Old Jun 5, 2023, 7:06 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: username
Free data/trials (control-f to find the actual section for each provider)
  1. Eskimo 1GB 2year
  2. RedBullMobile 100MB 1year
  3. Yesim 350 coins 1 year
  4. ExtremeConnect
Device
Be ADVISED: ALL Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong version of EVERY Phone DOES NOT HAVE SUPPORT for eSim
  1. Best device = Apple iPhone
    1. Supports dual eSIM (most android phones w/ eSIM have 1 physical + 1 eSIM slot, but cannot use 2 eSIMs together)
    2. Depending on carrier, supports DSDV (VoLTE voice calls on sim1 gets routed through sim2.data, as though you were doing WiFi calling)
    3. Some androids might support DSDV
  2. esim.me
    1. Allows you to use eSIM on non-native eSIM device
    2. Requires supported/modern phone
    3. Pricey / confusing options
Useful search sites
  1. https://esimdb.com/
  2. https://esims.io/
  3. https://esimradar.com/

eSIM features to consider
  1. Network coverage
    1. which networks are supported (not all eSIM list the networks, and networks can change overtime)
    2. You may want to avoid lower-tier networks or if your phone doesn't support their LTE/5G bands
  2. Amount of data
    1. "Unlimited" data typically has fair usage in ToS/fineprint, eg 0.5-1GB per day or 1GB every 3 days, reset on 4th day midnight. may or may not allow hotspot
    2. Generally data-limited plans allow full-speed w/ hotspot, some offer slow 128kbps after you hit the limit while others cut you off immediately)
  3. length of coverage
    1. eg: 1 day, 3 day, 7 day, 30day, 180day, 365day, noExpiry
  4. Country coverage (single country, regional/EU, global)
  5. Proxy/Latency/IP
    1. Most eSIM providers route you back to their main network, which can incur latency
    2. Your searches will probably geo-locate back to that main network (instead of the country you're in)
    3. Some of your apps may not work (eg Pandora radio only works in USA, won't work in another country)
  6. Data sharing / transfering of eSIM to new device
    1. A few providers allow you to share data, so you can split one plan with multiple eSIM devices (Eskimo, Dent, Vegolink)
    2. Many providers only allow you to activate eSIM profile once. if you have to switch phones, you either lose that data, or have to pay a token amount to get a new eSIM profile with the remaining balance
  7. Price/GB
  8. How data is counted per session
    1. Usually in ToS, usually its rounded up per 1KB/10KB/100KB/1MB increments. Obviously smaller increment is better
  9. Method of activation
    1. Some providers require you to use their app to load the eSIM
    2. Others send you QR code and/or activation URL, for you to manually load onto phone
    3. You need valid network access (via wifi or existing mobile data) to activate eSIM
  10. Expiry countdown
    1. Some providers start counting down expiry once you purchase, or once you activate eSIM onto phone, or once you set foot into country
  11. Speed
    1. generally these eSIM providers get low priority, could be a problem if there is network congestion
    2. you may want to consider a proper provider over an MVNO
  12. Visual Voicemail - it seems depending on the phone and carrier, Visual Voicemail might require a Cellular Connection through your provider or their roaming partners. So, Visual Voicemail might not work if you are using a data-only eSIM with roaming turned off for your "home line"

Unique feature
  1. Ubigi
    1. free eSIM profile. If you don't have valid plan, the eSIM still allows you to connect & browse ubigi.me (and purchase data via creditcard/paypal)
    2. Seems native geo-located IP but still through a regional proxy with some latency (Transactel owns part of Ubigi, and Transactel has their own backend)

Longer term data (180day to no expiry)
  1. Yesim (coins expire 1 year)
  2. Dent (1 year)
  3. Eskimo (2 year)
  4. Esimplus (no expiry)
  5. AIS eSIM2Fly topup (365 day)
  6. 3HK (365 day)

PAYG data
  1. Yesim (varies, deducts from sharedWallet)
  2. Dent (10/GB)
  3. RedBullMobile (varies, need to prepay per GB)





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eSIM thread

Old Feb 18, 2019, 8:49 pm
  #16  
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upcountry Maui, HI
Posts: 13,287
Originally Posted by powerlifter
I too like The Mad Brewer have been waiting on t-mobile to get the e-sim on post-paid plans. Leaving at the end of the month wish I could just have my eSim working so I could have my Three sim card in the slot. Or Three had an eSim compatible sim card.
iPhone, yes?

