With 3G literally exploding all over the country, picking the right plan can be a little harder than it looks. This is especially true since we have to deal with a plethora of service providers and their in-your-face-ads. Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL (MTNL), Idea et al have come up with a massive range of plans to ‘help’ us consumers, but it can be quite a confusing task to keep up with the latest plans, top ups and rates. Off late, the prices have dropped quite substantially making 3G a more affordable option. 4G is slowly making a headway into India, after a hopeful start with first Kolkata and then Bengaluru, recently. With 4G slowly coming into existence, the latest plans across various mobile operators have taken a huge cut, making them only beneficial for us, consumers. While it may be some time before the entire nation is dotted by 4G services, 3G continues to grab headlines and more so now, after a slew of telcos have slashed 3G tariffs throughout the country.

We’ve sifted through the current offerings of the network  providers to bring you a table which consists of the latest 3G tariffs across the popular networks in the country. 

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

From the image above, the ‘data usage by minute’ plans are beneficial only for those wanting to try out the 3G services before settling for their ideal plan. Between 1 – 2 GB of data usage in a price range approx. between Rs. 200 – 450 per month is what network operators are currently charging, which could be sufficient for casual surfers. For those requiring heavy data usage, it’s best to use the individual data usage calculators that are available on network providers’ individual websites giving before choosing the right plan. 

The main objective of the above image is to showcase the latest plans across various operators, so that users can view the current rates for their operator as well as the competition, which may it easier for them to select their ideal plan. However, it’s important to understand that network providers generally have additional charges post the data usage exhaustion and it’s best to read the fine print with your network operator before choosing a plan. For example, Fair Usage Policy is a part of a couple of plans, including those of Aircel, Reliance and if you exceed your usage beyond their FUP, then your speed is capped to a threshold. For example, Aircel’s policy caps data usage bandwith to 128 kbps, and each operator have their own threshold. The speed Pre-activation of the FUP for Aircel is 3.6 Mbps for lower priced plans, while it is 7.2 Mbps for higher priced plans. Another example, is Reliance’s Postpaid 250 plan. For 1GB of consumption, the customer is charged at 20p/MB till the next 5GB, following which the speed is throttled to 64 kbps till unlimited usage. Taking these seemingly minor factors into account, it’s difficult to judge, which is truly the best plan out of them all and hence it’s best that customers look at the fine print and the complete details before committing to a particular plan. 

Also, depending on your location, the plans will vary. There are also other plans that vary on a daily basis, so you might want to check those with your service provider as well. A lot of companies also have Fair Usage Policies, which are activated for certain plans, while others simply cap your bandwidth once the plan is over. It’s imperative to have a check with your local mobile operator to avoid any potential bill shocks. 

The plans we’ve selected currently cover the main areas in India. However, please understand that prices and plans will vary slightly with the state and the city you currently are in. Also, mobile network operators are known to change plans without prior notice, so that should be another factor to be taken into consideration. Always check with your provider for more information.

Have a 3G plan you’re using that has been cost effective? Share it with our readers in the comments section below. 

Publish date: May 31, 2012 4:51 pm| Modified date: December 18, 2013 10:24 pm

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