Tech Dreams

Airtel 3G in Chennai – User experience, Price & What’s the catch?

Airtel 3GFinally ! Here we are with Airtel 3G in India. Now Airtel customers can have a go at real 3G speed. Sources suggest that the delay in rolling out 3G was due to hardware problems. It was provided by Ericsson. Now first things first. Let me get to the point. I had subscribed to Airtel’s 3G pack Rs.100 for 100 MB. This is to check out how good it is, did not want to pay a hefty sum at the first instance. It was pretty smooth upgrading..

After the upgrade I did see the much awaited 3G signal bar on my phone. Ok! now its testing time.

User experience

  • First I did a bit of browsing, boy ! it was pretty quick, web pages loaded in a jiffy. I really did not time it because it loaded really quick.
  • I loaded a YouTube Video, no buffering, watched the 4 min Video with no problems, it took around 6 MB of data usage
  • Made a Skype call for about 6 min, voice clarity was really good and data usage was around 4-5 MB
  • Tried Google Maps everything was so fast could not see the difference between computer and my phone, used it for about couple of minutes.
  • Did listen to an Online Radio for about 5 min took about 8 MB of data usage
  • Guess there is no need to say about Facebook or Twitter. It was good obviously.
  • Video Call – Not yet tested :(

Price – Do you get what you pay for ?

3G speed is fantastic, you have to really feel it to enjoy it. But currently in Airtel, 3G is available only in 3 places wiz. Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore. ok ! Its not even there in all the metros? hmmm.

3G signal was not available in all parts of Chennai, often in many places it changed to 2G. Let alone all the places, even in my house when walking from one room to another sometimes its shows 2G. When it chaged from 3G to 2G there was lag in the application when it was loading data which often made me wonder if the application hanged.

Currently prices not low. 2G plans in Airtel is Rs.98 for 2GB and for Rs.100 its only 100MB in 3G.

Now you decide please, it’s quite a debate.

The Catch – There is always a catch right ?

If you have bought 3G connection and in places where 3G is not available (2G) and use any application that requires data connections (youtube, browse, chat etc) its changed with 3G!. Meaning if you have bought 100MB of 3G by paying Rs.100 like I did, suppose you used the connection for about 10MB using 2G, then it would reduce from the 100MB to 90 MB….That’s bad !

You cannot have 2G and 3G plans activated at the same point of time in your phone. You will pay 3G price for using 2G.