Where to buy cell phone/SIM for India?

Old Dec 4th, 2005, 07:13 AM
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Where to buy cell phone/SIM for India?

We have a cell phone that should work in India, but need to purchase a SIM card. The online suppliers seem to be out of stock (the ones that we found had only one option -- from "Orange"). We are leaving in a couple of weeks, so we need to find another option ASAP. Any suggestions for how/where to buy a SIM for India would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old Dec 4th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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The SIM cards are available at virtually every corner in major cities in India (your hotel concierge or staff should be able to direct you) and surely just as easily available in the smaller towns.

Idea Cellular (http://www.ideacellular.com), Tata, Reliance are some of the better known companies.
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Old Dec 4th, 2005, 02:14 PM
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Do all companies have good coverage in Rajasthan, or is there one in particular that we should look to buy given our itinerary? Many thanks!
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Old Dec 4th, 2005, 09:39 PM
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MY daughter has an AirTel SIM card. We purchased in in New Delhi, and she has been using it from one end of the country to the other.

Is your phione an American one? Make sure you unlock it before you leave the US. Hers is a T-Mobile and the unlock code they gave us was wrong, so it locked permanently and we ended up buying a cell phone here in India. After that, I didn't even try unlocking mine, and the roaming feature will not work either.

Airtel cards are sold about every 50 feet in Indai!
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Old Dec 5th, 2005, 07:49 AM
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lcuy - thanks for sharing your experience. We do have an unlocked phone, so in theory it should work in India. In case it doesn't, did you find buying a cell phone in India expensive? Can you tell us what price we should expect a SIM card will be in India?
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 03:17 AM
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The phone was about $52 US. The Sim was $20 and had $18 worth of calls on it. You could recharge by phone. Calls were 1 Rupee/min in Delhi, and about Rs3 in other cities.
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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lcuy - Thanks for the cell info. One more urgent question for you on another topic if you don't mind. We have been in contact with Compass about providing guide and driver services for our trip. They are asking for FULL payment upon arrival in India, saying this is company policy. Did you have to pay in full upon arrival, or did you pay part at the outset and part at the end of your trip?
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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We paid all at the end of the trip. I hear that they have been asking for more up front, but I would ask to hold back something...just in case.

Do you leave tomorrow? Best wishes for a great trip! Take a warm jacket with you!
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 06:12 AM
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lcuy - thanks for the reply. This is very helpful to know, as Compass told us it is "company policy" to pay all up front, but clearly that policy was not in place when you worked with them (did they arrange the trip that you just returned from?). Do you think we are unwise if we agree to do this?
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Old Dec 16th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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I didn't use them for this trip, as I was in too much of a hurry to lock in all the details.

Since I think I read that you paid the hotels, the amount of money must not be that large. I trust Compass, so it wouldn't be a huge deal to pay up front. Otherwise holding back a few hundred dollars would be my choice. Even Craig had a few glitches; he was able to get dinners as compensation, but that might not be your choice, so a little financial clout wouldn't be a bad thing.
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