Airtel 4G: Internet Flashback

So, I have been part of the Cochin and Trivandrum launching and preview of #Airtel4G and I have written long posts about it, four about my experience at the former and one about the same at the latter city. Being the fastest network as of now, Airtel being the only network having the 4G option, can continue to claim to be the fastest network around here, in those three Keralite cities, Cochin, Trivandrum and Calicut if we consider Kerala. There is surely going to be an expansion for the future, and I hope that it includes my current location too.

This speed brings me back to my past, to that moment when I got my first computer which was quite a slow one. It was called Zenith the One Up PC with an Intel Pentium Processor. I didn’t understand what they meant by the “up” because it was behind most of the computers of that time which looked the same. Nowadays, I don’t even know someone who has a PC from Zenith. I believe that it was in the year 1998 that the new computer arrived, I think I had access to slow internet very soon too. But we were satisfied with that at those times.

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Well, we still have the slow internet which is slower than ever, as some of the dongles do give us that slow speed for the unlimited connections after acertain limit – the speed has been reduced to 64Kbps these days which is no better than the dial-up connections of that time considering what all we have to load. So, we haven’t really improved from that time as long as we decide to suffer with the slow speeds. From just randomly using social networking sites like Friendster and Hi5, the situation has gone on through Orkut and Myspace to Facebook which has become the big part of life. So, the internet needs more.

At those times, there were two games, Claw and Hocus Pocus, the first one needing the CD to play. Then there was the CD featuring 99 games which changed my life with games including Blood and Alone in the Dark. At that time there was only that dial-up modem, I depended on these disks from Computers@Home, PC World, Chip, It, Efy, Fast Forward, Living Digital and the rest attracting us with headings like “Real War Games”, “25 Must Haves”,”Colour Your World”, “Paranoid Parent Kit”, “Go Picture Crazy”, “Print Adventure”,”Ultimate Utility Cache” – the games and utilities came from the disks only. Now it has gone beyond that.

The movies had to be rented too, and I created my first mail address at Yahoo and waited while having more and more biscuits with tea. The thoughts about downloading a game or watching a movie from the internet was not going to be something in the dream. Even in the later stages, playing an online game was tough for me considering the high-speed internet which the people from other parts of the world possessed. Games like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena asked for it, but the internet made sure that I never came first.

We were the people of the slow internet, and were limited to playing with local friends only. But everything is faster now, and still we will be behind in comparison. #Airtel4G can surely change that with its speed. The advantage of having the wired connection is that the speed remains the same all the time, and so I will keep the broadband, and would like to have the #Airtel4G for using during travel. As none of the USB dongles really do that well, this could prove interesting, especially as it can be used for the mobile too, with the portable Mi-Fi device.

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The #Airtel 4G speed has been excellent throughout both cities of Cochin and Trivandrum except for some pockets, even though it is quick to shift to 2G when it is outside the city limits. The consistency has been better at Cochin though, but that would depend on a lot of factors, I guess. I am not sure if I will recharge it with 4G right now though, because it is not there at my hometown right now. But I hope to use it with all its speed, as the distance from the place of availability of 3G to my location is less than twenty kilometres. The rates are supposed to be the same as 3G, and so I will need to look at it too.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me at home.

TeNy

Airtel 4G at Trivandrum

Lets back to #Airtel4G again. No, I am not done with it, not yet! The immortality of the Vampire Bat has been brought to test many times, but he has survived, and so he is here to live another day, and that too with Airtel 4G at Trivandrum. He was there when it had launched at Cochin, attending the special blogger preview, and he was also invited to Trivandrum for the launch there as the Vampire Bat became a temporary Trivandrum blogger for a very short period of time.

Actually, my last few posts were written and posted from Trivandrum itself, and I managed to meet a few bloggers out there too during the launch and preview. I have been wandering around Trivandrum since morning that day, and the trip to a place which I had never really visited that much was going to be a lot more interesting with the 4G. I was caught in the web of 3G just before that, and so getting to 4G like in Cochin was something which would speed up a lot of things, not just the data.

