After 3 months of using the Reliance network, I have some updates.
First, a continuation from the last post on the same subject. I have used the 3G data extensively, and, besides the normal mobile limitations, the 3G data seems to be unlimited as claimed. I exceeded 100 GB on tethered connections and over 50 GB on the phone itself and there was no degradation in speed.
Now, for the rest…
- I now have a better understanding of the gripes people have with the Reliance network
- It is not really a Zero Plan as claimed
- Nokia and HTC handsets have been added to the 0 Plan
It seems that the Reliance network is not correctly configured and setup. You need to know how to “fix” some issues. For example, while travelling, I would completely lose the connection and I had to try the following steps to restore it:
- Try a network search again by switching on and off the airplane mode (or re-start)
- Switch of 3G and repeat #1, if needed
- Select the carrier manually, which might not work on the first attempt
At times, it would just go off to “No Service” for no apparent reason and I would have to try the above all over again. This happened in all the 3 locations I visited. By contrast, my Airtel connection on my other iPhone had absolutely no issues at all in any of these locations or while travelling. The voice quality on calls leaves a lot to be desired, so, I use VoIP when and where possible.
The Zero Plan is not quite 0! You will get charged for all SMSs sent on occasions like Holi and not just international SMS as the plan claims. I got a SMS from Reliance which said that all messages would be charged on the occasion of Holi! The other part is that you will also get charged for any MMS (besides all VAS like missed call alerts etc). Although I am not sure how I got billed for a MMS (MMS on an iPhone seems ridiculous), but, it happened. The interesting fact is that the Reliance bill will not have any details for anything that you have been charged for (SMS, MMS). On asking for details of the number/destination, it seems that whenever I tried, their systems were “down”. Was that just my luck, bad timing or something else…?
Anyway, the third bill I got from Reliance was actually 0…first time in 3 months, I had approximate billings of Rs.10 and 20 for the first and second months.
The other good part seems to be the introduction of other handsets with the Zero Plan. You can now get a HTC (dual SIM) model with the Zero Plan for around Rs.1600. This is not a bad deal if the network works in the areas you frequent. If I recall correctly, Airtel broadband charges around the same or more for a 8 mbps DSL connection with a 15 GB cap. So, if you are on this Airtel or any similar broadband plan, I would advise you to check out the “not completely Zero Plan” from Reliance. If the network works in your area, then, this would be a far better deal for most people using data.
Overall, if you know how to work around the Reliance network glitches at times, it’s not a bad deal. Personally, I wish that Reliance would improve on their customer support, billing and really fix up their network configuration to allow for a better experience like most of the other networks do.