Let me state that I am currently not using this service provider for broadband. (I use Sify L )My experience is based on my experiences & observations at my neighbor’s house. MTNL engineers came to install the modem (D-Link) & activate the connection, within a week of booking the connection. I had heard horror stories of subscribers waiting for weeks for the engineers to come & do the needful. I was called to supervise, as I am considered ‘knowledgeable’ about these things J.
They were polite, efficient and after doing the needful explained to me how to change the password at their site as well on the modem. I had previously downloaded the manual from their site as I was interested in their broadband, but I was surprised that they provide no manual or basic instruction booklet to the customer. They give a very airy ‘If you have any problem contact 1500 & we will solve your problem’
After installation I checked out the actual download speed by going to http://www.download.com/ & doing a test download, I got a steady 26 kbps at around 1935 hrs. Not that great I thought, but not bad either. When the engineers saw the speed he promptly said ‘we promise UPTO 256 kbps’. I also checked the speed at.
it was consistently around 200 – 208 kbps (browsing speed). I have heard of other subscribers who go into raptures about the great speed they get. Frankly this more of a reaction to using Dial up before this. Compared to dial up it’s a quantum leap, but still not real broadband (ie 256 kbps or greater) This was definitely better than the speed I get for my ‘256 kbps broadband’ 1 GB limit scheme from Sify. After that the anti virus s/w was promptly updated. When my neighbor came back from work, the first thing we got down to changing the password. Since the engineer had put down the instruction on paper before leaving + the .pdf I had, it was not too difficult.
But after the second stage of changing the password on the modem & clicking on ‘Save and Reboot’ all activity on the PC seemed to come to a stand still. The machine had not ‘hung’ but there seemed no further except the display of the message ‘ Restarting the computer’. After about half an hour I rang up 1500 number for assistance I was told to contact 1504, they gave me 2 more numbers in case ‘helpdesk’ did not get back to me.!!!!! After another half hour I decided that since the changes were already saved & the PC was in the process of rebooting, no harm would be done if I helped it on its way J. We decided on this extreme step as it was already 2316 hrs & if necessary, call for help the next day. After restarting the PC hey presto there was no problem and the net connection worked just fine. So I was right the password had been saved. Just then came the call from the MTNL helpdesk, who told ‘either click on refresh button of the browser or restart the PC’ J But to a novice it definitely would have been complicated also if a user inadvertently makes any changes to the settings he can see during the change of password on the modem, he will land in deep s…. With this happy ending I went back home, with a promise to help in installing a firewall & useful utilities like Getright, Winzip & Spybot 1.4
The next day we assembled again and installed utilities like zone alarm, Spybot 1.4, Getright & Winzip. Even on this day the download speed around 29 – 30 kbps, which is really remarkable. I have not mentioned the cost incurred as it can be different depending upon the scheme u subscribe as well as whether u rent ot buy outright the modem. All that is available on their website. I would suggest buy it outright. If you don’t have much knowledge about computers don’t buy your own modem, MTNL will simple blame your modem in case of any problem later. Also make sure u stay within 3 kms (it’s difficult to gauge) of ur exchange (although 5 is the outer limit).
U can check ur net speed @ these sites
On 12th Oct 2005 (Dussera day) my neighbour had a problem with his connection. When I could not find anything wrong at his end. We decided to call MTNL for help. We rang up their 1504 number told them what the problem was and were given a complaint number & were told they would get back within half an hour. BELIEVE IT OR NOT. They actually did that AND dictated what they wanted me to do at our end which I did and got the connection working. I was truly impressed with this.
Update Jan 2006
After being part of the ‘Sify sufferers club’ for three yrs, I decided to dump them in Nov 2005 for a better service provider. As I had experience with MTNL Triband coz of my exposure to them (mentioned above).
I went to Lamington Rd to check out the prices for D-link 502T router/modem used with MTNL Triband the prices vary from Rs 1995 to Rs 2450. The 'imported' one costs 1995 & the legally made/imported one costs 2275 - 2450 (all with bill & warranty). Shown below are the costs incurred (assuming the rent & tax remains the same). I decide to buy my own router as I found it to be cost effective.
