Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Postby HammockGuy » August 13th, 2011, 7:51 am

After seeing a discussion in the Map / GPS topic discussion, I realized that we had such a topic in the old forum. One guy in particular provided tons of good stuff. Where are you?!

So what kind of stuff should be here? I'm sure I'll miss some things, but everything from electricity, voltage converters and charging our incredibly in cool gadgets to using cell phones in India, internet / wifi, Skype and the like, Slingbox, etc..

Oh, most laptops can be charged with 120 or 220 input voltage.
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Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Postby anchau » August 13th, 2011, 11:06 am

Moving posts from different thread here:

We plan to pick up our twins some time in Dec and are trying to figure out how to get a cell phone to work in India so we can make phone calls to different places to get legal doc done, but not sure how to go about it. If anyone has experience with this please share.


by spanky » August 13th, 2011, 3:12 am

Hi anchau, where are you from?

You just need a carrier unlocked GSM cell phone for India. Then you can buy pre-paid SIM cards here from your choice of about a dozen different carriers. Calls within India are very cheap and inbound calls are free.

You can also buy or rent a phone here cheaply so don't worry too much. I am renting a phone for Rs 300/month and have only spent a couple hundred rupees on calls over the last two months.

If you want to have people reach you easily and pretty inexpensively you can get a Skype phone number in your local country and then forward it to your Indian cell phone number. I do this with a US phone number and for $10USD per month I get 400 minutes to India.

Hope that helps.

by anchau » August 13th, 2011, 6:33 am

Thanks Spanky! That is very helpful. I'm from US. I'll do some research on sim card and see if I can use with Sprint. Since renting is cheap there, i probably will go with that option. Can you please provide the name and address of the store where you rented the phone?


by spanky » August 13th, 2011, 6:52 am

You're welcome.

Leave your Sprint phone at home, it is useless here. Same with Verizon.

In the US only at&t and t-mobile use GSM and even then the phones are normally locked to the carrier.

I rented this phone from Indrajeet +91 99047 90088. Uday +91 98981 33512 can also set you up. They are both drivers/helpers here in Anand that work with Dr. Nayana's clients. You can also have either of them pick you up from the airport.

If you really have to have a cell that will work the moment you land in India you can buy a used, unlocked GSM phone on eBay or craigslist and then buy a pre-paid SIM that will work in India on the internet.

Something I did that you ay be interested in is to purchase a US Skype phone number. You can get one for $18 for three months. Then I purchased 400 minutes to India for $9. Then I forwarded my Skype account to the India cell phone. This let me give people in the US an easy way to reach me by simply calling my US number. I actually took this one step further and put my Google Voice number in front and this lets me control who can call me and when my calls will ring through to India.
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Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Postby HammockGuy » August 13th, 2011, 11:34 am

Anchau, thank you for putting that discussion with Spanky here. I feel that this information will be most helpful to people...

I too use Google voice, and it's really cool.

Having a phone of some type is very beneficial. I needed to call airlines, both domestic and international several times. I also called the US Consulate in Mumbai, and of course I called family and friends too. I worked while in Anand, including conference calls. I did this all with a "soft phone" on my computer's desktop, with a headset connected...

Oh, I remember watching college football and basketball games on my computer while in Anand.

We've stayed at Hotel Laksh and Rama only in many visits, but both have a decent variety of US / English TV channels such as TNT, TBS, HBO, CNBC, CNN, etc... I think it total about 5 or so.
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Re: Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Postby Jackie_pbs » August 13th, 2011, 2:34 pm

Best to use an unlocked sim mobile telephone.

If you don't have one or cannot get an unlocked one - then you can purchase a very inexpensive one from ebay. (A Buy-it-Now phone goes for about $10 with shipping included)

Due to mobile phone restrictions in India after the Mumbai attacks to get a SIM card you need to have proof of an Indian address (sometimes just showing the hotel card will work- otherwise ask Dr. Hitesh about a proof document for getting a SIM card), and photocopy of you passport and a passport photo of yourself.

You then take the phone, address proof, passport photo and walk to the "NOKIA" shop. From the gate - walk straight until the main street - turn left and walk about 10-15 shops down.

You need to purchase a "PREPAID" SIM card and then add rupees immediately to begin service. If you want "full talk time" - when what you pay in is equal to the amount of $$ you have the phone - I think (and don't quote me) you need to "top up" to 300-400 rupees. Otherwise if you only put on 50 rupees your total $$ available to use is only 30 rupees (taxes and services fees minused).

Vodafone India seems to be the cheapest calling method inside anywhere in India for around 1-2 rupees per minute and calls tp the US are about 6 rupees/minute. Incoming calls are 6-12 rupees for about a 10 minute conversation.
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Re: Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Postby snv1979 » August 14th, 2011, 9:36 am

Phones are available for as little as Rs. 1000 - Rs. 1500.

Regarding obtaining a SIM, the Indian Address requirement is that, you will need to provide a local contact and their address.

Yes, you would require a passport size photograph and photocopies of your passport / visa.

Regarding using Skype in India - if at all it works, you will definitely not be able to download Skype / Yahoo Messenger with Voice, and similar such services when you are in India. So, download these applications before coming into India.

Overseas calls from India are costly compared to calls from US or UK to India (using calling cards).
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Re: Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Postby FChallanged » August 8th, 2012, 7:29 am

I bought IDEA sim card from their store in next to Rama. They simply asked for US driver license and photo for the SIM. I initially bought prepaid card for Rs 500, which also included 2 GB of data. Data was slow as it was not 3G, but useful to fetch email and check maps. Service was excellent in Anand and Mumbai, cheap rates to call US phones.

I stayed in LaCasa, their internet (wired only, WI-FI was not available) was very fast. I used webex and voip phone without any problem. I was also able to watch movies from Netflix mostly in good quality. As the TV was useless (very limited english channels, no CNN/BBC), Netflix as good companion to kill time. Please note that Netflix is is not available in US so you have to use US based proxy. I had proxy at home so it was easy for me.
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Re: Tech talk (electricity, internet, phones, etc...)

Postby easybreezy » October 15th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Has anyone had luck buying a "pay-as-you-go" phone with an Indian SIM Card at the major airports? I'd like to get one at my point of entry since I'm likely landing VERY late at night and have 4 hours to kill before my flight to Vadodara. Thanks!
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