A blog about tech, travel and society

28 Feb 2009

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. :) 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. Speed 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 Driver 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?