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BSNL EVDO Data Plans and Tariff

Had just been to the BSNL office to enquire about the EVDO service. Here are the tariffs:

On Rent:

  • Security Deposit: Rs.1000
  • Activation: Rs.500
  • Monthly Rental: Rs.200 + Rs.550
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited Usage (speed more than 512 kbps and upto 2.4 Mbps)
  • Total: Rs.750+taxes.


    On Purchase:

  • Payment: Rs.3000
  • Activation: Rs.500
  • Monthly Rental: Rs.550
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited Usage (speed more than 512 kbps and upto 2.4 Mbps)
  • Total: Rs.550+taxes


    Of course, this is the rate of the plans in Bangalore, Karnataka.

    The plans sound very good. I’m not sure I’m ready to change from DataOne to EVDO. With BSNL Data One, users have to pay Rs.750 for 256kbps unlimited and Rs.1350 for 512kbps unlimited, but with EVDO you get unlimited at upto 2.4Mbps for Rs.550. Then again, it depends a lot on the strength of the signal. On an average, people report at least 1Mbps speeds.

    What do you think? Go with BSNL EVDO or stick to BSNL DataOne?

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    Airtel,Complaints,Fusion Lounge,Rants

    What is Airtel Fusion Lounge – Best Models Service?

    Yesterday, while using Airtel Live GPRS, I received a message saying “Fusion Lounge” service had been activated and that’ I would be charged Rs.15 every month. Being outside and quite busy, I decided not to call Airtel Customer Care up immediately. In fact, I had doubts whether the service was of Airtel since it looked quite spammy and had a link that did not seem to be an Airtel website.

    Earlier today I was surfing through Airtel Live again, and I get a message saying 15 Rupees has been charged for Fusion Lounge. This time I called them up, and then hung up as soon as the rep picked up because I was needed elsewhere.

    I called them up again in the evening today and I’m put through to an inexperienced young lady struggling to speak English. Fine. Most of Airtel’s CC is of this type anyway. What pissed me off was that even though she had heard about Fusion Lounge, she had NO idea how it was activated, she wouldn’t agree she about that, and rushed me up into deactivating it. Throughout the call the rep blamed ME for the activation and said that it was entirely MY fault. I mean, WTF? Here I was having absolutely no idea what Fusion (Shit) Lounge is and she’s telling me I had activated it. After I strongly objected, she told me I must have activated it without my knowledge. I object again. I ask her how the service is activated. The reply I get – “You must have pressed some button while browsing Airtel Live”. I ask which button and she replies to me saying “some button”. I proceeded to question her about HOW Fusion Lounge is activated, to which she FINALLY confessed to having no clue about. She then deactivated the service and redirected me to 12118 – the Airtel GPRS Customer Care Helpline. (They have a dedicated GPRS helpline. I suppose they get a LOT of GPRS complaints like this.)

    The “I-dunno-English-saaar, how may I assist you” rep at 12118 asked me to call up 121. Just great. (Surprisingly I didn’t blow my head off at him.)

    I decided that this would be the last time I call up 121 and speak to a rep. This time however, the rep asked me my problem and then my name. He immediately said that the money would be refunded within an hour. (Wait, WHAT?!) He continued to tell me that if the service was activated again and I wanted a refund, it would not happen AT ALL. He told me that I must have browsed “Handygo daat caaalm” and clicked on a subscription for, I quote, “nazara tech, f technology”. A quick Google Search took me to this horribly designed website.

    Oh, this is the first time my money has been reimbursed by Airtel, and that, within a couple of minutes. I’ve been put through 45 day waiting periods only to be told that the money will not be refunded. Raises eyebrows as to why they refunded the money this time and so quickly too.

    P.S. – I should probably make a separate category for Airtel, and call it “Airtel Rants” maybe?

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    Google’s Internet Bus On 50 Day Tour of Karnataka

    Google India today announced that its ‘Internet Bus’ will now be touring Karnataka on a campaign focusing on four themes – information, communication, entertainment and education.

    The video driven content will showcase how even with basic knowledge of the Internet people can make their everyday lives simpler. The content will also provide familiarization on using services like search, email, social networking, online maps and mobile. All this information will be available in English and Kannada. The bus will be starting its journey from Bangalore and will travel through 15 towns in the next 50 days. This campaign is aimed at people with limited knowledge and exposure to the Internet and the experience has been designed to create awareness of the benefits of this powerful medium.

    Users across India will be able to follow the bus through its journey, see pictures and videos and join online communities by visiting http://www.google.co.in/internetbus.  
    "Tamil Nadu was a big learning for us and it was inspiring to see that people wanted to know about the internet and share their needs with us. This experience has reinforced our belief that awareness is the key challenge in the growth of the Internet in India and we are excited about bringing this campaign to yet another state. In this phase besides popular services like email, search and videos, we will be focusing on how mobile phones can be used to access useful local information even without data plans. Access to the Internet in local languages will continue to be a focus area,” said Dr. Prasad Ram, Head of Google R&D, India. [via PC World]

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    Airtel to stop Airtel Online (NOP) Unlimited GPRS plan from May 5th

    It’s time to say buh-bye to Airtel’s once loved Airtel Online or Net Over Phone (NOP) unlimited GPRS data plan. Airtel has announced that they will be switching over from the unlimited GPRS plan to the pay as you use Airtel Live! and Mobile Office plans. From May 5th, Airtel will switch existing NOP customers over to a 30paise/50KB plan, in what can only be described as ‘INSANE’. New subscribers can send an SMS “VBC ACTV” to the toll free number 222. (Some report activating the service by dialing *567# or by sending an SMS “AGPRS” to 56789.) As an Airtel Online subscriber ever since I switched to Airtel, I have to say that I am extremely disappointed at Airtel. First, it was the ‘no more daily 100 free sms’ notice. Then the Re.1 daily rental for the College Plan (although they reacivated the free sms plan). And now cancelling the unlimited GPRS plan. Yes Airtel, you definitely know how to dig your own grave. [via HNP @ Tech Bangalore]

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