3G speed on 2G Airtel plan

This is yet another reason to love Airtel! 3G was enabled on my phone ever since they were offering free trials in the month of Feb-March 2011. However for some reason, even though my Nokia N73 was 3G enabled, I still got slow EDGE speeds, not sure why.

After I got my Android phone, I experienced real 3G speeds of 3.5 Mbps, however the free 3G trial ended soon after a few days. Yet, when I set my phone to 3G mode post the trial, I get a constant speed of 500-800 Kbps, which is on my 2G Mobile Office plan priced at 98/month with a 2G free data usage limit.


On occasions, it has also gone up to 2mbps as you can notice in the screenshot. While this isn’t really 3G speed, however isn’t it awesome to get half to one or two megabits of bandwidth at the price of an EDGE connection?

The speed makes web browsing, downloading apps and files, as well as watching YouTube videos a cinch. They load in a jiffy and no buffering time as well.

Are you on Airtel too? Or another carrier? Do you get such amazing speeds as well? Do share.

EDIT: I see a lot of traffic coming onto this post through searching for how to get 3G speed on 2G Airtel. So even though I’m not sure of this method, you could try it.

  • You first need to have 3G network enabled on your number I suppose, so sms 3G to 121. You’ll have to subscribe to the 1 day plan for Rs. 8, just so you get 3G enabled.
  • Now as usual, activate your 2G plan of Rs. 98 for 2GB/month. This isn’t tested so please don’t blame me if it does not work. Set your phone to 3G and you might just get 3G speeds even on 2G plan, because 3G network might still be working.
  • I’ve read from another blog post, there’s another (tested and working) way to do this, by activating 100MB 2G plan for Rs. 10 after the 1 day 3G plan. The plan will keep getting renewed every 3 days and you shall be paying Rs. 100 for 1GB for a month, and get 3G speed. Although it seems costlier than Rs. 98/month for 2GB Mobile Office, but give it a shot if either one doesn’t work. At your own risk that is.
  • Please comment back if any of the method worked for you. Thanks.
Here are Airtel’s official 3G plans. I suppose the first two are affordable if you aren’t going to make heavy usage of it. Free usage per monthly rentals are as follows:
200MB @ Rs. 100
500MB @ Rs. 200
1200MB @ Rs. 450
3p/10KB post the free usage. SMS ‘3G’ to 121 to activate. ‘3G USE’ to 121 to check usage.
(The above plans were told to me by the customer care guy. Airtel’s official site however differs: http://airtel.in/Airtel-3G/tariffs.html)

If you simply need 3G because EDGE is turning out tad slow for your daily surfing, app download and Whatsapping needs, try these packs out. And as I’ve confirmed, you are only charged for the number of days you use these plans. So if you deactivate 2G in the middle of your billing month, activate 3G for few days, return back to 2G, you won’t be charged entire monthly plan rentals for each of these activations. Not bad to try out the plans then. 

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149 Responses to 3G speed on 2G Airtel plan

  1. rajat agarwal says:

    3G speed in 2G Plans For Airtel :

    First deactivate all the Gprs Data Plans and Activate Airtel 3G
    Now Activate 7rs Airtel 3G plan and wait till the service got activated
    Use 2-3 MB data and then recharge with 98rs 2G Gprs pack on the same day
    After than do not use Internet till the validity of 7rs plan gets completely over
    Viola! You hack Airtel 3G speed, now enjoy 3G speed in 98rs plans
    Note : Use the same trick after the data or validity of the 2GB plan gets over!

    • Ayush Agarwal says:

      Hi, Please tell me can it really work..
      i am currently using aircel 2G pack of Rs 25/15days..
      i got 1GB data in this pack but its speed was not good.
      can i switch to airtel
      can it really give me 3G speed on rs 98/month
      please tell me soon
      my email is ayushveru@yahoo.com

      With Regards

    • Sharadcs Srivastva says:

      Even if you are getting 3g speed in 2g pack airtel is not obliging you do not fool yourself man just look at data consumption it is draining out in 3g speed so what is there to be happy about ?

