AirtelWe have launched our 2mbps plans like BSNL, or better.

There are some powerpoint presentations circling the net right now. But the question almost everywhere is why doesn’t Airtel promote them? Print them, and market them? Is the plans not good enough to compete in the market? Is the promised speeds not delivered? These are some of the questions I will try to cover through this post.

What are the current 2 Mbps plans?

Here are the plans in short:

Airtel 2 Mbps

These are the plans currently available in the Kerala circle. Sad news to all “unlimited plan” seekers out there. There is no such plan currently in the offing with 2 Mbps speeds.

These are very much comparable to the plans of BSNL and are value for money too. BSNL rentals are lower by Rs. 100 but they make it up on the modem rentals in all plans. So the net effect remains the same. So you have them, Airtel 2 Mbps plans!

What about Speeds?

Speeds are not assured, I can tell you that. But you should get decent speeds up to around 1.5 to 1.7 Mbps speeds. This is not confirmed as I am yet to see a customer using this plan. But hey, even BSNL says speeds “256kbps to 2Mbps” for that matter. Airtel has a high capacity line as far as I know, speeds should not be a problem.One should get the max. speed in off-peak hours.
What does having a 2 Mbps Plan mean?

High speeds? Yes. Super fast downloads? Yup! Browse @ the speed of light? Absolutely. . .life will be a bliss for every geek and every “power user”. But. . .BUT….Read on…

Now for some mathematics. Grab a calculator and do the math with me.

Imagine a customer in Combo 499 Plan. Free limit: 1 GB. Speed: 2Mbps

1 GB = 1024 * 1024 = 1,048,576 bytes.

Time in minutes = Free Bytes/Plan Speed

= 1,048,576/(2*1024*8)

= 68.3 Minutes.

Well, what does this mean? Free usage will get over in 68.3 minutes!

Of course considering that customer starts downloading and stuff from the very start. But the casual browser will be satisfied with slower speeds. 2 Mbps will eat up the free limit in almost an hour.

Oh, Ok…What happens next?

If the customer keeps downloading for an hour after the free limit.

Usage Charges = (MB Downloaded in an hour)*Usage Charges/MB

= (MB downloaded per sec * 3600) * 0.90

= (2/8*3600)*0.90


=Rs. 810/-

At full throttle downloads, the customer will be charged at Rs. 810 per hour

Who on earth can afford a internet connection that wil be charged at over Rs. 800 per hour???? The end result? High Bills, no control over usage and total billing hell!

After understanding the customer usage and requirements, its best to take up the plan that fits the pocket and the requirements. Everyone is raving about internet speeds these days. But do you really need it? What do you do with that amount of a bandwidth?

The Warning!!!

Point is these plans are mainly aimed at the business user or the crazy basement dwelling geek who know what they are doing and prepared to use the net responsibly and usefully within limits.

Don’t go for the new 2 Mbps plans if you do not know what you are going to do with it. Maybe your teen at home will get some mp3s and your college going daughter will download some pdfs and ebooks and you use some video chat with your parents abroad and watch some YouTube videos. When the bill comes……..I leave it for you to think about it.


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