Vodafone India: activating international roaming

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <>

What should you do if you

You can choose an international roaming pack on the Vodafone web site, but it will send an OTP to your phone by SMS to confirm the request. You won't receive this SMS, because you don't have international roaming, so you can't activate international roaming without an OTP.

The trick is to activate the ₹149/month “standard rates” travel pack, which does not require SMS confirmation. Once this is active, you will be able to receive SMS messages, and you can confirm your request for a more sensible international roaming pack.

As we discovered, you cannot rely on Vodafone customer care to tell you what to do, but if you call them up and request this particular plan, they should be able to activate it for you. It takes about half an hour. You may have to reboot your phone and ask someone to SMS you obsessively.

Warning: Activating the “standard rates” pack will make your phone work overseas, but you will incur enormous charges if you use it to do anything other than receive SMS messages. A single outgoing SMS will cost ₹15, a minute of talk time will cost ₹70, and downloading 1MB of data will cost ₹550. Choose a different pack as soon as you can! Also remember to deactivate the standard pack once you're back in the country, to avoid being charged every month.

At the time of writing, vodafone.in/international-roaming-packs works; otherwise, look for “International roaming” on the Vodafone web site. Likewise, the numbers above may vary by country and over time.

(Sorry, I don't know the answer for any other Indian telco.)