BSNL EVDO Card: Hands-on Review

I have been hearing about it for quite some time. I was desperately hoping to lay my hands on it more than a year ago but it was still not available in the market. (So I had to buy the wireless data card from Reliance instead). Well I am talkin about the BSNL EVDO Card – the wireless data card solution from BSNL, the big momma of all telecom companies in India. Not long ago, may be a few months, I heard of its arrival in the market and Johnda got hold of one. Now I have borrowed it from him and all set to try it out.

First Thoughts

BSNL EVDO interfaceI run the installer to install the modem drivers – takes about just a minute – and the device is ready for use. I am pleased to see that the dialer software has a cool interface. On clicking connect and firing up Firefox, the pages start loading so fast that my jaw drops for a while! Man this is really impressive! Never expected such fast surfing speeds – almost like broadband – especially after my pathetic wireless experience before. I must say I am really impressed. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Data Card

The USB card looks the same as the one I got from Reliance. The maufacturer is same too – ZTE. The model number is AC8700.


Siliguri: The connection is very stable and speeds are awesome. I am getting download speeds of 400-500 kbps which is just too good for wireless internet. Mind this is the speed I am getting in my medical college area where the signal is not that strong. The speed is supposed to be more. It can be upto 2.4 mbps but it depends on the signal strength. Also you need the EVDO signal which is not available in all places I am told. So what you can do is borrow from a friend and check if you are getting EVDO signal in your locality.

Kolkata: The speeds are not that great. The EVDO network has not rolled out yet, except some select areas of Sector Five and Rajarhat Newtown. The CDMA 1x network gives a speed of about 100 kbps and recorded a highest of 161 kbps.

Download speed using BSNL EVDO


A mini CD contains the necessary drivers for Windows XP/2000. There is no bundled driver for Vista or Linux. But fret not, you can get download them from ZTE website.

Price & Tariff

The BSNL EVDO modem is available for Rs. 3500/- The monthly tariff is 550/- Now that is good value for money considering there is no download limit. Billing is post-paid.- Effectively you have to cough up a sum of 4192/-at the time of purchase that includes an activation fee of 500/- and taxes.

How to buy

Go to your nearest telephone exchange and fill up a form. You need to produce some address proof. You will get the EVDO modem that day itself.

Final Word

This is the perfect product for those in the need of wireless internet connection. There is a huge market of wireless internet which has not been efficiently tapped by any company so far. Now BSNL has come up with something really great but they suck at marketing! Hardly anyone knows about this wireless data card option. There is almost no advertising. Any other telecom company would have got a product like this endorsed by SRK perhaps! I wish this was available for sale in computer shops. Who has the time to go to the exhange always?

86 responses to “BSNL EVDO Card: Hands-on Review”

  1. Hey, thank you so much for the review. I myself have been waiting for a good wireless internet card. I was wondering how good the BSNL card is. Thanks so much!

  2. Nice review there.

    One major problem with this is that you are limited to a private IP address. It really prevents you from using it in many many business applications.

    Also, does not let you download from certain sites (like RapidShare) because someone else in the extended (and private) EVDO network is already downloading something.

  3. From which city are you accessing this….

    I just bought one but did not get much speed…..

    Did you specially configure it…
    please tell me…

    I live in Bhopal
    Do you have 3G in your city

  4. I am not agree with you dear….

    I got this card last month, just reading posts like yours….. Please do not post anything if u don’t know ground realities at other places…….let me tell u truth about EVDO card….

    like any other govt. service, this one is also third class…. BSNL only knows to start a service, but how to tackle the technology they don’t know even in their dreams………. pata nahi kaise kaise logo ko rakh lete hain….

