Monday, June 24, 2013

Mobile Data Plans (Pains) - India

With a post paid connection, if I would wanna use 3G data connectivity, i can choose a plan of 1 GB/month at the cost of ~Rs. 250. this applies to almost any service provider. Thats fine.
But when you are roaming, only some service providers like airtel let this plan valid, but others like Idea charge you out of the plan. You might think that is valid as well, May be but lets see the figures. you would be charged separately at a rate of 10ps/10kb which means for a 1 mb, you pay Rs. 10 (for a mp3 song usually 5mb you pay Rs. 50 ) and so for 1 gb (~ multiply by 1000), you pay Rs. 10,000. How does it sound? If you dont believe it, i paid Rs. 2500 for 250 mb(rounded figures) usage on roaming with Idea. So, the cost of 3G data usage is 40 times the cost when you were on a plan! How do you digest this even if you are on roaming. The call charges on the other hand are max twice the original on roaming, isnt it?
Now why cant I call it day time robbery? Are they expecting me not to roam outside the state at all? or are they banking on this roaming payments? wait, this charge is applicable when you are not even roaming if you are not on any specific plan or you exceed your plan limit.
In case of airtel, 3G usage post plan limit is 3p/10kb, and for 2G its 10p/10kb (?). Recently vodafone slashed the charges 80%  to 2p/10kb, wow reduced 5 times? boss it is still 8 times the cost when you are on plan! ie, Rs. 2000 per 1 GB.
The only consolation with Airtel or even Vodafone as I hear, is that you can relax as long as you are on a plan and your usage is within limits even while roaming, i have personally experienced that with Airtel atleast and thank God on that!

First of all, i dont understand why we need separate roaming charges inside the same country, when the service providers have their own networks or max friend networks all over the country and everywhere they are connected! Even if they want extra income on roaming because it is all different circles(?), they cannot be allowed to do a robbery like this. what is TRAI doing? Or am i missing something? is this justified to charge you 8 times more? or even 40 times more when you are not on a plan or you are on plan but roaming?

There are other billing issues as well on 3G usage when you switch plans in the same month, that you dont understand the billing at all or you are doomed if you dont check your bill for improper billing. Are the networks amateur still with 3G plans? that they will improve over time? Come on man, we are already behind on 4G dont expect me to buy that amateur argument!

Have posted this billing query to TRAI on its website today through feedback form. Lets see...

Update: 28/06/2013:
Not surprisingly no response from TRAI. But I moved my number to Vodafone successfully. Though i wanted an Airtel as my family mostly is on tht in addition to my long time loyalty with it, it seems impossible to get an airtel postpaid thru any agent around my place! not sure about the conspiracy but am serious. Anyways, am glad for now with vodafone, unlike Idea, it has got amazing 3G speed, more than 8 mb on speedtest, with Idea i cud hardly even cross 50 kb on 3G! Vodafone also has android app for account management, so many different plans to pick online, should have better network down south s well wheres Idea network was pathetic when i traveled home, call conference enabled by default..etc. Hope the 3G speed is good while I roam at my native as well, confirmed with cust care tht ther wudnt be separate data charges on roaming while on a data plan.

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