Vi SIM Cards and eSIM: a Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

This article is written for travelers visiting India who are looking to get a Vi SIM card & eSIM connectivity. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how tourists can easily get a Vi SIM card & eSIM in India, what options are available to them, and how to activate their SIM card or eSIM so they can stay connected during their travels without having to deal with connectivity issues.

Vi India sim card

I. Overview about Vi India – What You Need to Know

Quick facts about Vi in India
Quick facts about Vi in India

Vi is one of the biggest mobile operators in India. Let’s see some facts about it below to get more insights:

  • Founded year: 2018
  • Full company name: Vodafone Idea Limited
  • Headquarters Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Chairman and CEO: Kumar Mangalam Birla
  • Types of services provided: Mobile telephony, wireless broadband, and Internet services
  • Number of subscribers: As of September 2023, Vi has over 219.8 million subscribers.
  • Coverage: It provides services across 22 telecom circles in India.
  • Estimated number of a network of stores, and agents: Vi has over 9,000+ stores and service centers across India.
  • Customer support: 24/7 support through call centers; Support available in English and major regional languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, etc; Online chat support through the Vi app and website from 6:00 AM to 12:00 AM.
  • Awards: Best Mobile Network Coverage in India by Ookla Speedtest Awards 2021.

II. Vi Coverage in India

Vi coverage map in India
Vi coverage map in India (Source: nPerf)

Vi (Vodafone Idea) has made significant strides in enhancing its network coverage across India. Some key highlights of Vi’s current coverage include:

  • Presence in 22 telecom circles across the nation, providing a wide-reaching service network.
  • A substantial user base of over 248 million subscribers, as of the last reported quarter.
  • 4G network expansion resulted in coverage of over one billion Indians.
  • Strategic partnerships with network vendors have boosted the infrastructure, aiming for higher data speeds and improved connectivity.
  • Implementation of MASSIVE MIMO & DSR technology to increase network capacity and provide a better user experience.

Vi’s dedication to expanding and upgrading its network is evident in these figures, which reflect its commitment to delivering quality service to users all over India.

III. Vi Speed in India

Vi speed map in India (Source: OpenSignal)
Vi speed map in India (Source: OpenSignal)

According to the data from Opensignal in October 2023, we can see that:

  • Vi’s average download speed in India is 15.5 Mbps. This is significantly lower than market leader Jio’s speed of 52.9 Mbps and second-placed Airtel’s speed of 26.6 Mbps.
  • For upload speeds, Vi’s average is 5.1 Mbps, placing it third behind Jio and Airtel who averaged 5.8 Mbps and 5.6 Mbps respectively. Vi saw only a small increase of 1.4% in upload speeds since the last report.

Looking at individual circles, Vi only wins the upload speed award outright in 4 circles – Assam, Haryana, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu. For download speeds, Jio is the clear winner across all 22 circles analyzed.

Recommendation: Users looking for the best possible speeds are unlikely to find Vi a preferable choice over Jio or Airtel at this time unless coverage is specifically better in their location.

IV. Does Vi India Have eSIM?

Does Vi support eSIM?
Does Vi support eSIM?
  • The convenience of not having to swap out physical SIM cards when changing plans or providers. The eSIM can be updated remotely.
  • No risk of losing or damaging the SIM card. Since the eSIM is embedded directly into the device.
  • Ability to have multiple eSIM profiles active on one device at once, allowing you to easily swap between carriers as needed.

V. Top Vi SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

Vi offers a range of affordable prepaid data plans to suit different needs and budgets for both short-term and long-term visitors to India. This table tells you:

PackageData/AllowancesPrice (USD)
₹ 299 1.5 GB data per day, 100 SMS per day, validity 28 days$3.60
₹ 479 1.5 GB data per day, 100 SMS per day, validity 56 days$5.77
₹ 499 3 GB data per day, 100 SMS per day, validity 28 days$6.01
₹ 601 3 GB data per day + 16 GB extra data, 100 SMS per day, validity 28 days$7.24

Recommendation: The ₹601 prepaid pack is ideal for tourists needing a Vi SIM card. For roughly $7, you receive 3GB+16GB daily for 28 days, ensuring worry-free data usage for your trip. It’s budget-friendly when you consider the cost per gigabyte.

