||Rs90, 3GB,30 daysRs9, 60MB,3 days||10p/10KB
*Free browsing on facebook, Orkut & twitter
Verdict: As faster 3G Data Tariff at present is quite high, 2G will remain mainstream for next 2 years, if there is no major breakthrough in 3G data tariff. Uninor, which did not take part in 3G auction, will continue to offer more on 2G, GPRS and EDGE. Bet on Uninor!