BSNL WiMax, a piece of crap - my 3 months experience with the WiMax Internet in Kerala

Here is the summary of my experience with the BSNL WiMax for about 3 months in Kerala. I was very happy with it initially, but found it is not the solution if you need reliable internet connection for work or business. Read more to find my experience with BSNL WiMax internet, speed and reliability.

I took BSNL WiMax internet about 3 months ago with lot of expectations and enthusiasm to try this new technology and experience high speed internet where wired internet is not feasible. It worked really well for the first few weeks and I even recommended this to my readers by writing a hands on review of BSNL WiMax.

Unfortunately, a couple of weeks after I started using it regularly, I started facing a lot of problems with it. I became a regular visitor of BSNL office to report complaints and troubleshoot the WiMax service.

Let me summarize my experience without going into the details.

Scroll down to the last few paragraphs to read the disadvantages of WiMax.

Initial experience with BSNL WiMax

After several failed attempts to get wired broadband at home, I decided to go by the recommendation of BSNL staff to try the WiMax. It took only a day to get a new CPE device and get it configured. It worked really well for the first few days. I took a 512Kbps unlimited connection, which was actually giving about 1 Mbps speed. However, after a few weeks, the connection became very unreliable. Many times during the daytime, the connection will become extremely slow (less than 50Kbps) or will lose the connection completely. My home is located within 500 meters from the base station in the BSNL office, so distance or hindrances are not the problem.

I made several phone calls to BSNL office, WiMax customer support and even visited the office with complaints. They suggested me to move around the CPE device, change directions etc, but nothing solved the problem.

Finally, the office recommended me to upgrade to a 2Mbps plan, which offers limited internet. Since I had already acquired a Tata Photon+ to do my important work, I chose to switch to the unlimited plan to see if that solves the problem. However, it did not make a difference.

Finally, I went to the office and returned the CPE device saying it does not work most part of the day. In fact, I was unable to make any practical use of it during the previous month since 100 Kbps speed wasn't good enough to do any productive work.

BSNL was kind enough to give me a replacement device and installed it on the same day. Surprisingly, the device was working very well, giving me 2 Mbps speed.

Unusually high data usage reported by the device

I was happy with the new device and the BSNL service, but, that did not last long. The very next day, I received a bill for about Rs 4,500, which included Rs 1,700 fees for changing the plan from 512 Kbps to 2Mbps and about Rs 3,200 for excess bandwidth use. I was sure I did not use excessive internet since the device was practically unusable.

I called the BSNL accounting dept and explained all the issues happened during the previous month, how the connection was practically unusable and why they had to replace the CPE device with a new one. At the end of the discussion, we concluded the excessive meter reading was probably due to a fault in the WiMax device. They suggested me to get a letter from the manager with whom I was working to get the issues sorted out. The manager was kind enough to write a letter stating the device was faulty.

I prepared a detailed letter explaining the situation and attached the letter from the manager which states the device was faulty. The accounts department promised to call me back within 1 week after going through the letter and after doing some research on my data usage. During the call, they assured me that the Rs 1,700 charge for switching the plan will be waived since it was done as per recommendations by BSNL technicians to troubleshoot the problem.

They did not bother to call me back. But I assumed they have taken care of the excessive bill and the credits will be reflected in the next month bill. (But that did not happen. They never waived the charges for switching the plan and did not cancel the charges for excessive data usage.)

New WiMax device goes crazy and disconnects several times a day

To make things worst, the new WiMax CPE device also started showing the exact same symptoms the previous device had. 3 weeks after setting up the new device, it started slowing down upto 50 Kbps speed, making it practically impossible to do any productive work.

I wasn't sure how to go ahead with a complaint since it took about a month previously to convince BSNL that it was the device and not my setup which are causing the problems. If I go back with the same complaint for the new device as well, they are definitely going to give me the reply that it is my configuration or setup since no one else are experience such problems with WiMax.

I am not sure why do BSNL keep saying no one else are experiencing such problems. Probably, there are not many WiMax users in the area and even the people who experience such problems might think such issues are expected from an internet service provider like BSNL and so they never bothered to report.

A few minutes search in Google revealed that many other WiMax users have reported extremely slow connection during the day time.

Another heavy internet bill from WiMax

I received another shocking letter next month with a bill of Rs 2,200 for the next billing period, which included half a month with the previous faulty device. By this time, I lost my hope on BSNL WiMax service. I personally do not think I am using so much internet bandwidth to get such high bills every month. In my opinion, there is something seriously wrong with the BSNL's metering of WiMax data or the faulty WiMax CPE devices are reporting excessive data usage.

Overall review of BSNL WiMax

Here is the summary of my experience with WiMax in last 3 months:

- The WiMax internet connection is highly unreliable. If you are planning to use it for casual browsing or kill time on Facebook, it's okay! But if you want to use it for business or for doing some serious work online, you will be terribly disappointed.

- Poor customer support - from my experience with BSNL, you cannot trust the BSNL support staff. In my case, they made me go through the process of preparing a letter, getting a letter from the technicians, switching internet plans to try various options etc but I could not get the internet connection problems and billing problems resolved.

- There is no infrastructure to troubleshoot. When I reported my WiMax CPE device is faulty, they simply got away saying they have no ways to verify or repair it. (However, after several efforts, I was able to get it replaced with a new device, even though the new device also started showing unusual connectivity issues a few days later).

- Nobody at BSNL are really knowledgeable about the plans and charges. BSNL technician recommended me to switch to new plan to troubleshoot the problems and I was told there is no fees for switching plans. However, I was charged Rs 1,700 fees for switching plans. After several efforts, I was told it will be credited back, but it never happened.

If you are an internet addict and do not spend any quality time outside internet, then BSNL WiMax will help you spend time with your family because you will hate to browse when you are using this service.

The bottom line is, this is not a reliable internet service, in my experience. If you have been using WiMax, please share your experience. I am eager to know if my experience is a rare case or it is the case with every WiMax in India.

Read the disadvantages of WiMax from BSNL.

Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including,, and many more.

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Guest Author: Ishan Jain24 Mar 2015

Hi Tony,
I was having a really good Experience with BSNL Wimax for 1 month and even now it just works fine giving me double the stated speeds. 512kbps=64KBps but I am getting 1mbps=128KBps speed which is pretty good. but last day it just stuck on 'network entry' and was not connecting at all so when i went to BSNL office they said wait till evening its a problem from head office which is located in Agra. But, I was not convinced so I tried fiddling with settings and all and now its a big mess. I can't access the Admin Panel I don't know how in world I can fix it. Please, can you help me with this. BSNL employees will come tomorrow to repair it probably but I want to fix this Goddamn thing also it does not have any external reset button on device which is why it is even more difficult to fix it. Please help. I had just this particular problem in my time period. my home is also within 250m from BSNL office so I don't suffer any random disruptions or disconnections also Ping is at about 140ms which is quite average for playing online games without lag. Surprisingly though in Broadband Speed used to drop to very poor levels but Wimax gives me super stable speeds with a average of about 125-130kBps and that is why Jittering is non existent. please help me fixing my CPE man! Love this site. Good Job.

Guest Author: abhishek lodha19 Jun 2015

The best till now in India is wired broadband.

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