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Top eSIM providers and plans in India 2024

eSIM cards represent a great shift in mobile connectivity, meaning that a digital SIM allows users to activate a cellular plan without the need for a physical SIM card. This technology simplifies the process of switching carriers and plans, proving immensely beneficial for travelers.

For those journeying to India, eSIM cards offer unparalleled convenience, enabling seamless network switching and access without the hassle of physical SIMs. Whether for short visits or extended stays, our top 5 eSIM providers for India in 2024 will ensure you stay connected during your travels.

Top 5 eSIM providers for India – our shortlist

What to consider when choosing eSIM for travel in India?

Choosing the best eSIM for your travels in India involves several factors that enhance your connectivity and overall travel experience. Whether you’re visiting for tourism, business, or extended stays, the following features are essential when selecting an eSIM:

  • Destination coverage. Ensure that your chosen eSIM provider offers extensive network coverage in the regions of India you plan to visit. From bustling cities to more remote countryside areas, consistent coverage is essential.
  • Communication needs. Consider your specific needs for calls, texts, and data. Some eSIMs provide better options for international calls or might offer packages that include local and international communications at competitive rates.
  • Data requirements. Data usage can vary significantly depending on whether you need maps, ride-sharing apps, or streaming services. Look for eSIM plans that match your data consumption, especially if you require high-speed internet for working remotely or multimedia streaming.
  • Travel duration. The length of your stay should influence your choice of eSIM. Some eSIMs are better suited for short trips, offering plans that last a few days or weeks, whereas others might provide long-term options with the flexibility to extend as needed.
  • Tethering capability. If you plan to use your device as a hotspot to connect other devices like laptops or tablets, ensure that your eSIM supports tethering. Not all providers allow it, and it can be essential for travelers relying on multiple devices.
  • Price. Prices can vary widely based on the data allowance and additional features. Compare different eSIM providers and plans to find one that offers the best value for your specific needs and budget.

The best eSIMs for India travel – our detailed list

After thoroughly testing several eSIM providers, we've curated a list of the top 5 eSIMs in India for 2024 based on key criteria such as network reliability, data packages, price, and customer service. Below, you'll find an in-depth look at each provider to help you make the best choice for your travel needs.

1. Saily – best eSIM choice for India in 2024

Saily esim banner
Supported networks:
3G, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:
Starting price:
Current deal:
Get Saily, starting at $2.99/week

Saily, an innovation by the creators of NordVPN, offers travelers in India a digital eSIM service that delivers easy internet access globally with flexible data plans available directly through an app.

Coverage and connectivity. With access to 3G, 4G, and 5G networks in over 150 countries, Saily provides robust network coverage. It ensures travelers in India can enjoy uninterrupted internet access, whether in urban or rural areas.

Setup and usage. Activating Saily's eSIM is straightforward and can be completed within minutes through its user-friendly application, which is designed to be hassle-free and to enhance the user experience for novice and tech-savvy users alike.

Customer support. Saily provides exemplary customer support with a help center and 24/7 live chat, ensuring that any issues can be promptly addressed during your travels in India or another foreign country.

Plans and pricing. Saily's pricing strategy is tailored to accommodate various usage needs, starting at $2.99. Plans scale up to 20GB, addressing the needs of both short and long-term travelers.

2. Airalo – cost-effective eSIM option for India

Airalo banner
Supported networks:
3G, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:
Starting price:
Current deal:
Get Airalo now

Airalo is an affordable eSIM provider for India, offering easy access to local networks in over 200 countries and catering to the modern traveler's needs.

Coverage and connectivity. Airalo provides extensive network coverage in over 200 countries, supporting 5G, 4G, 3G, and LTE networks. This wide range ensures that travelers can remain connected wherever they go.

Setup and usage. The Airalo eSIM is easy to set up via its user-friendly app, which facilitates quick activation and management of data plans.

Customer support. Airalo excels in customer service with 24/7 support through live chat, email, and a comprehensive FAQ section, ensuring that help is always at hand.

