SIM card available at delhi airport?

#1 Jan 18th, 2007, 05:58
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#1
might anyone know whether it's possible to buy an airtel SIM card (or other SIM card that will work in delhi, sikkim and west bengal) within or immediately near the delhi international airport?

more than you need to know, but to save unnecessary Q & A: i arrive in the evening and fly out domestically the following morning, staying very close to both airports just for the night. if i can't get one in/at the airport, can i expect to encounter someplace i can within a few kilometers of there, on the way to the hotel? (ashok country resort, rajokri road, kapashera, new delhi [but it's actually in the 'burb of gargoan -sp?]; or so i'm told)

i'd like to be able to make calls between my arrival in delhi and my arrival in gangtok, sikkim, but at no time between the two places do i expect to be anywhere other than the air, the airport hotel, or an airport: delhi int'l, delhi domestic, and then bagdogra, where i get right into a helicopter, weather permitting, for a flight to gangtok. yes, if necessary, i can wait until i reach gangtok, but would prefer to be connected sooner if possible - the folks on the homefront are fretting already.

lastly, if there are some sort of administrative hoops to jump through (copy of passport, visa, photos, addresses, etc), can i expect to do that even in the very late evening of my arrival in delhi, say, 11 pm-ish?

thanks, as always.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. ~Helen Keller [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
#2 Jan 18th, 2007, 08:53
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#2
I do not think you will get a simcard at the international airport. Not 100% sure, though

A lot of small stores sell simcards... but if late evening near the airport...
you could try the Mahipalpur area, which is maybe a kilometer or two off your track to the hotel. Or, you could call/email the hotel now and check if sim cards willbe available in the vicinity late evening . This is a better option; I don't recommend getting down from the cab and looking around for sim cards, leaving bags unattended in the cab.

I am not familiar with this hotel and its surroundings, and though there are a few shops on the main road after the Shiva statue, I dont know if they will keep sim cards.

Another good option may be to contact the hotel now and ask them if they can arrange a simcard for you on arrival. They may make some money on this.

Make sure the card is registered and working. Sometimes it can take a day or so to activate the card.

This (presume you are looking at prepaid) card should have automatic roaming which will work anywhere. It will be more expensive to use than buying a card in the area you are going to spend most of your time, though.
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Last edited by capt_mahajan; Jan 21st, 2007 at 20:51..
#3 Jan 18th, 2007, 09:42
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thanks, cap'n. the hotel is dispatching someone to pick me up at the airport - in violation of backpacker rules for an "authentic" experience, i'm sure! assuming i can't get any help from the hotel by phone (they aren't terribly responsive to email generally, and the phone poses the problems of which you already know, but i will certainly try), would it be reasonable to ask the driver to stop someplace and have HIM go in and get me a card? presumably, he's wish to be compensated, of no import to me. i just want a working phone (you know, to call you from the bottom of that ravine we discussed!)
#4 Jan 18th, 2007, 09:49
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If the hotel is picking you up, what you say is the best option.
He will also know the best place to go en route.

Good luck.
#5 Jan 21st, 2007, 19:40
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captain,

i believe i've had the serendipitous gift of a perfect solution! another IM member came through new york last evening (i believe he's walking in a bitter-cold central park as i write, on a gloriously sunny morning under a cloudless blue sky. !) he took my GSM phone and will have it all fixed up with a SIM card, tested for functioning, and awaiting me at my hotel when i arrive in delhi! i'm greatly relieved. as you know from other threads, especially as a solo traveler, having my phone in working order right off is important to me. this is a great relief, especially for a telecommunications technophobe.

this presents still another of many reasons i've had to say THANK YOU indiamike, for being such a special and generous community. and more specifically, of course, THANK YOU to this most kind and generous member.
#6 Jan 21st, 2007, 20:00
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wonderful!

maybe this site should be indiaweb, but they are selling apartments in Bangalore
#7 Jan 21st, 2007, 20:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan maybe this site should be indiaweb, but they are selling apartments in Bangalore
sorry, i don't understand.
#8 Jan 21st, 2007, 20:05
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indiaweb because the indiamike "web" sorted out your phone issues.

but there is already a site with that name selling apartments.

sorry, err, poor attempt at humour before coffee.
#9 Jan 21st, 2007, 20:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan but there is already a site with that name selling apartments.

sorry, err, poor attempt at humour before coffee.
ah, got it!

and a little slow on the uptake over here, too, as i've just taken my typhoid vaccine capsule and must wait and hour before having any coffee!

my eyes are glued to the clock, counting down the minutes to my sweet brew.....

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