Best All-India SIM (pre-paid) card for Mobile/Cell Phone

#1 Jan 14th, 2009, 21:29
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  • peaceonearth1 is offline
#1
Hello Folks

We will be visiting India later this month and will be there until end of Feb.

We would like to obtain SIM cards for our tri-band GSM phones that will enable us to stay in touch with each other as well as others locally while we move around Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Ajanta, Ellora, Rajisthan, Agra and Delhi.

Any suggestions as to which would be the best company, and best pre-paid plan, given that we would like to minimize roaming charges. Seems many of the companies, like Vodafone, Reliance, Airtel are great for one area but not so good for all over the country.

We understand that they may be some difficulties for foreigners to obtain SIM cards but we can work with our local friends to overcome this "problem".

Thanks!
#2 Jan 14th, 2009, 21:41
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#2
I've wondered the same thing as one year from now I'll be traveling from south to north and back again.
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#3 Jan 14th, 2009, 22:41
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#3

Wink

Would suggest re-visiting the topic at that time as a lot can change in a year.

For example, Reliance announced their new GSM network at the tail end of December which will complement their existing CDMA network around the country.

Who knows what changes/advances a year will bring??


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#4 Jan 14th, 2009, 22:46
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#4
Go for Airtel. It has a pan-India presence and the best network going at present.
#5 Jan 15th, 2009, 09:37
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Airtel is also the largest of the GSM providers as well. You can check out the various providers, coverage, and bands they use here - and the information is fairly accurate.
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#6 Jan 15th, 2009, 19:40
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceonearth1 View Post Hello Folks

We will be visiting India later this month and will be there until end of Feb.

We would like to obtain SIM cards for our tri-band GSM phones that will enable us to stay in touch with each other as well as others locally while we move around Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai, Ajanta, Ellora, Rajisthan, Agra and Delhi.

Any suggestions as to which would be the best company, and best pre-paid plan, given that we would like to minimize roaming charges. Seems many of the companies, like Vodafone, Reliance, Airtel are great for one area but not so good for all over the country.

We understand that they may be some difficulties for foreigners to obtain SIM cards but we can work with our local friends to overcome this "problem".

Thanks!
Obtaining sim cards is no problem. You just have to provide ID to purchase one. Same goes for Indians. In this age of paranoia over terrorists - it's a requirement. Actually I believe same is true in Europe. I started using phones in India about 7 years ago. My wife has a habit of wandering off in intensely crowded places without saying anything and I find myself wondering where the heck she's gone. With the phone I can let her wander and not worry we're going to miss a bus or a train.
#7 Jan 16th, 2009, 04:29
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#7
We just returned from a trip to North India (Delhi/Rajasthan/Gujarat). It was no problem to purchase a SIM card for Airtel, but be aware you are required to have a passport photo and copy of your passport, though some places will do this for you. Airtel had great coverage pretty much everywhere we traveled. You will pay a Rs 1/min charge for roaming outside of the state where you purchased the card. This includes Delhi, so if you purchase your card in Delhi, you will pay roaming everywhere else. Word of warning- we were initially scammed in Delhi by a shop in Paharganj who promised that the SIM card would be activated "soon", which actually meant "never," after we handed over $$ for the card + recharge.
The card is always activated instantaneously after the vendor communicates your recharge amount to the company, and the same is true for any recharge transactions. Don't hand over any money until you get a text message showing the amount of credit in your account, and don't fall for the line that "network is busy so activation will happen later." I think we paid about Rs 99 for the SIM, then you have to pay on top of that for credit. It is not a 1:1 rupees:minutes transaction.
#8 Jan 17th, 2009, 18:00
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#8
No Airtel, Vodafone, Tata or Relianace if you want coverage everywhere in India take BSNL and BSNL only.
#9 Jan 17th, 2009, 18:05
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by karnail View Post No Airtel, Vodafone, Tata or Relianace if you want coverage everywhere in India take BSNL and BSNL only.
Airtel gives very good coverage across the country. The quality of connectivity is vastly superior to BSNL.
(I've used both networks).
#10 Jan 19th, 2009, 00:35
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#10
I will be in Kerala and TAmil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh for 4 weeks 1/26-2/23.
Anyone know of the best, cheapest cell phone and service I should buy?
I'd prefer to have a phone while there.

Thanks!
Stephen
#11 Feb 1st, 2010, 01:35
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#11

wife in crowded places

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keshava View Post Obtaining sim cards is no problem. You just have to provide ID to purchase one. Same goes for Indians. In this age of paranoia over terrorists - it's a requirement. Actually I believe same is true in Europe. I started using phones in India about 7 years ago. My wife has a habit of wandering off in intensely crowded places without saying anything and I find myself wondering where the heck she's gone. With the phone I can let her wander and not worry we're going to miss a bus or a train.
Hello are we married to the same woman ?

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