Jaib Pay Bhari: Telenor’s Free 3G Can Cost You Thousands of Rupees


Telenor’s trial 3G service, which is advertised as a free service, can actually cost you thousands of Rupees, especially if you are Telenor’s postpaid customer.

Since prepaid users usually don’t have several hundred rupees in their credit so chances of losing huge money are far lesser than the postpaid customers who are usually given a credit limit of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 or even Rs. 15,000 if they have IR activated on their numbers.

The news is that Telenor’s free 3G services can swallow your thousands of rupees in matter of hours, if not minutes.

We have received information from certain Telenor users who were charged thousands of rupees in just couple of hours for consuming 3G services.

This has happened despite a clear communication from Telenor that 3G services from the company will remain free during the trial duration, or till the commercial launch of 3G services.

In fact Irfan Wahab Khan, VP, Telenor Pakistan, had clearly mentioned during a press briefing on Friday that 3G services will remain free of cost during the trial duration.

How Customers are Charged for Free 3G Services?

If Telenor’s test 3G service is clearly free, then why customers are charged for the data usage? This remained an unresolved mystery for Telenor itself for several hours. Telenor in fact took good amount of time to investigate the issue to ultimately find the real reason behind such 3G data sessions that are charged by the billing system, even when 3G data sessions are free.

After intensive investigation, it was concluded by Telenor that if data-session is initiated in 2G environment and user travels into 3G environment without any session breakage then user will be charged for entire session at 2G rates or usual mobile internet rates, which are Rs. 18 per MB.

As we all know, 3G coverage at this point in time isn’t blanket and there are notable number of locations where 3G isn’t available.

In such cases, If user is in 2G zone and he/she initiates a data session that continues even when user enters in 3G Zone then the entire session is charged as per 2G rates, which obviously isn’t free.

The worse part is that since 3G data transfer rates are extremely high — and you can easily download tens of MBs in matters of minutes — the charges incurred by any such session may cross Rs. 1,000 with-in just few minutes.

This can be regarded as technical limitation for not logging a session as 3G session when user travels from a 2G zone into 3G zone with-in a session.

It is still unclear if this problem will persist in days to come or Telenor will be able to find a solution of this problem.


Also read: Ufone 3G Packages Get Leaked Ahead of Launch


How to Avoid 3G Over-Charging:

One way to avoid over-charging is to set you phone to use only 3G network. This can be done by selecting “3G” or “WCDMA” as network mode only. This way, your phone will never look for 2G data connection and only 3G data transfers will be allowed, which are currently free.


Also read: How to Activate 3G on your Phone [Tutorial]


This way, however, you may not be able to use data services where 3G isn’t available.

Just to add, if you have a data bundle activated then all the data consumption — with 3G or 2G — will be covered with-in your data bundle caps. Hence adding a data-bundle on your account will be a good idea to avoid any billing surprises.


We have confirmed with Ufone, and their handshakes between 2G and 3G are recognized properly. Hence data charging on 3G with Ufone is purely free.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • propakistani please modify it from How to Activate 3G on your Phone [Tutorial]
    as many can still loose money if they miss this article

  • 3G is totally free no one is being charged. If one of thousnd customer gets charged by billling system mistakenly or due to any bug. Then, Solution : Call 111-345-100 or 345 just tell the time and date to get the reversal of your charges.

    • The guy who was charged did the same but 345 was like, sir, we sorry we can’t do anything to help you.

      • Mr Aamir, you deleted my comment where i pointed out that the same is happening with all the operators and you should check if this is happening with other operators as well or not. You can delete this comment again :)

  • Im getting H+ signals on mobilink postpaid near F11 markaz ISB. As im a postpaid user im not sure if i should use it or not due to this billing scare. But on the other hand, Im an edge user so mobilink should inform their users that in case you are receiving 3g signals then dont use it or switch to GSM only in mobile settings etc.

    • I am using H+ on mobilink free of cost in G-8 islamabad. I am a prepaid user…

        • But bro here in G8 working gr8… I think some sims can use this. Because I have 2 sims its workng on 1 sim not on other… Its strange….

  • could u be anymore biased aamir?
    i do wonder btw tht y is it tht once v c Telenor Ads running on propakistani no such piece of skewed news shows up, as soon as the ads disappear one or another news of this sort pops up….blackmain or yellow journalism…eh?

  • I got charged and telenor was nice enough to reimburse but they did verify and took a day to reimburse so that wasn’t an issue for me.

  • Lame… I just saw and AD comment where propakistani was pointed and they deleted it. Face the reality.

  • i am using Mobilink free 3G and the speed is not that fast enough to download tens of mbs in minutes

  • I have used almost 15 to 20 GB of data since the free trial I have discovered ;)

  • Dear Warid Family Member. This is to update you that announcement regarding our new data technologies would be made soon in the days ahead.

    I got this message from warid today..

      • Dear Warid Family Member if you receive a call from 333/300/345/315 or a similar dial code, requesting you to portout, please inform us on 321/323.

        Hahah also got this message..

