How to choose the right GPRS connection in kerala
GPRS shootout in Kerala
As a person, who is constantly testing various GPRS data connections( commonly known as mobile internet ) in Kerala, I decided to make a review on the same.
There are four major GSM players in kerala. The state owned BSNL Cellone, Vodafone, Airtel and Idea. All the four GSM companies are having facilities of GPRS data on their network. To decide which one of them is the best option, I have taken into consideration the following factors
- Network Availability
- Price and options
- 3G and EDGE availability
Network Availability :
Even though the state owned BSNL (Cellone) is having the highest network availability among the four, companies like Vodafone and Idea are also providing almost the same network coverage. Since network coverage varies from place to place, I can't make a decision on the same. I would suggest each one of you to check the networkavailability of all the companies in your area. The higher the network availability, the higher will be the quality of service. At least 60%(3-4 points) signal strength can be considered as a good connection.
Price plans and Options :
Plans available on all the four major players are different. I would suggest you to have an unlimited data plan, if you use internet for downloading and VOIP applications. For those who use it for just viewing or sending e-mail, a limited plan is adviceable.
Among the four companies Vodafone is not having an unlimited data plan as per my knowledge. So it is not adviceable. So Vodafone is out of scope for those who are looking for unlimited plans
All the other 3 companies have unlimited data plans. In kerala Cellone is charging Rs. 199 for unlimited data plan ( only for postpaid connections ). Airtel and Idea charges Rs 250 each for unlimited plans.
Speed of a data conection depends on a lot of factors, in which the most important factor being the priority given by operators for data connections. Cellone has a consistent speed of around 40-48 kbps ( dowload speed of 5-6 KBPS ). Airtel has a slightly less speed of around 32-38 kbps ( download speed of around 4-5KBPS ) and Idea is offering speds around 15-170kbps ( download speed of 2-22KBPS ). You can see that Idea offers the highest speed, but the least consistent connectivity.
3G and EDGE availability :
3G has not been rolled out by any of the cellular operators in India. All the existing cellular operators are having their network ready for 3G and are waiting for govt. approvals. Airtel and Cellone has EDGE in selected cities. So if you are planning for Airtel or Cellone, confirm the availability of EDGE in your tower. Almost all the towers of Idea have EDGE capabilities, that's why they are providing very high top speeds.
As per my tests, I would say that Cellone will be the most cost effective and reliable network option for postpaid users.
For prepaid customers, Airtel will be a better option, since Cellone doesn't have any unlimited plan in prepaid.
Idea will be good for thos who are ready to wait and pray for their luck to get good download speeds
Various GPRS Plans
More by this Author
When I planned of buying a car a couple of year back, I searched for a good comparison of cars in my budget, but hardly found some impartial reviews and comparison. As I took a risk of buying a freshly designed car, I...