I 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!