It took me nearly 2 days and a few hiccups, but I have just successfully activated my pre-paid MTNL Trump connection on my iPad 2.
After comparing the 3G plans available in Mumbai across operators, I thought initially that I would take Airtel. I changed my mind for 2 reasons. Firstly, Airtel is only offering postpaid plans with the iPad. I have 3 net connections already and adding one more postpaid connection to the mix would spike my monthly bills very sharply. Secondly, I would get fantastic connectivity while roaming on the BSNL network, including smaller towns and sections which Airtel is yet to cover. MTNL also offers good pre-paid rates;
I have taken a SIM with lifetime validity and I needed to do a one-time recharge + activation which I did with a Rs.91 coupon. I then loaded the SIM with a Rs.100 data coupon.
Since it is not a Micro SIM, I first had to cut the SIM Card to size. I used the excellent How-to guide on the techradar site to do this. Once the card is trimmed it cannot be used in a regular phone, so I did all my recharging before I performed the surgery.
Then I ran into my first glitch. The 3G settings were automatically recognised by my phone, but needed to be manually entered in the iPad. I got the settings from Trump customer service. I want to mention that it was easy and fast to reach customer service from a landline phone and I did not have to navigate numerous tortuous menu options that are designed to prevent you from talking to a human being! My good opinion of MTNL has been re-inforced.
Here are screen shots of the 3G settings for the iPad
1) Go to Settings/ cellular data/ APN settings
2) Enter the following information under APN settings
APN : gprsppsmum
username : mtnl
password : mtnl123
Switch off and restart the iPad. Your 3G connection should be up and running.
Over the next week, I will check the speeds in different parts of the city and post some speedtest results. But right now, I am going to take a well deserved break!