Myth busted:Unlimited 3G data plans are NOT unlimited*

| March 27, 2013 | 37 Comments

Indian Mobile operators advertise 3G unlimited data planstheir unlimited data plans boldly as true unlimited data plans. See their advertisement carefully; they put a tiny asterisk some where on the advertisement.

Actually this tiny asterisk indicates hidden catch. The catch is that they offers unlimited data plan at variable download speeds. They offers high download speed up to some fixed data usage limit and after crossing the fixed data usage limit, download speed reduces drastically.

Mobile operators reduce the download speeds as per fair usage policy (FUP) of TRAI guidelines.

Some operators reduce download speed to some comfortable speed (128Kbps) at which you can even use the Internet easily but some of them reduce download speed so drastically ( 8Kbps) that you can’t open a webpage properly.
With this reduced download speed, some customers get irritated and blame the mobile operator for their poor network but actually the reduced download speed is the part of their data plan.

Let us examine the popular unlimited data plans of mobile operators for prepaid customers.

Airtel: Airtel have datashare plan of Rs 1000 in which you get 5GB of 3G data and you can share this 5GB data among three friends or three devices. Other 3G data plan with validity of 30 days are as follows

  • MRP of Rs 655 has data cap at 3GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 759 has data cap at 4GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 855 has data cap at 5GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 955 has data cap at 6GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1255 has data cap at 9GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1555 has data cap at 12GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps

Vodafone: Vodafone have unlimited 2G plan starting from Rs 194 with a cap on 2GB, after crossing the cap, the speed reduces 40Kbps.  Vodafone have 3G unlimited plans as follows

  • MRP of Rs 651 has data cap at 3GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 851 has data cap at 5GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1251 has data cap at 8GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1501 has data cap at 10GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps

Idea: Idea also have unlimited 3G data plan in the same price range as other operators, the plans are listed below

  • MRP of Rs 649 has data cap at 3GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 749 has data cap at 4GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 849 has data cap at 5GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 949 has data cap at 6GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1249 has data cap at 9GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1549 has data cap at 12GB and after that speed reduces to 80Kbps

The above plans shows that after basic plan of 3GB for Rs 649, the additional charges are Rs 100 for every 1GB.

Reliance Communication: This have min 5GB plan and offer discounted rates on higher plan as listed below.

  • MRP of Rs 800 has data cap at 5GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1099 has data cap at 10GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1300 has data cap at 15GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps

Tata DoCoMo: This have only one unlimited plan of MRP Rs 250 but company says if you use the plan where 3G network is not there, you will get 2G data speed only.

  • MRP of Rs 250 has data cap at 1GB and after that speed reduces to 64Kbps

BSNL: Few months back, BSNL had  one unlimited Postpaid plan of MRP of Rs 700 but now company have converted this plan as limited plan with free data usage of 6GB and additional data of 1GB@Rs 100. BSNL have following other limited plan for prepaid customers.

  • MRP of Rs 250 has data usage of 1GB and after that additional charge 1MB@25p
  • MRP of Rs 450 has data usage of 2GB and after that additional charge 1MB@25p
  • MRP of Rs 600 has data usage of 3GB and after that additional charge 1MB@25p
  • MRP of Rs 750 has data usage of 5GB and after that additional charge 1MB@25p

BSNL have the most economical plan of Rs 599 which offers you 7GB data usage but out of 7GB, you have to use 4GB in night hours from 11PM to 7AM.

Aircel: Aircel also have most economical 3G unlimited data plans as follows.

  • MRP of Rs 198 has data cap at 1GB and after that speed reduces to 128Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 399 has data cap at 2GB and after that speed reduces to 128Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 697 has data cap at 5GB and after that speed reduces to 128Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 997 has data cap at 10GB and after that speed reduces to 128Kbps

MTS: MTS have three unlimited data plans of CDMA which offers maximum speed up to 3.1 Mbps. The plans are listed as follows.

  • MRP of Rs 799 has data cap at 6GB and after that speed reduces to 144Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 899 has data cap at 12GB and after that speed reduces to 144Kbps
  • MRP of Rs 1249 has data cap at 15GB and after that speed reduces to 144Kbps

It is evident from all above data plans that BSNL have the most economical 3G data plan priced at Rs 599 while for more data hungry customer who consumes 10GB or more data, Reliance Communications have much more cheaper data plans.

