India Offering Free SIM Cards for Foreign Tourists on Arrival

India is a popular tourist destination and ranked 40th in 2016 amongst the most visited countries in the world. In Jan 2017, the Indian government took an initiative to distribute free SIM cards to foreign tourists on the airport. This SIM can be acquired by showing your e-VISA. It is a relief for the tourists as getting a local connection can be quite a daunting task. Though this is a really good initiative, the service does not appear to be functional.

Trabug is not just a SIM card but a Travel phone specially designed for foreign travellers coming to India. It comes with a 4G connection and you save you more than 70% on International roaming with Trabug.

Here is a quick comparison of the Free Goverment SIM card and Trabug:

SIM CARDThe Indian Government is providing a BSNL SIM card which has a very limited network.Trabug provides a SIM card that has very good coverage across India.
PHONEIn case your phone is locked or the SIM is not compatible with your phone, you will have to buy a new phone.You do not have to invest in a new phone, as the Trabug rental plan includes a high-end smartphone.
DATABSNL’s Data speed is typically like a slow 3G connection. The SIM comes with 50 MB of data and top-ups need to be purchased through stores.Trabug provides a high speed 4G connection and can be used as a Wifi hotspot to tether your own laptop or phone. Top-ups can be easily availed right from the Trabug phone!
DOCUMENTSE-Visa is mandatory.E-visa is not mandatory but preferred.
AVAILABILITYUnknown. While it should be available at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (exclusively), we can’t find any instances of people actually having gotten one yet.Trabug has India service. Delivery and Pickup is done anywhere in India and at no extra cost.
VALIDITYValidity period of SIM card is of 30 days only.Validity period of SIM card is up to 80 days.
REVIEWSNone. There don’t seem to be any online review of people actually having gotten it.We have a lot more to offer to our many happy customers from around the world.
Read Trabug Reviews

For now it seems clear that you can not depend on the Free SIM card for your next visit to India.

Reviews by few Travellers:

“i landed in Delhi last week on a e-tourist visa. no sim card was handed to me. When i asked about it i was curtly told “you have to buy one”
Scutineer44, Pasco Washington at

“There were no free sim cards that we could find and people in India did not seem to know anything about that.”
Sonnypsych, Bradenton at

Book Trabug even before you arrive and travel hassle free.

Review from a happy customer

“Thanks for your service, I had a great trip!! I have received the PayPal refund now.Very happy with your product and would use again, hopefully with no issues :)”

United Kingdom

Related information:

  1. Important Instructions for e-Tourist Visa(eTV)
  2. Roam like a Native using Trabug
  3. 20 Reasons why you should get Trabug