In a remote village in the interiors of India, farmers check weather conditions through Internet everyday. And here in towns, cities and metros, it’s almost impossible to find a decently(read usable) priced Internet in your Hotel Room. There was a time when you could still find free wifi hotspots in malls, cafes etc, but after it was discovered that terrorists use such open networks, they were all shut.
However, we do have an alternate. And as always, the best solution is the simplest one – Data Cards. Data Cards make it easy and cheap to surf Internet anytime, anywhere. Having said that, you have to be very careful while choosing a data card. Here are some points you should consider before picking one:
Prepaid or Postpaid?
If you travel occasionally, go for a prepaid data card. Prepaid Data Cards normally come with a life-time validity. So you can just recharge it before you leave for a tour. When you are home, you don’t pay anything. If you travel almost every month, then a postpaid might be a better option as it saves you from the hassle of recharging every now and then plus you can get unlimited/cheaper plans on postpaid.
Is it roaming enabled?
Some providers charge you for surfing while on roaming. e.g. Aircel offers cheap GPRS plans, however they are not applicable while roaming. Though they might call it just 10p/10kb, it turns out to be Rs.10,000 per GB.
CDMA/EVDO or GSM/3G?
Technically GSM-3G speeds are much faster than EVDO. However, in India both Tata Indicom and Reliance CDMA has much better CDMA coverage than any 3G provider. Having used both, I would always put my bet on CDMA data cards. 3G is not even available seamlessly in Metros.
Tata Photon Plus or Reliance Netconnect+?
It depends on where you travel more. If you travel only to metros and big cities, Tata Photon Plus is more suitable with better plans and a little better service. On the other hand, Reliance Netconnect+ coverage seems to be much wider that Tata’s. I get super fast speeds even in some villages on Reliance. Check there sites for coverage. BTW, if you are a Jet Privilege member, you can get Tata Photon Plus at a good discount.