If someone wants more higher speed, they may go for 4G services or FTTH.

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Category: Data Usage, Telecom Gyaan

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Comments (37)

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  1. K.Ramalingam says:

    BSNL has an unlimited postpaid 3G Data plan MRP of Rs 700 has data cap at 6GB and after that speed reduces to 256Kbps. For other plans, additional charge after data cap is 1MB@Rs.2 (2ps per 10KB)for prepaid and 1MB@Rs.1 (1ps per 10KB)for postpaid.

  2. nandan says:

    yes its true ,BSNL has 700+ST extra unlimited post paid plan with 3.6 Mbps data card free. 3.6 Mbps speed up to 6GB and then 256 kbps

  3. BABYJOSEPH says:

    why then so called telephone operators say 3g network is high speed and in the name of 3g, government and telephone companies are looting the people

  4. Solomon says:

    MTNL used to provide truly unlimited 3G data at Rs 4500/6 months. Now they have put a cap of 100 GB for the same 6 months. It is as good as unlimited and cost comes to around Rs 750 per month with 16 GB cap. Delivered speed is 2.2 Mbps on Mumbai network and 4 Mbps on BSNL network while roaming.. Quite good compared to private providers.

  5. Rajdip Khan says:

    will i get exactly 256 kbps download speed in the unlimited 3g plan of bsnl??
    in broadband u will get 30 kbps in the plan of 256 kbps.

    • Rani says:

      Careful sure chutes hai bsnl wale. Jo bolted hai wow Karter nah. This is true strategy with all is not just bsnl others cut down speed after some limit say you downloaded 4gb your speed goes down after that to 3/4. Download means anything from checking email to videos., messages to mms etc anything you do to see anything on Internet is called download hahaha

  6. 3Guser says:

    thank you for putting up all the plans in one place, it is much easier to decide instead for checking each operator site and deciding.
    u made my job much easier. 🙂

  7. Balachander K says:

    Thank you..you saved me much time in researching.

  8. Ajay says:

    @Rajdip Khan. Please understand that 256kbps=32kBps. Notice caps “B” which stands for Byte and small “b” stands for bit. divide 256kbps by 8 to get your real Byte value. Hence u get around 30kBps for 256kbps connection

  9. in vodafone 3g plan ,if 3GB data over after 10 days after that it will cost for downloading/browsing for 451 plan.
    pls help me guys

  10. GOUSIYA says:

    oh common.. i am using 3g plan of idea n guess what for handheld devices its worse than u can imagine..its only gives 20 kbps speed after 3gb….
    idea unlimited 3g sucks… literally sucks….

  11. shetaynesh says:

    this type of comparison is very nice to look at in detail but explain also the country where actually applies

  12. Paraneeth says:

    Aircel FUP is the worst :::::

    after 3g data limit quota speed is reduced to just 2KB/sec i.e kilo bytes or 16kb/sec i.e kilo bits …… really disappointing service from Aircel Karnataka circle.

    3g plans like these are literally useless…
    there is no data speed consistency rather just a high speed limited data buzz in advertisements.

    Even a steady speed of 2G @ 256 kbps unlimited is more than enough than all this 3g bullshit and fooling customers with FUP caps

    hope TRAI relaxes the crazy FUP and speed limits which are more of an marketing gimmick to existing mobile users

  13. Preetham says:

    Aircel is the worst data service provider with a post 3g usage cap of 2 KB/sec… most of the service providers are driving customers with their marketing gimmick of so called unlimited 3g which is literally useless after the alloted quota of high speed data is consumed.

    whats the point in providing high speed limited data and then providing snail slow internet..
    instead of this they could better provide 2g data at full speed (w/o speed caps) instead of all this bull shit 3g plans which they advertise for.

    also hope TRAI relaxes on some of their wireless speed capping rules in name of Quality of Services..

    ps : no unlimited 2g plans
    only unlimited (so called ) 3g plans with FUP

    Thanks and good job Aircel……. 🙁

  14. aosem says:

    why there is no information about the speed deduction on the recharge pamplets… where is the ” right to information”

  15. mahesh says:

    No ullu banawing…
    No body should buy these packs..
    Public ko lut rahe hai..

