How to choose a good data service operator/provider ?

I often got a question like this : “I want to buy a modem, could you advise me the best operator for the simcard?”
Hmmm … this question can’t be answered by mention one name of the operator right away. Why?! Because there are many factors determine whether an operator is good or not for us.

Well, I’ll share simple tips to choose a good operator for data services.

USB modem: GSM (3G, HSDPA) or CDMA (EVDO)?
USB modem or dongle is created to fulfill the mobility needs of the Internet. The next question is : Is the modem will be use in the city only or also outer?
The answer will be used to decide which modem to buy, GSM or CDMA modem. Currently in here there is no modem that can be used for both type of technology.

What’s the difference between GSM and CDMA anyway? Well, please find the answer by googling since it will be a long story if I wrote here.
Here in Indonesia, CDMA has a little bit difficulty to be used on different city with where we bought. You must register first thru SMS before or after you arrived on the city where CDMA will be used. While for GSM that’s not applicable.
This time I only can inform the operator name based on those both category :
GSM     : Telkomsel, Indosat, XL, Tri, Axis.
CDMA : Telkom (Flexi), Bakrie Telecom (Esia/AHA), Indosat (Starone), Smartfren dan Sampoerna Telecom
Simcard
After the modem/dongle chosen and combine with on where we’ll often use the dongle, now we should to find the simcard. Start by checking which operator have strength signal. Continue with to check also what is data service you got. Is it GPRS? or EDGE? or HSDPA? (HSDPA is a high-speed data services for GSM now -red).
Data Service is impacting to how fast the speed that can be enjoyed while we connected to internet.

Speed for data services
Keep in mind that there is no operator that provides dedicated bandwidth for retail customers (individuals). So, if an operator on their advertise said “Speed up to 3.1 Mbps”. Its means the maximum speed that can be enjoyed by customers is 3.1 Mbps if only there is one user connected on the same base station at the time. Which is the posibility is very small isn’t it? So, don’t expect too much ;-) .
The speed of data services can be enjoyed by the customer, will be strongly influenced by several things :

  • number of bandwidth that is configured by the operator to the BTS which we connected.
  • number of customers that use data services on the same BTS.
  • how far the distance of modem to BTS which serve the data service

At this point, now you agree with me that above questions can’t be easily answered by mention one operator name, right? ;-)
Yup, so a good operator for a person, not always good too for someone else. That is why I also have more than one simcard to fulfill my needs of internet.
Some of you may be think “Why its so difficult so I should try all operators?”  Yes, its better to try first with all operators. Currently the starter pack simcard can be bought easily and cheaply. Buying all starter pack simcard is still worth it to get a good advise which one should be recharged :-)

Package Plan
After dongle and simcard are chosen by the three steps above, now its time to choose the package plan. Selecting a package plan must refer to our need for the data service itself. For example, for heavy users who download a lot of emails with attachments either, youtube, streaming or else, is surely need a package plan with big quota and high speed. But if the needs is only for browsing, blog update, upload / download with small size can subscribe to the medium onesAfter dongle and simcard are chosen by the three steps above, now its time to choose the package plan. Selecting a package plan refer to our need for the data service itself. For example, for heavy users who download a lot of emails with attachments either, youtube, streaming or else, is surely need a package plan with big quota and high speed. But if the needs is only for browsing, blog update, upload / download with small size can subscribe to the medium ones.

So, how? Is it help you enough ? Or  may be you have any additional input? If yes, please leave it on comments if you don’t mind …

cheers :-)

simcard picture is taken from here

 

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