Artists pay homage to the deeply saddening incident at Shankumugham Beach

Here at this beach, the artists pay homage to the deeply saddening incident

I have been using Airtel 4G since August twenty fifth, and it seems that I will be testing the same for more time, and I am also hoping to keep it recharged with the 2G and 3G until the 4G comes to my town. Back to Trivandrum, it surely seemed faster here as the speed suggested. But there was something lacking in the continuity as it didn’t remain as consistent as it was at Cochin. The highest speed was seen in the speed test at Pattom, and even with those seconds of loss of connection, things remained real quick.

There was the trip to Kovalam which was pending for a long time, and it was done with a double-decker bus which was faster around here than at Cochin. From Karamana to Kizhakkekkota (East Fort) and to Kovalam, the 4G maintained its power, and I would expect the same at Vizhinjam too – but wandering through the three beaches, there was some nice 4G experience which ensured that it was easy to post higher quality pictures taken by me on Samsung Galaxy A5 – even the photos taken on lesser quality Asus Zenfone 5 camera used to take more time to upload on usual 3G.

Shankumugham Beach has its own Jalakanyaka a.k.a the mermaid

Shankumugham Beach has its own Jalakanyaka a.k.a the mermaid

The most interesting area of Kovalam was indeed the Lighthouse Beach which has the lighthouse as the name suggests. It feels good to have some Cardamom Tea on the beach here along with high speed browsing with #Airtel4G. The internet had returned to consistency at that time unlike the previous day. The rocks at the Hawah Beach area also formed nice place to look at and rest while working with some 4G. Varkala Beach, also known as Papanasam Beach still remains my favourite beach in the Southern part of Kerala.

There were plans to visit a few other places including the Kowdiar Palace, Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram Zoo, Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Palayam Saint Joseph’s Metropolitan Church and even Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, but none of them really happened, and I adjusted with the Saint Mary’s Cathedral at Pattom which was closed, but provided a nice look from outside along with a white coloured church on the other side seemingly belonging to another Christian denomination; there was also the visit to Madre De Deus Church at Vettucad earlier.

And then there was the Lighthouse Beach at Kovalam.

And then there was the Lighthouse Beach at Kovalam, the best of the three there.

Airtel 4G surely has the advantage of launching first here along with being at Cochin and Calicut; it remains the biggest advantage of the network provider. I have also never heard about any mobile phone network provider giving a chance to the bloggers to experience the same when launching at this part of India, not at Cochin, Trivandrum or Kerala as a whole. May be I am not in touch with enough Keralite bloggers to know about such happenings, but as of now, it seems that along with that advertisement with a challenge, Airtel has gone ahead. Rakul Preet Singh of the earlier Airtel advertisements will be missed though 😀

Saint Mary's Cathedral at Pattom is an interesting structure at the centre of the city.

Saint Mary’s Cathedral at Pattom is an interesting structure at the centre of the city.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung Galaxy A5 during my visit to Trivandrum this week.

TeNy

Combo: Airtel 4G Day V

The Day Five is a combination which belongs to #Airtel4G and Samsung Galaxy A5 – these two surely make an interesting team. With 13MP back and 5MP front camera, this dual SIM 4G phone is the biggest phone I have used until now, and it was a lot like getting Nokia N95 at at its peek – well, there are phones bigger than this one, but the Galaxy A5 is also very much more than just a satisfying thing. It should be a master phone to use when you are using #Airtel4G or the same from any other network operators later.

The day’s test once again started with a journey, and this time to the Mattanchery-Fort Cochin area – well, there is this superior phone and high speed, and so it had to be seen what happens with the same at a tourist area around Cochin. There won’t be 4G at any of those places close to nature outside the Cochin area, and so it had to be chosen from somewhere around those islands – Fort Cochin and Mattanchery had to be the obvious choices even as I had visited the place so many times!

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So, this will be just another visit to test the strength of Airtel 4G and Samsung Galaxy A5 – what is life when you have these in your possession and haven’t used them well enough? That should surely call for a small trip, right? Well, Kochi Biennale meant that we would visit this much visited place a lot more, and add another time to that list. The 4G started appearing at the Thottumugham area just before Aluva as before, and remained there all the way until we reached Mattanchery through Padma route.