    • Sharadcs Srivastva says:

      Even if you are getting 3g speed in 2g pack airtel is not obliging you.just look at the data consumption it is draining out in 3g speed and not 2g.so what is there to be happy about.know you can not cheat the system.

  2. rameez says:

    i am using airtel 3g internet on last few months with high speed. But 2 days before i am not getting that speed and my internet is too slow. So please give the solution for that.


  3. GILCHRIST says:

    this hasnt worked in mine but i can tell you a good solution about this . First of all sms 3g to 121 then reply with 1 to confirm and again send 3g to 121 reply with 1 for data plans then reply with 3 for Rs.9 data plan then use 2-3 mb and then recharge of rs 98for 1 month you will get 3g speed

  4. JACKO says:

    This works, but the problem is the speed goes out for days to come. Dont know why but out of a sudden it will again give you the speed desired but that too would stay only for a day or two.

  5. User says:

    Are you sure that the 3G on 2G plan speed is different from 3G on 3G plan speed?
    I forgot to check it when I was on 3G plan, but now I can’t check the speed of actual 3G cause I’m on a 2G plan.. (It requires less than 50 MB in the Internet account to subscribe to a plan)

  6. dheeru says:

    i am using airtel 3g internet on last few months with high speed. But 2 days before i am not getting that speed and my internet is too slow. So please give the solution for that. koi our trick ho toh mujhe btao plz

  7. Anki says:

    Airtel walo ki ma ka bhosda pehle to 3G speed aa rahi thi 2G plan me par ab bhosdi walo ne mere 2G plan ki speed 250kb se 5kb me convert kar di. Ma ki chut Airtel walo ki

  8. sun says:

    Hi guys air tel is giving free trials just to increase 3g customers.. nearly 4 times i’ve been given free trials… use bsnl to get good speed in 2g cost

  9. rahul says:

    hey i m using 3G with 2G pack first it used to give 3MB to 3.5 MB on my android ph. now wheres da speed gone now i get a speed of 20 to 40 kbps wat should i do plz.. anyone help me if any one has a solution plz mail me or msg me to dis no. 8011039526

  10. Rajesh says:


  11. s s singh says:

    hi i hve one trick……if u hve 2g plan then open the any page on 2g speed after that come out to the main menu by pressing red button snd then convert network from GSM to UMTS mode and the open the same page now you will enjoy three G speed on 2g pack

  12. mohit says:

    hey am frm nellore in andhra pradesh …….i used airtel 3g speed in 2g for 4 months but frm a week my 3g speed gone and getting only 2kbps speed …..but to my frnds whom i told abt this ….still they getting 3g speed… So wat to do……help me out of it….plzzzzz…… My number 09963014210

  13. rajes says:

    now the network problem has been solved so no trick is working so dont wast ur money just change dns server ur speed will increase

  14. Nidhin says:

    I am using nokia n73 phone still i get only 17 kbps , i activated the plan of 250 mb of 3g , is get 3g speed when i update the software of my phone

  15. Venkat says:

    i use nokia n8
    airtel offers 6 months Free GPRS of 2 GB per month with 3G speeds (if it is available in your locality)
    post usage, all data packs are at 3G speeds. However, due to non-availability of 3G in all locations, it fluctuates between EDGE and HSPA and EDGE speeds are extremely slow as usual.

  16. dasanjeeva says:

    hi I am from tamilnadu and try this thing which is mentioned in the following site
    How to get 3G Speed in 2G Gprs Data plans for Airtel
    http://catiatutorials.com/howt… It is working for me

  17. Hello ! i tried using this trick and to activate 3g i called customer care..but when i went to activate 3g i heard the warning that “if u are having any 2g data plan activated it will be deactivated after activating 3g” :/

  18. unknown says:

    U CANT DO THIS >>>>>

  19. yogi says:

    it’s up-to your handset means that what kind of data transfer compatible handset u r using………………….

  20. Mangesh says:

    My name is Mangesh
    i bought new moto fire xt android mobile
    first day i got 3 mbps with 2g pack
    from 10 days suddenly my speed is dropped to 72kbps
    please help me…
    email – mangesh@computergeneration.in

    • Nishant says:

      They probably give you the 3G speed during your first few days to lure you into subscribing for a 3G plan. I myself have done it now. Waited for months trying to achieve the speed on 2G plan but no use.

