MTNL – Sahi Hain

Well it’s been a little over a month since I switched to MTNL from Sify, and for some strange reason, it seems like it’s been a year. The MTNL experience has been such a delight that I’ve completely forgotten the nightmare that was Sify.

This review is going to be brief, since there is very little that has gone wrong since I got the connection, and for a three day old review you may read this because I don’t want to repeat myself.

A few problems:

1. Getting the plan changed: As predicted, getting the plan changed was a nightmare. I was told to fax a letter requesting a change, or drop it off at a Sanchar Haat. Instead of giving the letter at the Sanchar Haat which was nearest, I submitted it at one that was on my way. Unfortunately that messed things up because Sanchar Haat just sat on it and my plan wasn’t changed. Three days of repeated calling, talking to people at the Sanchar Haat yielded nothing. Finally, I emailed the MTNL helpline and the SDO, and the change was instituted. What was surprising was that no one really knew how to get the job done. Sanchar Haat and Area Manager people were of no help and gave false assurances that didn’t virtualise – a typical case of government office callousness. The SDO was very prompt.

2. The Password problem: The MTNL guide suggests that you should change your password, for which you have to change the password on the website and the ADSL router. It’s better not to do that because changing the router password is a pain and MTNL is unable to help you – the call center executives often don’t seem to know what they’re talking about and it’s probably better to experiment on your own than listen to them.

But then…

The MTNL connection is error free, always on and I get speeds ranging from 20kBps to 64kBps (that’s 160kbps to 512kbps). I’m on the 590NU plan which allows me unlimited downloads between 12 and 8 am. The only downside is the download limit during daytime of 1GB, which comes to around 34mb/day.

MTNL does have an unlimited usage plan, which would be a good idea if they go ahead with their planned launch of the triple play services.

In telecommunications, the Triple Play service is a marketing term for the provisioning of the three services; high-speed Internet, television (Video on Demand or regular broadcasts) and telephone service over a single broadband connection. Triple Play focuses on a combined business model rather than on solving technical issues or a common standard.

In other words – IPTV.

However, I did hear today that MTNL’s subscriber base has grown manifold in the past year, and given the quality of their connection, is sure to increase. How that will affect the quality of their service and the speeds, only time will tell.


I spoke too soon – As of now, I am unable to access , , , all domains, among several others. MTNL is allowing me very selective access.

So I tried to call up MTNL’s helpline (1504) and its forever engaged. I try the non toll free number (never noticed it before) and – voila! Someone picks up. The gentleman at the other end notes down my phone number and the complaint, but refuses to give a complaint number – so there is no record of the complaint. I’m told that someone will get in touch with me. When? Soon, is the response.

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