You can, you just have to add it manually after calling them to set it up. There's a reddit thread on how to do it. I used iMessage business chat to contact them to do it. It's very easy and worked instantly. You just have to "convince" the t-mobile rep to do an EID based SIM swap and give them your EID. "convince" wasn't at all difficult to do. Just ask them to do the EID based sim swap and you will take care of the rest of it without any assistance. (the first rep needed convincing for my phone. The 2nd rep just did the sim swap for my wife's phone.)

https://www.reddit.com/r/tmobile/com...w_to_activate/

Once you move your home sim to the e-sim "slot", that frees up your physical sim slot for travel.

-David
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Last edited by LIH Prem; Feb 18, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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Old Feb 19, 2019, 9:25 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 684
I am interested in an Egyptian sim card for a 10-day trip that also includes 36 hours in Zurich (in addition to the 10 days we are in Egypt). We are flying home from CAI through connections in AMM to DOH then direct home to BOS. I'm with AT&T, and currently have their $10 Day Pass which will cover the 36 hours we're in Zurich. But that plan doesn't work in Egypt, Jordan, and Qatar, and I would have to switch to their Passport plan for which 1GB is $60 and 3GB is $120 (a one-time charge for 30 days).

I have 2 old iPhones (a 5s and a 6 - one for me, one for my daughter traveling companion) that could be used instead of our current phones if I went the Egyptian sim card route. Would we have to have the Egyptian tour guide take us to a store upon arrival to get this set up? Or should I go the eSim route with GigFly or Ubigi?

What are your opinions as to my options?
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Old Feb 19, 2019, 9:51 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BWI,IAD,DCA
Programs: UA gold, Hyatt Plat Marriott silver,Hilton Gold, PC Plat., SPG Gold.,Hertz Gold, Global Entry
Posts: 650
Originally Posted by LIH Prem
iPhone, yes?

You can, you just have to add it manually after calling them to set it up. There's a reddit thread on how to do it. I used iMessage business chat to contact them to do it. It's very easy and worked instantly. You just have to "convince" the t-mobile rep to do an EID based SIM swap and give them your EID. "convince" wasn't at all difficult to do. Just ask them to do the EID based sim swap and you will take care of the rest of it without any assistance. (the first rep needed convincing for my phone. The 2nd rep just did the sim swap for my wife's phone.)

https://www.reddit.com/r/tmobile/com...w_to_activate/

Once you move your home sim to the e-sim "slot", that frees up your physical sim slot for travel.

-David
Well, I made the mistake of calling. Her problem was she contacted support who told her it could not be done. I will try your method by live chat.
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Old Feb 19, 2019, 1:02 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: LAX
Programs: Fallen DL DM (PM) 2MM
Posts: 4,783
Originally Posted by powerlifter
Well, I made the mistake of calling. Her problem was she contacted support who told her it could not be done. I will try your method by live chat.
I've called twice and gotten the same "it can not be done" but haven't pushed it. I am a little hesitant because even if they do it they (TMO) says it is not supported and I don't want to be in East Podunkia and have stuff stop working It TMO hasn't released eSIM for Postpaid by my next overseas trip I may try the GigSky/Ubigi route since there is no long term commitment there.
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Old Feb 19, 2019, 7:46 pm
  #20  
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upcountry Maui, HI
Posts: 13,287
Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer
I've called twice and gotten the same "it can not be done" but haven't pushed it. I am a little hesitant because even if they do it they (TMO) says it is not supported and I don't want to be in East Podunkia and have stuff stop working It TMO hasn't released eSIM for Postpaid by my next overseas trip I may try the GigSky/Ubigi route since there is no long term commitment there.
Don't mention e-sim. Just tell them you need to an EID based SIM swap. If they question it, just tell them you don't need any support for it, you just need them to process the EID based SIM swap and you'll take care of everything else.

