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Old 21st July 2006, 01:39   #1
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Default 3G/EDGE data card

Hey Guys,
Its been a long time I visited the forum as I dont have ISPs around; normally dont get time to post from office.

This is with regards to the EDGE Data Card available from Hutch Airtel, Tata and Reliance like ISPs.
My understanding is that the CDMA (about 143Kbps) is lil slower than the EGPRS (upto 243Kbps) and its good to go with the EDGE now if its available with your ISP.

So, I have decided to look at either Hutch or Airtel rather than Tata. Can anyone please tell me if they are using EDGE GPRS data card to connect to the internet? How about the ISP they are using and how is the performance.

I tried to look at some of the basic information over the net and need to know if I have the SIM card activated with the EGPRS connectivity, woud I be able to use the same SIM with the EGPRS Data Card or it has got the inbuild SIM into it!!

I'd probably go for Hutch Access for now as I dont have any sort of connectivity at home, going further I would like to know if I can buy an EGPRS data card and use the same SIM card from the phone to insert into the data card.

I have already raised the query with Hutch guys and should be able to get some response by tomorrow. Let me know if anyone of you has got any idea about it.
Thanks.
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Old 21st July 2006, 10:21   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan
I tried to look at some of the basic information over the net and need to know if I have the SIM card activated with the EGPRS connectivity, woud I be able to use the same SIM with the EGPRS Data Card or it has got the inbuild SIM into it!!
You would be able to use your normal SIM if you have GPRS enabled on your subscription. EDGE is available by default if the service provider is an EDGE-enabled network.

However, this means that you have to remove your SIM from your phone everytime you want to dial up. To avoid this, most operators give you a SIM card alongwith the Data Card - you may or may not be able to make voice calls using this SIM depending on the operator's policy.

If you do use your regular SIM on the Data Card, there is usually some dialler software which allows you to make and receive calls on your PC while the SIM is on your data card. How practical this is depends entirely on your voice usage levels.

On the other hand, you really dont need a data card if you use your phone as a modem for your laptop (or desktop). That way you have one device and on SIM card. Data Cards allegedly give you slightly better speeds than a phone, but with some of the newer phones you dont feel any difference.

Finally, if you HAVE to buy a Data Card please invest in a 3G data card - it makes you future proof and gives you enhanced speeds as and when your operator upgrades to a 3G network (which is basically CDMA over GSM).

For the record, we hear rumours that Reliance may also be going the GSM way - whether this is a threat to reduce royalty payouts to Qualcomm or a real plan to move away from their 'el cheapo' image, needs to be seen. They have applied for spectrum for this move.

Last edited by Steeroid : 21st July 2006 at 10:24.
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Old 21st July 2006, 12:11   #3
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speed is more dependent on the network provider.

Right now in Canada A catfight is on between Rogers and Telus or getting a faster network.

Rogers is on top right now but Telus is coming up with a faster service.

With 3g speeds minor differences dont really matter.
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Old 21st July 2006, 12:23   #4
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http://www.hutch.in/4business/edge_data_card.asp

http://www.tataindicom.com/personal/..._vdatacard.asp

Hutch seems to be faster by close to double the speeds
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Old 21st July 2006, 18:37   #5
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Thanks for the response Guys,
Yeah,, thats true,, Hutch looks faster than Tata as it has got the EGPRS.
I talked to Tata, Reliance and Hutch today.

Reliance folks ae giving away the VDATA card for about 4650/- (thats a corporate plan) and the normal rental would be applied as mentioned on their website.
Tata guys are going to give the VDATA card free (again the corporate plan) and charging about 915/- for 1GB of data exchange over a month.
However, I liked the GPRS/3G concept, Hutch is already providing EGPRS and should be one of the first operators once the 3G is in, the frequencies around 2000Mhz(200Mhz!!) is used by Indian armed forces and thats the reason we are still waiting on 3G to enter India. Once they shift to another band, we'll have the infrastructure ready for 3G and the guy from Hutch told me that its not going to take more than a month or two to setup 3G for them once the infrastructure is available.

I find the 3G/Edge card is the best option as someone told that will be hepful once the provider introduces 3G.
Thanks for the info again.
Ketan

Last edited by Ketan : 21st July 2006 at 18:38.
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Old 21st July 2006, 20:47   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devarshi84
speed is more dependent on the network provider.

Right now in Canada A catfight is on between Rogers and Telus or getting a faster network.

Rogers is on top right now but Telus is coming up with a faster service.

With 3g speeds minor differences dont really matter.
What I understand is 3G shoud be much faster than the EGPRS. It comes into a wireless broadband category.
I have had a look at a major manufacturer's site who makes 3G data card and they claim it to be 384Kbps.
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Old 21st July 2006, 21:06   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan
What I understand is 3G shoud be much faster than the EGPRS. It comes into a wireless broadband category.
I have had a look at a major manufacturer's site who makes 3G data card and they claim it to be 384Kbps.

