Being a travel and tech enthusiast, I guess it gives me an advantage for recommending a few good telecom packs.
In today’s world, wherever we go, staying connected is important. No matter if it’s a picture you want to post on Instagram to make your friends jealous or to find a way using maps or just to stay connected to your travel partner or friends and family to keep them updated for your whereabouts.
Today, we’ll talk about different phone plans around the world that can help us stay connected while traveling outside.
Now, there are many ways that one can stay connected, like public WiFi, having your own WiFi hot-spot, or having your own cell service on international roaming.
But the problem with most of them is that it can be expensive and sometimes unreliable, or sometimes it might not even be available to you during times of dire need. If you want me to cover options like connecting to WiFi and some other options like that, do let me know in the comments below.
The best option to stay connected while traveling outside is, to buy a local sim card. There are many benefits of buying a local SIM card, like most of the time they have a reliable network, which makes sense as the local companies have a lot of towers of their own as they have to do a proper business in that area, and that’s their market, and in that case, most of the time your SIM cards are pretty limited to what they have to offer in terms of international roaming plans and not only that, they are very much bonded by other restrictions as well, which makes it a bit difficult to provide reliable network support to their customers on foreign borders. For example, If a person comes from the US to India there are very less chances that if he/she has an AT&T network, it will be able to provide good coverage to them in India. And most of the time international roaming packs are very expensive and can cause a dent in your pocket.
Talking about Sim Cards
So, today lets to cover the local SIM cards that you can get your hands on in India which won’t dig a hole in your pockets and would help you in enjoying your journey while in India and keep you connected.
Now, a quick disclaimer: All the SIM cards and their plans talked about today, are strictly based on India and are susceptible to changes in the future. Keep in mind that each of the carriers talked about today, has a different category of data plans to select from, these range from 2GB per day, 1.5 GB per day, 1GB per day to even 1 GB per month and 2GB per month.
There are more options available as well, there are different options available on the basis of days or the number of days that you want to stay in the country or something like that. Keep in mind there are a number of plans available on the site. And the numbers are based on the type of traveler who would be staying for a year or who will be staying for a few weeks or days.
When Jio was launched, it took not only the nation but the whole world by storm. And why won’t it, the prices it offered for data and talk and text were just amazing.
There are reports that the minimum price it charges for the basic facilities like data, talk, and text is just about 3 dollars. And in some cases even less than that.
And this is actually the least that anyone can pay and you get the cell reception which is very good. They are offering 4G services across the country, which is a good thing, and to be honest their prices are some of the most aggressive prices that they can offer in the market.
But there is one drawback, which is, that Jio is a new company. This poses a problem in front of them that they might not even have the required amount of towers to put up and to provide coverage to their customers. Jio is sometimes unable to provide the much-wanted network when it comes to coverage.
Even though this problem has been taken care of very nicely by the company, the problem persists.
So there might be times when you won't be able to get a reliable service from the network, but it provides good speed both for uploading and downloading in terms of internet usage and has a very good call quality if you are standing within the network range of Jio.
Now coming to the plans that they offer, the offers that they provide both in the highest-paid available option if you are looking for traveling for a longer period of time and the lowest available offer if you are just visiting a place for one or two days, maybe even a week.
So the highest-paid offer that is available right now is for the year which is 365 days, which amounts up to Rs.2500, which gives you almost 2GB per day.
On the lower end of the side, there are options available ranging from Rs.149 which offers 1 GB per day, and that too for 24 days, which adds up to 24GB for 24 days.
However, it is recommended you go even lower with the options available on the top-up menu given on the site, which offers 1 GB and has an unlimited validity in just Rs.10, and starting from there you can go as much as you want.
The benefit of this plan is that it offers you 1 GB for an entire month and is not that much of a burden on your pockets, and if you want more Gigabytes, you can definitely go to their site and top up again which will be less than Rs.149 recharge.
