Old Jun 5, 2023, 6:06 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 21, 2024, 3:47 pm
  #751  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: DAL
Posts: 1,447
Originally Posted by paperwastage
If one is data heavy and one is light, you can always pay $25-$40/month/line on visible esim, other line use free esim data (redbullmobile/Eskimo should still be offering 1GB free each and they use att/tmobile?) And hotspot as needed. Visible uses Verizon but may have congestion/deprioritization

Visible Verizon low cost alternative
FYI, My friend needed a US credit card to sign up for Visible. The Samsung phone may not pass the Visible phone check. The iPhone 13 would be good to go.
TGarza is offline  
Old Feb 21, 2024, 3:58 pm
  #752  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK
Posts: 982
Not too concerned about price, given the apparent ranges. Likely to be data heavyish so want to avoid the per mb pricing of roaming.
garethmorgan is offline  
Old Feb 22, 2024, 9:49 pm
  #753  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Something, IHG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis PC
Posts: 8,147
Stumbled across this a few days ago and finally got a chance to test it out today...

New eSIM provider called Firsty. Currently their coverage is only available in "Europe, the USA, Turkey and Switzerland", but they claim they'll have a pile more countries by the end of March. (And yes, someone needs a geography lesson – I can handle Turkey being split out, but Switzerland is very much in Europe. I'm guessing "Europe" actually means 'EU Countries' and not all of Europe).

They give you a free eSIM, and then there's 3 ways to get data...
  • You get 100MB of "Fast" data for free when you first sign-up. OK, whatever. Gone in 5 minutes.
  • You can pay ~US$4/day for unlimited "Fast" data. Maybe OK for a few days, but not long term.
  • You get an hour of free "slow" data by watching an ad. Watching another ad gives you another hour of free "slow" data. You can watch the next ad before your hour is up, which increases your remaining time up to 60 minutes ago (ie, it doesn't add on top)
At the moment, the "ad" is just 10 seconds of being shown a static ad for their fast service (ie, no video/sound/etc). Once the 10 seconds are up, you get an hour of Slow data. Speedtest on the slow data in the US gave me 0.16Mbps down, and 0.25Mbps up – certainly not snappy, but not too bad either. I had no problems using it for email, WhatsApp (including sending/receiving photos), Google Maps or even Spotify (which did pause once or twice, but only for a few seconds). That should also be plenty of bandwidth for calls, including voice-over-wifi style calls.

In the US it's roaming onto the AT&T network, with traffic seemingly being backhauled to France.

Whilst I'm not sure I'd rely on this as my main service, especially if you're going to be in a country for any real period of time, it seems brilliant as a backup service, or even just for short trips somewhere (eg, in transit).
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Last edited by docbert; Feb 24, 2024 at 8:53 am
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Old Feb 23, 2024, 11:31 pm
  #754  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Programs: Marriott Titanium Elite/Lifetime Titanium, Delta Platinum Medallion, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 722
Originally Posted by docbert
Stumbled across this a few days ago and finally got a chance to test it out today...

New eSIM provider called Firsty. Currently their coverage is only available in "Europe, the USA, Turkey and Switzerland", but they claim they'll have a pile more countries by the end of March. (And yes, someone needs a geography lesson – I can handle Turkey being split out, but Switzerland is very much in Europe. I'm guessing "Europe" actually means 'EU Countries' and not all of Europe).

They give you a free eSIM, and then there's 3 ways to get data...
  • You get 100MB of "Fast" data for free when you first sign-up. OK, whatever. Gone in 5 minutes.
  • You can pay ~US$4/day for unlimited "Fast" data. Maybe OK for a few days, but not long term.
  • You get an hour of free "slow" data by watching an ad. Watching another ad gives you another hour of free "slow" data. You can watch the next ad before your hour is up, which increases your remaining time up to 60 minutes ago (ie, it doesn't add on top)
At the moment, the "ad" is just 10 seconds of being shown a static ad for their fast service (ie, no video/sound/etc). Once the 10 seconds are up, you get an hour of Slow data. Speedtest on the slow data in the US gave me 0.16Mbps down, and 0.25Mbps up – certainly not snappy, but not too bad either. I had no problems using it for email, WhatsApp (including sending/receiving photos), Google Maps or even Spotify (which did pause once or twice, but only for a few seconds). That should also be plenty of bandwidth for calls, including voice-over-wifi style calls.

