Update – 19th June 2011
Since then I’ve tested a few more, and Tata Docomo has improved greatly in service and coverage (after signing the tower deal with BSNL). Idea has had way too many problems (SMS centre screwed up, network full etc.). And for me, Vodafone has had a choppy voice problem on their 2G network (But that problem was with my Galaxy 3 Modded modem firmware I belive).
I entered 11th grade recently, usually a time for getting a new cell phone or for those who have it, a surge in its usage. I had a cell phone connection passed on from my grand-dad, to my dad, to my mom and then to me. Well, that feeling of exclusivity wasn’t there, but it was still working. It was Airtel. The only problem was that it was expensive. New operators were launching schemes here and there, and I was paying for rates that were about 2-3 years old. So I decided to change my provider – a bad decision as time would tell, but full of important lessons, and a decent understanding of the scene.The pros – A Shiny new number & no more pesky SMS adverts (Apparently START DND does not block SMS adverts). I decided to go for Reliance. GSM of course. I bought it, and 2 days later they told me that there was some problem with documents. I resubmitted them, but they refused to activate it, so well, I decided to buy another provider. I don’t know why I chose this but I went for BSNL. Good for rural areas but not that good for urban areas. My range used to disappear when it started to rain (peculiar I know, but true nevertheless). An SMS that I would send would take anywhere from 5 mins to 1 full day to get delivered (Something that you don’t want to happen when most of your communication is done through SMS). And don’t even bother asking about an SMS someone would send me 😛 . Even worse condition. I persevered. I thought they may be having some network problem. One day, I was sending messages, and suddenly my balance went 0.00 . I was confounded – I had 1000 free SMS’s and about 50 bucks balance. The problem I later realised was that my 1000 free SMS were over, and BSNL does NOT have a system to inform someone about their balance after they have sent an SMS. I was forwarding Joke messages. At that instant I realised that I had my Reliance SIM lying around. I tested it. It worked. Their SMS system was superb. Almost as good as BlackBerry Messenger! It was really fast. But their voice calling was a different story altogether. While not calling, my cell phone used to show me full range (no flickering), and the instant I placed a call it would drop 2-3 bars. Another thing I realised almost 3 months later that Although in many places I could hear the other person well, the other person could not hear me. That was pathetic. Well, since I was only using SMS, it worked well for me. And cheap too! Just 1p per SMS paying about 19 bucks a months! So I continued with it.
Fast forward 3 months later. The call problem still continued (I thought it would disappear by now). So I decided to go on to the tried and tested Vodafone. Well, I’m waiting for it get activated and my reliance balance to get over. I’ve heard it’s good, and I’m hoping the same. My basic requirement – A robust service platform, the basics should work well.
So here is my conclusion :
Best for SMS – Reliance – Cheapest for SMS too!
Best Overall – Vodafone, Airtel,
Idea (Cheapest first)
Don’t go to these – BSNL, Uninor,
DoCoMo (Removed on 19/6/2011) ,Aircel.
If you have a Dual SIM cellphone, then best combo perhaps will be Idea and Reliance. Idea is great for voice calling and Reliance is great for SMS!