It's time for 3G in India; days are gone when we used to pay a hefty amount for GPRS (General Packet Radio Services) or EDGE ( Enhanced Data GSM Environment) enabled services. Although they belong from 2G or 2.5G, they have limitations in terms of maximum speed they can provide. 3G as the name suggests stands for 3rd Generation technology which can transmit speeds in Mega bytes (2Mbps to 10 Mbps in some cases).
Some of the 3G protocols include
Universal Mobile Telecommunication Service (UMTS)
Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access (WCDMA)
High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)
Evolution Data Maximized (EVDO)
To understand better, it transmits the data the same way like other networks do. The only thing which changes here is the protocol used to carry the data. Below you can see the 3G architecture model.
Coming to Indian context, Government has allowed state owned companies viz. MTNL and BSNL to offer 3G services and is planning to allow serious private players to roll out their own 3G services, but for this it may take some time.
As the technology is new, the service providers are providing these services at a premium cost.
BSNL is charging Rs. 3001 for unlimited 3G data plan for their prepaid customer whereas Rs 3000 for their postpaid customers.
On the other hand MTNL (which operates in Delhi and Mumbai) is offering at Rs 2500 unlimited (10 GB is the maximum limit as stated in fair usage policy).
* The above mentioned plans are the maximum offerings from the above mentioned service providers, there are more plans in offerings from them for that you are requested to visit their official website or contact their customer care services.
Activation charges for MTNL include Rs. 300 (one time) and Rs. 100 (as fixed monthly charges); whereas BSNL is charging Rs 300 plus if there is a technology change (from 2G to 3G) there will be an additional fee of Rs 110.
As we go on we will see more and more competition from other providers which will lead to reduction in rates which in return will make it much more affordable for users.