Airtel 3G with Dell Venue Pro

As you might know (if you are from India), Dell launched its Windows Phone 7 device Venue Pro recently (and it took few weeks to reach the retail shops after official announcement – quite odd to me). I got one lately and put one of my 3G SIMs on to it. After initial WP7 configuration, I enabled both Data and 3G options and switched the phone off/on just to make sure things work fine (this is what many mobile operator CS would tell you if they asked you to make any network setting changes :-) ). After the device came up, to my surprise I didn’t see the E or G (for EDGE and GPRS respectively) letter at the top bar. This just confused me. I also have iPhone 4 and have used HTC Desire HD before and they both configured themselves (or received settings from the network or whatever the magic it is) with a new SIM and they "just work" and display the data connection (E, G, H or 3G) but that didn’t happen with Venue Pro. I spent almost a day doing internet search, running through blogs, articles, forums, playing around with the phone settings and everything except calling Airtel customer support. Their CS sucks and I am very sure they wouldn’t know about this new device – period.

 

Finally, just out of fluke, I added an APN pointing to airtelgprs.com (leaving user name and password empty) and that’s it! Venue Pro picked up EDGE/GPRS signals (without restart) and it showed E at the top bar. Part of the problem got solved. Now, what about 3G? Well, I didn’t do anything except moving around in my living room holding the new phone and outside my home also just in case the signal was weak to catch 3G (as you might aware, 3G requires stronger signals compared to EDGE/GPRS and how strong it should be to pick up varies from device to device. From my experiment so far, iPhone 4 picks up 3G better compared to HTC Desire HD or Venue Pro at the exact same spot for the same SIM, assuming the signal strength didn’t vary while I was switching the SIM card between the devices :-)). Finally, at one point Venue Pro showed ‘H’ and made me smile! Well, I give the benefit of doubt to the Venue Pro blaming the signal strength. Just that my experience with iPhone 4 and HTC raised my expectation with Dell Venue Pro WP7.

 

Heck, WP7 doesn’t have a mechanism for device screen capture!! Hope Microsoft introduces it in the near future!!

 

Hope this info helps somebody.