    Jisne mujhe connection diya usko printout nikaalana nahi aata tha….. i told him, then only he was able to give me my connection papers….

    maine puncha EVDO ka full form kya hai…toh hasne laga….. bola mujhe connection dena hai…..iska full form jaan kar kya karoonga…

    next place was my local exchange, jahan se mujhe card lena tha…… bola 5 din baad aana, tab milega….. I said ple’z jaldi de do…..kahne laga u r the first customer….so i have to get that from some office blah blah blah….. (Now i think…..what he meant …..”u r the first fool” ๐Ÿ™‚

    mere das baar chakkar lagane par 2 hafte ke baad card mila……….. next 2 din baad usne mujhe login aur password bataya……..

    tab se aaj tak….jab bhi card lagata hu……. 10 min. se jayda login nahi rehta hai, jabki i m getting full signal……. baar baar disconnect hota hai……… chatting karna tak muskil hai …..aur agar rapidshare ya megaupload se file d/l karni hai to bhool hee jao (co’z it uses shared IP and moreover connection is not stable)………..

    Also, since this service is yet to be officially launched by BSNL…… forget about tech. support……………. I don’t think they even know “What is tech. support” ๐Ÿ™‚

    so, i won’t suggest anybuddy to take EVDO card…. 2 mbps kee speed ke chakkar mai jo bhi padega uska mere jaisa haal ho jayega….. u even can’t throw before thre months…

  5. Hi Nipon,
    I just got my card and yet to install and check the device. Could you please tell me in which area of the Kolkata you are getting so much of the speed? I am just curious because as from ur other post it seems that u may be from Jadavpur area….
    By the way ur review is the best among all the information published in the internet…


  6. hi,

    I got my card at feb end and have been using ever since.
    I filled up the form and got the card instantly.
    However, kept getting an error during connection saying somethin like connection with remote computer cudnt be estb.
    then it took 2-3 days to solve the prob. the vendor had to enter a long serial no as the username and id (default is set to “card”).
    then it at least started working.
    but im staying in southern avenue in Kolkata and even on getting full coverage on 1x i get max speed of 15KB/s. Speeds vary from 5-12KB/s on an average. and as for evdo, i get just a single to max double stripe on the network meter. Moreover, the if i try to connect with the evdo signal then it just wont.
    furthermore, while browsing/downloading, if the network switches from 1x (cdma) to evdo, the speed drops to nearly zero..
    so as of now.. the vendor is selling the card like hot cakes declaring the bandwith of 2.4Mbps but the actual scene is sumthin v different.
    furthermore, there is no way to know where the actual tower is nearest to you house.
    Moving you card by even 1 cm can change your net speed drastically..
    the only upside is your paying 225/- per month which is the least amongst current providers.. and the cost of the card is 3000/- which is the same for other providers too..
    well.. hope this feedback helps.. hope bsnl does sumthin abt it soon..
    until den.. keep adjusting the azimuth and elevation of the data card…

  7. Hi Nipon,

    I also live in Siliguri town. I am very keen of surfing and downloading from internet. i have been hearing about the EVDO from a long time since. but i thought that airtel will bring EVDO first. by the way, as you have told, my friend also gets download speed of around 400 to 500 kbps now because there are not many subscribers now. when more people will come to know and increase traffic, then the download speed will come to around 250 kbps. now bsnl in our town also reduced the cost of the EVDO bill. the monthly charges of the EVDO is 250/- per month for unlimited usage of 2.4 mbps now. My friend has taken that. The EVDO signal is not available in my home because of non-availability of EVDO signal in our area. but entire siliguri town has the coverage now. it will take 2 months to cover entire North Bengal. And for Sandipan, the EVDO signal is not as much stronger in Kolkata now because of less BTS there . Siliguri rocks……

  8. IS this EVDO available in Behala region??Wads the speed here??and I heard that there is no port forwarding in EVDo (Torrent speed might suck badly) .Is it true???plzzz help

  9. guys i am in real trouble out here to take a decision on this thng…

    though i cant wait 2 lay my hands on 1 of these bt i am wondering if any sort of port forwarding can be done on it

    like i need to forward UPD nd TCP ports for creating a counter strike server..

    can any 1 help me out with this…

    please mail me back if i can do this portforwarding on it.

    GUYS PLZ HELP>>!!!

  10. Can any Please help ,

    I am unable to install BSNL evdo data card on mt Vista OS, It say device not recognised ….. please help its urgent

  11. EVDO doesn’t allow port forwarding. It uses private IP address via DHCP from BSNL server ๐Ÿ™

    Torrent speed ain’t that bad. I have got speeds of upto 400 kbps but upload speed is pathetic. Means you can’t maintain your ratio on a private tracker!

