On 4th March, 2011 Airtel launched its much awaited 3G services in Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Noida. The launch was done via press release as against the expectation of some grand launch party. Anyway it is more important to deliver a quality service rather than showing it off on social media, etc etc (Remember Tata Docomo?). Airtel has been behind in the race of “who launches 3G first” race and I believe they were staying back, quitely watching and analysing the other telecom companies during this period.
Activate Airtel 3G
Now that they have launched 3G finally in Delhi and NCR region I immediately decided to convert my 2G connection to 3G and give it a shot. Recovering from the MTNl 3G Jadoo’s terrible experience I didn’t keep my expectation too high for Airtel 3G. I first of all called Airtel customer care to make sure that 3G was launched and that it wasn’t in some “final stages”. Out of 3 representatives, 2 confirmed the launch and the 3rd one said “The network has been deployed and is ready for use. You will be notified soon about the 3G launch via radio, tv, sms, etc”. Going with the majority I decided to try my luck and followed the following steps to activate 3G on my mobile number:
- Replace 32K sim with 64K sim. Airtel representative clearly mentioned that 3G will NOT work properly with a 32K sim card. You can get it replaced from nearest Airtel Relationship center. (I didn’t have time to do so and hence tested on 32K sim card itself ;))
- Sent a sms with 3GHS to 121 to check if my mobile handset was compatible for running 3G (I knew it was but still).
- Sent another sms with 3G to 121 to activate 3G on my mobile number (soon after I received confirmation about compatibility).
- 3G was activated withing few seconds and I am now using 3G without any problems!
Airtel 3G Tariff Plans
There had been some news revolving around the web that the tariff was same as was in other states. There are some changes for Delhi users and here are the exact plan details:
Please do not compare these plans with existing 2G Mobile Office (NOP) tariff for the sake of your wallet 😛
Airtel 3G Review
As i mentioned above I didn’t expect much from Airtel 3G, however I was a happy Airtel customer after playing around with Airtel 3G watching buffer-less videos, downloading videos at speed of nearly 1 MBps, using voip, streaming music, etc! Though Airtel boasts about having a good 3G network capable of delivering speeds of upto 21 MBps (correct me if I am wrong) but the maximum speed that I got while using 3G on my Nokia N97 (and 5800, 5230) was 690 kbps.
Not that I expect it to touch 21 Mbps or 14 MBps for that matter but attaining 3 MBps should be possible on Airtel network considering the top notch hardware they are using (Ericsson). Nonetheless the experience with Airtel 3G has been really really good barring 2 problems:
- The signal just drops as and when I place my hand on the base of my phone which I am hoping will be solved by 64K sim.
- The tariff plans are expensive, price reduction will be a welcome move in future.
Don’t forget to share your reviews with regard to Airtel 3G services, any problems faced or just your story 🙂