Note: The GPRS plan packages and the procedure for activating and deactivating GPRS might have changed. Kindly contact Airtel customer care for exact details.
Update: I recently purchased a Nokia 3110 classic. This phone comes with EDGE and in-built modem. Using EDGE, the browsing speed seems to be reasonable.
This article is mainly for people using Airtel GPRS in Hyderabad (and Andhra Pradesh). As of the day of posting this article, Airtel Postpaid in Andhra Pradesh offers two packages for GRPS.
1. 199 flat monthly based plan
2. 499 pro-rata monthly plan (i.e. if u use the GPRS service for 2 days you would be charged only Rs. 499*2/30)
For the prepaid customers, it is on a prepaid basis i.e. the user is charged 15 rupees per day for using GRPS and he has to re-activate it every day. The minimum prepaid balance for using GPRS is Rs.30.
I found the postpaid second plan and the prepaid option especially useful if I am on a personal/business trip for 3-7 days where in I would not have access to internet. I own a Nokia 8310 with inbuilt GPRS modem and infrared and luckily my laptop also has infrared. Hence by having my laptop detect my mobile GPRS modem and using the GRPS facility provided by Airtel, I am able to access Internet anytime anywhere.
To active the GPRS 499 monthly plan in postpaid, kindly sms "GPRS ACTIVE" to 121 (kindly note all should be uppercase letters). The activation will take about 2-3 hours upon which you will either receive a SMS or a phone call from the customer care.
To activate the GRPS facility in prepaid, kindly sms "INTERNET ON" to 121 (again note the use of all uppercase letters). The activation will take only 2-3 minutes in the case of prepaid (no idea why it takes so long in postpaid :)).
Upon activation, you will then have to sms "MO" to 2567. You should receive a SMS with the GPRS settings. Save these settings. You may have to switch off and switch on your mobile once for the changes to take place.
Connecting to Internet from Laptop
After enabling GPRS on your mobile, you can use the below dial up settings for establishing a dial-up connection from your laptop (For Windows Dial-Up connection, I don't think you will have the last two options i.e. "Domain" and "Extra dial-string command").
Dialling number: *99#
Username: (leave blank) or alternatively you can use 919849.. (91 followed by your cell no)
Password: (leave blank) or alternatively you can use 0000
Domain: (leave blank) or alternatively use airtelgprs.com
Extra dial-string command: z
If while connecting from Windows XP you get an error "Registering your computer on the network. Error 734: The PPP link control protocol was terminated." or the phone throws an error "Subscribe To Packet Data First", try connecting after making the below change:
1. Go to Control Panel
2. Select Phone and Modem Options
3. Click on Modem tab.
4. Double click on Nokia 3110 classic Bluetooth Modem (this should open the Properties window).
5. Select Advanced tab.
6. Empty the Extra initialization commands textbox.
7. Click on OK.
To cancel the pospaid GPRS 499 plan, kindly sms "GPRS CANCEL" to 121. The cancellation will take upto 2-3 hours. Please note that if GPRS gets deactivated after 00.00 midnight then it is counted as an extra day though the actual time you have GRPS activated is less than 24 hours (ex. 27th May 5.30 to 28th May 00.20 is counted as 2 days AFAIK)
In the prepaid connection, I think it gets deactivated automatically after 24 hours and you will be prompted to renew it (need to confirm on this). You may want to sms "INTERNET OFF" to 121 to deactivate it permanently.
The speed is not that good (max. 40 Kbps) but it is a convenient way for checking mails or downloading any important document. For further details, kindly contact the Airtel customer care.
So enjoy surfing even when you are mobile by just carrying a mobile :) !