Which data sim card to buy for travel to India

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If you travel to India and don’t want to run out of internet or pay a crazy roaming bill, the smartest thing to do is to buy a local SIM card for India, either from your country (recommended option) or when you get there.

In this article we tell you which SIM cards for India exist, where you can buy them and what advantages and disadvantages each one has.

We already told you that the easiest way is to buy a Holafly SIM for India, which includes 6GB of data and gets you home for free before your trip.

Let’s get started!

WHY BUY A SIM CARD FOR INDIA?

Unlike roaming, which can charge you a fortune for little data, or free WiFi, which is very insecure and where information and money can be stolen, a SIM card allows you to have a dedicated, quality, secure and private Internet point for you, with which you can surf without any problems, impatience due to disconnections or fear of being spied on.

Roaming in India can be very expensive, regardless of the operator and the rate you have contracted. Most likely you will come back with a very high roaming bill for normal internet use.

If you are from Vodafone, for example, you will pay 15 euros a day (15 days are 225 euros) if you have the world travel fare active, in case you do not have the world travel fare active Vodafone charges 6.05 euros for each MB (6,050 euros each GB) with Orange the cheapest is 6.05 euros for 500 KB which is equivalent to 12.10 euros each MB (12,120 euros a GB almost nothing) and with Movistar the same is 12.10 euros each MB

As you can see, roaming in India is a full-blown scam. Let’s see a table comparing roaming prices for India with Vodafone, Orange and Movistar

MINIMUM ROAMING PRICES IN INDIA

OperatorMinimum priceMaximum price
Vodafone15 euros per day6.05 euros per MB
Orange12.10 euros per MBIdem
Movistar12.10 euros per MBIdem
Roaming prices in India with Vodafone, Orange and Movistar

Now that we know why you need a SIM card in India, let’s look at the different options that exist. The goal is to avoid the dreaded return trip bill.

WHAT SIM CARD OPTIONS DO I HAVE FOR INDIA?

1. BUY YOUR INDIAN SIM CARD IN YOUR COUNTRY

This is probably the most comfortable option, because if you buy the SIM from your country you take it with you before you leave on your trip and you insert it as soon as you land, so you have internet from the first moment.

holafly-india-data-sim-card
The Holafly SIM includes 6GB of data at 4G speed and works for 15 days from the moment you insert it.

FROM YOUR COUNTRY: HOLAFLY INDIA

This company offers you a SIM card with 6GB Internet for 15 days at 4G speed. When you buy it, you will receive the card in several detachable formats to adapt it to your mobile’s SIM slot (normal, Micro and Nano). You will also find a metal piece or key with instructions.

The price of this SIM is 47 euros for the equivalent of 15 days of service:

  • 3.13 euros per day
  • 7.83 euros per GB
  • If you also share it with your fellow travelers it is really very economical.

ADVANTAGES OF HOLAFLY’S INDIAN SIM

  • It uses the network of Airtel, India’s leading mobile operator.
  • Shares data with other devices as if it were a portable modem (MiFi) without having to carry another device. You can use your mobile phone to generate a WiFi network and connect more devices.
  • Shipping is free, so just worry about buying it and wait. If your trip is urgent and you need it before 48 hours, you can pay an additional 4.50 euros or 9.50 euros to receive it the next day.
  • 24 hours support. This SIM is very easy to use, but if you have any questions the Holafly customer service team helps you by all possible means: email, chat and WhatsApp.
  • You don’t have to present any document for the purchase.

DISADVANTAGE OF HOLAFLY’S INDIAN SIM

  • has a single package that offers you data for 15 days.

HOLAFLY DISCOUNT COUPON FOR INDIA

To get these prices you need the Travelistos Holafly India discount coupon, which is 5%. If you enter through the link the discount is automatically applied during the purchase.

sim card-india-cellular
A data SIM card is identical to the one you now have in your mobile. Source: Unsplash.com.

HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO HAVE INTERNET IN INDIA WITH HOLAFLY, VODAFONE, ORANGE AND MOVISTAR

Amount of dataHolaflyVodafoneOrangeMovistar
6 GB/ 15 days47 Euros/Single payment36.300 Euros72.600 Euros72.600 Euros
Internet price comparison with Holafly, Vodafone, Orange and Movistar

As you can see, the savings from buying a Holafly India are quite simply enormous.

2. BUY THE SIM WHEN YOU ARRIVE IN INDIA

If you want to save some euros at the cost of having to look for the SIM on your arrival, you may be interested in finding a shop or a stall that sells them in India.

This option is the one of a lifetime and has the disadvantage that you have to invest time of your trip and you will not have internet when you land, but it is a perfectly valid alternative.

WHICH OPERATORS I CAN BUY AN INDIAN SIM FROM UPON ARRIVAL

Jio

JIO-India-SIM-Card
JIO India SIM Card

Its full name, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, or Jio, is the second largest mobile network in the country with 300 million users. It has various packages, offering you Internet from 7 days to 28 days and its data volume ranges from 150 MB.

  • Advantage: in some packages, certain benefits are free, such as free apps.
  • Disadvantage: their connection quality is not always the best.

Airtel

India-Airtel-SIM-Card
Airtel India SIM Card

It has over 300 million subscribers, and is an alternative to others who may have poor connections in rural areas. It has three packages, but its data is small, from 100 MB to 200 MB.

  • Advantage: your packages are cheaper than those of other operators.
  • Disadvantage: their connection quality is not good in certain areas of the country.

WHAT IS THE BEST OPTION FOR ME TO HAVE INTERNET IN INDIA?

sim card india holafly
Holafly SIM card for India. Source: Holafly.com.

In our case we chose Holafly’s SIM card because it offers you UNLIMITED Internet with 4G speed at a very good price. To this, include its special benefits such as:

  • Keep your WhatsApp number so you don’t lose your contacts.
  • 24 hour support.
  • Share data with other devices and people (like Pocket WiFi or MiFi).
  • Have Internet immediately available when you leave the plane.
  • The most important thing is to save money vs. paying roaming.

TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR YOUR TRIP TO INDIA

sim card-india-laptop
If you are going to make purchases over the Internet, connect to a reliable network, such as those offered by a data SIM. Source: Pexels.com.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE WIFI

If you are going to do actions that demand a lot of data, such as watching videos or making video calls, it is better to find a free WiFi point (in your accommodation or in an establishment) and reserve your SIM card data for really pressing situations, such as when you travel to areas far from the city but with a connection.

FREE GOVERNMENT CARD

The Government of India has been giving away SIM cards to all tourists travelling via Delhi International Airport who carry the E-Visa (electronic visa with a duration of 30 days). These cards only come with 50 MB of data, a little insufficient for all the internet you will need on your trip.

TO BUY LOCAL SIM

If you want to buy a SIM in person, you will have to go to the main shops of each operator and authorized distributors.

Don’t forget to bring a photo and a photocopy of your passport to buy a SIM card in person. They will make you fill in a form with your data, after that, you will be able to buy the SIM card without any problem.

TURN OFF ROAMING

Make sure that your roaming is not activated automatically, some operators do and you may be roaming without realizing it. Keep in mind that with India being such a large country, when you travel from region to region, your roaming rate may change.

EXTERNAL BATTERIES

Make sure you take an external battery with you if you are a Travelisto who likes to stay connected all the time on his or her mobile phone, tablet or laptop, remember that on long trips you won’t always find an outlet.

Find out more travel tips for India with regards to accommodation, documentation, requirements, internet connection, exchange rates and more.

About the author

Herman Rosero

Soy diseñador, me gusta la empatía y entender las necesidades de los demás. En Travelistos te ayudaré a (diseñar) organizar tu viaje, dándote a conocer lugares, actividades, opiniones; que te pueden ser útiles antes, durante y después del viaje.

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