Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mobile phones, Internet and data connectivity in Leh, Ladakh

Phones, IPhone does not work in leh. BB n nokia seem to be the best option. None the participants had Android devices.
Out of the three operators, cellone (bsnl), aircel and Airtel my phone (two voda connections) was working only on Aircel. 
Prepaid phones do not work in Leh or Kashmir due to security considerations.
On some mobile handsets automatic network connections does not work, and most often rmanual also does not seem to work. In such cases one needs to continuously try (unto 10 times) on manual configuration to connect to a network. (aircel seems to be the preferred option here)
On some handsets the regular phone speaker does not seem to and one has to use loudspeaker function to make/answer calls.
SMS function can also be highly unreliable in Leh. In my cases, all my outbound smses were reaching recipients but I was not getting here smses.
Internet charges can be between Rs.90-100 per hour. And if you have your own computer or tablet, it comes down to Rs.70per hour. There are some restaurants which offer wifi for almost unlimited duration for a cover charge of Rs.100 per person/device.
Broadband speeds are pretty decent when things are working. But there can be cases when the city is without mainstream broadband for upto 3-4days if the broadband backbone cable gets damaged. And in those cases satellite internet or dialup Internet is the only option.

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