Prepaid iPhone data plan in Mumbai?
November 17, 2009 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Hi, I will be living in Mumbai for 11 weeks next summer. I have an unlocked iPhone 3G. What is my best bet in terms of carrier and plan for the cheapest and most reliable data access? I plan to do local calls over the cell phone voice network and international calls via Skype on the iPhone. Thanks in advance!
posted by jesseendahl to Technology (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've been living in Bombay for about five years now, with iPhones as well. I don't know if you can do data plans with prepaid SIMs. I think you can, but I'm not certain.

I do know you could get a post-paid plan, as there's no contract. You could pay for three months and then cancel it with no penalties. You just need to take your passport to the carriers' stores to open up an account.

With that in mind, here's what I know about the carriers here:

Airtel. This is the company I use. Reliable, good signal for the most part, variable data plans on different tiers. I think the highest one is Rs.600 (US$13) and MIGHT be an unlimited connection (I have a free data plan with them, so I'm not 100% certain if it's an unlimited plan). If it's not unlimited, then it's 500MB/month. They have one for about Rs.200 as well.

Vodafone. another decent company for Bombay/Mumbai. I don't know how much data costs with them, but I suspect it's around the same as Airtel.

Loop Mobile. Their phone coverage isn't the best, but I don't think you'll notice that much of a loss. I mention this company because they DEFINITELY have an unlimited data package for Rs.500. So, if that's important to you, you can go with them.

You'll be disappointed with the data speed in India. Really disappointed. It is slow as hell, especially if you've gotten accustomed to 3G. If you've got a jailbroken iPhone and are expecting to use Skype over data, you are out of luck. It will not happen. Believe me, I've tried. Skype over wifi is fine, but not over EDGE.

I think there's one company here that has 3G, and that's MTNL. I do not know if it's compatible with the iPhone (there's two 3G standards and I don't know which one MTNL uses) and I don't know anyone who has MTNL service, so I cannot recommend it.

There are other mobile carriers here, but it's best if you look at the ones I've mentioned. Everyone I know is either on Airtel, Vodafone or Loop. Others are on Reliance, but their GSM service has only just begun, so I wouldn't completely trust them. I know no one who is on Aircell, Idea, MTNL or any of the others.

hope this helps you. Good luck in your travels.
posted by smersh at 9:34 AM on November 18, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you! This is exactly the information I was looking for =)
posted by jesseendahl at 12:00 AM on November 19, 2009

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