I remember one needed to recharge every 6 months or so to keep the card alive in addition to using the card.So is the consensus now that sending an SMS within the foreign country is cheapest or paying the 20Rs (which kicks in 90 days after the last usage and then has to be paid monthly AFAIU)?Their web page clearly states: You’ll be charged a monthly rental of Rs.99 when any of the following chargeable events are performed while on International Roaming: Making an Outgoing call- USSD Callback* or Direct dial Answering an incoming call Sending Messages Using GPRS"For pre-paid connections with lifetime validity (not applicable for Assam, NESA, Jammu & Kashmir), the connection will continue as long as you maintain the usage as per the product conditions.Pre-paid connections wherein there is no usage for a continuous period of 90 days are likely to get disconnected.3.) YOU NO LONGER NEED TO RECHARGE EVERY 180 DAYS TO KEEP YOUR CARD ACTIVE, PROVIDED YOU HAVE ENOUGH CREDIT FOR THE 20 Rs/30DAYS CHARGES.It is no longer necessary to recharge every 180 days to keep your SIM card alive.OTHERWISE AFTER ANY CHARGEABLE EVENT YOU GET BILLED A HEFTY *MONTHLY* RENTAL FEE OF 99 OR 149 Rs UNTIL YOU ARE BACK IN INDIA.If you do switch on your phone with an Indian SIM card inserted in a country outside of India AND a chargeable event occurs (call/data/outgoing sms), you will get charged an international roaming rental fee of 99Rs or 149Rs/month (depending on carrier) until your SIM card signs into its home carrier's Indian network again!
Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. With the hassles, costs, uncertainties, and time delays of getting new SIM cards activated in India for foreigners, it now makes more sense than ever for the regular India visitor to keep SIM cards active while abroad.Airtel has launched online self care service for prepaid mobile customers for the first time in India.(The web method is also very useful in India if your SIM is in a dongle.) On the other hand, sending an SMS from a roaming Airtel phone triggers a Rs 99/month roaming rental charge that is applied until your phone next connects to an Indian cell transmitter.I am surprised to hear you claim that Vodafone does not charge you Rs 99/month.