Tuesday, July 23

Travelling to India? Pick the right prepaid plan

There are several mobile operators offering prepaid plans in India. Pick the right one on arrival in the country.

India. The land of the exotic and the free is also a land of many surprises. Many people coming to India for the first time confess to being overwhelmed by its vastness and unusual ways. The myriad aromas, the sounds, the countless people on every corner, and its modern bustling cities in complete odds with the sprawling countryside…it can make the imagination boggle.

But getting around in India is also quite simple. The locals are warm and hospitable, and you can ask your way around a new city or town with relative ease. Of course, it helps to know a few words of the local language, but by and large, you can get by with learning a few stock phrases in Hindi and English.

Communicating with others in India can sometimes get a little tricky, if you are not well versed with the language or the local customs. But this is made easy in part when you get off your flight and make a beeline to the nearest store to buy a local prepaid plan for your phone. Make sure your phone is compatible (or unlocked) to match the frequency of the local mobile networks, or else, hire or buy a cheap GSM handset in India for the duration of your stay.

Now that you have a handset in place, it is time to pick the right prepaid plan. Here’s how you do it:

* Ask around. Research your options about prepaid plans. There are plenty of options to choose from. Pick a leading mobile provider like Airtel that has many prepaid plans with enough features and validity to last you the duration of your holiday.

* Look at the network speeds. Data speeds are most important when you are holiday, especially when you want to chat with family and friends back home, or video call, or even post pictures on Instagram and Facebook. There may be times when you are knackered out from sightseeing and just want to sit in your room and Netflix. Good data speeds (8 Mbps and above) are available on Airtel prepaid plans – pick one with a large quantity of data to boot.

* Look for a plan with sufficient validity and data. For as little as Rs 249, you can buy an Airtel prepaid plan that lasts you for 28 days and gives you 2 GB daily data (for Delhi). This is enough validity for your India sojourn. Be sure to complete the KYC procedure properly when you buy the Airtel prepaid SIM card from the Airtel store. You can also ask if the plan allows for international calling, and the costs per call. However, you can always use chat apps like WhatsApp and Allo to stay in touch via the same prepaid plan.

* Look for easy recharge options. It may happen that high usage can result in your data getting consumed before the pack expires. In this case, you will need to recharge the connection online (ask the mobile store to help you if you are unsure about doing this yourself). A provider like Airtel has the easiest online recharge options that help you recharge the connection by yourself in just a few steps. Recharging is important when you are travelling within India and need to stay connected with your traveling companions and your family back home.

So now you are set with the right phone plan. Here’s to a holiday to remember in India!

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