Best Wireless Internet Service in India- A Comparative Study

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Saturday, March 14, 2009

wireless_broadbandThe challenge for providing high speed Wireless Internet Service is soaring in India. There is a greater demand for wireless Internet as people want to stay connected to the web wherever they go. In my recent article - Reliance USB Modem with 3.1 Mpbs Speed: Now 20 Times Faster,  I have already highlighted how Reliance’s wireless high speed Netconnect Broadband is all set to contend BSNL’s much hyped EVDO. The USB modems and data cards have taken wireless Internet experience to new heights. For any corporate professional, or say a bloggers mobility offered by wireless internet broadband connectivity is always a plus. But, I find a number of people confused about the wireless connection that would suit their needs. With a bit of research on the top wireless Internet connection providers in India, I made an effort to simplify things for them. Here’s what I found.  

Take an overview of the wireless broadband internet plans by the major players in Indian market -  Tataindicom, BSNL, Reliance and Airtel.

Tataindicom Photon - High Speed Internet Access ( HSIA ) servicephotonusb

Speed: Simply plug the US Modem device into your Laptop or Desktop PC to access internet at speeds of upto 2.4 Mbps (Downlink speed). Internet speed will depend on multiple factors like time of the day, number of simultaneous users, web page accessed etc.

Tata Indicom’s USB Modem is available at Rs 3500

Tariff plan

There are three tariff plans

Hi-Speed 500

Monthly charge - Rs 700
Download limit - 0.5GB
Promotional Offer - Free 1GB
Extra MB download - Rs.2/MB
Charges for hardware - 3500

Hi-Speed 1000 plan

Monthly charge - Rs 800
Download limit - 1 GB
Promotional Offer - Free 2GB
Extra MB download - Rs.2/MB
Charges for hardware - 3500

Hi-Speed unlimited plan

Monthly charge - Rs 1500
Download limit - Unlimited
Promotional Offer - N.A
Extra MB download - N.A
Charges for hardware - 3500

BSNL’s Wireless Internet Service

Speed: EVDO offers speed ranging upto 2.4Mbps.

The Data Card is available at a cost of Rs 3000 (for one time charges). No monthly rentals are charged for the data card.

Tariff Plan

Tariff Plan for Wimax broadband service

HOWI 1000

Bandwidth - 256Kbps
Single/Multi User - SU
Installation charges - Rs 750
Fibsnl-evdoxed Monthly - Rs 1000
Discounted Annual Payment Option - Rs 10000
Free Email IDs/ Space (Per email ID) - 2/5 MB
Dl/UL limit per month - Unlimited
Security Deposit - One Month’s Fixed Monthly Charges

HOWI 1800

Bandwidth - 512 Kbps
Single/Multi User - SU
Installation charges - Rs 750
Fixed Monthly - Rs 1800
Discounted Annual Payment Option - Rs 18000
Free Email IDs/ Space (Per email ID) - 2/5 MB
Dl/UL limit per month - Unlimited
Security Deposit -  One Month’s Fixed Monthly Charges

For Business

BUWI 8000

Bandwidth - 256 Kbps
Single/Multi User - MU
Installation charges - Rs 750
Fixed Monthly - 8000
Discounted Annual Payment Option - Rs 80000
Free Email IDs/ Space (Per email ID) - 2/5 MB
Dl/UL limit per month - Unlimited
Security Deposit -  One Month’s Fixed Monthly Charges

BUWI 12000

Bandwidth - 512 Kbps
Single/Multi User - MU
Installation charges - Rs 750
Fixed Monthly - Rs 12000
Discounted Annual Payment Option - Rs 120000
Free Email IDs/ Space (Per email ID) - 4/5 MB
Dl/UL limit per month - Unlimited
Security Deposit -  One Month’s Fixed Monthly Charges

BUWI 20000

Bandwidth - 2048 Kbps
Single/Multi User - MU
Installation charges - Rs 750
Fixed Monthly - Rs 20000
Discounted Annual Payment Option - Rs 200000
Free Email IDs/ Space (Per email ID) - 4/5 MB
Dl/UL limit per month - Unlimited
Security Deposit -  One Month’s Fixed Monthly Charges

Reliance NetConnect Broadband

reliance-netconnectSpeed: This is a simply plug and play broadband option which offers speeds of upto 3.1 Mpbs

USB Modem is available at Rs 3500 with 2 months unlimited Internet connection.

