Tata Photon Plus: Misleading at the speed of photon

I have been trying out the TATA Photon+ for the last three weeks and needless to say the whole experience has been super frustrating. I thought I should share my experience and review so that others become aware of what they are getting into and maybe benefit from this post. My two biggest sour points with the TATA Photon+ service are:

First, the Tata photon ads are completely misleading (unless you read it very carefully). Yeah sure, any donkey can claim they will provide you internet "upto 3.1 Mbps or 20 times faster". I was skeptical of this gimmick right from the start and had even asked the store manager at their Vashi office if they guarantee any minimum speed. He was quite frank and said no but added the minimum is between 0.5 and 1 Mbps. For some reason, I really wasn't expecting Tata to play this game. In my three weeks of Photon+, I have NEVER ever got download speeds above 0.5 Mbps. And even worse and more annoying is the upload speed. Most of the time it is a pathetic 0.02 Mbps. And between 9pm and midnight, I have never got anything more than 0.01 Mbps. There is no way you can even gtalk at such speed, leave alone conference calls. And no, I am not in some remote village in India. I reside in Nerul, Navi Mumbai just blocks from the MTNL telephone office.

My next issue with them is their customer service. It's bad, I mean real bad. They had (and still have as of writing this article) a promotion where you get 10GB or 2 months if you buy the Photon+ usb modem. I paid in full cash for the modem without any dues. Within two weeks, one fine morning when I was about to go online for my business related work, I realize my photon service has been disconnected! Their reasoning was that I had crossed my credit limit and hence was disconnected. To top it, there was no apology of any sort. I wasn't mentioned about this whole credit limit when I bought it from their store in Vashi. And they were expecting me to dream up that this is a standard procedure. Their response was "Its a standard procedure every new customer has to go through." In any case, it was the Tatas who promised me 10GB or 2 months. Someone messed up internally and didn't make sure my line wasn't supposed to be disconnected. So there you go. After losing a days worth of work, two trips to Tata Indicom store (one in Nerul, one in Vashi), three phone calls to their customer service number and 24hrs later, Tata finally did a huge favor to me by reinstating my Photon+ service. Such is their flattering generosity.

To sum it up: If you expect giants like Tata to act honestly, you are wrong. They are as capable of swindling your money and taking you for a ride as a local crook. How about Tata guarantee say a minimum speed, even if its just 256 kbps or 512 kbps, instead of boasting an unrealistic "upto speeds"? And if the Tatas really want to play this gimmick, why stop at 3.1 Mbps, make it "upto 3.1 Gbps or 20000 times faster". They both are equally fair statements if your committal to provide such speeds is abysmal. If you don't have the infrastructure and resources and cannot provide at least 256 kbps minimum (which is the current TRAI definition of broadband), just don't bother troubling us with "unto 3.1 Mbbs" advertisement crap? If Tata cannot guarantee a minimum speed, how about giving customers a 2 week trial period with full or partial money refund if he/she finds out the speed not unto their expectations?

Hopefully, this will make others aware of the situation and give them a better sense of what they are getting into. Overall I would give 1 out of 5 stars for Photon+ and is definitely not worth the money they are asking for. It's a piece of crap. Stay as far away from it and maybe even consider doing a special Yajna to ward off any evil spirits associated with it.

PS: I think part of the reason Tata gets away with this level of crappy service is because the TRAI definition of broadband connectivity is purely based on download speed without any mention of upload speed. I hope the babus at TRAI consider this in their next update to broadband definition.

PPS: I finally gave in and opted for MTNL triband and am happy with the connection speed so far. I get the promised 1Mbps download speed and 0.2 Mbps upload which is about 20% off from the promised 0.25 Mbps upload. Other than the connection speed, I must admit it isn't pleasant dealing with MTNL. The babus at MTNL behave and talk as though they are doing a favor by providing us internet connection. It took whole 8 days and constant reminders to get a line. I hope its worth the wait.


aditya said...

I am using the Photon+ in Malad, Mumbai, and I have got speed upto 3.1 Mbps. Probably you are not using your device on the right settings. If you get dont get this speed for HSIA, then you can blame TATA. But first check whether you are working in the HSIA or the CDMA mode. The description of the speed you gave indicates that you are using your device in the CDMA mode.

calyflower said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
calyflower said...

wow, that sucks :(
i guess the moral of the story is nex time do a Yajna :P

ananth said...

you must have been using CDMA instead of HSIA.

Hybrid mode automatically switches to CDMA, when HSIA is not available.
CDMA is useful in places like non-metros, villages etc

オテモヤン said...


Anonymous said...

are nooBaRD do you even know dat how much download speed you should get when ur connection speed is 1mbps

or do you even know what the b in the mbps could stand for ?

bits per second or bytes per second

don't just write anything against TATA's dUdE unless you know things completely.....

nOObaRD !

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Anonymous said...

Great and perfect write up.....

Some guys ego got Hurt when you wrote about Tata..............

Very Similar experience......

If they have the balls they would have given “trial period”................

Next Gen might have a ray of hope...not ours....

Sad but True..........

Anonymous said...

Tata Photon + SUX...... I hate it as they are making fools... Infact all Indian Players are fooling Indian People as many do not understand the real technology and play around it.

To top it all, TRAI is making money and bull shitting further.

No one in India can beat players like COMCAST! I used to get 20Mbps there and here it is shitty kbps.

I reside in Navi Mumbai... (Kharghar)... The network sux here.
tata photon+ is horrible here. Not sure if someone has tried reliance here.

Guys, sorry to hurt Pro-Tata fans but let truth be said!



chandragupta said...

I fell for the much advertised Tata Photon Plus thinking it was broadband. Well it doesn't even come close. It is slightly better than the Tata Indicom which is like a bullock cart, but broadband? it's a joke, and the joke is on us. I have never been ever able to watch videos even gmail chat is erratic and poor. When I complained, they asked me to switch to Hybrid mode. I am guessing that's more money for more crap. How do these people get away with such fraud? because that's what it is.

chandragupta said...

My Tata photon plus connection sucks, and after a lot of complaining their response is I should switch to hybrid mode. How do I do this? Would appreciate some answers. Thanks!

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sandeep said...

I felt the same what you are saying. We all know that how big company tata is, they have many customers across the country. However, the service they are providing us in a guise of tata photon.

Anonymous said...

I am also facing same issue, I got demo of device before purchase. On three trials speed always crossed 2.2 Mbps.

Look at that speed I subscribed for 15 GB plan which costs 1500+ taxes.

and from last three months i am unable to cross 5 GB of total usage, as Speed never crosses 20 kbps.

After giving complaint I came to know guaranteed speed by them is 256 kbps (Even which is not practically available).

Never fall for there advertisement and demos. As said by earlier friends in comment, Connection sucks big time. It sucks your money and time.