Consumer Issues
“Mera 3G tumhare 3G se jyada tej hai”. Oh yeah!
When we do not even get the basic data speed, how can anyone claim to provide a X% faster speed, that too when the standard for 3G data speed is defined
 
When kids say my father is stronger than yours is, we take it as juvenile humour. However, when big companies do the same thing about a service that has fixed parameters, it becomes a joke on the customers. A few months back we were bombarded with advertisements claiming 'our 3G network is X% faster’. Nevertheless, good sense prevailed and Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) of the Advertising Standards Council of India stopped these companies from pushing such advertisements.
 
Upholding complaints against Bharti Airtel Ltd (Airtel) and Vodafone Essar Ltd (Vodafone), ASCI said the claimed advertisements were not adequately substantiated. It said, "The advertisement of Airtel claims, 'India’s Best 3G network'. This claim was not adequately substantiated. Also, the claim “Airtel gives 122% faster download speeds than other 3G networks.” was unsubstantiated."
 
Similarly, the advertisement from Vodafone claiming “Fastest 3G network” was not substantiated adequately and was misleading by ambiguity, the ASCI said.
 
Other claims on 3G from Airtel were also not substantiated and thus the advertisements were banned. ASCI said, "The advertisement’s other claims: to provide 34.5% faster speed that other networks, Airtel 3G has 30% more indoor coverage, 17% more battery life, were not adequately substantiated. It was noted that the provided numbers are not based on extensive studies to adequately support the claims in the advertisements and the comparisons are not done with the next best in class."
 
Now let us look in to technical aspects of 3G and we will know why unsubstantiated claims from mobile operators have fallen flat. 
 
3G is short form for third generation of mobile communication technology. This is based on a set of standards used for mobile devices and mobile telecommunications use services and networks that comply with the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) specifications by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Services advertised as 3G are required to meet IMT-2000 technical standards, including standards for reliability and speed (data transfer rates). 
 
ITU has not laid down a clear definition of the data rate that user can expect from 3G services. However, many services advertised as 3G can provide higher speed than the minimum technical requirements for a 3G service. 
 
In India, 3G is defined by telecom operators as minimum 2Mbits per second (Mbps) to a maximum of 28Mbps. Across the world, standards like wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA), High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) are used to provide 3G services. Theoretically, HSPA offers a download speed of 14.4Mbps and upload speed of 5.76Mpbs. A further revised and upgraded HSPA+ standard can provide (theoretical) peak data rates up to 168Mbps in the downlink and 22Mbps in the uplink. 
 
However, in practice, we never get the speeds mentioned above or even 50% of that. Remember the YouTube advertisement, in which people are shown moving their heads round and round due to buffering? It shows the real picture of internet speed in India, across mobile operators, which provide 3G services. The reason, I mentioned YouTube is because, whenever you complaint about slow speeds, the customer care executive from the mobile operators would ask you to do some changes in settings and then check any video from YouTube. According to their 'understanding' and 'knowledge', if you can see YouTube video without 'buffering', then you are on 3G and receiving 'great' speed on your network!
 
The point is all mobile service providers make a mockery of regulations and minimum service standards in India. 3G is not an exception. When questioned, you would receive standard answers, like there may be some local issue and it would be resolved soon. If you question further, then they will tell you the 3G speed depends upon the number of users in that particular area (read tower). And of course, the customer is always in such a highly-populated area, so don't blame the service provider! Thankfully, there are some regulatory bodies like ASCI that are stopping these 'false claim-masters' from fooling us.  
 

User

COMMENTS

R Nandy

1 year ago

Thelast para of the article actually sums up the problem.

Airtel is investing money in advertisments.They better invest is a few more base stations.In my office in an IT park in Bangalore we never get 3G except on weekends when there are fewer people in the IT park.

Airtel is not able to provide 3G services properly and they are advertising 4G.What a joke.

Anil Agashe

1 year ago

We are being fooled. We wanted spectrum to be auctioned. So we have done that. The prices paid were crazy. With that kind of financial burden companies were going to fool us somewhere. They are doing this by giving us little speed and charging for a technology that is not being offered at all. Of course the CAG and SC cannot be criticised!
One BSNL officer told me a few years back, Sir there is actually no difference between 2 G and 3G! She was very honest!