VI. Where can you buy a Vi SIM card and eSIM?

In this section, we will explore common places where you can purchase Vi SIM cards & eSIM.

1. Where to buy Vi SIM for India?

Where to buy Vi sim cards?
Where to buy Vi sim cards?
  • Vi Stores: Swing by any official Vi store, and the friendly staff will get you set up with a new SIM card in no time.
  • Local Retailers: Numerous local shops and kiosks sell Vi SIM cards, so you can grab one while you’re out and about.
  • Online Purchase:  You can order your Vi SIM directly from the official Vi website or other online retailers – just fill in your details and get ready to click “order”.
  • Airport Counters: If you’re just landing in India, airport counters are a handy place to purchase a Vi SIM card so you can stay connected from the get-go. Some airports that you can buy sim cards: Delhi, Mumbai,…

2. Where to buy India Vi eSIM?

Where to buy Vi India eSIM
Where to buy Vi India eSIM
  • Via Vi Website: Head to Vi’s official website and navigate to the eSIM section to initiate the eSIM activation process right from the comfort of your home.
  • In Select Vi Stores: Some Vi stores are equipped to handle eSIM activation. Check Vi’s store locator for the nearest eSIM-enabled outlet.

Here is the process of buying an India Vi eSIM:

  1. Visit Vi’s website or download the Vi app to check eSIM compatibility.
  2. Choose a suitable eSIM plan and make the online payment.
  3. Follow Vi’s instructions to configure eSIM on your smartphone.
  4. Wait for activation confirmation via email or SMS, usually within hours.
  5. Contact Vi customer care for assistance – they’re super helpful!

Pro Tip: Before purchasing your eSIM, ensure that your passport details and visa status are updated, as these might be required during the activation process. Additionally, keep your smartphone charged and connected to Wi-Fi during activation to avoid any disruptions.

VII. A Better Alternative to Vi SIM cards – India eSIM

If your phone supports eSIM, consider a better alternative to a traditional India SIM card. Using an eSIM offers a convenient way to stay connected while traveling, eliminating the need for physical SIM cards and allowing for easy activation before you even arrive.

To get an eSIM for India, customers have two choices: they can buy from the network provider or pick a reliable online seller like Gigago. However, Gigago doesn’t have eSIMs for Vi India.

Instead, they offer Airtel plans directly from the network with good coverage at fair prices. Gigago has various data plans, starting at 3GB for 30 days at $14.50

Gigago’s India eSIM plans is they range from $14.50$29.90 , so there’s an option for everyone, no matter how much data you need or how long you’ll be in India.

VIII. FAQs about Vi SIM card & eSIM in India

Can I use my Vi eSIM on multiple devices?

No, each Vi eSIM profile is tied to a single device. If you wish to use your Vi service on multiple devices, each will need its own eSIM profile or a physical Vi SIM card.

What should I do if my phone is lost or stolen while using a Vi SIM card or eSIM?

Immediately report the incident to Vi customer care to block the service and prevent unauthorized usage. Consider remotely wiping your device if it supports such features.

Can I recharge my Vi SIM card or eSIM online while traveling?

Yes, you can easily recharge your Vi eSIM or SIM card using the Vi app, through the Vi website, or via third-party service providers that offer online recharge services.

How quickly can I start using my Vi eSIM once I’ve purchased it?

Activation times may vary, but generally, your Vi eSIM should be ready to use within a few hours after you have completed the setup and received confirmation from Vi.

IX. Final words

Whether you’re a traveler or a local, having a reliable connection is crucial. With Vi eSIM & SIM Card options, you can enjoy seamless connectivity across India. These innovative digital solutions not only provide the ease of instant activation but also ensure that you remain connected without swapping out physical cards. Stay connected, stay updated, and make the most of your time in India with Vi.