Which card works best in India

How do I get a SIM card for India?


How do I get an Indian sim card? What do I have to consider? Costs?

It is not easy to get an Indian SIM card. If you know how to do it and invest a little time, you will soon be there. You just have to pay attention to certain things and meet a few requirements.

Where can I get the SIM card from?

At first I was a bit lost until I got the crucial tip. It is true that many shops have the inscription of the Indian mobile phone providers such as Vodafone or Airtel. In these shops you can top up existing SIM cards, but you won't get a new card here. For this you have to contact the directly Shops contact the respective provider. I did a little research here and learned that Vodafone should be the best choice. Both in terms of coverage and pricing.

What documents and information do I have to show?

When you arrive at the shop, you first get a number like at the doctor's. You can then use the number on a display to see when it is your turn at which switch.
Then you can choose an envelope with a phone number from a box and then just have to wait for your turn. A display then shows when your number is on and which counter you have to turn to. It can take a while. I waited about three quarters of an hour. You have to show the following:

  • Passport with a valid visa
  • Passport photo, if you don't have one with you, a photo will be taken of you in the shop. Was free with me.
  • Indication of your Indian address and a contact person there. So write down the hotel address and preferably the name of an employee there
  • Completed form with your details

Then you will receive an activation call a few hours later (they will explain this to you in detail in the shop) and you can then get started.

Costs and packages

Making calls in India is an extremely cheap proposition. For a period of one month I got a package which included the following services:

  • unlimited call minutes within India
  • unlimited number of SMS within India
  • 1.5 GB daily data volume
  • Price: 229, - rupees that corresponds to the equivalent of 2.85 EURO (as of January 2019)

So the SIM card is really very cheap. I can only recommend you to get such a card. In my experience, the WLAN in most budget accommodations is not very efficient and the data volume of the card is more than sufficient, even for frequent surfers. The network coverage in India is excellent, by the way.

What else should I consider?

After 14 days I discovered that my card suddenly stopped working. I was a little at a loss and by chance I found out what was going on. I had Data roaming turned off because I didn't want to call abroad. But it doesn't work with the card anyway. In India, the card is generally valid throughout the country. Outside of the state where you bought the card, you can only use Data roaming access. This is a little unusual, but otherwise has no effect and the tariff you buy applies nationwide. Provided Roaming is activated.

Extend SIM tariff

You will be informed in good time, proactively via SMS about the expiry of your card. The extension is then no longer a problem at all. You just go to any dealer who has the Vodafon logo on their shop. The extension is then carried out within a few minutes. The tariffs are constantly changing. In the second month, I only paid 199 rupees for a better package. Your tariff ends automatically when your visa expires. If possible, you should really only renew shortly before the SIM card expires. The tariff starts on the day of the extension, so if you had days left, they will expire. A renewed activation call is not necessary.

How do I get a SIM card for India?