3G revolution has taken India in its stride since some time now and almost every telecom operator offers you internet connectivity via various means. One dominantly used connectivity option is the use of a data card dongle. Starting from 1x speeds, the operators have improved our connectivity options to mbps speeds in major cities.
One drawback of using a data card dongle has been the non availability of network on a single card throughout India, reason being the flawed licensing methods of our governing bodies. They may have their reasons for doing it their way but being a consumer, I feel cheated when I need to possess many data cards if I roam a lot. Data cards, though bought in bulk for very cheap by the operators, are sold at a premium to the subscribers without any add-on. That’s the second level of cheating we are forced to endure. Then these cards are locked to the operator’s network even though the consumer has paid for it in full. Take these three levels of cheating schemes to the US of A and all the Kokomos and Fairtels and Bodafones will be biting dust. But we are Indians and we are born to suffer.
There is a way out. Infact two ways, one legal, and one not so legal. These methods use the fact that all the data cards use SIMs(Subscriber Identification Modules) to gain connectivity. The legal way is buying network free data card dongle that supports the 3G SIM of the network which you want to use. SIMs are very cheap and one can afford to possess many at a time. Install the SIM in to the data card, activate a good 3G data plan and you are good to go. Few top data cards are described here.
(Disclaimer : The above method is not yet tested by me hence the compatibility of SIM with card should be checked by interested user.)
The other method is unlocking your data card dongle.
(Disclaimer : Legality of this method needs to be checked but I think if you have paid for it fully, it should be legal. These methods are not for novice and may brick your data card if not followed properly. Again, the reliability of this method should be check on internet)
In this method, the IMEI number of your dongle is used to get the unlock code online. Once you get the code, you swap the SIM and connect the dongle to pc. Once it asks for unlock code, enter the generated code. Follow steps as detailed here.
Alternatively you can use this website to download the software for unlocking.
I myself am will be trying the first method soon. Go ahead, unlock your connectivity options.