    @ Arijit: This must be available in Behala since Calcutta Telephones is promoting EVDO on their site. But from what my friends have learned from BSNL officials EVDO has not been launched in Kolkata yet except some select parts in Sector 5 and Rajarhat Newtown.

    @ Ahmed: The driver that is shipped with BSNL EVDO is meant for XP. You can get the Vista driver from the download link I have given above in this review.

  12. i am working at RAWATBHATA (RAJASTHAN) .this location india largest nuclear power plant . maximum PROFISIONAL QUALIFIED PERSONS.
    how much time to start BSNL 3G & EVDO IN RAWATBHATA.

  13. yaar…i am resident of kurseong….i am also keen to use evdo here..butit is not avaliable…i went here several time ..but here in bsnl office..they have no idea about this card…i went to siliguri several time…but i have to come empty hand..they says line has been exhausted……
    i really want to know is evdo signal avaliable in kurseong…
    i am very desperate to use this product…

  14. Bought EVDO in Ludhiana (Punjab). I have been using it since 1 month. the speeds are great and the rent for unlimited download is amazing. really enjoy surfing with EVO card. Though the EVDO facility is being rolled out in all the areas but at present it is limited to 2-3 sites in Ludhiana. Speeds in 1x sites is also decent about 70-80 kbps.

  15. My name is Ashish and I am from Noida sector-19. I stay very close to BSNl main exchange tower which is hardly half Km away from my house. I need this card for my home use only and not for a laptop. I am planning to buy this card but not sure whether to go for it or not due to lots of mix experience with others. IF anyone from Noida is using this card, then please let me know what speed you are getting and whether should I go for this card or not. My email address is

    Thanks in advance.

    Ashish Batra

  16. hi …
    i wanna ask that can we use bsnl evdo card in one city only….or it can be used in any city where this service nis enabled…..this is a very big question yaar…..bahut poocha par pata nahin pada….
    yaar kisi ko pata ho to plz batan….
    yaa kuch roamin g ka pnaga hai…
    agar anyone has info abt this plz tell me

  17. Is it possible to use this EVDO card while on travel,I lives at sirsa and if i purchase a card from Sirsa may I use that card at Delhi,Hissar or some other city too ?

  18. I got my card at feb end and have been using ever since.Mostlykept getting an error during connection saying somethin like connection with remote computer cudnt be estb.
    i m staying in serampore in hooghly and even on getting full coverage on 1x i get max speed of 15KB/s. Speeds vary from 5-12KB/s on an average. and as for evdo, i get just a single to max double stripe on the network meter. Moreover, the if i try to connect with the evdo signal then it just wont.
    furthermore, while browsing/downloading, if the network switches from 1x (cdma) to evdo, the speed drops to nearly zero..
    the only upside is your paying 225/- per month which is the least amongst current providers.
    i need help to solve the problem
    i want to know here the 2.4mb/s plan how i get it because here customer care office said that there is nothing plan of 2.4mb/s
    so plese help me .

  19. EVDO is not available everywhere. e.g, it is still not here in Kolkata. So you will have to find out whether EVDO service is supported there or not.

  20. EVDO…to be frank has limitations,it is okay as long as you go about the coverage area and thats all.Being a businessman and on the move mostly,requiring Net access I bought and used virtually all the data cards made available by the market operators like Vodafone,Airtel,Tata,Reliance,BSNL(I have quite a collection of these USB modems,would like it to sell one or two whoever may approach ha!ha!).And found,for moderate budget and pan India movement(the ease of mobility,wireless data cards are all about),Tata and Reliance live up to their promises virtually on all counts be it prepaid or post paid type.The cost of USB modem is more or less same with all operators in the market.It is worth expectating the BSNL device should have cost least of all being it came from a GoIU.

  21. Hello ,
    Can anybody comment if 2.4 mbps would be available in Chennai.
    There is a list of areas in the website , but the regions are mostly outskirts of Chennai.

    If we purchase the EVDO card , can we be in the 250 plan with 144 kbps.
    This seems to be the cheapest plan with unlimited internet.
    Please confirm.

    They have started Dynamic IP , but port forwarding is not possible.