In the US it's roaming onto the AT&T network, with traffic seemingly being backhauled to France.

Whilst I'm not sure I'd rely on this as my main service, especially if you're going to be in a country for any real period of time, it seems brilliant as a backup service, or even just for short trips somewhere (eg, in transit).
you found this on the whirlpool forums? That’s where your link is sending me before going to their site.
IslesFan is offline  
Old Feb 24, 2024, 8:55 am
  #755  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Francisco/Sydney
Programs: UA 1K/MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Something, IHG Gold, Hertz PC, Avis PC
Posts: 8,147
Originally Posted by IslesFan
you found this on the whirlpool forums? That’s where your link is sending me before going to their site.
Nope, but I did post about it there first before cut-n-pasting the same post here! Didn't realize that forum modified the URL to jump via them first. Edited now to change it to a direct link.
docbert is offline  
Old Feb 24, 2024, 11:07 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Programs: Marriott Titanium Elite/Lifetime Titanium, Delta Platinum Medallion, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 722
Originally Posted by docbert
Nope, but I did post about it there first before cut-n-pasting the same post here! Didn't realize that forum modified the URL to jump via them first. Edited now to change it to a direct link.

anyway, just activated the esim for the heck of it. Mine is connected to Verizon.
IslesFan is offline  
Old Feb 26, 2024, 1:20 pm
  #757  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Programs: United Mileage Plus
Posts: 735
Originally Posted by danib62
I'm travelling to the UK and France so I purchased an eSIM.net "super travel" eSIM and I have to say that it is total trash. I purchased it this past Friday and it worked perfectly fine for a few hours till I went to bed. The next morning it was completely inoperable, no calls, texts, or data. I reached out to support and it took 12 hours for them to respond. They gave me some troubleshooting tips that did not work. I emailed them back and after another 8-12 hours they're claiming that my plan was deactivated because I sent an MMS message which supposedly isn't covered by the plan. This morning data is working again but calls and texts are not. I'm just going to get an Orange Holiday eSIM and dispute the charges from eSIM.net with my credit card if they don't issue me a full refund promptly.

Did you keep using the eSIM.net eSIM for your trip? Did the data keep working? What were the speeds like?

Did you get the charges reversed?
frappant is offline  
Old Mar 2, 2024, 12:47 am
  #758  
IMH
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Berlin
Programs: BA Gold; Accor Plat; IHG Diamond-Amb; Meliá & HH & Marriott Gold
Posts: 5,449
Two quick data points from the past fortnight:

In Thailand (Bangkok only) we used dtac "Happy Tourist 5G" eSIMs purchased through Airalo. Never lightning fast but consistently available and always more than adequate for maps, Grab, messaging and news.

After landing at SIN I tried to get a 12 SGD M1 5G tourist eSIM but the counter I asked at didn't have that option, so I went into town without local service. I then discovered that M1 doesn't currently have a flagship store on/near Orchard, so just bought a 12 SGD Singtel 4G eSIM online. Activation was easy (see frappant's post above) and service was almost always good to excellent.
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Old Mar 4, 2024, 9:24 pm
  #759  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: أمريكا
Posts: 26,763
Best thing I ever did was sign up for Google Fi. Now I don't worry about anything. Recently got a laptop with built in 5G and popped another Fi SIM in there - now I have data instantly on my laptop everywhere without fussing about with cafe internet passwords or hotel login pages.

Only thing it's not good for are poorly designed services that only work with local phone numbers.
Doppy is offline  
Old Mar 4, 2024, 11:18 pm
  #760  
IMH
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Berlin
Programs: BA Gold; Accor Plat; IHG Diamond-Amb; Meliá & HH & Marriott Gold
Posts: 5,449
Originally Posted by Doppy
Best thing I ever did was sign up for Google Fi.
Google Fi can be a great, near-universal solution for those who can get it. There's a very informative thread here:

Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

But for most travel destinations there are better options -- and for most people based outside the USA Google Fi isn't an option at all.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 3:39 pm
  #761  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 9
Originally Posted by frappant
I bought the Airalo Dtac eSIM for Thailand, $9.90 for 50 GB for 10 days, no passport registration needed.

