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Where can I get a SIM card at the Hyderabad (Telangana, India) airport, or somewhere on the way to Banjara Hills?

The airport FAQ (mirror) doesn't mention SIM cards. The airport convenience shops only contains one International Sim Card Operator (mirror) but I just need a local SIM card that works in Hyderabad: I don't need any international SIM cards.

  • You can buy SIM cards at local operator stores which you can find almost anywhere in Hyderabad. Some Indian operators are Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, Reliance Jio. More important is the documentation that you need to activate the SIM – RedBaron Aug 26 '18 at 7:36
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Pre-activated SIM cards are not sold in India. This means you have to buy a SIM card and then wait for some time for the number to get activated (this can vary from 2 to 24 hours). To buy a SIM card, you can visit official outlets of Indian telecom operators - Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL or Reliance Jio. There are a number of such stores in Hyderabad. A simple Google search for "Vodafone store" or "Airtel store" in an area will show you your closest one.

To buy a SIM as a foreign national you need to submit some documents. This article has a nice overview of the process. From the article:

If you want a prepaid (pay-as-you-go) connection, visit the nearest Vodafone, Airtel, or Reliance Jio store in India with the following documents.

  • Passport, with a photocopy
  • Photocopy of the visa
  • Passport-sized photographs (usually just one needed, but carry four just in case since telecom operators require four photographs in some Indian states)

The executive at the stores will guide you about the exact documents but I feel you may need to submit proof of local address (like a hotel reservation) in addition to ones mentioned above.

Also remember that your existing device may not work for frequencies at which Indian operators work. You can find complete frequency bands here.

  • Thanks, follow-up question: How can I get a SIM card that gets activated within two hours or less in India?. Also, do you happen to know whether there are SIM card shops at the airport? – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 27 '18 at 0:17
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    @FranckDernoncourt I would be surprised if there are any such shops at the airport. But there should be one in the nearest shopping area or close to where you are staying. – RedBaron Aug 27 '18 at 4:58
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    Delhi airport T3 actually has an Airtel store at arrivals especially to help foreigners to get a phone SIM, there might be others that I've not seen. Even though not as many foreigners enter India through Hyderabad, I wouldn't be surprised if the airport has such a store. – crayarikar Aug 27 '18 at 12:38
  • @crayarikar Correct. The Delhi airport website also states that a Vodafone store is also operational at Arrivals. The Hyderabad airport page has no such info as OP has said. – RedBaron Aug 27 '18 at 12:45
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There is no shop selling SIM card at the Hyderabad (Telangana, India) airport. You have to go outside the airport to purchase one, and it won't even work immediately (see How can I get a SIM card that gets activated within two hours or less in India?).

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