Tariff Plans for Wireless Broadband services

For Speed 150 Kbps + Unlimited Download - Rs 750 / Month
For Speed 300 Kbps + Unlimited Download - Rs 999 / Month
For Speed 600 Kbps + Unlimited Download - Rs 1,799 / Month
This is exclusive of the service tax and installation charges

Reliance Business Wireless Broadband Plans for SME/SMB

Speed 100 Kbps + Unlimited Download - Rs 1,250 / Month
Speed 300 Kbps + Unlimited Download - Rs 4,000 / Month
Speed 600 Kbps + Unlimited Download - Rs 11,100 / Month
This is exclusive of the service taxes and installation charges

Airtel’s EDGE wireless Internet Service

airtel-data-cardSpeed: Airtel’s wireless EDGE 247 kbps high-speed data

USB Modem is available at an Mrp of Rs 2999

Tariff Plan:

Standard Plan

Data Card Rental: Rs 49
Free Bundled Usage: N.A
Additional Data Usage (per MB): Re 0.10p/10KB
Voice Plan: Additional any plan

Plan I

Data Card Rental: Rs 350
Free Bundled Usage: 500 MB
Additional Data Usage (per MB): Rs. 5/-
Voice Plan: Voice Rental Inclusive

Plan II

Data Card Rental: Rs 599
Free Bundled Usage: 1 GB
Additional Data Usage (per MB): Rs. 3/-
Voice Plan: Voice Rental Inclusive

Plan III

Data Card Rental: Rs 999
Free Bundled Usage: Unlimited
Additional Data Usage (per MB):
Voice Plan: Voice Rental Inclusive


Let’s draw a comparison between the major Internet providers in the Indian market in terms speed, price and download limit.


The speed is a crucial feature for any broadband service. Although the speed of a wireless broadband connection depends on a lot of factors, the key is to get the one that is real fast. If you are power user who needs to access things in a jiffy, it seems that Reliance with 3.1Mbps and BSNL with 2.4 Mbps would score high and Tataindicom with upto 2.4 Mbps are good options.


This is one of the major consideration while choosing a wireless Internet connection. As I can see the Reliance wireless USB worth Rs 3500 with 2 months unlimited Internet connection offering speeds of upto 3.1 Mpbs might be the ace. The BSNL also offers decent plans that are worth the price.

Download Limit

This should be determined according to the type of job you are involved in. Suppose you are a blogger, there’s not much you need to download. They can probably do with BSNL’s HOWI 1800.   But a web designer or even a developer needs to decide upon the download limit can look for something BSNL’s BUWI 12000 or Tataindicom’s Hi-Speed unlimited plan. For small or medium businesses BSNL’s BUWI 20000 or  Reliance Business Wireless Broadband 600 Kbps Unlimited Download seems a suitable offer.


sumit dhiman
December 25, 2010: 1:03 am

m also looking for a high speed data card that work as flow of water & never give me tension its download speed should b high………..
plz help sir,
u can mail me at


Nilesh Kava
July 25, 2010: 5:19 am

Reliance sucks and Tata Photon also sucks, In some remote mumbai area like gorai and borivali link rd, the services are really very very bad son dont buy any of the data card until the Airtel or vodafone 3g service gets started, Please wait for 2 or 3 months, as I have already exprienced Tata as well as Photon
and already wasted my money in buying data cards.
The data card money is non refundable