Plans and pricing. Airalo offers a variety of eSIM plans tailored to different needs, including local, regional, and global options. Prices start at $4.50, making it an affordable choice for travelers.

3. Nomad – best eSIM for extensive data needs throughout India

Nomad banner
Supported networks:
LTE, 3G, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:
Starting price:
Current deal:
Get Nomad now

Nomad eSIM stands out for those requiring substantial data during their travels in India, offering a robust virtual SIM solution.

Coverage and connectivity. Supporting over 170 countries, Nomad provides comprehensive coverage with options for 3G, 4G, LTE, and 5G networks, ensuring reliable service wherever your travels take you.

Setup and usage. The setup process for Nomad is straightforward, facilitated by a modern mobile app that makes purchasing and activating data plans a breeze.

Customer support. While Nomad's customer support mainly operates through an online ticketing system, they also offer a comprehensive help center and an informative blog for self-service support.

Plans and pricing. Nomad’s plans are diverse, catering to different data needs with local and regional options. Their plans are competitively priced, starting at just $4.00, scaling up to more extensive and longer-duration packages for frequent travelers.

4. aloSIM – several Indian networks offered by a single eSIM

aloSIM banner
Supported networks:
LTE, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:
Starting price:
Current deal:
Get aloSIM now

aloSIM, established in 2022, is a practical choice for travelers seeking an easy-to-use eSIM with reliable service across multiple Indian networks.

Coverage and connectivity. Offering local and regional plans, aloSIM covers more than 170 countries, including extensive coverage in Europe. This makes it particularly beneficial for travelers needing broad international reach with a single eSIM.

Setup and usage. aloSIM's services are accessible through a travel-friendly app, simplifying the process of adding data or modifying plans while on the move.

Customer support. While customer support is only available via email, it is noted for being prompt and helpful and providing thorough and reliable assistance.

Plans and pricing. Plans start reasonably at $4.50, and although the plans are primarily data-centric, the flexibility to top up as needed adds convenience.

5. Instabridge – grants connectivity to trusted Wi-Fi hotspots across India

Instabridge banner
Supported networks:
3G, 4G, 5G
Country coverage:
Starting price:
Current deal:
Get Instabridge now

Instabridge offers a unique eSIM solution for travelers, digital nomads, and business professionals looking for reliable internet access through Wi-Fi hotspots across India, in addition to mobile data.

Coverage and connectivity. Instabridge's service spans over 190 countries, including a Global eSIM that covers 127 countries. While it primarily focuses on regions like Europe and Latin America, it provides essential connectivity for international travel.

Setup and usage. The Instabridge eSIM includes user-friendly features like a Wi-Fi map, VPN, and data-saving browser, enhancing the overall user experience.

Customer support. Instabridge offers robust support through an in-app live chat feature, along with email support and an extensive knowledge base, ensuring that users receive timely assistance.

Plans and pricing. Instabridge’s plans are competitively priced, starting at $3.00, and include pay-as-you-go options that adjust rates when crossing country borders – ideal for frequent travelers.

Does my phone support eSIM?

An eSIM is a fairly new technology, which means most older devices won’t support it. Therefore, before you can use an eSIM, you’ll need to check if your device is compatible with it. Here’s how to do it for iPhones and Android phones:

eSIM compatibility on iPhone

iPhone models from the XS series onward, including the XR and all later models up to the current releases, are equipped to support eSIM technology. Users can easily verify if their particular iPhone model supports eSIM by visiting Apple's official website or directly checking on their phone.

To do this, navigate to Settings and then General and About on your iPhone, where details about eSIM compatibility are clearly listed if your device is eSIM-compatible. Again, this feature significantly enhances flexibility for users by simplifying the process of switching between carriers or maintaining multiple lines.

eSIM compatibility on Android phone

Android phone compatibility with eSIM technology varies significantly depending on the brand and model. Popular Android models that usually support eSIM include the Google Pixel series, starting from Pixel 2, Samsung Galaxy S20 series and newer, and select devices from Huawei and Motorola.