  21. Faizal says:

    Hi guys,
    I used 2G pack Rs.98 the 1st time it was showing 3G and good speed. I recharged the pack the next month still i was getting the same speed. But the third day the speed dropped to 2G and now its slow and its showing 2G. Any Suggestions ?

  22. ashok says:

    New 3g plan from airtel for new subscribers is recharge for 677 you get 3.5GB for 30 day validity. Later on you can recharge starts with 101 to 1250

  23. danish says:

    Nishant bhai plz tell me that firstly 3g to 121 then custmer care send me sms or how and also plz tell me a live tv software i have also a android phone of samsung that is galaxy ace plz tell thats why i gratefull to you plz reply as early as possible

    • Nishant says:

      Hi Danish,

      To activate the 3G plan, just SMS 3G to 121. Then you will get options to choose your pack. Their SMS service was down when I tried activating, so I did it by calling up customer care. They’ll advice you on the packs available. Be aware that you are charged per day, so if you have only 15 days remaining in your billing cycle month, you will only get half the MBs of usage, and charged half the rental.

  24. danish says:

    Nishant bhai how i charged perday i use the pack of 98 then how i pay.ok ek live tv ka apps name or site batao pjz

  25. Saurabh says:

    First day i get best speed by your method but another day i m having 3g network as symbol (H) but i m not getting 3g speed. Please help me

  26. raghav says:

    it works in vodafone use internet pack of 95/- for 1GB you’ll get 3G speed

  27. raghav says:

    anybody pls tel me samsung galaxy Y good buy or not ?

  28. john says:

    hi frnds i reset my antdroid to factory default & don’t get backup of previeus setting. after tat i sign in with my new google accnt & get new intrnt settings from airtel.& install it. what a surprise i downlode 50 mb size vedio with in 4.5mints in 2g netwrk. and youtube was amazing. it plays like downloded file. non stop playback. but after one week it get slower so pls help me frnds thanks.

  29. john says:

    galaxy y is not good phone. but u root that it is the best phone compare with all galaxy phone’s price. u can increase the clock speed. format ur sd in advanced file system. u can move all app to sd.(system files also). but one think u void the warrunty.

  30. vijay says:


  31. himanshu says:

    hello i got iphone3gs in pune
    i only once used rs 7 3g plan after that i have always used 98 rs 2g plan…i don’t know how but sometimes automatically i get 3g speed and sometimes it lasts for 2-3 days and sometimes for 2-3 hrs i had tried all the possible tricks many many times and mostly they dont work ,they work rarely 1 out of 10 tries…. i think airtel intentionally allows that small time bonus to lure the customers…

  32. priya mehta says:

    hey nishant i m using 3G with 2G pack first it used to give 3MB to 3.5 MB on my android ph. now from last 2 days wheres da speed gone now i get a speed of 20 to 40 kbps wat should i do plz.. anyone help me if any one has a solution plz mail me.. plz plz

    • Nishant says:

      Sorry Priya, but I guess Airtel offers you 3G speed during your first time on Android phones for trial purpose, and then reduces it down so that you apply for their 3G plan.

  33. ashok says:

    hey nishant i m using 3G with 2G pack first it used to give 3MB to 3.5 MB on my samsung galaxy y android ph. now from last 2 days wheres da speed gone now i get a speed of 50 to 720 kbps wat should i do plz.. anyone help me if any one has a solution plz mail me.. plz plz. these problem is starting from 2nd april on which i have in roaming (delhi) and atomaticaly my network is vanish for one day and when i got network my 3g speed is gone and i got only 2g speed is there any solution then please tell me on my no. 9595450812

    • Nishant says:

      Sorry Ashok, but I guess Airtel offers you 3G speed during your first time on Android phones for trial purpose, and then reduces it down so that you apply for their 3G plan.

  34. Afzal says:

    i m using an android phone (7.2 mbps). i had activated 3g on it and continued with a 2g plan…. now it strucks…. my speed had fallen from 750 kbps to just 10 kbps… “Although my phone is showing 3g and h on the top”… help…….