I waited till I got home from my last trip to do it in case something went wrong I could just go to a local t-mo store and get a new SIM.

Do you know how to use the business chat feature? Open Apple Maps, and find a nearby t-mobile store and select it. Slide up for the details. There should be a Messages button there. Make sure you are on wifi if you are using the target phone.

-David
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Last edited by LIH Prem; Feb 19, 2019 at 7:51 pm
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Old Feb 22, 2019, 9:13 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BWI,IAD,DCA
Programs: UA gold, Hyatt Plat Marriott silver,Hilton Gold, PC Plat., SPG Gold.,Hertz Gold, Global Entry
Posts: 650
@LH Prem, I did contact chat about the eSim. She kept me on chat for over 40 minutes to tell me it was too complicated to explain through chat. Told me to call Support. I will probably call them when I get back from my next business trip.
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Old Feb 24, 2019, 9:06 pm
  #22  
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upcountry Maui, HI
Posts: 13,287
Originally Posted by powerlifter
@LH Prem, I did contact chat about the eSim. She kept me on chat for over 40 minutes to tell me it was too complicated to explain through chat. Told me to call Support. I will probably call them when I get back from my next business trip.
What did she have to explain? All you have to do is ask them to do an EDID based SIM swap, following the directions in the reddit thread. If they don't know how to do that or won't do it, hang up and try again. Don't bother calling support.

You weren't asking them for help doing it, were you? It's not officially supported but works if you just follow the instructions in the reddit thread, which IMO, are very simple and straightforward.

-David
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Old Feb 25, 2019, 8:03 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BWI,IAD,DCA
Programs: UA gold, Hyatt Plat Marriott silver,Hilton Gold, PC Plat., SPG Gold.,Hertz Gold, Global Entry
Posts: 650
@LIH Prem all I said was I wanted a sim swap with this phone# and with this EID number. I tried to tell her that it was pretty straight forward, but she contacted support and that person told her it was too complicated to do over chat so I need to call in. This was after something like 40 minutes on chat. I left.
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Old Mar 1, 2019, 4:17 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: TH
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by freecia
I'd be interested in Thai AIS Sim2Fly roaming sim within Asia & AU if it were a little easier to top up SIM2FLY the best-value roaming SIM for everyone! They currently only setup eSIM in store and top up can be tricky outside Thailand for non-Thai residents. They also offer a "Global" 15 GB/1 year for ~ $90 USD = $ 6 per GB. It might be an interesting option for those who can't get/don't want ProjectFi/T-Mobile and want to minimize some of the local sim signup hassles. Same plan is available with a physical sim.
Actually.... the eSIM2Fly is now showing up for sale online. You can google the AIS SIM2Fly eSIM. This is a perfect sim when you compare to something like Gigsky charges the same price for 1GB as you pay for 5GB with Sim2Fly. And you can keep it valid for 1 year at a time. Just do a top up and each time you add funds you get 1 month validity. When you want to use it again, just enter a USSD code for a new plan. For example, you enter *111*356# for 1GB for 2 days in Asia for just under $4.

