Idea 3G Netsetter Broadband Connection Review
Idea Cellular – a prominent mobile / Internet service provider in India, has launched the Idea 3G Internet broadband service in many states in India.
This is a review of the Idea 3G NetSetter broadband USB modem and Idea Cellular’s broadband Internet connection.
Idea 3G NetSetter modem is used to get broadband Internet access from Idea Cellular. The NetSetter is actually the Huawei E1732 modem which has been locked to the Idea Cellular network. The price of the Idea 3g Netsetter modem is Indian Rs 1550.
These are the key features of the modem.
- HSUPA / HSDPA / UMTS 2100 MHz
- EDGE / GPRS / GSM 1900 / 1800 / 900 / 850 MHz
- Plug and Play
- SMS Service
- Micro SD Card slot
The modem supports speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA and up to 5.76 Mbps on HSUPA.
The Idea 3G Netsetter modem is automatically detected in Windows and Linux (I checked it in Ubuntu 11.10 and Fedora 16).
The modem also works as a USB memory stick in which you can store files. It comes loaded with the necessary device drivers and software that allows you to connect and disconnect from the Internet. You can send SMS messages to any cell phone right from your computer using the software.
More over, it gives a detailed statistics of the data transfer that takes place when you surf the Internet.
I was able to get connection speeds of up to 2.6 Mbps. However, the speed fluctuated widely. In the screenshot image below, you can see the fluctuations in the speed.
The stats (Highlighted in green) show a download speed of 1.75 Mbps and an upload speed of 25.62 kbps.
Also check the graph plot of the speed – some places show a gap which indicates the speed had dropped to zero.
Bittorrent works in Idea 3G Netsetter broadband connection. I was able to download a Linux distribution using bittorrent without any problem.
I did not get the promised speed of 5.76 Mbps … much less 7.2 Mbps, using the Idea 3G Netsetter mobile broadband connection. However, I was able to watch Youtube videos without any interruptions or lag.
Please note that I live in a city with dense cell tower coverage. If you live in the outskirts then be prepared for even more drop in net speed.
Tariff Plans for Idea 3G Netsetter
Idea Netsetter tariff plans start quite cheap at a mere Rs 104. However,the usage limits are very low.
For example, if you recharge for Rs 499, you get a meager 600 MB as the usage limit, after which additional data usage will be charged at 5p/10 KB.
For the full list of tariffs, visit the Idea 3G homepage.
Should you buy this product ?
The answer to this question is “it depends”. If your needs are just watching occasional Youtube videos, sending mail, and surfing the web, even while you are on the move, then Idea’s Netsetter will serve you well.
However, you may not get anywhere near the advertised speeds of 5.76 Mbps or 7.2 Mbps. More over, your Netsetter modem is locked to the Idea Cellular plan. Which means, you are stuck with Idea Cellular’s 3G service. Of course there are ways of unlocking your 3G USB modem as well.