The strength remained high as we alighted at the bus station and started from the Mattanchery Dutch Palace. The Airtel users among the tourists who are around should have a nice time with this one. Then, after some small shopping, we reached the Holy Cross Church which is known for the famous Coonan Cross Oath and is also a famous pilgrimage centre. Then we left to have food at Fort Cochin, and there was fine speed there too, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise because it is the big, grand tourist place.

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Santa Cruz Basilica remains a beautiful marvel for us even now. One thing I am particularly glad about is that they didn’t paint this one white unlike some of those churches which lost the beauty while being coloured with that particular shade only. This is one of those older and historical churches which you surely shouldn’t miss while visiting this part of the world. The 4G speed was actually the highest around here, right in front of the church, and you know how important it will be for the tourists to have the same around the destinations. So for the tourists, #Airtel4G at Fort Cochin and Mattanchery = big.

You can wander around all the areas of Fort Cochin and see that 4G is almost everywhere, providing the speed to the visitors. We went to the other historically significant church, Saint Francis Church and also that Dutch Cemetery which remained closed this time too. Actually, you can just wander around, and you will just get to some very significant or beautiful place when at Fort Cochin. There are some other interesting churches and temples around which you can just visit along with these to add to the experience. There are also enough buildings around to give you a special feeling too.

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We spent very less time at the beach because of the heat, and had masala tea at Vasco da Gama Square to go to Kumbalangi which had absolutely no 4G at all, and that was surprising because it is also part of Cochin and having good tourist inflow as the first Model Tourism Village in the state. But once we got on that bridge to the island, there was no 4G being shown, and there were areas in the route there from Thoppumpady that didn’t have the 4G either. But it didn’t really bother me in the long run. During the return, the 4G just disappeared at the moment we turned to the Pookkaattupady route from Thrikkakkara.

***The images used in this blog post were all taken by me on my Samsung Galaxy A5.

TeNy

Airtel 4G Adventure IV

The adventures with #Airtel4G have been quite interesting so far. I have wrote about it already with two posts, one about the first day and also with day two and three. The fourth day was more like a continuation of the same incidents, but a few more locations were tested. Wherever the test was made, there was no compromise on speed as long as the 4G came up on the top bar. I have already mentioned a number of places in my recent posts, and I am going to add more, with further details here.

On the fourth day of #Airtel4G, I decided to check from where the 4G started at Aluva at least from one side. From the Perumbavoor side, it started from Thottumugham, a few seconds after passing the Mahilalayam stop. Yes, it doesn’t start from Kuttamassery as I had expected. The signal gets stronger and stronger until it reaches the centre of the town. There is maximum strength around the railway station, and it will work very good around the Zeenath theatre. It still needs to be tested inside the theatre.

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Then when we traveled to Edappally from Aluva, it remained 4G all the way through, even though it was the Container Terminal Road which we had chosen. I made sure about the main road during the return journey. 4G was clearly strong through the bigger roads, even though there should still be those pockets were there is trouble reaching, especially when inside the buildings. But a usual traveler should have no problems. Imagine someone traveling on the Kochi Metro which starts from Aluva with Airtel 4G – that should be great!

Then the test was done at the most significant centre of Kochi – the Lulu Mall. The signal was very good around there for 4G even though it lowered at some areas of the mall. There was no 4G at all inside the PVR multiplex while we tried to watch Kunjiramayanam on this day as it was often claimed to be the best Malayalam movie released for Onam. Jamna Pyari and Phantom were already finished. It was once again back to 2G inside the mall which make me wonder if I have to recharge with 3G only at times, but the availability should increase, and so may be I will keep that as a later option.

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The phone with 4G is surely working better than the Mobile Wi-Fi device and it is a clear thing. I have found the Samsung Galaxy A5 doing better with the connection speed, not only with the direct data transfer, but also as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Yes, the costlier ones have the advantage, don’t they? But the Mobile Wi-Fi device will also do fine. It is the cheaper option, and the right option if you have just bought a new mobile phone a few days, weeks or months ago. You really can’t really let the 4G experience go, right? Especially if you are someone addicted to speed.

