Don’t you just love price wars? BSNL, the government owned telecom operator, has thrown down the gauntlet by launching 3G EVDO plans that substantially lowers access charges for consumers on the move. Though it’s a pan-India launch, though we’re not sure if Delhi or Mumbai are a part of the plan, since BSNL doesn’t service these cities; sister concern MTNL does. BSNL claims this is a pan-India offer, but doesn’t specify which cities will receive the 3.1 mbps speed, and which will switch to lower speeds. So far, 3G is about data cards in India.

Frankly, I’m tempted to switch: just got my RCOM data card bill last night, it’s a connection I rarely use, since there’s broadband + WiFi at home and in the office, and I’m paying Rs. 650 for a 1 GB/month plan. For the same plan with BSNL, I would be paying less than half that much, at Rs. 299.

Does BSNL have excessive under-utilized 3G bandwidth to spare? Sure looks like it: BSNL appears to be encouraging users to take the unlimited plan, which will cost Rs. 750 per month for users who sign up until the end of March 2010, after which it will increase to Rs. 999 per month. In case of the other EVDO service providers, unlimited isn’t really unlimited: there’s an unfair “Fair Usage” clause.

Another thing to keep in mind is the customer care: I’ve been using my Reliance Broadband Data card since yesterday because my MTNL broadband connections have been iffy for four days, and no one’s come to fix it. Thus I’m sceptical about the customer care offered by PSUs. Tata Photon was never an option for me, after my horrendous experience with their (lack of) customer care a few years ago. In contrast, in three years, I’ve never once needed assistance with the RCOM data card. Maybe they’ll lower rates too. (Hint, hint)


MTS Launches 3.1 Mbps EVDO Services; Per Second Billing In Delhi
Virgin’s New Data Card: Competition & Tata Indicom
RCOM Launches Netconnect Broadband Plus With Upto 3.1 Mbps Wireless Download Speed; 3G, WiMAX?