Behold and rejoice people! The 3G model of Apple iPad works perfectly fine over BSNL’s 3G network in India. So all of you who were waiting for some confirmation for this can go ahead and buy it.
The speed is amazing. Browsing experience is similar to what you get over a broadband connection with most pages loading within 5 to 10 seconds max. Download speed averages at about 50 – 60 KBPS per second at minimum and go till 100 – 150 KBPS during off peak hours. Still less than 2 Mbps but way better than EDGE. Downloading apps and books does not take much time unless the app is > 15 MB in size. If you have a US iTunes account, you can download media directly onto the iPad over 3G. But beware as it may eat up your data bandwidth. Sadly, Pandora doesn’t work as it determines that you are not in the US based on your IP address.
Note that BSNL does not provide the micro sim which goes in the iPad’s sim slot. But there is an easy workaround. All you need to do is cut the BSNL sim to the size of the AT&T sim bundled with the iPad. Just place the AT&T sim over the BSNL sim (matching the orientation using the diagonal edge) and cut it using a pair of scissors. Make sure you leave the same amount of edge space around the chip as in the AT&T sim. See the image below for reference:
Here are the APN settings you will need:
BSNL 3G (yes, username and password are blank):
MTNL 3G (prepaid):
MTNL 3G (postpaid):
Just restart your iPad once you key in these settings and you should be all set.
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