BSNL Micro SIM for iPhone or iPad

A few weeks ago, the BSNL SIM that I had purchased when I moved here to Bangalore, stopped working. The iPhone did not detect it and other phones gave a “SIM Corrupt. Contact Service Provider” error.

Knowing how the workings in a governmental agency in this country are and considering that I had physically cut the SIM down to a Micro SIM so it’d fit in my iPhone, I did not have any hopes of getting a free replacement. So I head out to the local BSNL Quick Service Station to get a replacement, stating that I had lost the SIM. I was asked to fill out a form, give a photocopy each of my address and ID proof and Rs. 10 for the replacement SIM card. To try my luck, I asked them if it was possible to get a Micro SIM instead, so that I wouldn’t have to cut it down again. Technically, they could just give me a Micro SIM and use its SIM number instead of the fresh SIM they were going to issue. Sadly, they were not ready to go out of their way to do me a favor.

Fast forward to yesterday, where I had this sudden urge to purchase the iPad special plans from BSNL. BSNL offers three special plans for iPad customers in India, wherein Rs. 99/day give you unlimited data browsing, Rs. 599/month gives you 6GB of data while Rs. 999/month gives you unlimited data browsing. What’s interesting is, BSNL actually gives out Micro SIMs if you opt for this service. I figured I’d just give it a try.

I dropped in a request on the website yesterday and received a phone call this morning from the executive who was willing to visit me at home and collect the documents. This was pretty cool in itself. I submitted the documents this morning and received a Micro SIM that was supposed to be activated by 6PM. Surprisingly, the card started working by 3PM itself, but the 3G data service wasn’t yet active. I tried a few hours later and viola, I was browsing at supersonic speeds again. Well, not really.

While I was told that you cannot make or receive phone calls on this service, turns out you can. I just tried to make and receive phones calls and what do you know! It works.

I guess if you’re looking to get a new BSNL connection and want to use it in your iPhone, you have this as a choice.