    • I also got the same text. Moreover I also got call from 0333 (Ufone Representative) asking me to port out to Ufone. We will give you this and this..bla bla bla :)

  • piece of crap!

    are just telenor subscribers facing this issue? I think all operators must be facing this one. oh btw technically speaking it shouldnt be marked as ‘Issue’; its just a limitation and there is a need to educate subscriber for this.

    So Propakistani i think its enough; time to change your name ;) ‘AntiTelenor Group’ :D

  • Simply 2 chases either you have postpaid and u exceeded ur monthly data limit u will be charged or u started in 2g session and move in to 3g area and start using 3g without data package, u will be charged. Else all is free enjoy :)

  • Mr Aamir, you deleted my comment where i pointed out that the same is
    happening with all the operators and you should check if this is
    happening with other operators as well or not. You can delete this comment again :)

      • bro i was watching the comments …..but deleting the comments is not fair specially when there was no abbusive language used…..i wonder now that thise site is taking side of some specific operator….

  • Have you checked it for other operators? The same is happening for other operators as well. Are you going to delete this comment too Mr. Aamir?

  • Early adaption always costs :) .. though Telenor should reimbursed its customers for this accidental overcharge.

  • I am a Warid Postpaid user. But when I heard about Telenor free 3G trial, then I also inserted Telwnor SIM and within 30 seconds there were no 100 rupees balance in my account. What I was checking only speed via SPEEDTEST app. :)

  • I am using it from 23rd April 2014 till now, they haven’t charged me till now, this post gave me something to worry…I was using it for free like abba ji ka maal :D

  • “””The worse part is that since 3G data transfer rates are extremely high”””

    Really? Is it that worse?

    • Amazing! Masterpiece! Incridible!! Outstanding!! Do you have any other word to express my feeling :D

  • And don’t be so cheapo yar just buy a bundle..this way you’ll be using 3g with 2g rates..i use it that way so whenever my internet turns to 3g i dont have to shut it off and then turn it on..

  • Mr. Aamir Atta, renowned blogger from ProPakistani sharing his views at the Press Conference.

    “I am looking forward to this transition. 3G/4G services will surely
    impact our lives and economy positively and this is what we need in
    order to stay in the race. Congratulations to Zong the first and only
    telecom operator in Pakistan for acquiring 4G license.”

  • Mr. Aamir Atta, renowned blogger from ProPakistani.pk sharing his views at the Press Conference.

    “I am looking forward to this transition. 3G/4G services will surely
    impact our lives and economy positively and this is what we need in
    order to stay in the race. Congratulations to Zong the first and only
    telecom operator in Pakistan for acquiring 4G license.”

  • Not true i used it on my laptop n mobile also and its totaly free. I use around 0.5Gb in 1 week. And charged nothing by Telenor

  • Why Propakistani always sounds anti Telenor?????? Amir Atta plz b unbiased while discussing such scenarios unless U r paid to do so. The scenario U have mentioned applies to all operators currently offering 3G unless and until charging is based on volume of data used; as handovers are allowed from 2G to 3G for better customer experience and improved service especially in case of video call or video live streaming. So to mention telenor explicitly sounds biased as this will happen to all operators allowing handover from 2G to 3G.

  • Telenor is offering best 3G user experience, have been testing in ISB for 3 days now and no charging….I am loving it Thank you Telenor!

  • ufone wale be use per paise charge kr rahy hai, mere sath be asa he hoa, aur jab complaint ke aur kuch jawab ni un ka pass.

  • Kabhi aisa nhi hota k cellular company ko nuqsan hua ho. Nuqsan hamesha costomer ka hi hota hay. Yeh kaisay iss tarah ka software banatay hain?

  • could be avoided on double simm phone where one simm 1 is for 3G and 2 for 2G. majority users are qmobile and many with other double simm phones.

  • Telenor is also charging at many other places without telling the true case at promotions and also the promotional messages are not correctly worded. They intentionally hide few key points and get your attention and after wards you know that it was a “Hand” with you…

  • I was awere of this problem & i used my phone only in wcdma mode instead of auto so this problem didnot effect me. Thanks for my intelligence

  • propakistani or more like proUfone???
    I disagree with a lot policies of Telenor Pakistan as I am currently working on this project! but these kind of incidents are not just limited to Telenor. My friend uses 3G of Ufone and was charged Rs. 900 for just a few hours data connection. When he complained to Ufone care, the response provided was: “Ufone 3G internet is not free on all numbers. Selected numbers are getting free trial service.”

  • I dont understand that why you always support U-FONE and leaving all the other telco’s behind?

    while auction, you put ufone speed to 18 Mbps and then Zong and Mobilink but u never mentioned about what speed Telenor is offering or providing during that test? please answer for such discrimination and also such a biased behavior????

    Waiting for a positive response and equal level of behavior from your side to all telco’s.


  • where do u live and how do u read my comments…I am a ptcl user not employee… and what’s wrong in this comment…

  • Hell with Telenor; I had activated free MBs bundle (3 days 150 MBs) and I was using edge because 3g is not working in my district. I started using internet after confirmation of free MBs and after two days I checked my credit; and it had fallen from 600 to 30 rs. I had not made any long distance calls or anything else. and then I checked; and still had a few free MBs from the internet bundle I had activated. these guys are the biggest thieves; im switching to mobilink because that is the only other option I have here.

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