Fulbright to India Guide – 2021-2022


Cell (Mobile) phones are far more practical than landlines. Cell phones services in India are reliable and have become invaluable in the event of an emergency and to disseminate information quickly.

Since mobile phones in the USA may not have a sim card slot as they are directly connected with major telecom carriers such as AT&T and T-Mobile, it is wise to get your phone unlocked for a sim slot before leaving for India. Visit your local phone retailer and ask for manually unlocking the hardware of your phone in order to make it accessible with a sim card. If not, you could purchase a cell phone in India for your use. 

WhatsApp is a popular messaging application that is widely used in India. It allows users to send unlimited and free text messages via the Internet. Since unlimited text messages are not the norm on Indian plans, this will save a lot of money. You will most likely “WhatsApp” with everyone from your landlord to colleagues.

In India, the cell phone and the telephone connection (SIM cards) are sold separately.  A prepaid cell phone plan is the easiest way to communicate with others while in India. The plans are competitively priced and can be chosen as per your specific needs.

There are two ways of buying a sim card in India –

  • Buy a sim card at the airport.
  • Buy a sim card at an authentic dealer.

The most popular companies with grantees are 

All companies have their own stores throughout the country, as well as other independent shops where you can buy a phone and compare rates. It is easy to add minutes and data to your account at supermarkets and neighborhood shops.

Documents required for SIM card:

  • Passport size photos (bring at least 3)
  • Your passport and a photocopy of it
  • Your visa and a photocopy of it

On submitting the application form to the telecom provider, you will be given a SIM card immediately, but the SIM card will get activated only after 24 hours. Please ensure that the SIM card obtained is compatible with your mobile handset.


  • Local Indian sim cards bought at the airport are tourist sim cards and specifically valid up to 90 days of your travel. They may extend it up to the validity of your visa as per request.
  • It is preferable to get a sim card from an official local vendor which is usually cheaper than the airport prices and validity may be more than 90 days.

The quality of Internet access and service in India is efficient and reasonably priced.

Plans which include cell phone and internet service, are often sold together by many of the main phone companies. You may also sign up for these services separately, but the best deals are normally in these combination packages.

Another option for internet connection without a landline is a data-card/dongle. It is a mobile Internet connection that you can use anywhere. The main cell phone companies all have their own version, however check to see if a contract is required.

You could switch on the ‘’hotspot’’ option on your mobile to connect your laptop to the mobile’s data/internet.

Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime are great and popular ways to call friends and family. If you need to call landlines or cell phones in the United States you can pay-per-minute. Google Hangouts is another great option and allows you to call U.S. phones for free. 

Example: To call to a friend in Washington, DC, dial

  1. International access code for India: 00
  2. Country code of the country you are calling: 1 (for the U.S.)
  3. Area Code: 202 (for Washington, DC)
  4. Your friend’s phone number: ###-####

Making Local Calls within India, from one city to another:

Example: if you are in Delhi, calling someone in Mumbai:

  • Landline to Landline: Dial the Mumbai code (022) followed by the eight-digit phone number from a phone.
  • Landline to Cell phone: Dial ‘0’ from landline followed by the ten-digit cell phone number
  • Cell phone to Landline: Dial the city code (022) followed by the eight-digit phone number.
  • Cell phone to Cell phone: Dial +91 followed by the ten-digit cell phone number.

The country code for India is 91

Someone calling from the U.S. to your cell phone will dial 0091 and your cell phone number.

Contact us

12 Hailey Road New Delhi 110 001

Tel.: +91-11-4209-0909/2332-8944