The Best Sim Cards in India from the Top Service Providers

best sim cards

The telecom industry is a thriving sector in India having a customer base of over 1 billion subscribers. There are four main service providers in the country. How would someone taking a new connection decide which service to choose? Today we attempt to give you a guided description of all the main network providers so that you can decide which the best sim in India is and how suitable you would find it for your requirements.

Who are the main providers?

  • Vodafone Idea
  • Reliance Jio
  • Bharti Airtel
  • BSNL

What you should know about each provider

To choose the best sim network in India, you need to have an idea about the services provided. Each of the above providers offers top services including 3G, 4G, high-speed internet and other OTT subscriptions depending on the package you choose.


Airtel is mainly chosen for its great internet speeds. The customer base enjoys high-speed connectivity and good coverage too. Their dongle facilities make travelling easier for those who require internet services on the go. There are some great online services like Airtel Money, My plan which is highly popular.

  • Key points
  • Provides comparatively better coverage in rural as well as urban areas
  • Good packs, slightly higher cost for services
  • Provides great offers with OTT subscriptions
  • Customer services can be improved
  • 4G connectivity

Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio entered the telecom market with a tremendous impact on 4G services. The other service providers faced tough competition as the Jio revolution started. They provided cheaper tariffs with great coverage. Remote areas enjoyed the benefit of a strong network with solid connectivity. The main attractions Jio introduced includes zero roaming charges, totally free voice calls, free OTT subscriptions, unlimited browsing at night and several other thrilling offers.

  • Key points
  • Free voice calls
  • Excellent 4G coverage
  • Free OTT subscriptions
  • Affordable tariffs and plans
  • Lesser voice quality
  • Needs better Customer service

Vodafone Idea

Vodafone Idea has extended its area of expertise after the merger between Vodafone and Idea. The new Vi brand is creating a solid customer base with its quality services. The main attractions include stable connectivity, reliable call quality, good data packs, reliable internet speed. The 3G, 4G services are recommended by many users.

  • Key points
  • High internet speed
  • Great stability in urban areas
  • Urban and rural coverage
  • Call drops need to be rectified
  • Higher prices for packs


Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited is a widespread network provider that has been serving the country from the start of telecom evolution. Every corner of the country has BSNL coverage for 2G and 3G BSNL sim cards. Internet services may not reach the mark when compared to other faster networks. However, BSNL remains a loyal, reliable provider for all mobile sims.

  • Key points
  • Value for money
  • Widest network throughout India
  • Same speed for both 2G and 3G
  • Exciting offers and discounts
  • Internet connectivity issues
  • Poor internet speed
  • The average response from customer care

A comparison between all the four service providers

We have gone through various polls, surveys and customer responses. To make things easier for you, we have summarised the results here.

Comparison Vodafone Idea Airtel Reliance Jio BSNL
Voice App Experience





Video App experience





Download Speed





Upload Speed





4G availability





4g Coverage Experience





The rating scale for your reference
Voice App Experience (0-100)
Video App Experience (0-100)
Download speed (Mbps)
Upload Speed (Mbps)
4G availability % of time
4g Coverage Experience (0-10)

Buying your Sim Card (Indian Nationals)

You need to provide your Aadhar card to the telecom operator’s franchisee /store. They will verify your Identity for the KYC procedure. Once the verification is done, your Sim card application will be completed. Depending on the telecom operator, you will receive the sim within 48 hours.

If you don't have your Aadhar, you will have to provide other documents for proof.

Some of the documents are:-

  • Proof of Address
  • Proof of Identity
  • Passport-size photographs

In Jammu Kashmir or other North-East Indian states, you may not be able to get a prepaid sim connection. You will have to check with your telecom operator as terms and conditions are depending on the region.

Buying your Sim Card (Non-Indian Nationals)

If you are a foreigner visiting the country, you will be able to get assistance with the Sim connection at the Airport. Having an Indian native accompany you will be of great assistance

If you are approaching a store, please take these documents along with you.

For pre-paid sim connections

  • Photocopy of your visa
  • Passport and a photocopy
  • Passport-sized photos

If you are applying for Postpaid sim connections, please keep these documents ready

  • A local reference with proof of identity
  • Local proof of address
  • Photocopy of your visa
  • Passport and a photocopy
  • Passport-sized photos

The documents required and procedure will depend on individual service operators. Kindly approach the operators for complete details.

Factors to consider before choosing your Sim

Now that you have seen the details of the various service providers, there are certain factors that you need to consider.

  • The area you reside in is the first.
  • The internet speed
  • Network coverage
  • Strength of connectivity
  • Mobile sim range etc are influenced by the circle you reside in.

Do check with your acquaintances and family members to get a fair idea about the network availability.

