Its been more than a month now I have been using the reliance data card. Initially I had many doubts about the performance of the card but till now I never faced any problems. Though the speed is really really less when compared to a broadband connecction, this would give us the flexibility to access internet anywhere and anytime. The initial cost is a bit high…I got a pcmcia card which costed me around 3200 rupess including the installation charges and I took the 900 rupees 1.5 GB/month plan.
The bandwidth is sufficient enough to login using vpn and work from home…but the response would obviously be slow 🙁 . I can login into our servers using vnc or normal ssh client and also check my emails etc….For normal browsing, checking emails and working on servers etc the speed is decent…but for heavy downloads I would definitely say NO. But one bad thing abt this (maybe this would apply to cisco employees more) is that the ipcommunicator (ipc) does not work properly if we are logged in through vpn…this is a known issue with ipc wherein for dialup connections, the bandwidth is not sufficient enuf to login through vpn and use it…the audio would get distorted and sometimes only one side would work. Other than this problem I feel that this is a really gud option if broadband is not available or we need some backup internet connectivity.
And most importantly, with this data card its as if I have another cell phone. I can make/receive calls and also send/receive sms from my laptop. So, this would provide a backup internet connectivity as well as a phone.
Coming to other service providers offering data cards, I heard that tata indicom is also decent enough. A friend of mine has bought it very recently n is happy with the performance of the card. But I think airtel n vodafone (previously hutch) are not that good in this data card segment.
One gud thing abt these datacards is that even if we get CDMA 2000-1x EVDO coverage in bangalore, the same card can be used as EVDO is backward compatible to be used with CDMA 2000-1x (1x-RTT). If at all that is going to happen we can expect peak data rates of upto 2400 kbps compared to the existing 144 kbps with the 1x-RTT.
Heard that BSNL is soon going to launch EVDO based data cards…I wish even reliance would do it :)…right now I think bsnl has only 2000-1x option.
Anyways this is my experience with the datacard but I see many people who are not happy with its performance…I think a number of factors influence the datacard’s performance like distance from the tower, number of users logged in at that time, etc..but luckily till now I never faced any problem with it.
Disclaimer: This opinion of mine is purely based on my own experience and I am not biased towards any of the service providers 🙂