According to my knowledge Edge(2-2.5G) provides similar speeds to 3g. i.e. 384kbps.

But the catch is Edge ends at 384kbps and 3g starts at 384kbps

Right now both operate at equal speeds.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 17:39   #8
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Hi Ketan:

Check out the July 2006 issue of PC World, which has a review of data cards.
The Tata Indicom is better than the others.

But, be warned, your mileage may vary.
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Old 22nd July 2006, 18:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketan
What I understand is 3G shoud be much faster than the EGPRS.

It comes into a wireless broadband category.

I have had a look at a major manufacturer's site who makes 3G data card and they claim it to be 384Kbps.
Dont confuse 3G with WiFi. Some 3G data cards also offer 802.11 b/g WiFi connectivity, which is not necessary if your laptop is (as most are) wireless enabled.

Yes, real life 3G speeds would be much higher than EDGE though there are efforts underway to push for EDGE Evolution to increase EDGE speed, almost doubling it. This is because EDGE does not require WCDMA over GSM, unlike 3G - making EDGE faster is therefore more cost effective for the operators who may decide then to postpone their full-fledged 3G networks.

However, 3G networks are also evolving and the latest HSDPA networks offer almost thrice the speeds of the original 3G networks. You're looking at USER speeds of close to 2mbps here, with theoretical speeds of more than 10 mbps as compared to theoretical EDGE speeds of 384 kbps. O2 and Vodafone have actually committed figures of over 10 mbps in their offering - I wont quote the figures here because I'd like to see it before I believe it.

This basically opens the way for IP Television over your mobilephone. And a lot of other things - the biggest seller right now is porn and the smut content providers are laughing all the way to their Swiss Bank Accounts.

When this happens - and IF it happens - you can all throw your wireless cards out, unless Wireless becomes dirt cheap like Pagers after the advent of Cellular phones. In that instance, the Pagers died anyway.

Last edited by Steeroid : 22nd July 2006 at 18:25.
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Old 24th July 2006, 19:39   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
Finally, if you HAVE to buy a Data Card please invest in a 3G data card - it makes you future proof and gives you enhanced speeds as and when your operator upgrades to a 3G network (which is basically CDMA over GSM).
There is a danger here - the government still has not allocated frequency for 3G in India (the TRAI is supposed to come out with a consultation paper sometime this year). Currently, 3G services in Europe are on the 2100 band, and those in the USA and Canada are on the 1900MHz band (some even on the 850MHz band, I think). So if you get a monoband card and later the government here allocates 3G on another band, you will an expensive paper weight on your hand.

Secondly, plain 3G is not all much faster than EDGE (384Kbps vs 230Kbps). For real speed, you will need to wait for HSDPA (and HSDPA phones are still few and far between - don't know about data cards).

Finally, if your laptop has bluetooth or USB, you may not need a data card. Instead, use your cellphone as a modem for the computer through USB or Bluetooth. This is what I do at home for internet access. The only problem is that my phone (Sony Ericsson T630) does not support EDGE even though Airtel's network is EDGA capable. So speed is pretty slow. Need to upgrade my mobile, but I am waiting for 3G first.

Last edited by johnjacob : 24th July 2006 at 19:41.
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Old 25th July 2006, 17:37   #11
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The wait for 3G service in India is around 2 years from now..
Ketan, the Edge card you buy is not 3G.. that will be a different card..

I use Airtel GPRS/EDGE over my laptop & phone.. My colleagues use Reliance data cards..
My experience is that Reliance data service on CDMA is much more reliable and consistent.. The EDGE connection tends to drop often and you need to dial-up all over again if you get a call in the middle of a data session.. Also connectivity to proxies and VPNs is quite iffy..
Net effective data transfer speeds are similar whether EDGE or CDMA.. EDGE at 384 kbps is a pipe dream.. the operators never provision that kind of data bandwidth at their BTS..
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Old 25th July 2006, 17:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitinbhag
The wait for 3G service in India is around 2 years from now..
Ketan, the Edge card you buy is not 3G.. that will be a different card..

I use Airtel GPRS/EDGE over my laptop & phone.. My colleagues use Reliance data cards..
My experience is that Reliance data service on CDMA is much more reliable and consistent.. The EDGE connection tends to drop often and you need to dial-up all over again if you get a call in the middle of a data session.. Also connectivity to proxies and VPNs is quite iffy..
Net effective data transfer speeds are similar whether EDGE or CDMA.. EDGE at 384 kbps is a pipe dream.. the operators never provision that kind of data bandwidth at their BTS..
Thtats a good piece of information Nitin,
you are right, Hutch or Airtel are not providing the 3G cards at this point in time as they dont have the infrastructure up and running for the same.

I was planning to buy a 3G/EDGE/GPRS card that has got all three features and can switch between all three depending on what ISP is providing. I guess that would be a better investment in case i'm going for a datacard.

I'll wait for 3G and see if I can get some good deals on 3G cards during my next visit to US.
Thanks.
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