Buying a SIM card at Mumbai Airport BOM (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) 2024: Travelers Guide

Getting online right upon arrival is vital for many travelers visiting India, and buying a SIM card at Mumbai airport (BOM) (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) makes staying connected easy. This guide provides tips for selecting a SIM card at the airport to have data, calling, and SMS access while exploring Mumbai and beyond. Factors like network coverage, data allowances, and add-on options will be mentioned to choose the best fit.

guide to buy a sim card at mumbai airport

I. Where to Buy a SIM Card at Mumbai Airport (BOM)?

Upon arrival at Mumbai Airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), there are various onsite options available for purchasing SIM cards. 

In contrast to Delhi Airport, Mumbai Airport exclusively offers SIM cards from 02 primary carriers for tourists, namely Airtel and MTNL. The following details provide information on their locations, operating hours, and prices for your convenience.

where to buy a sim card at mumbai airport
Mumbai airport (BOM) map

1. Location

Airtel maintains a prominent booth in the arrival hall of Terminal 2, situated next to Exit B after baggage claim and customs clearance. This makes their SIM cards highly accessible for arriving travelers looking to get connected. 

Meanwhile, past reports from 2013 indicated MTNL also had a small SIM sales counter located near the taxi stands in Terminal 3. However, recent confirmation of MTNL’s continued airport counter presence could not be found.

2. Opening Hours

The Airtel booth at Mumbai Airport is open daily. The store hours are estimated to be between 6 am-10 pm daily to cover most flight arrival times.

3. Prices

Airtel offers a 28-day prepaid plan at the airport booth, providing 1.5GB of daily data and local calling for ₹600 (approximately $7.50). 

However, some travelers observed that the identical plan is available for ₹299 when bought directly from Airtel through their app or website. Payments can be made using debit/credit cards or cash in Indian rupees (INR).

III. What to Prepare for Getting a SIM Card at Mumbai Airport – Registration Process

where to buy a sim card in mumbai city

Here are the key things to prepare when buying a SIM card at Mumbai Airport:

  • Passport: Have your passport ready for ID verification at the SIM card retailer.
  • Unlocked phone: Ensure your mobile isn’t carrier-specific for using a local SIM card.
  • Cash in Indian rupees: Carry INR cash for SIM card payment as foreign currency might not be accepted.
  • Registration details: Provide name, nationality, and stay duration; being prepared saves time.
  • Hotel/address proof: Show hotel booking to verify stay if needed.

Note: Do not worry about languages as the staff at airport kiosks speak English fluently and will guide you through the purchase and activation process.

Recommendation: If you don’t need immediate internet access upon arrival, consider buying a SIM card from city stores. Airport SIM prices are higher with basic plans and limited hours, while stores offer monthly plans at lower prices.

IV. Best Tourist Mumbai SIM Cards Deals and Price

Good to know: 1 USD = 83.18 INR (Jan 07, 2024)

Here are the commonly chosen SIM card choices for tourists exploring Mumbai, India:

OperatorData/ ValidityPrice (INR/ KRW/ USD)
Airtel1GB Data valid for 14 days149 INR/ 21,000 KRW/ $16
Vodafone1GB Data valid for 15 days129 INR/ 18,500 KRW/ $14
Jio2GB Data valid for 30 days252 INR/ 36,000 KRW/ $27
BSNL1GB Data valid for 30 days100 INR/ 14,500 KRW/ $11

As you can see, the Jio provides the best value for tourists. Thus, when choosing mobile operator for your India SIM, consider Jio.

V. Best Mobile Network in Mumbai – Coverage & Speed

In Mumbai, a good mobile network is important for staying connected. This section looks at the best networks in the city, checking their coverage and speed to help you choose the one that keeps you connected smoothly.

1. Coverage in Mumbai

coverage in mumbai

Mumbai is the richest city in India, known for being the financial hub and Bollywood’s home. Because of its importance, all phone carriers have good coverage there. 

So, picking a network when you visit Mumbai is easy and shouldn’t be a problem. Airtel, Jio, and Vi are 3 big mobile operators here covering 5G widely:

  • Key business areas such as BKC and Nariman Point, along with residential and educational places like the University of Mumbai and IIT Mumbai, can access Airtel’s 5G Plus service in Mumbai. 
  • Jio ensures a smooth experience for its customers by investing in a strong network infrastructure that offers 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G coverage.
  • Vi has poorer coverage than Airtel and Jio here

2. Data speed Mumbai

data speed in mumbai

According to speed tests conducted in Mumbai, Jio provided by far the best fixed broadband experience compared to Airtel and BSNL. 

  • Jio delivered a strong average download speed of 43.5 Mbps in Mumbai, allowing customers to use the internet for work, education and entertainment.
  • Airtel’s speed of 28.1 Mbps was decent but slower than Jio. 
  • BSNL’s network was the least impressive, with users in Mumbai experiencing average download speeds of only 17.3 Mbps. BSNL customers also frequently suffered delays in loading online content. 

Therefore, among all options Jio emerges as the top choice for reliable, high-speed broadband that meets today’s needs, offering the best value for money through consistent performance without lag or slow buffering issues faced on other networks.

VI. eSIM for Mumbai – an Alternative to Prepaid SIM Card Mumbai

For travelers arriving in Mumbai, eSIM provides a more convenient alternative to purchasing a physical SIM card at the airport. The key benefits of using an eSIM for Mumbai include:

  • Easy activation: Activate your eSIM online before traveling, no need to buy a physical SIM at the airport.
  • Skip lines: Avoid long queues at SIM kiosks and airports in Mumbai by quickly setting up your phone with an eSIM, perfect for short trips.
  • Quick setup with QR code: Connect your phone by scanning a QR code – a fast, hassle-free process.
  • Use on any network: One eSIM profile for multiple networks on your device, ideal for different country visits.

When traveling to Mumbai, I recommend opting for eSIM data packages provided by Gigago. As a prominent eSIM service provider, Gigago offers affordable eSIM plans for Mumbai through Jio, the largest mobile network in the city. 

gigago india esim

Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 3 GB for 30 days with $14.50 . What is great about Gigago’s India eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $14.50$29.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in India, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VII. FAQs about SIM card at Mumbai Airport

How can I recharge the SIM purchased at Mumbai airport when the credit ends?

You can recharge online via apps or websites. Look for stores near your hotel/ destination too. Stores at airports may charge a premium.

Should I show my passport when buying a SIM card at Mumbai airport?

If you purchase the SIM card online, there’s no need to present it, whereas if you acquire it at the airport, you’ll be required to show it.

Is it possible to purchase a SIM card at Mumbai airport with a locked phone?

If your phone is locked, you can’t use a SIM card from India. So, it’s not possible to buy one at Mumbai airport in that case. If you need internet during your stay, consider renting a wireless device.

VIII. Conclusion

Whether you are visiting from another country or a resident looking to switch, getting a prepaid SIM card is still one of the simplest ways to stay connected while traveling around Mumbai. By learning about the main choices and costs available, you can pick the best plan for your needs.

To sum up, acquiring a SIM card at Mumbai airport remains a straightforward choice for both visitors and locals.