Hyderabad - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

I kept my phone because T-mobile used to have a plan with unlimited data overseas that I am holding onto for dear life. All officers are given an iPhone which you can use for anything that requires a local phone number. Plus you can get a phone from Airtel or put a local sim card into a phone you already have. Everyone in the household will want/need an Indian number. - Apr 2024

Get a local phone as soon as you can. It’s fast but bureaucratic. Post can help if you’re a diplomat. Very cheap and ESSENTIAL. So many basic services insist on a local phone number and set OTPs (one time passwords) to verify. We kept our home country plan (Google Fi), but used dual SIM phones. - Jan 2023

We had local plans. They were affordable and the connection was great everywhere in the city. We had them set up shortly after arrival. We used AT&T roaming to fill the week or two before we had local plans. - Dec 2020

Most people here get a local SIM card through Airtel. Data is dirt cheap. If you ask the Management section, they'll be able to help you get it arranged. - Jul 2020

We brought unlocked cell phones and paid pennies for a local plan which included unlimited calls and an enormous amount of data we could never use. The issue here was getting it all set up. Everyone has this problem; Airtel asks for different things from every person who sets up service. They do address checks which can take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks before they turn your phone on. ("Make sure you're home all the time!") We did a family plan, and one phone turned on within 48 hours and the other inexplicably took almost 2 weeks. Customer service, as mentioned before, is terrible and did not resolve any issues. Once it's working, though, it works everywhere. - Jul 2019

Bring one so you can get going as you arrive, you'll need to get your local SIM card which requires your dip ID. - Jan 2019

Everyone uses Airtel. Bring an unlocked phone and purchase a SIM card from them. Average of $10-12/mo for unlimited calls/texts and very large data package. - Nov 2017

A prepaid rechargeable SIM card from Airtel. Of course, you need a ton of paperwork to get even a SIM card. There is no such thing as "unlimited" here. Data packs are available from 2-13 GB; the most expensive data pack would be about $25 and it lasts for 28 days. - Sep 2016

I just use the Consulate provided phone. I would say buy one here, as they are generally substantially cheaper than the U.S. - Mar 2015

The consulate provided me with a cell phone. My wife easily got a rechargeable SIM card, which doesn't seem too expensive. I like this system better than the U.S. because you aren't locked into an annual plan. - Jan 2015

Cell coverage is generally good in Hyderabad. You will have to get a local sim card. - Nov 2014

Local carriers do the trick. Getting a cell phone here is a headache -- you must fill out a permit. - Jul 2014

Cell phones here are very cheap. - Mar 2012

There are many mobile phones and plans available. If you're bringing a phone from the US, make sure it's unlocked. - Feb 2012

Get one. They're cheap. - Jan 2011

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More