I submitted the application form on Jan 9th 2006 to a person who kept muttering to herself ‘O u bought your own modem’ who also told me that installation would be done in ‘a weeks time’. & so was waiting patiently as their form mentioned that their staff would come to do a ‘feasibility study’ as I had opted for the 512 kbps, 1 GB plan. Nothing happened for a week. When I made phone calls to Prabhadevi tel exchange they directed me to their office @ ‘Phatare’ house in Dadar, there I was bluntly told that since I had opted to buy the broadband router (D-Link 502T) I should install it myself, to which I replied I could do that but I needed some service provider specific settings. Later in the day I got a call from MTNL (a Mr Patil) that he would come & do the needful !!!!
Finally on 26th Dec 2006 I decided that I had waited far too long for the GREAT ARRIVAL of the MTNL staff @ my residence and went to their Dadar office (which seats the Div Engineer and his subordinates). I was sent to meet three different individuals (it’s about whose jurisdiction my residence came under and who was willing to work that day). I must say inspite of this they were all very friendly and asked me bring the router to their office for the requisite settings change, one chap even asked the linesman to pickup the router from my hose bring it to their office and install it to my machine. But when they realized that I am very familiar with networks, internet & routers the div engineer suggested that he would give me the settings and I could do it myself as it would save time (more on this later) and also gave me his tel no., so I could contact him from home if necessary in case I had some trouble. I did just that went home installed the router, did the settings changes. But he had forgotten to give the all the changes, in the end I figured it out myself and got it working. I even took the router to his office so he could check it out on his network, where he did try to scare me by telling me that there was ‘something wrong’ with my router as he saw only the power light come on, told him to wait a in minute. as it takes that much time for the router to connect to the server (called training) & presto it worked like a dream. And they ran out of excuses, end of the year so ‘staff shortage’, ‘O you have bought ur own router’. What ever that means. When I told them since I had installed the route myself they should not charge me the ‘installation fee of Rs 300/-, all they could do as show me their teeth.
On 29th Dec I got a call from their Dadar office (I have a caller id in my home) the caller only identified himself as ‘Linesman’ & wanted all the info of where I bought he router, which shop, their tel no. etc (I could hear the sub div. engineer prompting him) when I asked him why he wanted this he said ‘so he could inform others who wanted to buy the router’, frankly I don’t buy this story maybe only time will tell the cause of this call if ever (sounds fishy, doesn’t it) .
But I had another problem & that was related to the routing of the main telephone wiring in my house. I am mentioning this issue, as it will affect others too. The MTNL Triband user states that the main tel wire should first come to the splitter (a small box with 3 RJ11 sockets) of the router and then should go to the telephones (one or more) in your house, take this seriously as it could affect the working/speed of your broadband connection.
Now I come to the part of saving time, I submitted my application on the 9th and later when my connection was working, I found that the a/c was created on the 11th of Dec 2005 (literally over the weekend) but no one informed me or came to my house to do the needful. Now as the a/c was made on the 11th my meter was ticking & the longer it took for the installation @ my end the less time I would have to use what’s in my allocation, with a result even though I had 660 MB allocated to me from 11th Dec to the end of the month I could use only 335 MB, the rest went waste as it is not carried forward. So coz of MTNL tardiness I lost.. I had expected tardiness from them but what I got was more than I could digest, so if you decide to buy your own router be ready for this and maybe more J. I will update this later after I get my first bill.
The speeds are excellent more than 90 % of my plan. So far my internet connection has worked fine and when it has been done (once) it was up & running within an hour of registering a complaint. In case you are intrested in configuring the D-Link 502T broadband router yourself this link maybe useful http://socrates0.blogspot.com/2006/01/configuring-d-link-502t-router-for.html
Also All broadband users in India check out http://broadbandforum.in/index.php?showforum=56 its a great site I would recommend all with a broadband connection to join