  16. u r awesome bro, can u please tell me in airtel 3g unlimited of 655 after 3 gb usage speed is reduced to 80 kbps .. so what will be idm speed in that case..

  17. dear users airtel if big fraud i have got recharged 655 3gb +unlimited 3g plan
    up to 3gb i was getting upto 8 MBPS after 3gb ‘m getting only 10 KBPS that there’s no use of talking with customer care and all . what is the use of unlimited plan only if ‘m getting 10 kbps and m pretty sure my device is completely configured properly ‘m getting 35 kbps on 2g network…

  18. rajat says:

    all this company making money even no single company give unlimited access to internet. in uk for 30 pound telecom company offer unlimited 3g without any compromise in speed weather upload or download. indian company owner are baniye in nature. they see there profit first by looting common man.

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  20. anjani says:

    bsnl 241 pack….after using. 1gb they promise to give 80kbps speed ,bt i only get 4-5 kbps speed….

    bsnl ……..*******

  21. Shannon says:

    I took a 3GB unlimited data plan from IDEA, for a NetSetter SIM card I was using in another mobile acting as a hotspot. One fine day I was taking an online quiz, when the damn pages just stopped loading!

    Then I found out that the 3GB limit had been crossed — it says that you’ll get a reduced speed of 40kbps, but what it should really say is ‘speed below 40kbps,’ because it’s terribly slow!

    Reminds me of those old 56kpbs dial-up modems… lol

  22. PBK Sumit says:

    In the name of 3g plans we are being looted as speed capping/FUP caps are made.
    I have a plan, we all Indians should group up, be united & stop using/purchasing the 3g plans of these companies. Then automatically TRAI will be forced to change his guidelines and will provide 3g plan speeds without capping or FUP.

  23. Rocky Rock says:

    I have take a airtel data postpaid connection of rental 655…. as per the rental plan they promise after using 3GB the speed will be 80 kbps but believe me i didn’t get 8 kbps also…… how can disconnect this airtel postpaid connection….i have only use 1 month…..

  24. ~SD^^ says:

    Woh… I’m surprised to know about that unlimited speed.. No one giving the 2G speed after limited usagee…even 2~8KBps speed is of 2G unlimited …lol I shudn’t buy any 3G unlimited packs from now on…
    I wanted to buy photon+ for it’s unlimited speed 155kbps….. But as he said.. bit n byte.. Maybe 155kbps = 48KBps
    So I guess using 48KBps at Rs.650 of photon+ is better than using 2~8KBps of Rs.699 at 3G

    And thanks everyone.. Thanks to the owner

    ~SD^^

  25. sachin naik says:

    i am a proud customer of Vodafone it gives me 3G at a very high speed. I agree with the telecom companies they cant give you everything for free even they and their family needs to feed their stomach or else they will have to shut down their business. Why are you only thinking about yourself? think about others too!

  26. Rani says:

    Bank has worse servicing in case the underground cable get bad they will never change it. Through del bsnl is hell

  27. krishna says:

    i am using vodafone 697 unlimited pack after 3.5gb 3g network died and getting 12kb/sec speed cant even stream youtube

  28. Naveen says:

    i am also having a prepaid idea net-setter and i recharged it with an unlimited pack but after some days one message came saying the your full speed is over and speed is now reduced to 80 kbps then after the speed is reduced i cant even browse a webpage properly because of this FUP so nowadays no one is buying an unlimited plan because of this shit FUP.

  29. Naveen says:

    it has been many times that i recharged my idea 3G net-setter with unlimited pack then after some usage the speed is reduced due to FUP so my opinion is to stop these FUP from all the company and give the customers the full speed till the unlimited pack expires.

  30. Subramaniyam Raghava says:

    80 Kbps(Kilo bits per second) is equal to 10 KBps (Kilo Bytes per second).

    B – Bytes
    b – bits

    Don’t B foOled bY tHose MArketing tEChniques.

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