MTNL sucks!

Written by vik

Topics: Blogging/Tech, Consumer Affairs

mtnlI am an MTNL subscriber (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, New Delhi, India). I got my first mobile phone is December 2005: MTNL pre-paid connection.  And I got MTNL broadband connection in March 2007. It is about time I ranted about MTNL on my blog because I have been thoroughly unsatisfied with the services. 😳

Let me dissect the MTNL Trump mobile service first:

  • Bad network! Nauseating network, better put! I live on the second floor of the hostel yet it has connectivity problem!
  • The rates are relatively cheap but that  is of no use! Why?! Because 8 out of 10 times you cannot connect to the person in the first attempt! Either it says error in connection or it will disconnect after a few seconds and your money goes in flames! Ditto for incoming calls! If someone wants to talk to you for a relatively longer period say 5 to 15 minutes, the phone will disconnect twice or thrice, without fail! A few minutes ago my friend Tauker (aka Sanjay) called me and the phone disconnected in the 57th second! 🙁
  • MTNL also sends you those irritating SMS messsages for free jokes and whatnot though on this count it fares better than other services. Situation has improved in last eight months since I registered with the National Do Not Call/Disturb (NDNC) Registry on 1909. However, there has not been a single telemarketing call till date!

Now the MTNL Triband Broadband connection:

  • My connection is the unlimited broadband scheme @256 kbps (unlimited download) shared with two others in the hostel. It is a pity that GOI defines broadband as 256 kbps! 256 kbps translates to 32 KBPS but the MTNL speed is in the range of 22-24 KBPS, never 32 KBPS! So big downloads or videos are proscribed! It is common for the connection to go phut at least once in 35 days and whenever that happens it takes 2 to 3 days to get it back in order (the MTNL customer care sucks!).

So, am I only ranting and raving about it or did I raise a finger to help myself?!

  • My power of endurance did break down in the past. I wrote to the  Hindu newspaper (Reader’s Mail column) in July 2006 and it was published. It was of little avail though, needless to say! I recall reading a few months ago that the matter was even raised in the parliament! It is common for my friends to say that MTNL staff/officers have their palms greased by private service providers to let the abysmal status quo continue unabated!
  • I submitted an RTI petition some three months ago to the MTNL on why they don’t give the full 256 kbps speed (which happened after a huge struggle because MTNL employees feared it like anything and did everything to convince me against filing one); they did not send any reply.  I lost the copy of the original application and did not find time to follow it. Recently I read in the Hindustan Times that some JNU employee had actually followed his RTI petition on the same matter. I also read that according to TRAI stipulations 80 per cent of the stipulated speed is acceptable! Now that’s disgusting!

So, why don’t I quit MTNL?!

  • Easier said than done! Just don’t want to change my 3 year old number though I have tried other SIMs in the past temporarily. I was an idea subscriber for some time but was not very impressed and found it unethical in many ways.
  • Any other broadband connection will cost more than my present scheme; what is more not all service providers are allowed in my university! I had petitioned the JNU administration on their incoming Wi-Fi connection (and it is still coming and it will takes aeons in all probability!).
  • Some of my friends/acquaintances continue to make fun of me for such fidelity to MTNL! I say this to myself whenever that happens: “There are only two kind of perfect people (or things) on the planet — the dead and the unborn!”

So, why did I write this post on MTNL?!

  • Learn from my experience! “Experience is the name we give to our mistakes!” Stay away from MTNL unless you want to lose your peace of mind! 🙂

Edited to add 22 April 2009: I have changed my cellphone connection to Airtel!

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14 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Arpit says:

    yes, the broad band network sucks to the core 😛
    i also have one and i can share your agony
    on the other hand ours is like “self authoritarian”
    it works when it wants to and then you will keep banging your head it pops slowly”……hang on i am trying ” 😛

  2. Vikas Gupta says:


    That’s funny!

    My broadband is okay, not as bad as my MTNL trump! But it’s slow for sure never more than 24 KBPS!

  3. Poonam says:

    At least, you took up a TRI that is commendable.

    Also, DND is effective thats good to know, subscribers from other service providers are still complaining.

    And 990 for lifetime is pretty cheap, I must admit.

  4. Poonam says:

    I meant RTI in the first sentence.

  5. Vikas Gupta says:


    It was 990 when I bought it in late 2005; now the Jeevansathi lifetime pre paid scheme is 150 Rupees only!

    Read my poem on Sonia and slogans on Atal (when you have time). It’s Hindi.

  6. smitha kumaran says:

    I HATE MTNL… Its culture.. its people … and its services ruthlessly…

  7. Aman says:

    I have to have mtnl cause i have no other choise airtel dosent reach where i live so im stuck with mtnl 🙁
    I cant bear it anymore! i get such horrible speed and nothing downloads faster that 25kpbs

  8. Abhi says:

    MTNL sucks ……… its erratic connection ……horrible…..i hate it…

  9. Bhanu Pratap says:

    MTNL is a sister concern company of BSNL and comes under Central Govt… The customer base of MTNL is nearly 5.92 million. And from past few years the graph is going down even if the Indian Govt. is spending too much of huge amount to uplift the customer base, but still the graph is going down and the main reason is their “GREAT SERVICES”. The MTNL lineman don’t have enough idea to configure even a modem and to solve a single complaint they take nearly 1 month or more because the don’t have enough workforce and the coverage area is very big. And when you see the MTNL exchange you become shocked to see their exchange, made of HUWIA equipments, and when you see the AIRTEL exchange you will find Ericson equipments just because the cost of HUWAI equipments are nearly half then Ericson.
    Basically they have two type of exchange one is for 256 Kbps and one for above 256Kbps, if you buy plan for above 256 then you may get good response because for that only they use Ericson exchange.
    I don’t know why the Govt. change the plan to get more customer and spend a huge amount in ads, the salary of lineman is nearly 15000/-, I think this is a total waste. Customers are very much frustrated from MTNL. If you visit the MTNL exchange you will find many customers shouting on the Area Manager. MY personal experience with MTNL was pathetic and now I switched to another services provider and now I am very much satisfied.

  10. Jitender says:

    I think u people are right but only partially. Do you know that MTNL never indulges in unfair practices, ever??!!! Talking about 256 Kbps speed, one can never achieve with 256Kbps plan, if u don’t trust me try some private operator, even they cant provide that speed. As technically which ever company, never 100% speed can be achieved, and even TRAI says that. Coming on to Private operators for Broadband connection, try them once they would rip our Ass, the way they charge money and the kind of hidden charges they have. MTNL would provide the same plan much cheaper. The matter of the fact is that i using MTNL Broadband for more than 02 Years, and its working perfectly.

  11. Vikas Gupta says:


    I have been using MTNL broadband since some 3 years and one month now!

    PS: Correction: It is 2 years and 1 month!

  12. Guys,
    From your posts, I see at least one good thing about MTNL. It seems to me that MTNL subscribers are not getting those irritating promotional calls once they get their number registered with NDNC.

    I am owning a number from private provider; even after two yrs of NDNC registry, I still get a couple of those promotional calls daily!

    You can see details of my battle in this regard at