But only AFTER I bought or installed it, they notify you that it's max speed is 15 Mbps down for a certain promotional period.

Up in my hotel room on the 12th floor, it doesn't even get that speed and shows 3G.

Well can't complain about the price. The hotel wifi, speed is good but they're blocking all VPN, both my OpenVPN back to my router and SurfShark.

Segmenting by speed seems pretty common among Thai carriers so while Airalo is convenient and cheap for Thailand, all that data for slow speed may not work for many people.

Buyer beware.
Originally Posted by paperwastage
https://www.airalo.com/thailand-esim...nd-10days-50gb

Was this (somewhat misleading) OTHER INFO fineprint there when you bought?


Misleading bc most plans would have advertised 50GB at full speed, then throttled to advertised 384kbps after. And I'd interpret the other info as throttling to 15mbps after 50GB fullspeed instead of 384kbps.

15mbps is probably sufficient for my roaming usage , unless one was streaming or downloading large files
Interesting, I hadn't checked before so it may have changed. But the $9.90 plan on Airalo for Thailand currently states 50 GB for 10 days (https://www.airalo.com/thailand-esim...-10days-50gb):

384 Kbps after 50GB usage
Unlimited internet at MAX speed for eSIMs activated from 05 February 2024 to 30 April 2024. It comes with 100 minutes of local calls, 30 minutes for India, South Korea, and Vietnam through the "00400" prefix, and 15 baht credit for texts and international calls.
Doesn't state anything about 15 Mbps limit. So it may have changed or they're shady.
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Old Mar 7, 2024, 11:52 pm
  #762  
IMH
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Posts: 5,449
Originally Posted by Royal2000H
Doesn't state anything about 15 Mbps limit.
The text you quote is what I had too (activated in Thailand on 15 February). The version reported by frappant earlier may have been an error (on the art of Airalo or dtac).
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 12:40 pm
  #763  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Programs: UA MM 1K; HA Pualani Gold, SWA A-List; Aloha Silver (RIP); HH Gold
Posts: 432
What is the best eSIM with a Singapore phone number (+65) for 4 days in Singapore? Would like to have one so I can contact sellers on Carousell (need a +65 number to verify account and to chat).

Thanks!
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Old Apr 5, 2024, 7:30 pm
  #764  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,370
Originally Posted by 4BandE
What is the best eSIM with a Singapore phone number (+65) for 4 days in Singapore? Would like to have one so I can contact sellers on Carousell (need a +65 number to verify account and to chat).

Thanks!
Probably need to get an esim that's native to Singapore.

All native sim/esim sold in Singapore require KYC (which typically meant in person counter to verify passport).

Singtel esim offer tourist to do KYC via app (sgd12/30/50 option, data and some local calls
https://www.singtel.com/personal/pro...ans/hi-tourist.

Star hub has sgd$12 tourist esim , similar to M1 (500min call100 text and data). But it allows you to KYC via app
https://www.starhub.com/personal/sup...j18NMCJOj5P1s5

M1 has a sgd$12 tourist esim, 500min local call +100sms. But I believe this needa to be in person (somewhere in changi or M1 retail store). Klook resells this cheaper at sgd $8.60, but still require same in person pickup
https://www.m1.com.sg/mobile/prepaid-plans/tourist-sim.


In Singapore, all 3 will do the same job. These 3 are the main providers in Singapore, think singtel >Star hub> m1, Singapore is tiny island, all 3 would work

There are other plans (non tourist) from the big 3 which may work too. Also, there are mvnos like heya and or circles.life but their KYC may be more complicated (geared towards residents who have NRIC/singpass not passport numbers)

https://heya.sg/

Last edited by paperwastage; Apr 5, 2024 at 7:39 pm
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Old Apr 6, 2024, 1:16 am
  #765  
IMH
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Berlin
Programs: BA Gold; Accor Plat; IHG Diamond-Amb; Meliá & HH & Marriott Gold
Posts: 5,449
Originally Posted by 4BandE
What is the best eSIM with a Singapore phone number (+65) for 4 days in Singapore?
paperwastage has given you a very comprehensive answer, but a quick skim back through the last page or two will add even more detail and some recent reports (see e.g. posts 745 and 758).

Singtel is a good, affordable and uncomplicated option that you can set up from your hotel room.
IMH is offline  

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