State owned MTNL has introduced affordable 3G prepaid plans for its existing and new subscribers. Apparently, this is a move to woo customers, which they weren’t able to do with their previous absurd postpaid pricing.
I went to a Nokia showroom in Delhi where they were showcasing the 3G features on the Nokia 5800. Although the features were pretty cool, most of the visitors had given the feedback that they won’t be going for 3G services yet, only because they are too costly. Hopefully the new tariffs will change this.
Under the new scheme, a customer can get a 3G enabled SIM by paying INR 300. Following tariff will apply to the 3G services:
|(per min)||Own network
New Customers – Trump Jeevan Sathi plan
The above tariffs are same as those in postpaid. However, what’s attractive is that there are Prepaid 3G data coupons available in the following denominations:
|Coupon||3G Trial Pack||3G 250||3G 450||3G 750||3G 2500|
|MRP (inclusive of Tax)||99||250||450||750||2500|
|Free Data Usage||50 MB||200 MB||500 MB||1GB||Unlimited (with 10 GB/month fair usage cap)|
|Validity for free data and free video calls||15 days||30 days||30 days||30 days||30 days|
|Free Local Video Call (Own network) in Minutes.||Nil||25 min.||50 Min.||75 min.||150 min.|
Keep in mind that the above charges are for UMTS speeds only (upto 2 Mbps). To get HSDPA speeds (upto 7.2 Mbps), you will have to buy another coupon for INR 149 each month. The coupon will give you 60 MB of free download every month.
The data coupons look good and will suit most users’ need and budget. I particularly like the 3G 2500 coupon which can very well be used in homes as a substitute for wired broadband connection. Coupled with the HSDPA coupon, at approximately INR 2700 pm, you can get speeds upto 7.2 Mbps (read 900 KBPS – kilo bytes per second) with 10 GB of data usage.
Looks like MTNL is all set to ignite stiff competition in 3G arena in India. The N97 is coming to India within a week. The new iPhone is on its way. With a plethora of such devices, MTNL’s 3G services are well suited for people in need of high speed wireless connection for their smartphone.
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