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India uses both GSM and CDMA and mobile phones are widely available, starting from ₹120 with ₹90 credit on the SIM. (3G networks are only starting to be rolled out.) Major operators with India-wide networks include '''Bharti Airtel''','''Vodafone''','''BSNL''','''MTNL''', '''Reliance Mobile''' (both GSM and CDMA),'''TATA DOCOMO''' (GSM),'''TATA Indicom'''(CDMA),'''Idea Cellular''', '''Uninor''','''Aircel''','''MTS'''(CDMA), and '''Videocon Mobile'''. Not all operators have Pan-India operations but have tie-ups with other operators to provide pan-India coverage via roaming, though roaming charges are higher. '''You will not be able to use your mobile in Jammu & Kashmir since the local government does not allow any roaming and restricts foreigners from buying SIM cards there due to terrorism.''' Local calls could cost as little as ₹0.10 per minute (typically ₹0.50), although going to a different state within India is considered roaming and additional charges of ₹1-3/min for both incoming and outgoing calls may apply. International calls are comparatively cheap, with most destinations under ₹10/min, the same as you'd pay at a PCO booth.
Fully loaded prepaid starter kits are available for around ₹500 or less, including several hundred rupees of call time. Plain SIM cards are sold for as little as ₹10-15 while they are given out for free in many cases. You will need identification (including a photocopy of your visa and passport) and a passport size photo. Shops can often do this for you for a small fee. Some shops will also insist on a local address in India; try the next one if they're not accommodating, but usually a bill from your hotel is fine. The best option is always buying a SIM card from the phone company's own store, that way you can verify the SIM card is working and you have been allocated your credit before you leave. Buying from smaller vendors will often mean a delay of a few hours to a few days before they call to get the SIM working, and you risk your SIM being cancelled if they never send in your identification paperwork.