I had written a while ago about “What is 3G? Does India need it?“. We all have eagerly waited for the launch of 3G, whose auctioning went pretty smooth. A total of Rs 67,718.95 crore was raised from the 3G auction.
Anyway, the end user doesn’t care much about these numbers. I haven’t yet switched over to 3G, so I asked one of my friends to give his feedback. My friend from Germany is traveling around India to write a book about Yoga ashrams. Being a German, he wants everything to be perfect,
- He went for a pre-paid 3G connection from Tata Docomo.
- Activation took more time than proposed.
- Started using in Karnataka, then in Tamil Nadu & Kerala.
- 3G comes very handy when you want to use the moving Google maps on iPad.
- In few areas you will not have 3G (especially when on road), so he pre-loaded the maps. This helps you to find any place you want when you arrive in a new city which doesn’t have 3G.
- The rickshaw driver was amazed when my friend told him “Take left after 50 meters”.
- In the big cities like Chennai, Coimbatore, Trivandrum, Thiruvannamalai and Pondicherry 3G works perfect
- On the national highways the 3G signal is sometimes really weak or non-existent.
- If you go far away into such nice landscape like the foothills of the Western Ghats, 3G doesn’t work. His connection switched over to Idea which doesn’t have 3G (so “Get Idea” may really not work here!)
- A technical problem he went thru: If you move back to the Tata Docomo 3G zone, it does not automatically tell you – so you stay without 3G signal and the IDEA connection even if the signal would be available.
- Customer service: It was very difficult to get customer service in Tamil Nadu (both on phone & service center). Tata Docomo doesn’t operate in Delhi, finally he doesn’t have 3G and 2G.
He has been in India for a long time, so he has got used to the Bangalore term “Sulpa Adjust Maadi (please adjust a little)”. That is clearly seen in his closing remarks,
All in all, 3G in India is a great experience and a new way to travel. In great cities it works great, on the big national highways it works ok, in the countryside you should relax and do not expect more than a weak signal.