SIM cards for India
redleader
India > India Travel Basics > India Travel > Electronics in India
#1
| Crown Prince of San Leandro

SIM cards for India

I have a GSM phone and plan on using an India SIM chip while I'm there. I tried looking to purchase one in advance online. I was able to do this last year for a trip to Hong Kong, by buying a SIM chip online, so that it ready as soon as the plane landed. Of course, when I got out of the plane, I found that SIM chips were sold everywhere, including vending machines, for a fraction of what I paid online.

So is this the case in india as well? I'm ariving in Dehli and will be in northern india most of the time. So far, the online SIM chips I've found for sale online from suppliers are chips that are based in Mumbai.
have a happy day!

100 Replies

#2
| Loud Noisy Bird
Unless you have desparate need to be 'in touch' the instant you arrive, just go shopping for your SIM when you get there.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#3
| Up in the hills with my head in the clouds...
SIM cards are available everywhere.

You will pay a "roaming charge" for receiving calls when you are in a different state from that in which you bought the card, so if you are travelling in India for a while you may be better off buying several cards as you move from state to state.

SMS charges to an overseas phone are normally about Rs.3/- to Rs.3.5 so you can easily let people know your new number.
#4
| Senior Member
Apparently you need a passport photo with your application for a prepay sim card (well at my local phone shop they do now).
#5
| Up in the hills with my head in the clouds...
If it's a problem, just ask your rickshaw driver to get the sim card for you!
#6
| Loud Noisy Bird
Before I left there were adds in the papers telling that those of us who didn't give proof of identity when getting our SIMS had to send it in. I hope my Sim still works when I get back!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#7
| Maha Guru Member
Why do they need proof of identity for a prepaid sim? :confused:
#8
| A Trekker
Previously, in case of prepaid SIM, if address proof & Identity proof was not submitted while buying it, they used to give connection to the SIM for 48 hrs with SMS reminders to submit that within that period or else the SIM will be disconnected. It could be reactivated after submitting address proof.

Now, the rule is more strict, to prevent use of cell phone by terrorists. They don't give connection to the SIM just after buying from a shop. Connection is withheld untill the address proof is submitted to service provider's office.

Nick-H, your SIM have been deativated and You have lost the no.(most probably), because they do not keep activated any SIM or do not keep that perticular no. reserved for you after non-payment for 3months.
TREKorDIE:
" BECAUSE IT IS THERE ! ! ! "
#9
| Loud Noisy Bird
Indian-Government-Control-Freak-ery.

mind you, I wouldn;t be surprised to see the same thing in US/UK: the throw-away anonimity of a prepaid SIM is a gift to the, err, not-so-honest

I paid enough on my SIM to have it active until January, I think. I never gave my address at all! But the guy who sold it to me is a friend, so maybe he put down his address; I don't know.

Oh well, if I have to get a new one.....
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#10
| Crown Prince of San Leandro
in the U.S. SIM cards are not popular at all outside of international travellers. You won't find any prepaid cards in any stores here, everyone just uses the card included with the phone. Most don't even know they have a SIM card.

But when I went to HK, they were sold everywhere including vending machines in the subway as well as 7-11 stores. I assume in India they are not purchased as easily and you have to actually go into an actual phone dealer type store and fill out forms....or, that's what it seems like.
have a happy day!
#11
| Maha Guru Member

Originally posted by: redleaderin the U.S. SIM cards are not popular at all outside of international travellers. You won't find any prepaid cards in any stores here, everyone just uses the card included with the phone. Most don't even know they have a SIM card.



Most of the cell phones in the US work on CDMA/TDMA and not GSM and as such they do not have a SIM card. The technology is completely different.
#12
| Member
What you need for identity,

1. Your US driving license should be fine. IF that is not accepted then show your passport.
2. Local address give your hotel address.
3. As far as going to the fone dealer, you'll find more fone dealers in most of the cities than gas stations in the US.

regards
sk

Originally posted by: redleaderin the U.S. SIM cards are not popular at all outside of international travellers. You won't find any prepaid cards in any stores here, everyone just uses the card included with the phone. Most don't even know they have a SIM card.

But when I went to HK, they were sold everywhere including vending machines in the subway as well as 7-11 stores. I assume in India they are not purchased as easily and you have to actually go into an actual phone dealer type store and fill out forms....or, that's what it seems like.

#13
| Chai Chai Chaiiiiiaaaa!
This is an interesting topic, I am taking a mobile phone and have read a little about the Indian networks... But really I don't know which one to go with...

Can anyone suggest the best network?

I'll be starting in Delhi and going north or Hemechel Pradesh, then Rajastan, Goa, Kerala and then onto Tamil Nadu where I expect to spend several months doing Aidwork... 6 months in total... So if it's best to buy in the place I'll spend the most time in... I won't have it until the last couple months!

Are SIM's cheap enough to buy one in each major destination? Or cheap enough to pay extra roaming charges everywhere else?

What's the best way then? :confused:
#14
| Loud Noisy Bird
So long as you don't need to maintain the same number, buy as you go. They are cheap.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#15
| Dennis & Graeme

Best sim card for India

From another Thread:
BSNL/MTNL prepaid cards include nationwide roaming without rent charged for the roaming facility
...................................................

Originally posted by: th3_saintThis is an interesting topic, I am taking a mobile phone and have read a little about the Indian networks... But really I don't know which one to go with...

Can anyone suggest the best network?

I'll be starting in Delhi and going north or Hemechel Pradesh, then Rajastan, Goa, Kerala and then onto Tamil Nadu where I expect to spend several months doing Aidwork... 6 months in total... So if it's best to buy in the place I'll spend the most time in... I won't have it until the last couple months!

Are SIM's cheap enough to buy one in each major destination? Or cheap enough to pay extra roaming charges everywhere else?

What's the best way then? :confused: