Airtel is now offering 3G USB modems for those who want to avail the 3G services in a form of a USB plug and play device. There are two Airtel 3G USB modem available the E1731 and E153 that can achieve a speed of 7.2 Mbps and 3.6 Mbps.
E1731 3G USB Modem from Airtel
This USB device (chipset qualcomm MSM6290) provides a speed of HSDPA 7.2Mbps and HSUPA 5.76Mbps. Just plug in the USB device and you are ready to surf. This device is SIM-locked to Airtel network. When 3G is not available this USB modem can make use of EDGE/GPRS networks.
The E1731 is sleek and is of dimension 71mm x 26mm x 12.5mm and comes with build in antenna. This 3G USB modem supports USB 2.0. The Airtel E1731 also supports microSD card that can be clipped in the USB which can be used as a USB storage device. The microSD card supported is up to 32GB.
This device is compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2000 and Mac OS.
E153 3G USB Modem from Airtel
This E153 USB device (chipset qualcomm MSM6246) supports HSDPA 3.6Mbps only and is dimension 70mm x 27mm x 12mm and all other features are nearly the same as the E1731.
Airtel 3G tariffs
There is a volume based plan where you pay as you go at Rs. 0.15 per 20KB or Rs. 18 for prepaid and Rs. 20 for post-paid for 20 days and 30 days respectively for Rs. 0.15 per 20KB.
|Pack||Prepaid||Post-paid||Free Data||Validity||Data charges|
|Sachet||Rs. 8||–||10MB||1 day||After free data Rs. 0.30 per 20KB|
|Sachet||Rs. 61||–||80MB||3 days||After free data Rs. 0.30 per 20KB|
|Sachet||Rs. 41||–||30 minutes||1 day||After free data Rs. 3 per minute|
|Standard||Rs. 101||Rs. 100||200MB||30 Days||After free data usage Rs. 0.30 per 20KB|
|Standard||Rs. 201||Rs. 200||500MB||30 Days||After free data usage Rs. 0.30 per 20KB|
|Standard||Rs. 450||Rs. 450||1200MB||30 Days||After free data usage Rs. 0.30 per 20KB|
|Standard||Rs. 750||Rs. 750||5GB||30 Days||After free data usage Rs. 0.30 per 20KB|
|FlexiShield||Rs. 675||Rs. 675||3.125GB||30 days||After free data usage Rs. 0.02 per 100 KB up to max Rs. 2000 after which free unlimited at 20Kbps speed|
As you can see the Airtel Tariff plans are very costly it is good enough to use it as a backup broadband connect on your 3G handset and makes no sense buying the Airtel 3G USB modem. Instead go for the Tata Photon Plus which is much better and cheaper.
The Price of Airtel 3G USB modem E1731 and E153 is not disclosed on Airtel’s website. But it may be around Rs. 1,700. For more information call 1800-1030-405.