BSNL 3G Data Plans, Bandwidth and Transfer Speed Review


The pan India 3G GSM mobile service operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) is one among the early adopters of 3G technology. The Indian government allocated spectrum to both BSNL and MTNL prior to spectrum allocation for private telecos. The technology lovers here in India have been waiting for 3G services and there is a big buzz around this technology already which India as a major telecom market was denied till recently.

The 3G technology will allow telecom operators to offer better quality of voice calls compared to 2G services which depended on the much congested EDGE network. It will also help in faster downloading of music, movie and other data files on their mobiles.

What BSNL 3G promises :

BSNL is now offering  the following features :

  1. Video calls ( person to person video )
  2. High speed internet ( Upto 7.2 Mbps )
  3. Live TV
  4. Video messaging
  5. Video on demand ( Coming soon )

3G Postpaid Data Plans & Prepaid Data Recharge Vouchers :

BSNL is now offering the data plans mentioned below to its postpaid and prepaid customers across India. Check with BSNL customer care before recharging your 3G SIM as there can be limited period offers available. We are using truly  UNLIMITED plan without Fair Usage Policy ( FUP) that costs 2.7 k here in Kerala. Get more details from here.

FMC/Data RCV in Rs.(Service Tax Extra) Day/Any time usage in GB Night * usage in GB Total bundled free Usage in GB Validity (days)
Data Charges in Rs./MB(except APN ‘bsnlstream’)
Data Charges in Rs./MB
(For APN ‘bsnlstream)
249 0.5 0.5 30
399 1 1 30
549 1 5 6 30
649 2 2 30
999 10 10 30
2499 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 30
*11.00 PM to 07.00 AM

BSNL 3G Bandwidth and Speed tests :

There are few things to keep in mind before coming to a conclusion while using mobile broadband in general. The performance you get will vary from place to place and with the hardware used (very important). Also you wont get a steady bandwidth always even when you are idle. The bandwidth and transfer speeds purely depends on the following:

  • Distance from the tower ( Coverage/ Signal strength )
  • Network traffic ( Depends on area you live )
  • Mobility  ( Whether moving or Idle )
  • Hardware used ( Some hardware isn’t  capable of reaching high speeds )
  • Interface to your testing hardware ( USB / PCI interface )

We  while testing were approx 1 Km away from the 3G tower. The testing hardware was stationary too.

Testing devices we used :

We used Huawei E122 USB modem ( unlocked ) that supports speed of up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA Network and is also backward compatible on EDGE/GPRS Network. The main advantage of getting an unlocked hardware is that you can use all service providers SIM cards and can switch between EDGE/ 3G network easily. This hardware was connected to laptop via the standard USB interface.

Features of Huawei E122 :

  • HSDPA/UMTS 2100 MHz
  • EDGE/GPRS/GSM 1900/1800/900/850 MHz
  • HSDPA service data rate up to 7.2Mbps

The hardware is available on ebay India. Check this page.

BSNL 3G bandwidth via :

We were getting bandwidths between 2 Mbps – 4.5 Mbps always. Being a mobile broadband technology you can’t expect a steady bandwidth always.

BSNL 3G Speedtest bandwidth

BSNL 3G direct download speed :

We got a maximum transfer speed of 550 KB/s. The direct download speeds are the ones that decide how good your mobile broadband is. Here again at times it will depend on the server on which the file is hosted and route the data packets take.

BSNL 3g transfer speedBSNL 3G torrent download speed :

It is important to note that torrenting speed depends on many other factors other than bandwidth available. For a healthy seed / leech ratio we got speeds upto 500 KB/s.

BSNL 3G torrent download speeds

Verdict :

BSNL 3G is definitely a must try for all technology enthusiasts out there who would like to experience mobile broadband at never before speeds.

PS: My friend Varun from pinged me saying he is getting 5 Mbps + bandwidth and much higher transfer speeds with same hardware.

8 Responses

  1. cyril says:

    please mail the detail of 3g unlimited plan

  2. Abhishek Kumar says:

    So the first one is of Prince of Persia The Sands of Time, what is the second one of 😀

  3. Amal Roy says:

    Thanks a lot brother for this. I was looking for a good bsnl 3g review, you’ve done it well. 🙂

  4. Nischal Shetty says:

    I can’t wait to get my hands on 3G, waiting for Vodafone to make it available 🙁

  5. Saket says:

    Impressive speed but high data costs is keeping me away from it. Moreover it lacks good tarrif plans and SMS pack to lure customers, so for now atleast, i am happy with Airtel’s service. Hope it introduces 3G soon

  1. September 15, 2010

    […] I read the review of BSNL 3G by Compixels and there the author was using Huawei E122 USB modem to connect and getting very good speeds of […]

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