July 13, 2010: 12:22 am

Reliance is the shittiest telecommunication company of India. Appalling customer care service, sucking internet speed, tardy complaint handling and resolution. Anil Ambani should fuck himself with a reliance phone or a net connect modem

June 27, 2010: 4:18 am

I want a USB net connection at the same time can i use that SIM Card for my mobile calling purpose ?
if yes which company is providing such facility plz tell me
plan can be post paid or prepaid anything

May 30, 2010: 7:27 am

dear sir,
i had taken reliance net connect mg880+ of rs. 1500 but it is giving to slow speed can you help me to increase the speed . i had taken a plan of rs. 750 per month. it is giving a speed of 10 to 12 kb/s. if u want to help me just leave a scrap on for giving suggestion.
thank you

yours faithfully
vaibhav wadekar

Purushottam Dayama
May 27, 2010: 10:22 pm

There is new player MTS. Its MBLAXE is available in
Rs.2000 only and charges are reasonable.

sudip deb
May 2, 2010: 2:15 am

dear sir, i wanna to take franchise of internet broad band service. which i talked with one company name is inspire network. ITs a chennai based company. So let me know is this is gud one & certified company or not.. i need a ur concern… please

April 16, 2010: 1:38 pm


It’s Aswai from nawada,bihar.

I am using right now the the gprs pack of Rs.98 from Airtel which gives me an average download speed of 10KBps (with a download accelerator) and it is valid for a takes a lot of time to stream a video from youtube.I am a heavy downloader and want to play videos without any buffering or interruption.

Now i am looking for some other plans with a good download speed of at least 128KBps.

So, can anyone just advise me:

which plan should i go for?

I can bear monthly charges up to 1200Rs.

The plans must have a good download speed in rural and semi urban areas of BIHAR.

March 30, 2010: 6:01 am


On you should know onething, they are good at giving you a feel of blow jobs, but actually they will be sucking your blood :P

If you wanna live a life with no mental tensions, better remove those assholes from your mind :))

March 27, 2010: 5:38 am


I had booked for a USB Dongle for Rs.2800 + tax & etc = Rs. 2,912, BSNL has found that the Dongle feasibility for coverage is constraint to 15 mts. Since my house is off limits of that given 15 mts I had to opt for the Indoor WiMax CPE (Customer Premises Equipment). You can access this anywhere and anytime. The cost is Rs. 4,000/- . Monthly payment for both (Dongle & IW CPE) for unlimited usage is Rs. 1,000/- This is 512 kbps instruments.

As this is my 4th day of usage of this instrument on my online jobs. To check out the speed & coverage capabilities I had used it to do some download & upload of files above 2.12 GB to 19 GB files on Torrent sites & on my job networks.

The Result is as follows:-

I think there should be a 6 Green lighted (Normal) or Blue lighted bars (3G) should be there indicating the coverage strength but from the time installed I have only noticed 5 Bars just like mobile signal strength.

With 5 Bars & 2/3 Bars of signal strength (9:00am to 6:00pm):

The Speed as in transfer rate with my 512 kbps bandwidth (but shows the speed of 1682 kbps Download & 300 to 600 kbps upload, occasionally on certain servers while working on their site) can vary according to the sites & software’s we download to install for our jobs;

The speed may come to even the lowest of transfer rate 9 kbps to 30 kbps (I was pulling my hair at that time to see myself in a trial & error mode for BSNL)

With 5 Bars (Occasionally) & 2/3 Bars (Regularly) of signal strength (6:00pm to 4:45am):

As evening and night approached I saw the difference in Download & upload speed to be around 61 kbps to almost 464 kbps mostly with 2 or 3 bars of signal strength. Awesome from Our own BSNL. At least I get the work done in 4 or 6 hrs now than the 2 days or odd before with 20 to 40 kbps transfer rate/ packet rate / data transfer.

There is a consistency of 110 to 259 kbps transfer rate.

