Karthik’s digital footprint

Posts Tagged ‘wireless data card

Tata Indicom wireless data card : to avoid or to embrace

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The following is my experience with the Tata Indicom’s wireless data card , in Bangalore:

The sales pitch for this TATA Indicom card was that the minimum speed would be 140 kbps and that the installation of a “speed optimizer” software, provided on a CD , would jack up the minimum speed to 250 kbps. Well , complete bull.

In spite of being skeptical, I decided to buy the data card and gave it a shot . I installed the drivers including the “speed optimizer” and measured the speeds using the “speed meter” tool available on 2wire.com. The speeds fell in between 25 kbps and 70 kbps(thats kilobits , not kilobytes) in the morning and afternoons, and between 80 kbps and 100 kbps in the evenings.

To put this in perspective for the US internet consumers, Comcast’s cable internet plans priced around 30 to 40 dollars a month in US measured up to 4 to 5 Mbps when tested using the same “speed meter” tool.

To give you a feel of what kinda effect , speeds between 25 kbps and 70 kbps could have on one’s browsing experience , I am listing few web page load times I have myself measured :

46.2 secs for yahoo.com

40.7 secs for digg.com

8 secs for google.com

10 secs for timesofindia.com

29 secs for techcrunch.com

17 secs for logging into gmail.

To be fair to Tata Indicom , I was told that the data cards offered by other Indian telecom providers like Reliance and Airtel fare no better ; but I can not confirm.

Bottom Line: Go for the Tata Indicom data card only if you are comfortable with the aforementioned speeds and also if you are really desperate for some portable “internets” .

For those of you interested in the Tata Indicom’s data card: it costs around 2800 INR upfront and then a monthly rental of 100 INR . You will be given a USB compatible device , that acts as the transceiver of the data , and you will get to keep it.

Written by Karthik Reddy

May 4, 2008 at 12:10 pm