Radhakrishnan Subbiah

1 year ago

Gentlemen,
Pl be informed that what is touted as 3G is actually 2G and now 3G is being touted as 4G. Even then whether the 4G matches specified standards of 3G even... is a big question mark.
All these"....." think that the Departments can be hood-winked by under table incentives and public can be hood-winked by bombastic advertisements... in fact the sheep-herds that these people are, is being proved again and again and again. So no action'll ever be taken to book these ".....". So enjoy the thamasha, if you've stomach for it.

Unique method to curb credit card frauds globally
In a move to stem credit card frauds worldwide, a team of US researchers has developed an inexpensive, secure method to prevent mass credit card fraud using existing magnetic card readers.
 
Called SafePay, the novel technique works by transforming disposable credit card information to electrical current and driving a magnetic card chip to simulate the behaviour of a physical magnetic card.
 
The key challenge today is that existing magnetic card readers use plain text to store confidential information which makes them vulnerable to an untrusted card reader or skimming device.
 
“Because SafePay is backward compatible with existing magnetic card readers, it will greatly relieve the burden of merchants in replacing card readers and, at the same time, protect cardholders from mass data breaches," explained Yinzhi Cao, assistant professor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
 
Here is how it works.
 
First, the user downloads and executes the mobile banking application which communicates with the bank server.
 
During transactions, the mobile application acquires disposable credit card numbers from the bank server, generates a wave file, plays the file to generate electrical current and then drives the magnetic card chip via an audio jack or Bluetooth
 
“With SafePay, disposable credit card information expires after a limited time or number of usages. So, even if the information is leaked, it cannot be used for future transactions,” the authors pointed out.
 
Its has a magnetic credit card chip that makes it completely compatible with existing readers.
 
It also features a mobile banking application that automates the process making and makes it extremely user-friendly.
 
Cao and his colleagues conducted real-world experiments with the SafePay technology performing transactions with a vending machine, a gas station and a university coffee shop.
 
In all three scenarios, the SafePay method worked and the transactions were successful.
 
The research is set to be presented at the IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security from September 28-30, in Florence, Italy.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Bagrodia seeks parity with Manmohan in coal scam case
Former minister of state for coal Santosh Bagrodia on Monday sought parity with former prime minister Manmohan Singh seeking the stay of the criminal proceedings against him in a coal scam case, contending that his case of not being guilty of any wrongdoing was much more stronger.
 
Reiterating his position taken on September 7, Bagrodia told the bench of Justice M.B. Lokur, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice A.K. Sikri that he could not be treated differently from the former prime minister, stressing that that he was innocent but his reputation and future was being ruined.
 
Bagrodia was minister of state for coal under Manmohan Singh from April 2008 to May 2009. He was granted bail in the case on September 8.
 
Made an accused in the allocation of Maharashtra's Bander coal block to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd, he said that he can produced evidence that there were continuous parleys between Kumaramangalam Birla and others including the then prime minister.
 
The apex court on April 1 had stayed the summons against Manmohan Singh issued by a special court in connection with the allocation of 15 percent share in the Talabira II coal block to the Birla-owned Hindalco.
 
Appearing for Bagrodia, senior counsel K.K.Venugopal told the court that his client was innocent but his "reputation and future was being ruined".
 
Noting that there was only one apex court, Venugopal sought the reiteration of order passed by the bench of Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice C. Nagappan suspending the summons against Manmohan Singh by the special court.
 
He argued that when there was no dishonest intention, how could his client be arrayed as an accused, noting that nowhere in the trial court order there was a mens rea (criminal intention) alleged against him but still he was being proceeded against. 
 
However, senior counsel A.Sharan took the court through the trial court order demonstrating that there were specific paragraphs imputing criminal intention against Bagrodia.
 
While adjoining the hearing for September 29, the court allowed Bagrodia to move an application before the trial court seeking exemption from appearing before it.
 
Besides Bagrodia, others summoned in the case were ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and retired bureaucrat L.S. Janoti. The case involves Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda, his son Devendra Darda, AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd and its director Manoj Jayaswal.
 
They have been accused of alleged offences punishable under sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to criminal conspiracy, cheating, criminal breach of trust by public servant and under other provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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