SIM card for tourists in Mumbai? At the airport?

#1 Jan 5th, 2018, 19:59
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#1
Hello!

I'll be in Mumbai for a few weeks at the end of January and I was wondering if anyone has recent knowledge of how to get a SIM card as soon as possible? Are there Kiosks at the airport one can pick up SIM cards at?

I mostly just need data connectivity so I can call Ubers.

(I've read the post on getting a SIM card but since rules and regs change so often and that post appears to be from 2013-2014 I thought I would inquire if anyone had gotten one recently)

I also read about a scheme where they were giving out free BSNL SIM cards to people with evisas at the delhi airport and that the scheme was going to be spread to Mumbai as well but then...nothing.

Grateful for any info!
#2 Jan 6th, 2018, 05:55
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Am very interested in this (have posted elsewhere on IM), though currently unable to offer much more useful info, I'm afraid.

However, passing through Mumbai (airport) in next few days, unfortunately in the middle of the night.
Am expecting any kiosk - should one exist - will probably not be open .

Failing that, I will be looking for somewhere to (perhaps) help me with sorting out getting hold of one of these .....
Quote:
Bharti Airtel has recently launched its prepaid recharge plan for Rs 448.

The plan offers unlimited calls (both local and STD) along with 1 GB internet data per day for 70 days.

Either way, if I have any luck (and have access to 2g/3G or 4g or wifi ) I will post .

Mark
#3 Jan 6th, 2018, 06:57
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There are other recent posts on this. They do not "give out" free sims, you have to find the BSNL desk and apply for a SIM. Since BSNL is not good for data (they have no 4G), and non-free SIMs from other companies cost only few Rupees, there is no reason to seek out this free benefit.

Note that 4G requires that your phone support the necessary 4G band (band 40 for Airtel, band 3 for Vodafone, multiple bands for Jio).
#4 Jan 8th, 2018, 18:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marktrigg View Post
Failing that, I will be looking for somewhere to (perhaps) help me with sorting out getting hold of one of these .....

Either way, if I have any luck (and have access to 2g/3G or 4g or wifi ) I will post .

Mark
Thank you for the info Mark, yes, the airtel plan looks perfect with the 1gig data. I'll keep an eye out for that as well!


Quote:
Originally Posted by RPG View Post There are other recent posts on this. They do not "give out" free sims, you have to find the BSNL desk and apply for a SIM. Since BSNL is not good for data (they have no 4G), and non-free SIMs from other companies cost only few Rupees, there is no reason to seek out this free benefit.
Hi RPG, yup, my phone has the necessary hardware to access the various bands.

Do you have experience with the applying for a SIM at the BSNL desk IN MUMBAI, specifically? One that is linked to your evisa?

Like I mentioned in the OP, I've found posts of people getting BSNL sim cards at IGIA in delhi. The advantage of these is that they come preloaded with a bit of data and calling credit (50 bucks?) so you can use the connection to add more credit but more importantly, since it is linked to your information for the evisa already, you don't have to wait for your SIM to be activated, which can apparently take anywhere from a few hours a few days and you don't need the passport copy and passport photo etc etc. So, you skip a few headaches.

However, I saw one report of this no longer being offered at IGIA and no reports at all of this facility ever being started, let alone terminated at the Mumbai international airport.

Hence the post.

Bummer about BSNL not having 4G.
What service provider do you recommend for good data coverage in Mumbai?
#5 Jan 8th, 2018, 21:38
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Hi,

I bought an airtel sim Oct 2017 in Chennai city, not airport, for Rs.25, but had to give photo, passport and visa photocopy, along with application form. 24 hour wait for activation.

I believe these hurdles are to limit anonymous phone use, with an eye to combat potential terrorism.

There may be "instant sims" available in India, the above was my only experience!

Ed.
#6 Jan 9th, 2018, 02:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blingh View Post ...more importantly, since it is linked to your information for the evisa already, you don't have to wait for your SIM to be activated, which can apparently take anywhere from a few hours a few days and you don't need the passport copy and passport photo etc etc. So, you skip a few headaches.
Source?
#7 Jan 9th, 2018, 19:19
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Google-foo, where are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post Hi,

I bought an airtel sim Oct 2017 in Chennai city, not airport, for Rs.25, but had to give photo, passport and visa photocopy, along with application form. 24 hour wait for activation.

Ed.
Thank you for the info Ed. Barring additional inputs from someone who has managed to buy a sim card from any company or get a BSNL sim card at the airport, I suspect I'm going to have to go through the same procedure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RPG View Post Source?
Hi RPG,

1) here is a link to an article in the hindustan times and bgr.in (?)
2) here is the Ministry of Tourism press release about the same
3) here is more information on the Swiss Indian embassy website

And here is a link to the actual approval of guidelines for offering the sims to evids holders with less verification steps (See number 18) and a link to the pdf document showing the guidelines as approved by the Government of India's department of Telecom.

