Airtel 3G FAQ (Questions and Answers)

What is 3G?

Third Generation or 3G is a generic term used for the next generation of mobile communication systems. The 3G network gives you the power of higher speeds to enjoy multimedia services , high speed mobile broadband and internet access with the ability to view videos on your mobile handset. With a 3G phone and access to the 3G network you can make video calls, watch live TV, access high speed internet and enjoy live streaming at never before speeds.

In which country was 3G first introduced?

Japan was the first country to introduce 3G on a large commercial scale. Today there are about 60 3G networks across 25 countries

Is 3G a different technology from 2G?

Running on technology called High Speed Packet Access (HSPA), 3G networks can send data many times faster than the rates of earlier 2G networks, which means that in addition to audio, graphics and text, 3G customers can also send and receive video content in 3G coverage areas

What is the advantage of 3G over 2G?

3G allows high speed Internet and data services on the move. With 3G you can make video calls and use a host of other multimedia services which are not available in 2G.

What are the prerequisites for experiencing 3G?

3G can be experienced with 3G connection and 3G compatible mobile handset in 3G covered areas.

What all I can do with 3G?

  • Connect to family and friends – Face-to-face video calling. In real time!
  • Connect to the internet with superfast page loading times
  • Download and upload large files at blazing fast speeds
  • Get your entertainment on the go – Real time streaming of music and videos
  • Send and receive mails with large attachments
  • Download and play interactive HD games

On what factors does 3G speed depend?

Speed depends on handset used, coverage, network traffic and number of users currently using the 3G network at that point of time.

Can I download and upload videos on my mobile?

Yes, with 3G you can watch streaming videos and download videos on your mobile handset. You can also send user generated content i.e. record video from your mobile and share them with your friends or upload on internet sites from your mobile.

What are the benefits for Mobile Broadband?

Mobile Broadband allows High speed internet and data service even while on the move. You require a 3G handset and subscription to 3G services to use mobile broadband on your handset. In case, you want to connect your laptop or PDA to 3G network, like while moving in a vehicle, you will require to connect your 3G handset to the computer through data cable, infrared or blue tooth. You may also buy a 3G data card and use the same with your computer to access high speed 3G network.

Are there any specific features to look for while buying a 3G phone?

Not all mobile handsets available in the market support the 3G network, and others offer sub-optimal performance. There are two kinds of 3G phones available – HSPA and WCDMA enabled. airtel recommends using HSPA handsets for higher speeds and the best 3G experience.

What is HSPA and WCDMA?

  • HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) is a new generation communication protocol that allows data connections up to 21 Mbps per user in good coverage and quality conditions. Today mobile phones & USB Data Cards are available with HSPA.
  • WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) is a 3G technology version that allows data connections up to 384 kbps per user in good coverage and quality conditions.

What is the difference between 3G and Wi MAX?

  • 3G cellular networks are designed to handle both data and voice traffic. The WiMAX standard is used only for transferring data.
  • A 3G network is designed for voice and data traffic to travel from tower to tower as an individual is in motion. A WiMAX network is more similar in function to a large, integrated Wi-Fi network, with single access points providing coverage.

I am not a airtel user, how can I switch to airtel 3G services on the same mobile no?

New users will need to buy a new airtel 3G connection to use the 3G services.

Will I get a separate bill for 3G connection?

The charges for 3G usage will be combined with other phone charges in the same bill.

What will happen if I am out of 3G coverage area?

You will continue to access 2G/2.5G services in areas where 3G coverage is absent. Please ensure that your network setting on handset is on dual mode.

Will 3G network be available across the country?

airtel is planning to launch 3G services across India to give you a seamless 3G experience.

How will I get 3G access if I am outside home network?

You can access 3G services while roaming outside home network if you are in 3G covered area.

Am I required to replace my existing 2G SIM Card?

3G will work on your existing 2G SIM Card. You will not be required to change your SIM Card.

How will I know whether I’ve got a 3G connection versus a 2G one?

When your mobile connection is activated for 3G services, you will receive a confirmation from airtel and you will be able to latch on to 3G network and will see 3G/3.5G on your phone instead of Edge or 2G. In addition to this you can also call 121 to know about the activation of 3G services on your mobile handset.

Can I add my laptop to my existing cell phone account, with the 3G service covering both? Or do I need to pay separately for each? If separately, can I get 3G just for my laptop, or can I use my cell phone as a 3G model for my laptop?

Laptops without 3G capability will not be able to latch on to a 3G network. For using your laptop to browse the Internet, you will need to use it as mentioned below:

  • Use 3G phone as a modem and connect it with your Laptop/Desktop to browse Internet at High Speeds.
  • Alternatively, if you want to use your laptop or desktop, you could use airtel USB Data Cards to browse internet at High Speed.

In cases of Netbooks which have a SIM card slot, the 3G activated SIM could be inserted and these netbooks can then be used to browse internet.

What are the limits on data transfer each month? How do I know if I’ve exceeded these limits? Does unlimited plan from airtel really let me transfer unlimited amounts of data?

This will be basis the 3G Data plan that you will activate. airtel will adequately keep you informed of your usage.

Will I need to get special software – from airtel or someone else – to use 3G service on my PC? If so, what does it do? Is there an additional cost? And does it work with my operating system?

  • In case you are using a 3G activated phone as a modem, then the device PC software will suffice the need.
  • In case you are using an airtel USB Data Card, then there will have a plug and play option with the data card that will automatically download the required software on your computer to initiate browsing. There will be no additional cost to download these softwares.

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