Choosing the best prepaid sim card in India

  • The new Airtel Sim can be availed at ₹297, with 1.5 GB of Data daily and 100 free SMS. You get an unlimited calling facility and the validity is 28 days. Access to Airtel Xstream App and Wynk Music can also be enjoyed.
  • If you are considering a Vi sim, the starting rate is from ₹297 with 1.5 GB/day, 100 free SMS and a pack validity of 28 days. Additional benefits include TV access and Vi Movies
  • The Jio sim is free, however, you have to take a corresponding pack to activate the sim.
  • The BSNL sim can be taken for Rs220/-. You can avail of Rs50/- Talktime with this plan. Other sim cards vary from Rs 70/ onwards till Rs 3000/-. The validity period and services offered for each plan can be found on our pages for BSNL services.

All the prepaid plans have been described in detail on our pages for the four service operators. Kindly refer to these pages for further information.

Choosing the best sim card for a postpaid connection

You can find all the postpaid plans with tariff and other complete details on our pages for the respective service provider. Here, we have mentioned the most popular postpaid plans below Rs 500/-.

  • Airtel has the Infinity postpaid plans for Rs 499/-.
  • Vodafone Idea has come up with Rs499/- RED entertainment + plans
  • Reliance Jio's most popular postpaid plan is the Rs 199/-

New connections with unlimited talk times

Which is the best sim for unlimited Talktime? For those of you thinking about this, here is a heads up.

BSNL Recharge plan for Rs 398 appears to be the most popular among BSNL plans offering unlimited calls. There is a validity of 30 days, unlimited data and no FUP limits.

These popular plans are

  • Rs 19 plan- You get unlimited calling with 200MB data for 2 days
  • Rs 129 prepaid plan – Avail unlimited calling -1GB data, 300 SMS for the validity of f28 days. It also offers Airtel Thanks benefits.

Other plans under Rs 200 include the Rs 149 prepaid plan, Rs 179 prepaid plan and Rs 199 prepaid plan.

  • Rs 129 has a 28 days validity with 2GB data. You also get 1000 FUP mins for the other service networks
  • Rs 149 has unlimited Jio-to-Jio calling, with 1GB daily for 28 days service validity. You also get 1000 FUP mins for the other service networks
  • Rs 199 has 1.5 GB daily with validity for 28 days. There is a total of 42GB of data,100 SMS/day. You also get unlimited on-net calling as well as 1000 min off-net calling.
  • VI Rs 19 prepaid plan has unlimited calling, 200MB data valid for 2 days
  • VI Rs 199 offers 1GB/day data with unlimited calling as well as 100 SMS/day valid for 24 days

The other two Vodafone Idea plans under Rs 200/- are Vi Rs 129 and Vi Rs 149.

You can find all the prepaid plans with tariff and other complete details on our pages for the respective service provider.

Details of OTT Subscription along with various Sim providers

The major OTT subscriptions provided by the main service operators are given as follows :-

Reliance Jio

Jio gives a complimentary subscription for Jio TV along with all the prepaid plans.

Jio offers Disney+ Hotstar VIP subscription for one year with the following popular prepaid plans

  • Rs 401,
  • Rs 499,
  • Rs 598,
  • Rs 777
  • Rs 2,599

There are other OTT subscriptions with various packs, details of which you can access on the respective pages.


Airtel offers Xstream streaming service as well as Wynk Music service with all the prepaid plans.

Popular Prepaid plans with one year subscription for Disney+ Hotstar

  • Rs 401,
  • Rs 448,
  • Rs 599
  • Rs 2,698

Popular prepaid plan with 28 days of Zee5 is the Rs 289/-

A popular prepaid plan with 28 days of Amazon Prime Video is the Rs 349 /-

Vodafone Idea

All of the prepaid recharges come with a complimentary subscription to Vi Movies and the TV app.

Popular Prepaid plans with a one-year subscription to Zee5

  • Rs 405,
  • Rs 595,
  • Rs 795
  • Rs 2,595

You can find all details on our pages for the respective service provider. Kindly visit the page you are interested in.

The best sim in India for 4g

Which is the best sim in India for 4g? This has only one answer throughout the country. The best 4G sim is offered by Reliance Jio.

Who provides the best Internet speed?

Wondering which the best sim card for internet speed would be? A recent finding shows that Airtel leads the race when the internet speed is considered. Then comes Vodafone Idea, Jio stands third and BSNL is behind them all.

Sim Coverage based on locality

Many subscribers enquire which sim card is best in India. As we have mentioned before, this mainly depends on your regional locality. If you need higher speed 4G services, Airtel Sim would be the best for you. Both 2G and 4G phones are compatible with Airtel Sim. However, if you are looking for wide coverage at cheaper rates, Jio is considered to be the best. To use a Jio Sim, you would need a 4G supported mobile.


Selectra believes in providing the best to all its customers. Hence we have compiled this article which helps you decide the best sim card in India. You are requested to visit our pages on the various service providers for further reference. Please approach us for any clarifications.

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