  22. Can anybody specify in which places in KOLKATA, BSNL EVDO covered. Last month I was at Behala but it didn’t work.. I was in roaming.

    BSNL EVDO Kolkata office phone numbers required.

  23. hi,
    i m using bsnl cdma 1x on zte evdo ac8700 800m black since last june,2009 far away from kolkata,nearly 10km north from Barasat, north 24 pgs.official speed is 144kbps,but to my surprise it gives me surfing speed highest 261kbps,an average speed is 165kbps though signal strength is of 2 bar,an avg d/l speed is 8-17kbps,i’m happy with it.

    i’ve question: is it possible to use it on ubuntu 8.04,if yes then how?plz help
    thank you.

  24. Hi,

    Just a few days back I have bought a EDVO 1x Card from Calcuuta Telephones. Working fine at Shyambazar Area.
    Will the same work if brought to Siliguri?
    I have a doubt whether the same will do or not, as Siliguri falls under West Bengal Telecom Circle.
    Please reply.


  25. thanks for the Linux driver link,it installed properly,but at last there was no response from Ubuntu 8.04 ๐Ÿ™

  26. Hey ,

    I just found you out while googling , and this a really nice blog. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I am planning to get EVDO soon. I already have Dataone Home UL 750+. So speeds are not upto my needs ie 256 kbps.I live in deshbandhu para area of Siliguri. Have you any idea about speeds here .
    Expect me to be a frequent visitor here. Will read all your posts
    Thanks ,

    Regards ,

  27. Hi,


    In siliguri the full signal of EVDO is available. you can get a download speed of 400kbps to 500kbps. torrent upload speed is also a great. i dont have this evdo thing but i have seen it from a friend of mine. he lives in shivmandir. this evdo works from siliguri to shivmandir as far as i know. but it will be available to bagdogra nearly february. you can absolutely buy it coz you live in deshbandhupara in siliguri which is very near to bsnl exchange.

  28. some one tell that ” the monthly charges of the EVDO is 250/- per month for unlimited download usage of 2.4 mbps now. ” I m confused what is the rental of it(in present 9/01/10) ? plz ans me as soon as possible….

  29. i am new to Siliguri and looking for the best wireless connection i can get near Viramma Resort,Dagapur.
    by going through the posts i can make out that the EVDO speeds are great but dealing with BSNL is a hell of a thing…unlike private players like Reliance.
    Can anyone tell me the easiest way to get the BSNL usb modem and where do i need to go for that……ie,the place or store i can get it from
    thanks to all of u for any help
    contact me on 9093371439

  30. Hi,

    Why give your phone number here in public. The only people who may actually call you are telemarketers! As for where you can get EVDO, you have to get it from the Siliguri Telephone Exchange. It is just beside the stadium.

    There is also a BSNL 3g data card available which you can get from the BSNL store in panitanki more (actually on bidhan road…just after panitanki more.. left -hand side). But speeds will be poor if you are not getting 3G network in your area.

  31. thanks Nipon
    i think i will go with BSNL as i really need good speed and connectivity….not interested in GBytes of download.
    Actually was out of country for 4-5 years and as such do not have much idea about all these things over here.
    well,u can give me a call on my no if u got any suggestions
    so u say EVDO is the best to go with??
    thanks again

  32. Hi Abhinaba,

    The tariff for the unlimited plan is 550/- for EVDO (upto 2.4 mbps) connection and 250/- for CDMA 1x (upto 144 kbps) connection. However, the rates have been hiked recently but existing customers won’t be affected.

  33. No dude . UL is now Rs 999 . That is in effect from 1st Jan . I got my device 6 days earlier to that .

    Thank god !

    Limited data plans are available for Rs 250 , 450 , 600 like that

  34. I completely agree with Sourish’s statement. I got mine last month from Pune and the plan is 999 only for the unlimited one. Rent is 200 and then taxes, so I think the final bill would be somewhere around 1300/-. Lets c kya hota hai …

  35. hi nipon
    i stay in Saltlake city , kolkata .while purchasing i was told tht i ll be able to use evdo in my block but til now havent seen such speed which was told.
    i thought there can be a problem with the modem so i visited the bsnl office in saltlake nd then they told me this will not work in my AC block…………..
    i am using it since last year.its AC8700 800M black in colour…………….
    plz help me……………………………………………..


