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Which ISP to go for… when visiting [Goa] July 17, 2006

Posted by fredericknoronha in India.

Gene Lobo of Aldona runs Systeck Computer Solutions at 7-12 Braganza Trade Centre (opposite Mapusa’s Remanso Hospital, ph +91-832-2266433) in Goa. On Aldona-Net, one of the village-based mailing lists in Goa, he recently offered his advice on what ISP to choose, if you’re visiting Goa.

So, if you go by his advice, this reflects the options available in Goa, India’s smallest state (or province). He says: BSNL. The CLI is best for visitors. As they pay only for what they use and there is no rent nor time limit for this connection. keep in mind it is a dial-up connection. If a visitor wants high speed then he can go for rental broadband. Modem rent (100per month) and the monthly plan charges, which can be surrendered before leaving. You do not need to buy the modem in this case. For the above plans you have to have a BSNL land line.

RELIANCE. This option is available with the WLL Reliance connection, it is a mobile unit (the size of a land phone) you can get the connection wherever there is reliance coverage. You have to apply for internet cable (USB/Serial) and the connection is easy. Note: Reliance is known for excess billing so you have to be cautious. This is not a broadband connection as they claim, is a wireless connection (better than a dial-up) and speeds are pretty good.

TATA Indicom. Same as reliance. Tataindicom boradband (you have to have a Tata (Hughes) land line. You can get a adsl broadband connection (like BSNL). Not recommended for visitors.

Earlier, he had offered some rates for BSNL (i.e. for what is defined as “broadband” in India): For a basic connection it will cost you Modem Rs. 1200 Registration charges Rs. 100 Installation Rs. 250. Total Rs. 1,550. This is a monthly plan where you have to pay Rs. 250 per month for a rent and you are allowed 400 MB of upload/download per month.

POSTSCRIPT: After circulating this in cyberspace, a long-time friend and librarian-turned-internet guru Eddie Fernandes had this comment to make on Goanet:

When I last visited Goa in Nov. 2005 I checked out various packages. he Reliance offer looked appealing but one has to buy a Reliance andset – I think the cost was Rs 12,000. Has the requirement changed?

Since I also required a mobile phone service, the one I opted for was dea GPRS package which required a Bluetooth mobile phone and Bluetooth nabled laptop, which I had. The Idea package, MWA ( Mobile Web Access) 500 cost Rs 500 a month and allowed free unlimited internet onnection and data download. There are other cheaper packages vailable though – see http://www.ideacellular.com/MH_PPvas.htm#IdeaGPRS
I was able to connect via the modem in the mobile phone from almost anywhere in Goa, even sitting in a car or restaurant. The speed was not brilliant but opening multiple windows for surfing did the trick. I was also able to use the Idea account to make and receive telephone calls

The staff at Idea set up the required software to enable the laptop to mobile phone link. All I had to do was to switch the two on and press a single button. I could also make and receive mobile calls when connected to the internet. Idea is at http://www.ideacellular.com/




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