- The network simply is good. When compared to other service providers such as Dolphin / Trump from MTNL and Airtel from Bharati Telecom, Orange wins hands down. BPL Mobile comes in a close competitor. Reliance and Tata Indicom being on CDMA cannot be compared directly to GSM providers.
- The tariff. Except for Dolphin / Trump (and in some cases Reliance), Orange wins hands down when it comes to tariff. It is simply the cheapest, especially if you have activated all those extra schemes. Like 50p Orange to Orange calls for Rs. 50/- per month, or 99p M2M calls for Rs. 25/- per month. Sure, SMS still sux at Rs. 1.50/- local (or 75p M2M on Rs. 25/- per month), but then you can’t have it all, can you? Postpaid plans sux again, as usual. Compare this with BPL, whose prepaid charges are for one scheme: 80p connection charge, plus 3p per second (or 1p per second, with Rs. 35/- per month super saver charge). This turns out to be quite expensive for shorter duration calls.
- Updated web-site: I really get pissed when service providers have web-sites that are not updated regularly, or are simply neglected. Orange, I am rather proud to say, is one the most regularly updated web-sites, when it comes to tariff information, and general help. Sure, some mistakes do creep in, but atleast they are making an effort.
- Transparency: On whatever billing enquiries I have made to the Orange Team (from the web-site, that is the trick. Do not go to the Orange Shop, or call the customer service executives, those people can be real dumb at times, use the web-site. It sends your query to some Orange Special Services, who are not only prompt, but make sense in what they say.), I have received satisfactory and prompt replies. If they have a particular tariff that is more expensive than say, their competitors, they do tell me that in black and white. (Of course, I am referring to people who work at Orange, not people who claim that they work for Orange, but are actually dealers or franchisees.)
- Initiatives: It was amongst the first providers, one of the first that introduced GPRS (and yet the only to offer it on prepaid accounts), first to introduce EDGE (2.5G network) with the rather sad Orange TV, Push to Talk and other stuff that I never use such as Caller Tunes and other blah. I am pretty sure that it will also be one of the first providers in India to launch the 3G, when it finally arrives in 2006.
Kevin Mitnick is / was one of the best social engineers around. So much so that the US law enforcement agencies had to put him behind bars for the stuff he did, which he always claimed was just out of curiosity, and not of any malicious intent. The point is, he know what he did, has accepted it, and probably does not regret it. He has written two books (maybe more, I know of only two) titled The Art of Deception and The Art of Intrusion.
Both come highly recommeded, and worth a read for anyone who cares about themselves not being ripped off by any social engineer, which means, in other words, practically everybody.
Well, my AV and Internet Security Suite, Kaspersky updated itself (it does that every three hours, actually) and wanted to restart the operating system (it never specified it wanted to restart the machine, which is interesting).
Now the timing could never have been worse. I am on an uptime record, and that thing wants a restart… I am helpless, I will give the restart to it. Will restart the uptime statistics, what else can be done? 😦