I have heard from a Business person who has taken a 1Mbps bandwidth is enjoying the speed & facilities. He & his wife are going for the high range ones as soon as they are launched the 8Mbps products but ordinaries like us may not be able to afford that too expensive instruments & monthly pay is also too high.

(Business UL 15000 Plus 2Mbps, 8Mbps Business 15000 with a cap of 125 GB: Home UL 1350 Plus 512 Kbps-affordable)

This I say only because I had it tested these days only on the difficult sites & from networked servers of Islands & inner lands where the inconsistency in coverage & signal strength is very drastic.

I thought I should appreciate the government firm with all our drawbacks & the drawbacks we create around us BSNL is trying to mend their flaws & come up with good & cheap services which could be affordable along with some benefits like unlimited usage without any hidden fair usage limits.

As for Technical Support they have been on call assistance every time I have called them & given right kind of advices & taken time to come to my place & show me why do they say; why some facilities are good or bad. The technical guys whom I have called spoke in understandable English & they can understand you too. They also can understand Hindi & return the favor in broken Hindi & English support.

Let me help you all by giving certain People to contact for BSNL WiMax truly an unlimited offer with awesome speed.

These are some of the BSNL members who make our Government firm BSNL a true service provider. They go out of their way to make the customer comfortable with what our country (India) has to offer in the best of the interest of the citizens & foreigners alike; most welcome to our facilities with all our simple ways (since we are after all an upcoming country in many ways with all resources to exploit for our own better existence.)

Contact for details regarding the instruments, feasibility & price:

Mr. Jhon Benedict (Sr.Engg: BSNL) : 09447419447

Tech Support:

I don’t have any officer’s name but anyone could call in for a tech details, User ID & Password related query in case you don’t get to Tech Support Mahin:

Tel@: +91-484-2363388

Tech Support Mr. Mahin: 09446594468

*There are few more Senior Engg Women & Junior Engg to name & provide numbers of who had helped in the same manner but they are designated to an area in this locality so there is no use in mentioning their name & ph #’s here, since they have a much lesser activity field than the mentioned & provided Numbers & Name.
*If you have a data one Ustar modem which has a inbuilt WiFi router you can connect both Wimax & this modem to configure to get WiFi service at your home or Business area.

Kumar VY
March 14, 2010: 10:27 am

Tata Indicom is the worst provider. I was vexed with the inflated bills. I was using within the free usage and they charged me twice the usage for 2 months. No response from the customer care when contacted they are least bothered about customers. I am planning to shift to Reliance.

March 4, 2010: 8:29 am

Hey all

I live in delhi and i am looking out for wireless usb or datacard internet connect which ever is better.

The main things that i want is mentioned below in points, so kindly write response accordingly and i would appreciate if u write response only if u have used the services not on assumptions.

THANKS in Advance…!!!

1) I am looking out for speed above 512kbps and minimum of 5gb download in 1000rs
2) prepaid or postpaid anything will work.
3) roaming in must in almost all area in north India and other major cities of the country.
4) connectivity and service should not be an headache ( i can go for higher amount till 1300rs as mentioned for the point 1 )
5) can go for any service provider if they clear all the above mentioned price. ( if u have something additional to it. suggestion are always welcomed )

Mehar Bhagat

Satish Prakash
February 23, 2010: 12:55 pm

I live in New York and will be visiting India in March. Can anyone advise whether USB wireless adapters are around, and if so, at what speed?

February 7, 2010: 2:42 am

hello every1
am 1 of the lucky guys who have been using TATA PHOTON 2.4Mbps unlimited plan for just Rs1500 for more than a year witout any problm in guwahati, assam. it is not tata photon+. the looks is just like BSNL EVDO and i get the speed usually from 500kbps to 2.1Mbps(2100kbps). doesn’t make any difference in download or upload as i’ve tested both(TATA PHOTON 2.4Mbps and TATA PHOTON+ 3.1Mbps). Its very good here in Guwahati. am still using this unlimited plan still existing for me. But for others now this unlimited plan is no more. the company has changed the plans wit TATA PHOTON+ 3.1Mbps. even when i travel in rural areas i get 1x speed which ranges from minimum 30Kbps to 280Kbps(PRACTICAL).
i even hav roamin facility!!!! thats all guys.
tata photon ZINDABAAD!!!