Talking about this Mobile Wi-Fi device, it is a nice cheaper option to have high speed internet. This device from Airtel can stand for six hours without being connected to a power source, and we can connect up-to ten users. It can be considered during a journey in a car when we can transform the vehicle into a nice Wi-Fi zone with this portability. All those older and lower cost mobile phone users can be relieved about this one. As I got the broadband modem which works only on power, this has been something which I really needed.

But the device has problems with identifying the IP address on my laptop whhen connected through Wi-Fi. I am still trying to figure out why. Then when I connect it through the USB cable, it provides the internet connection. I will find the reason for that one day, and may be some of those people with more technical information can enlighten me about the same. I will connect with the cable for now. It is still available easily through the Wi-Fi for the mobile phone and so I can continue to use the device.

***The images used in this blog post were taken on my Asus Zenfone 5 and Samsung Galaxy A5.

TeNy

Airtel 4G: Day II and III

I had already made the post about the Day One of my Airtel 4G usage time, and I am adding my experience of high-speed internet from the next two days here. I hope to continue this usage, but as my journeys to Cochin are rather limited, I can’t be sure about the same and I am not certain about when there will be the details about a possible Day Four. All the photos used in this blog post were taken by me on my Asus Zenfone 5 and on the side of the road while checking the speed of #Airtel4G 😀

4G Day II: The second day takes the #Airtel4G first to Aluva which has been my home for most of my life. We stopped at the Mahnami Restaurant to have food and check the internet, and it gave very good speed there. This happens just a few months after we shifted from Aluva – a lot of things happened at the town after our shifting; Premam, Mumbai Taxi and now the availability of #Airtel4G, soon to be followed by the Kochi Metro which ends there. Aluva surely has the high-speed now, even though we didn’t check the insides of the town.

I always like to start by loading my Movie Review place :D

I always like to start by loading my Movie Review place! Hail Movies of the Soul 😀

After Aluva, the next stop was at Kalamassery, a little distance from the HMT distance where we could park the car in peace. There was the highest speed attained with the speed test, and we checked the Wynk Music and Youtube there; there was absolutely no lag at all. This is quite a lot for me as I have never really had high-speed internet in my dreams (It was mostly about just having internet all the time). Here is a reason to study at Saint Paul’s College – the Airtel 4G speed available around.

We stopped at Tripunithura and found a speed almost the same as Kalamassery. Later, I had a detailed check on the same at my cousin’s place and realized that once again it is not available inside the house as it became 2G again. The speed at the terrace was good, but returning inside home meant the loss of that speed – the location was on one of the pocket roads near SN Junction. I would guess that Tripunithura is the end of 4G at this side, and the entrance to Airtel 4G from the South. It is another thing that needed to be tested and known.

Watching the Phantom trailer here with speed!

Watching the new Phantom trailer here with the high speed @Kalamassery!

4G Day III: The third day was actually the official movie day. It could have been the second day with the movies, but I had to wait for all of the Onam weekend movies to release. I had to test this one inside a multiplex and so I decided to go for the movie Double Barrel for the first show of its release at Cinemax, Oberon Mall. It was also to add Edappally to the list of places where I had tried this. The mall has been my most visited place right from its beginning, and so I felt that this was the best place to give it a try.

So, that made sure that my local theatre wandering program took a break for the multiplex. I couldn’t get a ticket for the movie as they had cancelled the show (happens with me a lot) and so I decided to choose Phantom instead later to be followed by Jamna Pyari only. Well, people say that you have to watch a Malayalam movie for Onam, but this one was the next available best choice at that time. So, after seeing the higher speed in the mall, I waited for this movie to start. When it did, I immediately checked if 4G was there on the handset.

Checked the Airtel Wynk Music App; this was fast too!

Checked the Airtel Wynk Music App; this was fast too @Kalamassery!

Well, it was there at one second and then it switched out of it – the process continued and most of the time, it was just 2G. So, posting from inside is not going to be easy. May be PVR and Q Cinemas will have slightly different situations being closer to the Edappally Junction and the Vyttila Junction, but at the core, I believe that the things are going to be the same. I could get the speed back right after the movie, and I would love to have a get-together at the mall and see how fast the photos get uploaded.

