NAGPUR: Even as cellular technology continues to make our life easier, 3G services have been launched as the ‘most important service to reach Indian markets’ in the last few months. While many are adopting 3G for the facilities it offers, some are also using it as a fashion statement. Whatever your reasons for using 3G, be sure to understand the technology, billing system and tariff plans well.

At present, there is only one unlimited plan in 3G for mobile phones and laptops. Tata offers an unlimited plan, but even in that the speed drops drastically after the free data limit has been reached. However, there are no charges for the extra data used.

The other three service providers in Nagpur – BSNL, Idea and Vodafone – offer limited data usage plans. Airtel is yet to launch its services in Nagpur. Consumers must choose their plan with care otherwise they will end up paying astronomical rates for casual surfing or online entertainment.

Posted Image If you are sure about your usage it is better to go in for prepaid plans, because you will know when your free data has been completely used up, and you will not have to pay for extra data usage. However, the companies charge for extra usage after the free data even in prepaid plans. So, if you choose to use the existing coupon till you get a recharge you will have to pay at a very high rate – the same as that for postpaid plans.

Any 3G tariff plan has three components – rental, free data against the rental, and charges after free data usage. The third component – charges after free data usage – is usually the costliest portion of any bill. Using data beyond your free data can lead to very high bills in some tariff plans or very slow speeds in others.

For example, if you opt for a Rs 200 plan by Idea, you will get 500 MB free data. If you use any data over this limit, you will be charged at the rate of 10 paise per 10 KB, which translates into Rs 10.24 per MB. If you use 600 MB under this plan, i.e. 100 MB extra, then you will pay Rs 1,224 plus taxes.

Higher the extra usage, bigger is the wallop on the wallet. If you opt for a Rs 850 plan, you will get 3 GB free data. The charges after free data use is 10 paise per 10 KB, which translates into Rs 10,486 per GB. So, if you use just 1 GB extra, you will have to shell out a shocking Rs 11,090 plus taxes instead of Rs 850.

BSNL’s extra charges are Rs 0.02 per 10 KB or 2 paise per 10 KB. This means you pay Rs 2 per extra MB usage and Rs 2,098 per extra GB usage.

Tata does not extra charge amount after free data usage is exhausted, but the speed reduces to 128 KB per second from the original 3.6 MB per second or more.

You can calculate your approximate usage through usage calculators available on the websites of mobile companies. As the companies themselves claim that the calculations are approximate and the actual usage can vary significantly, it is safer to peg your usage on a higher side. You should also keep in mind that laptops use more data for a particular application than a mobile phone.

Source – http://articles.time…lans-data-usage

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