As for easy top up of the SIM2Fly, lots of recharge sites can do it, but found MobileTopup.com about the cheapest.
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Old Mar 1, 2019, 11:38 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,285
@boardsports - Yup, Sim2Fly eSIM reseller was mentioned by @beep88 on the Japan Forum https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30832359-post482.html The physical sim cards purchased from resellers are registered to someone else (not the purchaser) and prevents some of the functions of app working when Line Pay used to be available to US Line holders. MobileTopup checkout uses Verified By Visa 3DS and Chase CC's are a bit fiddly with that Always stuck in the Verified by Visa when purchase ticket....Any solution?? though I'd probably pre-load some more credit on an eSIM than physical as I lend out physical sims.
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Old Mar 1, 2019, 7:47 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: TH
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by freecia
@boardsports - Yup, Sim2Fly eSIM reseller was mentioned by @beep88 on the Japan Forum
Wow, @beep88 is on top of his game, I didn't realize it was already mentioned. It does appear for the moment that eSIMs can not be shared, like a physical SIM. My guess is the Apple and carriers decided to close this loophole as the sharing of eSIMs would be as easy as sharing photos. Anyone know more about sSIM sharing?
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 9:50 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 325
Originally Posted by gfunkdave
I thought I'd start a thread to talk about carriers that offer eSIM functionality on Android or iOS. On a lark, I just set up a Ubigi account and paid $5 for 500MB of data. It was surprisingly easy to do and works pretty well. T-mobile downloaded and uploaded at about 20Mbps in my speed test, while Verizon (my main carrier) did 120 down and 20 up.

I'm looking forward to using this in France this summer.

What other fun things have you found with eSIM?
gfunkdave: Can you talk me through this? When I've traveled to Europe in the past, I've used a Three SIM (UK) and roamed through Europe. Now that I have a newer iPhone that has eSIM capability, I'm wondering if there are better options. I'm on Verizon, so don't want to pay the $10/day access. With Ubigi, can you make wifi calls/texts/facetime using your Verizon number? How do you set it up in Europe? Turn off Cellular Data on the phone and then all traffic will be routed through the Ubigi connection? Would appreciate any insights or instructions you can provide! TIA
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 10:02 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 916
Do you think the trend is to put eSim plus regular sim on some of lower and mid range phones ?

I don't think it's a plus for the Carriers to push dual sims as it's taking $$$$$ out of their pockets.

And most phones do not have the LTE bands for overseas even if you do get them unlocked,

I am doing a Moto e5 play up for overseas use as it has a lot of LTE bands , but it sure would be nice to also have a eSim to put something like Google Fi along with a local sim.
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 10:15 am
  #29  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: ORD
Posts: 14,130
Originally Posted by ebuck
gfunkdave: Can you talk me through this? When I've traveled to Europe in the past, I've used a Three SIM (UK) and roamed through Europe. Now that I have a newer iPhone that has eSIM capability, I'm wondering if there are better options. I'm on Verizon, so don't want to pay the $10/day access. With Ubigi, can you make wifi calls/texts/facetime using your Verizon number? How do you set it up in Europe? Turn off Cellular Data on the phone and then all traffic will be routed through the Ubigi connection? Would appreciate any insights or instructions you can provide! TIA
Read Apple's article: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044

You can get started with Ubigi eSIM here: https://cellulardata.ubigi.com/esim-ios/

Their plans are just for data. They don't offer voice service. If you want to make wifi calls with your Verizon number, then just leave your phone in airplane mode and connect to wifi when you want to.

Alternatively, you can sign up for a T-Mobile US eSIM account which might allow for their free roaming (I'm not sure).
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Old Mar 5, 2019, 4:30 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: DCA
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Posts: 1,919
Originally Posted by gfunkdave

Alternatively, you can sign up for a T-Mobile US eSIM account which might allow for their free roaming (I'm not sure).
I do not think this works. I am a T-Mo customer and am trying to find a way to use my T-Mo phone plus another SIM. It turns out that to get a T-Mo eSIM you have to have a T-Mo prepaid account which does not have roaming. This sucks for me as I was hoping to move a foreign SIM (from a country with no eSIM offers yet) to combine two phones in one and still have T-Mo roaming and other benefits of their postpaid accounts.
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