  36. Hi,

    Do you get the EVDO signal in your ZTE dialler? (Take a look at my screenshot – you can see the word EVDO beside the tower sign) Or do you only see something like 1x? (That stands for CDMA 1x)

    If you are not getting the EVDO signal then I must assume that all of Salt Lake is not covered.

    However, right now the news is Calcutta Telephones is formally rolling out EVDO. So let’s hope your block is covered too!

  37. can any one tell me what is the user name and password for the EVDO high speed connection. The exchange did not provide me any user name and password till now. Also please let me know is there any device difference between low speed and high speed EVDO. I have applied for High speed. But how should I assure that I did not got the low speed connection? Please ans me.

  38. You have to get your password from the telephone exchange. For some people it is the phone number of the device that is both the username and password. For some username and password is 165.

    As far as I know, there is no device difference.

  39. thanks for your support.
    That means exchange are providing the same device for both the plans. Then how some one see the difference between these two?

    I have tried username 165. Its working but the max speed is showing 164 kbps. I am not able to understand is it the slower one or they have provided me the higher one. Please let me know.

  40. Well, the device has to be the same one as at any point of time one can change his/her plan i.e. upgrade/downgrade. A friend used to have the higher speed plan and later downgraded to the CDMA 1x plan but device is the same.l

    As for your speed, are you getting the EVDO signal (refer to this comment)? The speeds vary actually depending on signal strength and your internet usage. Try downloading something and see if the speed goes up.

  41. the speed of evdo is pathetic in pune
    bsnl customer representatives said that evdo works on cdma sharing network so i won’t get speed more than 200-300 kbps so down speed will be aproximately 25-28 KBps.
    its worst than 512 kbps(New plan 750 Rs/m) broadband which cost exactly d same in case of bsnl.
    Whoever want to purchase the card better go for broadband or tataphoton+.

  42. Can any body tell that whether BSNL EVDO post paid can be used with prepaid system. I was transfered from Guwahati to Haldia West Bengal. At Guwahati I was using the Post Paid EVDO with very good performance, but at Haldia the BSNL customer care authority said that it will not working with prepaid connection and existing EVDO has no use in this region. But I’m not convienced as he was not intrested to talk more. Please any body suggest me otherwise I had to forget about almost Rs 4500/- (cost of EVDO)spend one year before.
    Thanks in advance.

  43. hi I’m new here n dis is my 1st post in dis column. I recently bought BSNLs EVDO from siliguri xchange after hearing about its popularity. But to my dismay I’m getting download speed as low as 0.4 to 13 kbps and my tower display gives very weak signal. At present I stay in Champasari, So guyz kindly help me to increase the speed.

  44. hey friends
    i am from bhilwara rajasthan. i want to buy a wireless data card now i heard evdo from bhilwara the speed is very low 0kb/sec to 12kb/s
    si i suggest you to look your area availability
    than buy it



  47. hi this is rajesh varma…..from andhra
    i wanna buy a bsnl evdo data card is my decision right or wrong
    please tell any user how is it or how is itz dwnld speed which plan is
    best how much cost it is…… many doubts on it

    so plz reply ur suggetions

  48. Hi Guys,

    I am using BSNL 3G data card for broadband from the past 1 month.
    From yesterday, am observing the speeds are reducing drastically. Am just getting 800-1200 Kbps or 0.8-1.2 Mbps hardly.
    Is anybody else too experiencing the same………? If yes please reply.

    Do you know why is this happening? Is there any usage or speed capping in this BSNL unlimited scheme for 3G…..?

    Or is it a network problem with some network device down?
    If anyone has any idea about this pls reply to

    Mohammed P.

  49. HI NIPON
    i live in Radhabari BSF campus 10kms away from NJP and approx. 13 Kms away from siliguri. Can u please tell me weather i will get the EVDO signal in my home ?
    I even don’t get a good 3G BSNL signal inside my house. So please tell weather to buy the BSNL EVDO data card for me. I am also searching MTS MBLAZE PLANS. please help me. I want to buy a good data card.

    thank you

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