eSims, what is your experience.

ausfox

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I am interested in the concept of eSims but have no experience with them.
The notion of running my local sim plus having an international sim for phone use while in USA and EU could be handy.
What have members experience been? TIA
 

SYD

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It’s been on my “To Do“ list to start this sort of thread but covid got in the way and I find my Optus package (with included roaming data) generally does the job. But prior to switching to Optus i specifically bought a new iPhone with dual SIM (physical + eSIM).

I used TruPhone in Sth Africa on a data package - which worked well. I have some pricing info I‘ll upload.
 

SYD

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Initially, the local Telcos weren’t doing eSims, so you either had to do the physical sim swap or find a suitable eSIM service provider. They’re all doing eSims now, so one option is to put your primary (local) number on the eSIM and free up the physical slot for local sims you pickup along the way.

*BUT* the advantage of eSims is you can get them before you leave the country or even swap over - without needing to go into s physical store etc.

If your using iPhone, here’s some info:

I suspect some people don’t even realise they have a dual sim phone because the esim options in settings don’t appear until you load one.

Click through on the page above shows “eSIM carriers”:

If you rock up to one of those countries, you’re supposed to be able to purchase some service and scan a QR code to load up the eSIM.

If you’re just after roaming data, TruePhone, Flexiroam (and others) have packages / bundles. They come with an app to manage the eSIM and packages.
 

Scr77

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So if I want to sign up for an overseas eSIM, where does the QR code come from? The providers website when I sign up?
 
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SYD

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So if I want to sign up for an overseas eSIM, where does the QF code come from? The providers website when I sign up?
I believe so. I’ve never actually done it via QR code - hopefully someone who has can share their experience.
 

Rhondaz

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I’ve been using Airalo over the past few years and have had great experiences across the EU and North America. So long as you only need data then they’re quick and easy to setup.
They also have regional plans that can cover more than one country.

The only hiccup has been in PNG however their customer service was quick to deal with the issues with the local network provider.
 

jboy90

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Have my Australian telco on an eSIM and I use a physical sim when overseas. Works a great for receiving texts to my Australian number and any urgent calls.

I usually pre purchase sims for overseas from simsdirect.com.au

Have done it a few times and would recommend them.

I figure it’s easier to have an eSIM Australian number and foreign physical sim, rather than the other way around. I usually pop the physical sim into my phone in the lounge before departing Australia.
 

levelnine

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I’ve been using Airalo over the past few years and have had great experiences across the EU and North America.
Wow this looks incredible. Thanks for pointing it out. If only it included voice & text it would be even better, but still might work well combined with Whatsapp/Skype.

Edit: It looks like Truphone does something similar and their prices are the same and occasionally even better than Airalo.
 
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ZigZagWanderer

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I haven't used an international esim just yet, but I'm going to this week. I tried out an optus esim just to see if it would work as expected (and abused the 7GB for the first free week :).

The process itself was amazingly simple. I can turn the sim on and off very easily. I was actually very impressed at how easy it all was to use, and did not impact my existing physical sim at all.

I would warn you that using 2 sims will drain your battery faster. The two radio receivers work simultaneously, and that uses power.
 

SYD

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Edit: It looks like Truphone does something similar and their prices are the same and occasionally even better than Airalo.
TruPhone will charge in AUD (if you pre-purchase in Oz). Otherwise the local currency if it supports that. USD the default but GBP, EUR and some others (where TruPhone is listed in the carrier list in my earlier post I believe they have a local currency agreement).

Prior to going and while overseas I checked the going rates from TruPhone. Here’s the UK/EU pricing in $Oz before I left.
190510A4-EFBD-4558-B73C-80FA0AAEF11C.png

Same from Singapore (USD).
7E6B40E9-1CC5-4B58-B15B-F15D0E25ACA1.png

Then in the UK (GBP).
FB617662-FFE0-4DD0-A160-A7FDCC1E2112.png
 

SYD

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TruPhone has regional and global packages (the later got quite expensive but is the only option in some out of the way places).

Flexiroam appears to have similar pricing - maybe a little more but they do bombard my inbox with sales. They also discount for advanced purchase. I haven’t tried that - I think it may lock your eSim to Flexiroam for the duration (although you can have multiple packages loaded).
 

levelnine

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The one caveat I will add is that the Apple store ratings for TruPhone are terrible. Seems like a lot of people have problems with the app. That would make me inclined to prefer Airalo, even if it were mildly more expensive.
 

SYD

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The one caveat I will add is that the Apple store ratings for TruPhone are terrible. Seems like a lot of people have problems with the app. That would make me inclined to prefer Airalo, even if it were mildly more expensive.
TruPhone was one of the 1st, so has gone through some of the early tech issues. I recall peeps having trouble uninstalling the eSIM and unable to use another but that was sorted years ago.

It was a pretty seamless process for me but caveat that I haven’t used a package for a while. I almost took one of those UK plans while away but I was able to manage with my Optus 4GB roaming pm + plenty of free wifi.
 

Thibault

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Works so well.
Used the free T-Mobile one for the US using T-Mobile Test Drive. It was set up in 2 minutes while waiting for my bags at Honolulu.

I also used the Three Mobile HK esim global roaming in the Middle East - very cheap and was working immediately.

My French carrier offer unlimited fair-use roaming across most part of the world using my esim so this is set up as a second number on my iPhone.

My Australian phone number, on Boost allows free WIFI calls and SMS while connected to any internet connection. The Boost sim card will use the esim's 4/5g internet connection and I can use my Australian number anywhere as long as I have Internet.

Another way as well to keep your Australian phone number when you are an expat or live overseas is to sign up for the Optus Flex esim 1$/day plan - then cancel the subscription the same day and just top up every 6 months to keep your number.
Optus allows free roaming to receive SMS across the world so this is costing 2$/year to keep an Australian number with roaming.

Esim has really been a blessing for international travelers.
 

VPS

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I used Flexiroam in South America and couldn't get it to work properly and their support were useless
 

QF029

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Google Fi have an esim and it's a great service for traveling. Data is the same price roaming as in the US and you can pause it and pay nothing for 3 months at a time. Reactivate it for 5 mins and you can pause for another 3 months.

When I lived in the US this was the service I used and now it goes on as soon as I land out of Australia.
 

SYD

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Which plan do you use? The $20 + $10/GB? How does it work if you unpause for 5 mins then pause again? Do you get charged a full month of usage?
Yeah, looks a bit pricier than some of the others BUT it’s a full service plan - calls, txt, data etc.
 
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