I got my iPhone 4 last week. I ordered a factory unlocked one from the UK apple store and got it delivered to a friend’s address in UK who brought it to India.
As soon as I got my hands on it, I inserted my BSNL 3G sim (which I have been using with my iPad 3G) into the phone and configured the APN. And as seamlessly as apple can be, I was able to browse the web at 3G speed!
I used Google Maps with GPS, downloaded apps and checked my email, all on the move over 3G speed. I downloaded Speedtest.net’s iPhone app to check the 3G speed and found that I consistently get around 150 – 200 KBPS download speed, which is roughly equivalent to 1.2 to 1.6 Mbps. Even though its not 3.6 Mbps as advertised by the operators, its still pretty fast.
I was also able to surf the web on my laptop via internet tethering. The setup is literally hassle free. Go to Settings –> General –> Network –> Internet Tethering and switch it on. If you have Bluetooth in your laptop, you can tether wirelessly over Bluetooth, otherwise, you can do this by connecting the iPhone 4 to your laptop using the supplied data cable.
I was also able to make FaceTime calls with my relatives in the US over wifi network. The calls were very smooth over a 512 kbps broadband connection.
I also got a new MTNL 3G connection to use with my new iPhone 4. You can have a look at MTNL’s 3G tariff here: http://mtnldelhi.in/dolphin/dolphin_tariff_new.htm.
Since iPhone 4 accepts only micro SIM cards which are not available in India, you need to cut the SIM provided by your carrier. Similar to how I explained the process for iPad 3G, you can easily do this by cutting the supplied SIM using a pair of scissors to the size of a micro SIM. Make sure to match the orientation of the diagonal edge when you cut. Do not worry if you have a SIM card with the big chip (the one similar to old SIMs), as that will work too:
All in all, I have been having an amazing experience with my new iPhone 4. All the touted features like multitasking, folders, multiple inboxes etc. work flawlessly at blazing fast speed, thanks to the A4 chip and 512 MB of RAM.
So if you want to buy an iPhone 4 and use it over 3G networks in India, go ahead and get one. But make sure that you buy the factory unlocked one, otherwise, you will have to jailbreak and unlock it. Factory unlocked iPhone 4 is available in many countries, however, its cheapest in Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore at around INR 30k (for 16GB model). In UK, it will set you back by INR 38k. The other option is to wait for Airtel and Vodafone to officially launch the iPhone 4 in India. The current rumored date is end of October. However, the rumored price is approx INR 36k for 16GB and INR 42k for 32GB, and the phone will be locked to the respective network for 1 year. So, if you can, get an unlocked one from abroad if you have any friend or relative in these countries.
Private operators are expected to start their 3G service soon. Once that is done, we can expect much faster speed and better connectivity from them.
Here are the APN settings for BSNL and MTNL 3G:
BSNL (yes, username and password are blank):
Since iPhone 4 is HSDPA compliant, you can also use MTNL’s HSDPA APN as follows. However, I did not notice any difference in speed. Maybe we need to get a separate HSDPA sim card for the same:
MTNL HSDPA (prepaid):
MTNL HSDPA (postpaid):
Please restart the iPhone once you enter the APN to save it. Also, once you restart, give it a few minutes to register with the network and get an IP before you start using the internet.
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