Idea Cellular, the country's third-largest mobile operator, has launched a 3G Wifi dongle with download speeds of up to 21.6 MBPS and upload speeds of 5.76 MBPS. The device – Idea 3G Smart Wifi - has been launched targeting home and Small Office Home Office (SOHO) users and business professionals.
The download speed is more than double of the present 9.8 MBPS. However, on the data front there are smartphones available in the sector that can access up to 21.6 MBPS.
The device can connect to as many as 10 devices simultaneously including laptops, handsets, tablets, digital camera and music players among others. Smart Wifi is an option for small business enterprises, entrepreneurs and other professionals for their mobile broadband requirements for multiple devices, Idea Cellular said in a statement.
The dongle is equipped with an inbuilt WiFi antenna which also runs on power sources such as the laptop or car charging point to turn the device into a WiFi Hotspot. The plug 'n play device is compatible with all major operating systems over WiFi.
''We realise the need for reliable, high-speed, and convenient internet access for SOHO and business professionals in semi-urban pockets of the country," Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular, said. "The Idea 3G Smart WiFi dongle will cater to this market need and empower users with high speed internet connectivity leading to productivity and growth. The new device further strengthens our 3G devices portfolio which will help us gain 3G market share in the country''
The device is priced at Rs2,199 and is available across all the 11 circles the Aditya Birla group company provides 3G services. The circles are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra & Goa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh East & West.
The company has rolled out 3G data packs starting from Rs250 to Rs1,250.
Idea Cellular, which ranks among the top 10 operators in the world, has more than 139 million subscribers and traffic in excess of 1.75 billion minutes a day.
Last week, Bharti Airtel, the country's largest mobile operators by revenue and subscribers, had launched a similar dongle offering data downloads of up to 21.6 MBPS.
The device has been launched in Andhra Pradesh and Mumbai circles, while the company would look at launching it across other circles in a phased manner.
Bharti Airtel was targeting entry-level, youth and high-end post-paid users in these circles with this new device. The hardware, a Huawei device cost about Rs2,100 and is being launched for both pre- and post-paid customers.
The device powered by HSPA+ technology can also be used to WiFi hotspots, apart from connecting up to 5 devices. The dongle is available across retail outlets in Mumbai