Buying a SIM card in India

Getting a mobile phone in India is very easy and you can walk into any store and walk out with a GSM phone in minutes, depending on your budget. You will notice mobile vendors even in the airport terminal as you land in India. Unlike in most Western countries, mobile phones are not locked to the frequency of a single mobile service provider. If you have a dual, tri band, or quad band phone from your native country that works on 900 MHz or 1800 MHz, all you need to do is get it unlocked so that it will work in India. A dual SIM phone can meet your requirement easily, as all you have to do is insert a new prepaid Indian SIM card into the additional slot. If you’re planning to use a mobile phone in India only for voice calls and messaging, without accessing the Internet, then buying a phone in India is another option as a range of affordable GSM phones is available (prices starting from $25). Of course, getting a GSM smartphone is slightly more expensive. Make sure that you buy it from the mobile phone service company or an authorized reseller. Avoid buying a phone from a street vendor (irrespective of the price) as it could be stolen property, which could land you into a lot of trouble. In addition, it would have no warranty if it were to stop working. Getting a SIM cardWifi, even in the major cities can be painfully slow or intermittent. Of course, you can’t rule out the sense of insecurity you get, in case you are not connected. No auto-rickshaw driver can take you for a ride and hailing a radio cab or calling your hotel or travel agent can save you a bundle. Not to miss the social media updates that can add spice to your trip. However, getting a local SIM Card in India is not as easy as getting a mobile phone is. Due to security concerns, getting a SIM card in India requires foreign customers to furnish a lot of documents before you can get connected. Here’s the list! Original Passport Photocopy of your passport Photocopy of Indian visa Local Indian Address - Address where you will be staying Proof of your permanent home address in your native country Passport size photograph Local reference name and phone number (For instance, you can’t apply for a SIM Card in Delhi with a reference in Mumbai – it has to be a local number). Once your documents are in place, head over to the mobile network’s store. Finding a store in your immediate vicinity or with easy physical access is recommended, as chances are you may need to head back there if your connection doesn’t come through.