Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Roaming vs. Local SIM for Indians visiting the Bay area

So either you get roaming activated for 10 or 30 days on your Indian phone number like so (for post paid users):



Or you walk into a 7-Eleven and get prepaid SIM cards like one of these:

This actually cost $53.85

Had activation instructions on it
The box had multiple SIM Cards (from 2 different operators - T-mobile and AT&T)
One of those would definitely suit any handset you may have.
You have to pick one


To sign up, you follow the instructions provided on paper attached to the SIM Card you chose




  • I choose T-mobile Nano SIM (Number 4 above) for my MOTO G5s plus.
  • Worked without any issue.
  • No ID Card or Passport was required to be submitted when purchasing or activating the SIM
  • The sign up process involves you:
    • visiting a website
    • selecting the current option (Bring your own phone)
    • punching in the SIM card number of the SIM you chose
    • selecting if you need a new phone number or reuse an existing one (I am guessing its for the times when you want to resuse a number you had gotten assigned from the last time you used the same card) - I chose "Assign a new number" - it asked me for the PIN Code of the area I would spent most of my time in
    • Finally - email address, DOB and password for setting up an account - you could sign in via facebook as well
    • Then you just restart the phone and make a call to your friends phone to get your own phone number
If you notice, the Airtel 30 day scheme gives you 5GB which is a lot more than the 1.5GB that you get with Net10 - but with postpaid connection you always have a risk of overrunning your consumption and running into expensive bills. The talktime that airtel gives you (500 mins local) is more than what you can possibly use in 2 weeks to a month here.

Besides, if you are going to be using lyft or uber, its always better to hve a local number so that you can get in touch with drivers.

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