In the third round, LIRNEasia has extended the testing to one more location. With that we have tested two packages in New Delhi (MTNL and AirTel), two in Chennai (BSNL and AirTel), five in Colombo (SLT ADSL, Dialog WiMax, Dialog 3G, Dialog 3G Unlimited and Mobitel Zoom 890) and two in Dhaka (SKYbd and Sirius). A strenuous task for five teams, no doubt, who took readings at different times staring from 8 am and went up to 11.00 pm (some had to spend nights at offices) but results are worth the effort.
What did we learn?
- Broadband users in Colombo should not complain. They do have excellent choices. In terms of actual speed they are better off than counterparts in Dhaka, Chennai and New Delhi. Hold on, there is a hitch. They rarely get what is being promised; operators seem to over promise and under deliver.
- Indian operators, as seen from test results from Chennai and New Delhi, while not promising sun and moon, deliver what they do and sometimes even more. That is what we call ‘Ethical Advertising’. Indian Telecom Regulator’s intervention can hardly be overlooked. In January 2008 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) directed the operators to specify the minimum speeds and to keep that promise. Looks like it is working.
- Dhaka: Prices seems to have dropped but so does the quality. So after all it is not such great news.
That is not all, there is an interesting piece of information useful for any mobile broadband user in Colombo, but we leave the readers to find it themselves. The full report is here.