Where as an American tourist in Chennai India can I get a sim card?
May 14, 2022 9:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm arriving in Chennai in 2 days as an American tourist. I will be there for 23 days and arriving at the airport at 4am. I am an American tourist on e-visa. I want a prepaid sim card. Voice/text isn't mandatory, but at least 1gb /day or 15 gb for the trip would be nice. I have an unlocked Galaxy s10 Where can I get this? Which company/plan should I go with? I googled around but got lots of contradictory information
posted by maxexam to Travel & Transportation around India (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would not claim definitive knowledge but as an American currently in India I think you’re going to have trouble. Due to concerns around “terrorism” there is much closer control of Indian SIMs than elsewhere in Asia. For example we were recently in Hanoi and got VietTel SIMS for a few bucks they worked fine for a ten day trip. My understanding is that you will need some sort of local identity documents (aadhar card or Tax Id or the like) and they limit the number of cards which you can link to an ID.

Are you possibly visiting anyone locally or going with some sort of organized trip or agent you could ask this of directly?

Frustratingly even getting onto local free wifi usually requires an OTP sent to a local (Indian) number.

Your issue is less about which provider (airtel, jio, Vodafone) and more about getting any of them to give you a card as a foreigner. That said, Indians are notorious for making do and getting things they seem difficult or impossible done, so it’s not a lost cause but not easy.

Sorry this response isn’t more helpful, good luck.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 11:37 AM on May 14, 2022

Google's Project Fi service works in India, is compatible with the S10, and you can set it up on your phone before you leave. It's month-to-month, so you can cancel it after your return (though I'd suggest you keep it, because it's awesome and affordable).
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 12:27 PM on May 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

Some wireless companies will offer international travel plans for a nominal daily fee. AT&T business plans offer this for $10/day, last I checked, using your existing plan. You use your phone just as you normally would.

Verizon offers this on some of their plans, too.

You can use your own unlocked phone for this.

You might want to look into whether your current wireless company offers something like this.
posted by aquamvidam at 1:07 PM on May 14, 2022

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