Airtel 3G Review, Data Plans and Intenet Speed Test
Airtel is the largest mobile service provider across India. It all began four years ago when Airtel first started providing 3G services in some parts of India. Now, 3G service is prevalent in most of the telecom circles. Besides 3G, Airtel also has 4G internet service in selected parts of the country. We have reviewed Airtel 4G services before, please read the Airtel 4G review if you have not read it already.
I am a long time Airtel user. I started using Airtel 2G services since the time I got my first internet enabled mobile phone. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to use 3G on my mobile because Airtel 3G was not present at my place until recently. So I decided to give it a try.
How to activate Airtel 3G?
First, you need to make sure that Airtel 3G service is available in your area. You can call customer care (121) and ask them about the availability. Or if you have a 3G enabled mobile phone, you may go to network settings, select 3G only mode and do a network search. If you see Airtel network, it means that 3G service is present in your place. To activate Airtel 3G, you can either type “3G” and send it to “121” and then follow the instructions you receive. Alternatively, you can recharge your mobile number using a 3G fortified recharge card to have the service automatically activated on your phone.
Airtel 3G plans:
3G service in India is still not quite affordable. You need to shell out quite a lot of money to enjoy fast internet speed on mobile devices. Airtel has several 3G data packs to satisfy all kinds of users. Please note that Airtel 3G tariffs differ in amount in different circles, so before recharging your number kindly visit the Airtel website for the correct 3G recharge amount. You may check out the following 3G packs for your reference:
The base data pack is volume based. For 10kb data, you will be charged 3p. But you may be charged a lot if you are a heavy user. It is advised that you do not opt for this data plan. If you want to just stay connected to the internet and exchange emails, you may opt for the 300 MB data plan which costs Rs.102. The 1 GB and 2.5 GB plans will cost you Rs.249 and Rs.449 respectively. There is no true unlimited plan; the maximum data usage is up to 10 GB which will cost you Rs.1499 per month.
Airtel 3G Speed test and result:
I was really excited to test the Airtel 3G internet. I decided to use the connection for varied activities to the likes of browsing the web, streaming HD video content on mobile and finally tethering the connection to the computer. I have to say that I am quite happy with the performance of the Airtel 3G network. But before moving to the speed test result, let me tell you that just like any other wireless internet connection, 3G internet speed depends on various factors such as the signal strength, number of active users etc. I get full signal strength at my place and the number of 3G users here is quite less. So as expected, I received good network performance here.
I used an HSPA+ enabled mobile phone which can technically reach up to a speed of 21 Mbps. Airtel 3G has constantly provided good download and upload speed. Upon using it on my mobile, I found that the websites loaded up fast, HD video streaming worked great and the download speed was quick. To give you a better idea on Airtel 3G speed I have run some internet speed tests on both the mobile phone and computer. Most of the time, the download speed hovered around 7 Mbps and upload speed was around 1 Mbps. I think the maximum speed supported in my area is 7.2 Mbps and I was served a speed of about 7 Mbps which is quite impressive.
Are you using Airtel 3G? Are you satisfied with it? Do share your experience with us.