I got my BSNL EVDO 3G wireless USB eventually after 2 months of application time. The gadget itself(AC8700), from ZTE is pretty cool. They offered me an unlimited downloads package for Rs.750 a month with all India roaming(except Mumbai & Delhi). BSNL is the only telecom operator which is truly providing Unlimited Data Plans in this category. I am not really thrilled with their max speed of upto 150kbps (at home) that I currently get, but its still better than the other available options.
What is EVDO?
EVDO is the 3G service developed for CDMA by QUALCOMM. EVDO (also spelled EV-DO) stands for Evolution-Data Optimized. One of the main attraction of EVDO is it’s promise to deliver high speed connectivity on the move. But unfortunately, since BSNL’s EVDO service is still in early stages here in India, we need to wait a lot before we can enjoy the luxury of the fully fledged EVDO internet service. The good news is BSNL is continuously working on upgrading their towers with BTS(Base Terminal Station). A single BTS is capable of covering up to an radius of 5 to 7 Kilometers of even more. For EVDO to work properly, each tower needs to have its own BTS. The nearest tower near my place is Bhagajatin which is nearly 1-2 kms away. I believe with more towers the speeds will certainly increase.
How do I apply for a BSNL EVDO Broadband Connection?
Visit the main BSNL office in your area to get EVDO connection and apply got an EV-DO connection. They are most of the time short of Hardware, so it will take some time before you can buy one. If you already have a BSNL service (landline or post paid mobile), you just need to fill out a form. If you don’t have an existing service, you will need to give an address proof document also/either (photo copy of your passport, election id card, driving license etc.). The verification took a day after which I was called to the office and issued the EVDO card with a RUIM sim that enables me to use the Internet facilities almost all over India.
Why is my EVDO Internet access speed so slow?
If you are very near a tower but still experience slower downloads it might be due to absence of Edge. EVDO connects on 2 different technologies. one is EDGE and other is CDMA x 1, if the tower which you are connecting has edge enabled then you will be getting 2.4 mbps but if there is no edge tower then it will work on CDMA which is 144 kbps.
What are the costs?
The USB cost me around Rs.3000(including Rs.600 activation fee). They were also providing one Static IP for the fixed monthly charge of Rs. 150 per month. I went for a Rs.750 Unlimited monthly plan. They also have a cheaper Rs.199 a month plan with 500 Mb limit.
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on the time I visited the premises. Note that there might be changes in the prices of merchandise and admission fees that might have occurred after this article was published. At times the facility might also be closed for repairs or for variety of other reasons. Kindly contact the facility or facilities mentioned in this article directly before visiting.
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Credits: The historical information presented herein is gathered mostly from Wikipedia and local guides.