Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Phone/Data cards in India

Phone/Data cards are devices which help people in accessing Internet without attaching any wire or data cords and only by inserting phone cards in the card slots available on their laptops. Here only requirement is presence of network of the card company at that place. Two years back, when phone cards were launched in India then it was a new concept for Indians. Even up to today, many Indians are not aware of their functions and usage. Reliance was one of the first companies to launch phone cards in India and shortly followed by Tata and Hutch.

Reliance and Tata phone/data cards work on CDMA based technique while Hutch uses the edge based GSM technology. Initial cost of all the phone cards was in the range of 6000 to 8000 rupess. Reliance and Tata have recently reduced the cost of its Phone card to 4200 rupees. Phone cards were initially promoted as the key accessories for the executive and higher class Indians but now many normal Indians are also buying them due lot of convenience offered by them. Over all market for phone cards is very high as number of laptops is increasing very fast in India; so far phone cards are able to penetrate only a fraction of market.

Companies need to market and focus on more number of customers to increase the demand of phone cards. Currently phone cards claim to provide speed of 230 kbps. However the real speed for leading player like Reliance ranges between 10 kbps to 150 kbps. The Speed depends upon the strength of network at the particular place. With Phone cards one can access Internet through laptops at any place of India even in hills and forests provided the network reaches there. Reliance claim to cover more than 500 cities of India with their phone card. People who travel frequently or use their laptops at multiple places for them phone cards are ideal choice.

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