#8 Jan 10th, 2018, 19:58
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#8

Had some fun & games with this ... 

Arrived Mumbai Airport ...  never saw any desk for sourcing a SIM.

### Below, is a description of how I got on trying to buy or source a SIM ###

Staying in Bandra E (Mumbai); was advised to try Vodaphone shop in Bandra West so walked over there.

Saw an Airtel shop so enquired about buying a SIM ... “Oh no sir, no new numbers” (for visitors, though no problem if topping up existing one) followed by suggestions involving taxi rides and going to other parts of Mumbai

In the Vodaphone shop was told it may be possible, but there’d be a half hour wait to see someone who would be able to tell me how much it might be.

On way back to hotel, a small phone shop would not sell me a SIM.

Now in Pune, a ‘Jio’ shop said ‘no SIM for me’ (visitor) but directed me to ‘Idea’ (a few doors away) where I was offered a 4G SIM  at 1gb per day, Indian calls & some texts included, valid for 70 days.

They kept looking for my visa (& I kept opening it at my visa page) so they showed me a (what I think was a tourist) visa in someone’s passport and asked if I had one like that. Some telephoning around for advice ensued, with me pointing mine is an e-visa, (different).

Eventual outcome, big form, passport photocopied, pp photo provided, multiple signatures (none of which were near enough to the one in my pp for them) and I left with an Indian SIM in my phone.

Now got to wait (up to 24 hours) for SIM to be activated, at which point must call an activation number and quote the last four digits of my pp id.

#9 Jan 10th, 2018, 20:10
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#9
Hi,

The eventual process was pretty similar to mine in Chennai. I went back to the shop that sold me the sim after 24 hrs and got them to activate it for me. I was afraid that I might mess up the activation. They did it for me ok, thankfully!

Ed.
#10 Jan 10th, 2018, 22:05
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#10

That sounds almost encouraging, Ed  ..... 🙂 .

Had this been my first stop, it probably  would have been  considered ‘really easy’ or ‘really straightforward’  !!


(Of course, that will all depend on activation going smoothly and the plan actually working)

#11 Jan 10th, 2018, 22:08
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Apologies for the garbled characters ; was a smiley (must be from the wrong character set).

#12 Jan 11th, 2018, 17:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marktrigg View Post I was offered a 4G SIM at 1gb per day, Indian calls & some texts included, valid for 70 days.They kept looking for my visa (& I kept opening it at my visa page) so they showed me a (what I think was a tourist) visa in someone’s passport and asked if I had one like that. Some telephoning around for advice ensued, with me pointing mine is an e-visa, (different).Eventual outcome, big form, passport photocopied, pp photo provided, multiple signatures (none of which were near enough to the one in my pp for them) and I left with an Indian SIM in my phone.Now got to wait (up to 24 hours) for SIM to be activated, at which point must call an activation number and quote the last four digits of my pp id.
Thank you marktrigg!

We'll be passing through the bombay airport next week, so I'll update if can manage to find a sim card at the airport, but from this thread and your experience it really sounds like I'm just going to have to try my luck at every store until I luck out.
#13 Jan 14th, 2018, 22:47
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#13

Activation in the end took 24 hrs and more ...


First (towards around 12 hours passed) I had some activity on phone and got a txt from the service provider, but then it had no network coverage, so I could do nothing more.


Next morning coverage was back (around 20 hours passed) and managed to do the confirming sequence, after which I could receive calls but not make them.


Eventually managed to get all the phone’s settings right (bearing in mind this had already been set up at the shop) and get online; WhatsApp was working (a great way to message in India or internationally) and I could get online. 


Confirmation txts were arriving well after 24hrs passed, but SIM is now delivering ...


( Just today I have managed to use my (Android) phone with Indian SIM to  ‘hotspot’for my iPhone ).


Good luck ; all the main providers *should* be able to help you (though clearly some prefer to say ‘no&rsquo  ...

#14 Feb 2nd, 2018, 21:13
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by marktrigg View Post Am very interested in this (have posted elsewhere on IM), though currently unable to offer much more useful info, I'm afraid.

However, passing through Mumbai (airport) in next few days, unfortunately in the middle of the night.
Am expecting any kiosk - should one exist - will probably not be open .

Failing that, I will be looking for somewhere to (perhaps) help me with sorting out getting hold of one of these .....



Either way, if I have any luck (and have access to 2g/3G or 4g or wifi ) I will post .

Mark
HI Msrktrigg,
Did you get sorted with a SIM at the airport ? Im also trying to unlock a phone ( has more battery power than my original one ) any info is much appreciated. Ill be travelling in a few days
rosie
#15 Feb 2nd, 2018, 21:15
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oops just reading your replies now . thank you

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