Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BSNL 3G DataCard

             Having abandoned BSNL landline broadband connection ( in tirunelveli ) i was franticaly looking for alternatives. Though there were few wired options available ( airtel etc) i looked for a wireless option as i could carry it any wherever i travel. Wireless broadband was hard to find by as 3G / BWA spectrum was allocated only this month. The only carrier providing 3G based datacards was BSNL and once again i was at their mercy :(. 

            What would you expect when a corporate has monopoly over a business. Conventional wisdom states that they should boast thier monopoly and penetrate market with their service before competitors steps in , availing themselves a strong first mover advantage. But any management principle miserably fails before BSNL. Jus vist their home page and you'll get feel of how bad can a website be designed. There was absolutly no clarity on their schemes and how to get a connection. When i tried at thier office in Tirunelveli it was surprise to find that they dont have enough equipment ( usb data card ) on stock. I had to wait for 3 weeks. When it arrived i had to use the recommendation of my relative working there to get the equipment [ ]. It seems they get only few cards every month and they were taken by employes and their relatives.

           Once the equipment arrived i could get administrative work done in a hour ( atleast they have improved in this area) .Just insert a 3G enabled sim on the card and its up. According to thier website there are 2 types of card one working with 3.1 Mbps and another on 7+ Mbps , but employes were not techicaly capable of understanding the differences. The equipment cost Rs2500 and i have to give deposit of 1500 for a post paid connection.I took a post paid account costing Rs999 + taxes per month for 10 GB download.

     Data card internaly had a ROM which stored a driver . I was able to install and make the connection up and working in few minutes on my laptop. Speed was pretty okay .I didnt do much speed testing in Tirunelveli.When i carried the card to Bangalore it was working seamlessly without any issues.Speed was good here too.To test the max speed which we can expect on this i tried torrent through it. As torrent algo are designed to make maximum use of the available bandwidth i did it .It gave me almost 350 KB/s which turns out to be 2.8 Mbps which was pretty much fine.I guess the same sim can be used in 3G enabled phone for video calls, mobile browing etc but i havnt tried it .

From Prem's

Some drawbacks .
There is no clarity on if the same equipment can be used a across different carriers ( when they are availble ).I am also not sure of roaming charges , Jus waiting for the first bill to confirm things. There is no online login to check the usage amount . Driver some with a screen which shows the usage but its not accurate . After downloading a movie of size 700MB and after 1 month of usage it showing the total usage as 529 MB.

If you are higly mobile you can get this connection else you can wait for a couple of months when schmes from mulitple 3G playes/ Broadband wireless access player will pour in which will you lot of options to chose from .

PS: I am personally interested in the pricing point when Reliance Industries comes with their schemes.Its going to be destructive for current playes ( BSNL , Airtel etc) but will be constructive for endusers.


  1. Excellent connection...Took 3G datacard prepaid...Thanks for the suggestion Prem...Very well explained!!!

  2. hi prem, I got BSNL 3G teracom LW272 data card and not able to download any torrent files. Do i need to configure anything in the torrent software. Please advice..

    PS: iam using mtorrent software.


  3. Naveen ,
    To isolate the issue you can check the following
    1. If the torrent work fine in other internet connection
    2. change the torrent software ( Bit torrent ) etc to be used.
    3. Is there any firewall setting installed by IT dept of your office