Getting Sim Card in Chennai (Airport)

#1 Dec 12th, 2008, 04:30
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#1
Does anyone know if you can get a sim card (for foreigner) on arrival at the airport. I understand I would need to furnish at least a copy of ID pages from passport - anything else.


It Air Tel have outlet there what time does it close?

How long should one anticipate the transaction taking place either at Airport or at one of Air Tel's offices in town?

Thank you
Albert
#2 Dec 12th, 2008, 04:48
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#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by wabat View Post Does anyone know if you can get a sim card (for foreigner) on arrival at the airport.
Yes. If you are lucky and they're not feeling lazy. After the AirTel guys at Delhi airport insisted there was no such thing as the product I wanted I gave up in disgust and went to a main office instead.
Quote:
I understand I would need to furnish at least a copy of ID pages from passport - anything else.
Passport photo, address you're staying in India, copy of visa. At the AirTel office they took their own copies of my passport and visa, but the airport kiosk may not have their own copier.
Quote:
How long should one anticipate the transaction taking place either at Airport or at one of Air Tel's offices in town?
Office in town, going on past experience (twice) at least half to three quarters of an hour. This included them getting the SIM card registered and working.

Ideally you'll be in the area for at least a week until it's confirmed, or it might get cut off. See other threads for more information about that, it's all a bit complicated and it's late at night here!
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#3 Dec 12th, 2008, 08:30
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#3
Chennai aint Delhi!

The only thing open when we came through recently was Duty Free, no one at Forex, though I believe there is an ATM nearby, no sign of any sim card providers.

Go into town.
#4 Dec 12th, 2008, 08:58
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#4
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Originally Posted by Haylo View Post
Ideally you'll be in the area for at least a week until it's confirmed, or it might get cut off.
Thank you for advice. Above is off course the big issue for most travellers I will be staying noowhere for more than a few days ...you would have though they would appreciate this for foreign tourists and be able to accomodate...notwithstanding the security issues.
#5 Dec 12th, 2008, 13:46
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#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsg View Post Chennai aint Delhi!
Sincere apologies for the wrong information, I was sure I'd heard that there were AirTel booths at all airports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabat View Post I will be staying noowhere for more than a few days.
You may need to get back to the office you bought it from to complete the paperwork again. Even though I bought my SIM direct from an AirTel Relationship Centre itself, and completed all the forms, and even though I phoned them after receiving every warning text and was assured it wasn't a problem because they definitely had my paperwork, my first SIM was cut off as I was in the airport on the last day of my trip, because they had failed to register it with the authorities.
#6 Dec 16th, 2008, 11:20
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#6

sim card

You'll also need a photo. Given that cell phones were used in the Mumbai attacks my guess is that they'll be even stricter about ID and proof of residence. In no way did I get the sense in early October that I could get a SIM card without showing a lease or confirmation of a residence in India. Visa pages in my passport weren't enough. In fact, the Airtel people wouldn't sell a SIM card to my husband because his name isn't on our lease.
#7 Dec 10th, 2009, 22:10
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#7

Can a tourist buy a prepaid sim card ?

Hi guys,

I am confused over the issue. Can I, as a tourist, buy a prepaid sim card in Chennai to use for a couple of weeks? I plan to do so upon arrival. Is it a straightforward process, or ..?

Thanks in advance for the help!
#8 Dec 11th, 2009, 05:43
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#8
Lots of discussion on another forum http://www.indiamike.com/india/elect...etworks-t8434/
#9 Dec 11th, 2009, 17:25
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#9

Wow!

Amazing details. Thanks for the pointer mate.
#10 Mar 11th, 2013, 00:19
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#10
I arrived in Chennai airport on March 8, 2013 in the International terminal (from Sri Lanka) and there wasn't a single SIM card vendor to be found in the entire airport. Not before customs, nor after. I had to jump through a LOT of hoops to try and get a SIM card and after 3 days I finally got an Airtel card and the 3G data is quite fast here in Chennai.

I bought my already activated SIM with 2GB of data for 1200 rupees at: Shree Telecom which is located in Spencer Plaza (most tuk-tuk drivers will know where that is). The shop is at S-67-D, Phase 2 on Floor 2. Phone # 044 4217 4074

They can also get you other SIM cards from other providers, and you can save about 900 rupees if you don't get the pre-activated SIM but you'll have to jump through hoops and cut through the red tape, and for me it just wasn't worth it anymore after spending an entire day going back and forth to try and meet all the requirements.

Another option that seems like a pretty good lead was the store called UniverCell, they were prepared to sell me a Vodafone SIM that would be activated in 3 days with just a passport -- no need for an extra photo, or any letter from the hotel, etc....
#11 Aug 8th, 2016, 19:38
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#11
Bumping this thread after three years.....

What about now?

Buying at airport I mean....
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#12 Aug 9th, 2016, 07:11
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#12
I came through a few weeks back, no sight of Telco sales -- i had one eye on the roof watching for falling panels -- the new area nice simple design, but fully filthy, what a shame, its a bloody disgrace.
Not an inviting area to do any sort of business. -- all foreigners get 90 day tourist sim, it takes 24 hours to activate, sometimes a few hours less.
#13 Oct 19th, 2016, 09:05
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#13

Seeking more details on SIM Card purchase at Chennai Airport

Arriving at close to midnight on Fri Oct 21.

Staying in Chennai - Sat., Sun. and half of Mon.

Travelling to Udaipur Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs.

Travelling to Delhi Thurs. Fri

Leaving India on Fri.

How likely is it that I will be able to buy a SIM card on Friday night and what exactly do I need to do this?
Copy of Passport
Copy of Visa
Address details

Anything else?

Cheers,
K. Mick
#14 Oct 19th, 2016, 12:18
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#14
I flew out of Chennai airport last week ( international flight ), and i still couldn't see anywhere to buy a sim.
There is other threads about foreigners buying sims in India, best read them.
I have bought 4 new sims in the last 10 months in Chennai, because the foreigner sims only last 90 days, and all of those purchases required proof of where i was staying, and to activate it i had to give the number of a local friend who could vouch for me -- the third sim i bought took 4 days to activate, and had to visit the sim shop multiple times, so the last place i would buy a sim would be at the airport, unless of course i was staying at the airport !!!!
If you are only here for a week, it could be difficult, maybe you should stick to global roaming.
It's certainly not like last year when i flew into Colombo, where i grabbed a tailored foreigner sim pack, from one of a dozen telco desks, processed in 5 minutes and was up and running by the time i got to my hotel in the city.
#15 Oct 19th, 2016, 15:30
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#15

Talking

Yes, hopefully India will soon invent the mobile phone.

GoanGoan......here & there..Goa

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