December 23, 2009: 8:24 am

i dont know about best but i am able to point out the worst in industry in terms of service is Airtel.
Even when you call their Nodal Officer then from 9:30 to 6:30 no one picks the call or just a voice message that ‘Our Nodal officer is busy’ and after 6:30 PM or before 9:30 AM, they say that you can call between 9:30 to 6:30 to talk nodal officer.
Worst service i have in my life is Airtel Wirelss Internet.

December 3, 2009: 8:30 pm

Please send me information about any high speed wireless broadband.My location is Gaya(Bihar).BUDGET is Rs.2500.

Manoj Kumar Jena
November 27, 2009: 4:14 am

Reliance Netconnect is worst like anything, as i am using this, this have several disconnect, slow speed of hardly goes upto 500 kbps vs as they claim for upto 3mbps.

All i say is wast of money, it is reccommended to have GPRS connection in mobile use as modem for your laptop, it have fairlygood speed than reliance netconnect.

Customer care, Nodal officers are pathetic & worst to response.

Ashok Kumar
November 24, 2009: 11:55 am

Hello My Dear Indians.. Best Minimum Expensive Netconnect is “Reliance MG880+ CDMA+PrePaid Data USB Modem” for Desk Top Computers and Using with Laptops also..
Just you have to pay monthly Charges Rs.401 will get 50 Hours. This is PrePaid as your like Recharge options. Best Geniune Service provider. Don’t go Tata Indicom+Postpaid(sendly first dummy bills with unused charges upto Rs.5000/-) Really loss with big amount this connection.

Satish Kumar P
November 23, 2009: 12:22 pm

Very informative site - especially the comparative study on internet wireless service providers and the various comments that followed it - saved lot of time. Thank you

November 15, 2009: 3:12 am

kind of a person who likes to spend atleast some time alone in a day.Always thinking as if am a kind of diff. person most of the peoples’wawelenth does not match with mine…………..believe and like peacefull life hate this bangalore hate hectic/busy/tentionfull life……wt else…….

November 13, 2009: 9:12 am

Hi, I’m coming with a laptop in december for 6 months to south of india. especially Kerala but also Karantaka and Goa.
is there a problem to buy/rent wireless modem for my laptop if I’m a tourist?
what do you think is the best plan/company for me for a web designer like me?
thanks in advance,

September 11, 2009: 6:16 am

This is really truth about the Reliance Customenr care……..

August 21, 2009: 6:16 pm

I applied for a reliance broadband connection and it took almost a week to get activated.. It sucks.. and the worst is that I applied for an unlimited plan paying Rs.1099/- but now they are saying that there’s no unlimited plan and that my monthly download limit is 10GB.
Reliance guys are the worst in customer service.. really sucks.. they got me into buying their product by saying that its an unlimited plan and then just throw me out after becoming their customer..

My point.. Never Trust Reliance…..

Nilesh n Acharya
June 17, 2009: 9:43 am

My suggestion for Reliance Netconnect Broadband+ would be a BIG NO. There are frequent disconnections, the net going slow occasionally.

And, as far as service is concerned, I have experienced the worst service ever in my life. Reliance Netconnect is not worth believing. They believe in sales only. So, if you got spare money, pay 3500/- to get the device and struggle to get at least a fair service.

May 7, 2009: 11:11 am

Currently wireless broadband is confined to enterprise sponsored connections for employees. The uptake in individual consumer section is low because of the price point and upfront investments. Going forward, I strongly feel wireless is going to be the medium of broadband access.

March 16, 2009: 10:25 am

Your point being?

Ali K
March 16, 2009: 7:59 am

New emerging opportunities
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