using mobile phone to connect to network in india on windows XP or linux

#1 Apr 30th, 2011, 10:10
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#1
Hi,

I will be travelling to India pretty soon (Kolkata area) for three weeks and will be wanting to connect to the internet. Reading the posts here, I was wondering about two issues:

1) Will my phone work? I have a basic quadband GSM phone (Samsung SGH-t249) with the following settings:

http://ars.samsung.com/customer/usa/...0&AT_ID=341489

As you can see, it has Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR), whatever that means and can also do GPRS (class 10) and EDGE (class 10, also).

Is this phone going to be possible to connect for using the internet. The phone itself has an inbuilt browser called web2go, but I would like to use the browser etc in my laptop.

2) what exactly are my options on a prepaid account. what settings are needed for this purpose? any suggestions on how to use this for linux?

many thanks for any help and best wishes
aarem
#2 Apr 30th, 2011, 13:41
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#2
Most important - Is the phone an Unlocked one. If its is, then you are good to go.

All service providers will have data enabled by default on the phone and the data settings will generally be available on the SIM or will be sent by the network once switched on with a data capable phone. Else a call to Customer care will fix it, but mostly unlikely to be required.
Connecting thru a cable is both easier/better. And most Customer care people would be aware of Windows XP config rather than Linux. If you are comfortable with Linux you should be able to find settings necessary by googling.

Keep in mind that GSM Data using GPRS/EDGE is pretty slow and will average about 20-50kbps at best.

If you have a CDMA phone, you may get better speeds.

Else buy a data card that will give you good speeds of about 1mbps.

GSM operators: Airtel/Vodaphone/Idea/Tata docomo
#3 May 1st, 2011, 23:03
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Thanks very much, Narendra! Yes, it is an unlocked GSM phone. How expensive are the data cards? Do I have to purchase a dongle to use this? Are there cheap options? I am there only for three weeks so i would not like to buy something that is very expensive.
#4 May 2nd, 2011, 06:54
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Datacard/Dongle cost would be between INR 1500-2500. For 3 weeks I don't think it makes much sense, unless you need that speed and convenience.
#5 May 2nd, 2011, 11:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narendra.d View Post Datacard/Dongle cost would be between INR 1500-2500. For 3 weeks I don't think it makes much sense, unless you need that speed and convenience.
thanks again! i do go to india about twice a year. what is the validity of this dongle? also, what are the requirements for getting this? note that i do not have an india-address-based photo identity any more.

also, is the gprs/edge activation automatic with the mobile phones? or does something else have to be done for a prepaid account?
#6 May 3rd, 2011, 08:35
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The Dongles and phone connections are similar as far as requirements are concerned - Passport photos, photocopies of Passport and Visa, address proof (Hotel letter or a friend's documents if possibe).

GPRS/EDGE is pre activated by all operators and settings are generally pre -configured. You will need to however pair it with your laptop. I use Linux and its now quite easy as the settings are already available in most desktop oriented distros.

I see an issue with your being out for 6 months though. Phone/Dongles are generally valid for a long time (called lifetime, though mistakenly). BUT they have a clause whereby if the phone/dongle is unused for 90 days and/or not recharged for 180 days, the connection is canceled and the number recycled to someone else. So you need to figure out a way to use the phone occasionally. With a Phone you can make a call from anywhere in the world, but what can be done with a Dongle, i am unaware. Pl check with the provider.
#7 May 4th, 2011, 09:59
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#7
Hi Narendra,

Glad to know that you use Linux and think the usual settings on distros may work. But I also wanted to ask you: how do we use the EDGE network over the GPRS, or vice-versa? (I have been told that the EDGE is slightly better than the GPRS).

Also, what is the sim card with longest validity available for a GSM phone?

Many thanks again for patiently answering all my questions!
#8 May 4th, 2011, 12:20
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You don't have to choose between GPRS/EDGE. The data connection will detect what is available and use accordingly. Most urban/semi-urban areas are EDGE/GPRS, a few may remain GPRS only.

Yes EDGE is slightly better.

For 3 weeks you don't have to worry about validity. I would choose a data plan for the whole month. For E.G Airtel offers 2GB of data/month for INR 98 both in the home circle and roaming (in India).
#9 May 4th, 2011, 19:11
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Thanks again! So, does this data plan come with the prepaid cellphone connection? Or do I have to purchase a prepaid plan in addition to the cellphone talk time? If so, how?

best wishes!
#10 May 4th, 2011, 19:52
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It doesn't come built in. It is either paid for separately or if you have sufficient talkvalue in your account, deducted from it by sending a separate SMS. Ask the retailer, he will help you out.

Look at airtel.in.

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