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Old 19th July 2009, 09:28   #1
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Default Airtel Kerala - How's the experience now?

With the new GSM players on the block, there are now issues with network coverage for the existing operators liek Airtel. Please share your views and experiences. Here's my story.

For the past several months, I am experiencing pathetic network coverage by Airtel-Kerala. Just wanted to know whether its only my location (Trivandrum) or the entire state, or anywhere where Airtel operates in the 1800MHz frequency band.

1) Indoor connectivity is almost nil - I have to hang a mobile phone holder at the top of a window and place the phone in there to be in range. This is happening even though my house is within 1 Km radius from the nearest Airtel tower.

2) The phone gets kicked out of network every now and then - no its not a phone's problem since I have tried with three phones now - A nokia, a Sony Ericsson and a Samsung.

The phone shows "Emergency calls only" and if I do a network search, the only provider I am getting is CellOne! Restarting the phone would solve the problem. (Same problem in all phones) Its really annoying to find out sometimes that the phone was just out of network for several hours! It just doesn't enter Airtel network again automatically even though there is signal stregth.

3) These issues started somewhere during the past when the new GSM players came to share the airspace - Reliance GSM, Aircel, TATA Indicom. Is Airtel signal being jammed?

4) Even though there is GPRS - Edge offered by Airtel in towns, browsing through mobile phone just sucks. It takes several minutes to get any server response when a page is requested. PC browsing is ok though.

Even after several calls to customer care, the problem still persists. It is interesting to note that Airtel boasted about the best network connectivity and crisp and clear voice they are offering - exactly 7 years ago.

Last edited by clevermax : 19th July 2009 at 09:34.
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Old 19th July 2009, 22:23   #2
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I'm also having the 1st & 2nd problems mentioned by you. I don't know the reasons behind that.

Anyone knows anything ?
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Old 19th July 2009, 23:45   #3
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Point 1) the place where you live is like a coconut estate!

And is it just me? Everytime a new mob company comes the older provider's service gets crappy atleast for few days/weeks. Business?

AirTel grew like anything and I dont see the effort they put years ago to built it now. They saturated. End.
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Old 19th July 2009, 23:59   #4
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I have no issues with my airtel back in bangalore. But since I am in TVM I hardly ever get reception.
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Old 20th July 2009, 09:35   #5
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Earlier, when i used to be at my wife's place in Mundakkayam (Kottayam dist), we would have fleeting reception only on the first floor. Since the past 8 months or more, there is decent reception anywhere inside the house. So i guess its improved, as far as my needs are concerned.

Even at my place, the coverage is just about ok, nothing special. And yes, i always stay on the Airtel network even when on roaming.
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Old 20th July 2009, 09:48   #6
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1.The connectivity is absolutly poor.

2. cross connections (has anybody experianced this?) Is extreamly high.

Its not just airtel, Vodaphone is bad as well. not the network part but, their customer service is horrible. I was a customer till last month, never recived a single bill till date(4 months). The bills are obscene and no way to check the details. Online registration requires calling the customer service and they have a standard answer, server is down.

The latest in the list was their new collection agents who call you way before the due date "Saar i am in technopark today, please pay your bill".

As a solution to all this took a tata indicom, the phone sucks but atleast their network is superior and billing is prompt.

With vodaphone and limited calling bill was ~2K

With Tata huge calling, bill~1.5K (south india anyphone is 50p)
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Old 20th July 2009, 10:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Point 1) the place where you live is like a coconut estate!

And is it just me? Everytime a new mob company comes the older provider's service gets crappy atleast for few days/weeks. Business?
This point was asked by the customer care to justify the poor connectivity in my area. They asked me during a call.. "Saar, are there lots of trees aound your house?" and I had to say yes

CellOne will just penetrate all these obstacles and will even reach the underground parking if you have one...! AFAIK, they operate with the lowest frequency band of GSM. (~750 MHz)

And no, its not only you, and it is exactly my point... Airtel service started showing all these issues with the new GSM providers coming into the airspace. I seriously doubt that one of these providers are jamming airtel signals purposefully.
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Old 20th July 2009, 10:41   #8
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One of my relative's primary responsibility is to set up towers in the rural areas for major providers in Kerala. He travel extensively to make this happen. He claims that providers are more interested to capture rural areas as urban area are mostly saturated.

Imagine a rural area like my hometown, (mallus read: pattikadu ) has 7 towers and more coming..

I think you aware that from September, you can change service provider retaining the number. Pay back time.
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Old 20th July 2009, 12:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo View Post
I think you aware that from September, you can change service provider retaining the number. Pay back time.
Number portability is being activated in September?! Wowie.. how many going to take the plunge?! I have a feeling DOCOMO is going to reap the most thanks to this.
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Old 20th July 2009, 12:14   #10
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Originally Posted by benbsb29 View Post
Number portability is being activated in September?! Wowie.. how many going to take the plunge?! I have a feeling DOCOMO is going to reap the most thanks to this.
But I am sure the private guys would form some sort of cartel and kill this. They may not officially do but would ensure the customer goes through such pain in trying for a connection change with Number portablity that he would end up staying back.

Am just waiting for number portablity so that I could jump over to BSNL 3G. Never had any major issues during the 3 years I used it in Bangalore. Best of it was me using Opera Mini to catch up with EPL updates while staying inside Mudumalai forests. Am sure BSNL would be more than willing to take me with my existing Airtel number.
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Old 20th July 2009, 15:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
CellOne will just penetrate all these obstacles and will even reach the underground parking if you have one...! AFAIK, they operate with the lowest frequency band of GSM. (~750 MHz)
Would you please explain what frequency has to do with phone range ?

So if one operator is in 750 Mhz and the other is in 950 Mhz, then will the 750 Mhz be having better range ?
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