TeNy

First Day of Airtel 4G

Most of you do know about #Airtel4G. Well, I have seen a lot of my friends talk about it on Facebook, Twitter and the blogs. Airtel has launched its 4G services at Cochin on August 25th and at Calicut on August 26th. Airtel has chosen Onam as the right moment here, and I couldn’t agree more about this choice. It is also available at the same price as 3G, and home delivery of SIMs is also known to be there. Airtel leads the way here, and being the first one here, holds the advantage. I was given a chance to preview #Airtel4G and I am going to give an account of what happened after that.

The 4G enabled phone - a Samsung Galaxy A5 [16GB]

The sample 4G enabled phone – a Samsung Galaxy A5 [16GB]

Even though it was made perfectly clear that this was for the city of Cochin only, I took my chances and tried this at Perumbavoor, and I am sure that the situation is the same at the other towns which are around the place – Kothamangalam, Muvattupuzha and Angamaly. At these towns the 4G device as well as the 4G mobile works only on 2G. There will be no shifting to 3G here as the switching is done directly to 2G. The Airtel 4G Mobile Wi-Fi device had some difficulties with my laptop, but worked perfectly with my mobile without 4G – on my Asus Zenfone 5.

So, I decided to return to the city on the first day and make sure that this 2G became 4G again. I made the decision to travel on the same route which I took on the day on which I attended the preview at Kaloor – the speed test had been a dream success at that time. Kaloor did seem to the place where the 4G was stronger than ever – it was so quick. But on this day, I decided to choose Thrikkakkara instead. It used to be one of my most visited places during the time I spent at Bharata Matha College. So, I thought that I would start the 4G adventure from the home of one my friends there.

Vampire Owl: So, what is the plan, soldier?

Vampire Bat: We attack the City of Cochin for #Airtel4G from all flanks. We desire and deserve high speed internet. See the map below for further information.

A simplified map of the attack plan to get the high speed :P

A simplified map of the very complicated attack plan to get the high speed internet 😛

The place was aroung Vazhakkala at Thrikkakkara, just about two or three minutes walk from the main road near Biriyani Hut. The 4G was not easy to find inside home, even though it was available outside home; and so we decided to go to the terrace to see if it could do more. The scene was a lot better there on the top, and the 4G was strong there. I had problems in connecting my laptop to the device there too (even though I realized later that I could do it with the USB cable when the Wi-Fi failed me). I apologize for my lack of knowledge related to technology – I am just not into it much.

I checked the speed on the mobile with the 4G SIM and also on my 3G phone connecting it to the 4G Wi-Fi device. It was excellent – I am not a person who has had a great experience with speed throughout my life, and I have tolerated the lower speeds with great patience – the only change to that was when I was in the UK (I don’t remember much from then though). Here with the Airtel 4G, I got 40-50 MB Android apps downloaded in around 30 seconds. Well, I am not used to such speed; never with any of the internet connections which I have used. This is surely my fastest internet experience so far, and the rest of my life has just got slower.

The Airtel 4G Mobile Wi-Fi device, or "the Mi-Fi"

The Airtel 4G Mobile Wi-Fi device, or “the Mi-Fi”

I connected my laptop to the Wi-Fi hotspot on the mobile with 4G SIM. My Windows 10 download just began again from where it had stopped at ten percent. I decided to wait for it to complete and the download took about fourty five minutes to finish the rest of the ninety percent of a total 2.7 GB as it was shown on the window. If I was to sit at home and use my usual broadband connection, it was to take a lot more time, and for the 2.5 GB, it would take me around eighteen to twenty hours – I might need to keep the laptop switched on for the whole night to make sure that things go smoothly for me during the day.

We actually stopped on the Seaport-Airport road on our way back, close to Bharata Mata College, and the speed test made it to the highest I had got. Well, I am not sure how that works, but returning home and checking the internet speed of my broadband made me feel that a return to the Stone Age was happening and I needed to resist the same. But unfortunately, 4G is not available at my town yet. I have to wait for it, and until now, I hope to use 4G during my regular visit to the theatres at Cochin – as long as there are multiplexes and movies, I can use this to my advantage.

Soon to follow with Day 2 of #Airtel4G: Hopefully with Aluva-Kalamassery-Kakkanad-Thrippunithura! 🙂 Lets also talk about the devices and how they have been/will be further helpful for me on the next few days.

TeNy