    • Nishant says:

      If you’re subscribed to a 2G plan, then I guess you cannot complain about the speed. If not, then call up customer care if you aren’t getting the promised speeds on 3G. The temporary 3G speed boosts on 2G plans don’t last for long.

  35. guru says:

    It works til one or two cnect records…wel,use aircel,it has comparable plan to 2g..and unlimited download..

  36. Viveik says:

    I dun knw if this wld work. But you can try for AIRTEL….

    some steps to use 3g at 2g cost
    1) if you have activated 3G then
    DEACTIVATE IT .Send message
    as” STOP 3G “to” 121 “
    2) Recharge with any 2G GPRS
    packs available in your circle…..
    3) After successful
    Recharge….SEND message as”
    START 3G “to” 121 “
    4) Select 3G mode (UMTS) in
    7) Then connect to internet
    with” aircelgprs

  37. @Vivek Chalna madar kay….kyun choro walay kaam kar raha hai
    jake 1000ka recharge nahi kara sakta….chor sala….
    Or vaisay bhi yeh tatti tricks kaam nahi kartay ….tere say bahas karnay ka mun nahi hai gan mara apni randi kay

  38. Rsharath says:

    Hi……i was using 3g speed in 2g cost as per ur trick…..for 6 to 8 months frst it was awesome speed upto 4mbps thn latr it reduced to 1 mbps nd below suddenly went to 6kbps wat shall I do to get back tis trick wrk again……iam using samsung galaxy s lcd………plz plz help me anyone if u get the answer

  39. bitul says:

    Good I love it

  40. Paresh says:

    not working in Mumbai… activated 3G plan for a day.. used 3-4MBs and activated 2G Plan of Rs.98.. then didn’t use internet at all on that day.. after 12AM saw that my 3G Balance was 0.00MB.. and 2G balance it wasn’t showing.. it says “Operation Successful” on *123*6# .. and saw my speed in Speed Test app.. superb 3G speed was showing up… used the internet for 2 mins.. and it went into 2G mode again.. 10KB/s.. :'( Oh C’Mon someone post a superb working trick! The Rs.13/half an hour amazing pack of 3G is gone!!! Help! I can’t download files for my important work!

  41. John says:

    how can I increase my internet speed on my Galaxy Note II ??

    I’ve no 3G coverage in my home town but my work place has 3G coverage.
    I’ve been using 2G plan of Rs.199…nowadays the airtel 2g is very slow n whenever I checked speed test. .it shows only 15-27 kb/s …sometimes it comes up to 30-37 kb/s but goes within a minute or two. .

    In city ..I’m getting normal 2g speed of 30-40 kb/s..

    after registering 3 complaints with airtel..they didnt solve my problem…I’ve cleared all my browser cookies n caches…

    Today I’ve activated 3G on my no after reading ur blog…

    could u pls explain what r the steps to get high speed internet on my phone…still I’m on 2G plan of 199 which lasts on August 15….I’ve not activated any 3G plan on my no…just activated 3G connection.

    how should I make the settings for network mode…should I always change my settings to GSM mode whenever I reach home n to WCDMA at office. ..I can enable automatic mode. .but don’t know whether it works perfectly or not…

    pls respond. …

  42. pankaj says:

    will I hv to make the 2g recharge on the same day of the 3g recharge?

  43. Rahul says:

    I have Lumia 520. Use heavily 3g. But gets only 200-5000 kbps. But Airtel promises 21mbps speed. But now using 2g but want 3g speed. In 2g prices. Give me a latest tricks about that. Im in Delhi

  44. josee123 says:

    iam using Airtel 3g data 1GB, and im using net daily 6 to 7 hrs… 1GB data expired in how many days?

  45. Vishnu Kumar Singh says:

    they are giving 2g speed on the 3g network for a 2g plan………..

  46. Sumit agarwal says:

    I am using aircel 2g pack and how can I know when my pack will expire???

  47. pankaj says:

    Thank you for sharing very useful information.

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  48. sunny says:

    plz add me whtsup

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