To determine if your Android device is eSIM-capable, you should review the technical specifications on the manufacturer's official website. Additionally, you can check for eSIM support directly on your device by navigating to Settings and then Network & Internet and Mobile Network, where an option for eSIM management would be present if supported.

Benefits of using eSIM in India

Using an eSIM in India offers several advantages that enhance the mobile connectivity experience for both residents and travelers. The primary benefits include the following:

  • Flexibility. eSIMs offer unmatched flexibility by enabling users to switch between various network providers without the hassle of changing physical SIM cards. This convenience is especially beneficial in India, where network reception can vary greatly between regions, allowing users to select the optimal network based on local coverage and cost efficiency.
  • Convenience. For travelers visiting India, eSIMs provide a significant advantage. They can be purchased and configured prior to arrival, ensuring that connectivity is established the moment one lands, without the need to search for a local SIM card vendor, saving time and avoiding potential language barriers or fraud.
  • Security. eSIMs are integrated directly into the device, significantly reducing the risk associated with losing or having a traditional SIM card stolen. This embedded feature provides a secure environment for your mobile services, safeguarding personal information against theft or unauthorized access.
  • Space-saving. The absence of a physical SIM slot due to eSIM technology allows for slimmer and more innovative device designs. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also leaves space for additional features or larger batteries.
  • Environmentally friendly. eSIMs contribute positively to environmental sustainability by eliminating the need for plastic SIM cards, thus reducing electronic waste. This is increasingly important in a world where electronic waste disposal poses significant environmental challenges.

Things to know about using an eSIM card for India

Utilizing an eSIM in India can simplify your mobile experience. Here’s what you need to know before you make the switch:

  • Check device compatibility. Before investing in an eSIM, confirm that your device is eSIM-compatible. This information can typically be found within the device settings under Mobile Networks or on the manufacturer's official website. Ensuring compatibility beforehand prevents any inconveniences after purchasing your eSIM.
  • Understand the activation process. Activation procedures for eSIMs vary depending on the provider. Common methods include scanning a QR code sent by the eSIM provider or downloading a carrier profile through their app. Familiarizing yourself with the process can streamline the setup of your eSIM.
  • Choose the right plan. Carefully assess your internet and call needs to choose an appropriate eSIM plan. Consider factors like the length of your stay in India and your expected data usage. Providers often offer specialized plans tailored for tourists that may offer additional benefits and discounts.
  • Consider coverage. Since network coverage can differ widely between providers, verify the areas in India where your eSIM provider offers service. This ensures you remain connected without disruptions, especially if traveling to remote or rural areas.
  • Ensure an available internet connection. Some eSIMs require an initial internet connection for activation, which might necessitate Wi-Fi access or a temporary network until your eSIM is fully operational. Having this connectivity ensures a smooth and hassle-free activation process.

How to make calls with eSIM in India

To make calls using an eSIM in India, first ensure your eSIM plan includes calls and SMS services, as many plans are data-only. If phone calls are not supported, utilize VoIP apps like WhatsApp, Skype, or Google Voice, which operate using data. Prior to your travels, install and set up these apps to guarantee seamless communication upon your arrival.

Always confirm that your eSIM is active and that you have a sufficient data plan to support clear and uninterrupted voice calls through these applications. This setup is important for maintaining connectivity and ensuring high-quality communication while in India.

Final thoughts on eSIMs for India

eSIMs provide a contemporary and convenient substitute for traditional SIM cards, particularly advantageous for travelers and residents in India. They facilitate smooth transitions between networks, bolster security, and eliminate the need for physical SIM cards. With ongoing advancements and wider adoption in India, eSIM technology is poised to offer even greater flexibility and connectivity choices.

Choosing one of the best eSIM providers in India, like Saily, can greatly enhance communication experiences, simplifying mobile service management and supporting a more connected lifestyle. As this technology evolves, its integration into daily mobile use is expected to increase, making it a fundamental component of modern telecommunications in India.


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