Now, Airtel is comparatively the oldest company on this list, the oldest private company on this list. And everything about this company is good, from their data plans that they provide, to the coverage that they provide, to the customer service that they provide. But they also face the same problem as that of Jio, and that is, they perform equally as bad, if not anything worse than each other. Jio and Airtel both are unable to provide you good coverage in rural India, so if you are thinking to travel to rural India, just for a simple visit, chances are that you will be facing dodgy coverage wherever you go.
But that is the situation that you will get with whichever company you choose, the telecom situation over here is not that good, but it is not that bad either. The end of the story is that, even though both these companies have their own flaws, both of them are trying to outgrow each other, which is a good thing.
Airtel does go to a slightly expensive side of things, as their cheapest plan starts with Rs.149 for 2GB data per month i.e. which is 28 days.
The highest that you can go with these kinds of plans where you get talk time plus the data pack is Rs.598 where you get 1.5 GB per day for 84 days.
Talking about the talk time only packs, there is literally no limit or sky is the limit in these cases, the maximum that you can go according to the recharge is Rs.5000 were you get the talk time of almost Rs.4800, which is a good thing if you're just considering the fact that in your whole trip you just need to talk. But not good in terms of the people who are trying to seek the internet as well, who want Google maps to work on their phones, who want WhatsApp to stay connected, nationally or internationally with their friends and family, and you get the gist of it.
Overall Jio and Airtel are on par with each other when it comes to connecting urban India, but when it comes to connecting the rural area, Airtel takes the cake because they are the oldest private company on this list and they have the infrastructure that is required for connecting these kinds of hard to reach places.
BSNL is one of the oldest companies, and it will not be wrong to say that, they are the pioneers of Indian telecom as it is the oldest and the first telecom service to ever start in India.
BSNL is a government-funded telecom service, which is quite good in a lot of ways, as it not only competes with other privately owned telecom services on a lot of aspects but is also a bit good in comparison to the privately-owned telecom services.
Bsnl, being the oldest in the country has the added advantage of being the first mover in the sector of Indian telecommunication services. This gives it the ability to not only have a lot of towers wherever it is required but it also covers rural India as well. That is the best takeaway because let's face it, what is the point of having a telecom service which doesn't give proper coverage wherever you go, now most tourists are not going to go to the rural side of the country because it is not something that we have seen on the Internet and it is not something that we have really thought of as a traveler. Most travelers prefer the same tourist attractions that are listed on the internet, but for the ones who want to try something out of the box and want to see a different part of India which nobody wants to talk about or which nobody talks about, this can be a deal maker or a deal-breaker for them.
For a person, who has been in urban India as well as in rural India, and for the kind of person, who likes to be connected at all times, it doesn't matter if he's connected with his family and friends or he's just uploading pictures on Instagram and Facebook, internet connection and proper cell service is a very good thing.
Now talking about the plans that it has to offer, the minimum that you can go to is Rs.98, where it gives you 2GB per day for 18 days and 250 minutes of talk time for the same 18 days.
And for the highest, the sky is the limit, it is a trend with these telecom service providers that they have a lot of offers and a wide variety of offers to give to their customers, so there is pretty much everything for everyone.
No one is saying that, this cell service is good or that cell service is good, each one of them is good in their respective ways. If you are the one who wants to travel to the cities and want to feel their culture, it's completely fine and at the same time you want to have the highest internet speed possible with the unlimited talk time possible you can go for Jio, or if you want something much more scales down or something like that and want to cover up cities and villages as well and want a better cell service while you are on the transits like trains while you're covering the distance between the city and village, you can go for cell services like Airtel. And if you want a reliable cell service that has good coverage, and you are the one who doesn't care about connectivity and can make their ends meet with 3G speeds, you can choose Bsnl. All three of them have their own strengths and their own weaknesses, it is the customer who has to find what is suitable for them.
All the internet plans and talk times talked about in this article are subject to changes, it really depends on the time that you are reading this, choose the one which is suitable for you if you have any plans of visiting India.
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