Recently Airtel launched its 3G services in Bangalore becoming the 4th private operator to do so after DoCoMo, Reliance and Aircel. After using all these services I decided to compare Airtel so-called most reliable service in India with DoCoMo’s 3G. Here’s the summary:-

Tata DoCoMo 3G

Launched in Diwali last year DoCoMo had publicised their services quite nicely before the actual launch date. Not only this they had also offered free data transfer in the first week of its launch which helped them in getting large number of subscribers. I being a fan of Airtel purchased a DoCoMo sim for the sole reason  of trying 3G. Here’s my experience in setting up 3G:-


3G came pre activated in all sims i.e the 3G signal was seen on all compatible handsets. The user just had to :-

1.Send a message ACT3G to 53333 and then save the settings received.

2. Simply start browsing after subscribing to some data pack.

Customer  Care experience

The executives were well-informed and were able to answer my queries quickly, accurately and to the point. I wanted to connect my phone to laptop and then use the internet for which also I was informed about quite quickly and was able to browse on my laptop too. The speed was around 3.2 Mbps which was promised and I am quite happy with it.

3G Plans

DoCoMo has launched two types of plans, one being flexible plan that has a combination of 3G data usage as well as free calls and data plans for heavy data usage.

Flexi plans:-

MRP(RS.) Local+National+Roaming(Mins) DATA
350 700 200MB
500 1000 500MB
750 1500 750MB
1000 2000 1.25GB
2000 5000 2GB

Data plans:-


90 200MB 30
200 500MB 30
351 750MB 30
501 1.25GB 30
751 2GB 30
1001 5GB 30
2001 15GB 30


As we can see this type of planning puts customer in a position to decide which way should he go for either for only data or if he thinks its to costly then a flexi plan that will also give a few minutes of calling.:)

Airtel 3G

Airtel launched its 3G on 23rd Jan very quietly and in a manner that most people don’t know till date that its been launched. Advertising was very less and

I only came to know from an email which came from Airtel luckily because I had registered to get informed about this. Frankly speaking after seeing DoCoMo’s 3G launch I had expected a lot more from them and being a sincere follower of Airtel I am truly disappointed.


Activation?? Guess what I had no idea how to activate 3G in my phone since there was no advertising anywhere I had no idea what to message whom to message and on top of it I wasn’t even able to get any reception of 3G signal on my phone. After a lot of calls to customer care I was informed I had to :-

1.Message 3G to 121.

2.Within 4 hours you will get a confirmation saying that now you can latch onto Airtel 3G network(now you will get reception of 3G on your phone).

3.After this again message 3G to 121 to subscribe to some data packs.

Too much work ain’t it? but waits what’s surprising is that I was not able to go beyond the first step itself.Curious? I am still waiting for a confirmation message from Airtel that my 3G services have been activated.It has been over two days that I had requested to get 3G and it’s still under process.Moreover I have now found certain problems in my 2 G net connections itself and they have started right from when I requested for 3G services. What problems? well I can’t access Facebook server from my phone anymore.At first I thought it was some problem with my app but then on further research I found out that this problem was being faced by many customers across Bangalore.

Customer Care Experience

Hmmm…well one thing I can tell you is that any customer knows much more about 3G than their executives in office. I called them up to ask about the status of my request and they were like my phone(HTC Desire) might not be 3G compatible lol. A phone worth 26k in todays market is not compatible to 3G according to them.Further more when I said I need the settings to connect it using my Laptop the person started telling me about the data plans. When asked again he was clueless as to what to say. Well after all the reason Mr Mittal gave for delay in launching of 3G was that they wanted their network to be prepared completely for any kind of requirements. Well I got news for you Mr. Mittal you are still not prepared and capable for even handling 3G services forget video call monitoring and stuff like that. This is again a problem which is not being faced by me only but many more customers of Airtel. Although some customers have been able to use it.

3G Plans

Well even though I wasn’t able to connect to 3G using my phone it didn’t bother me much as I hope to get the issue resolved within a couple of days. But what bothers me is the pricing which according to me is too too costly. Moreover Airtel doesn’t even offer any combi-plans only straight forward data plans which confuses the user and naturally without seeing any free minutes in the plan he might choose to totally avoid using 3G services. The plans have been given below:-

MRP(Rs. Prepaid only) FREE DATA VALIDITY(Days)
9 10MB 1
60 65MB 3
45 30Min 1
103 100MB 3
200 250MB 30
450 600MB 30
750 2GB 30
675 1.25GB 30

Well now you can see and compare the huge difference between the rates for Airtel and DoCoMo 3G services. Well with MNP (Mobile Number Portability) already in operation I am planning to shift my number from Airtel to DoCoMo and enjoy its services. Rest is up to you!!!


Finally after 3 days of wait and writing a mail to the my 3G is now activated. It  does’nt really give 3.6Mbps. Its more or less 1.4Mbps. Again disappointing but I sincerely hope that within the coming weeks the rates are gonna go down. FYI currently its free according to your current data plan i.e if you have a 2GB per month plan pre installed you can use the same in 3G connection as well. Just an introductory offer but a nice one 🙂