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 Jun 30, 2019, 8:55 pm
  #91  
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upcountry Maui, HI
Posts: 13,287
Originally Posted by 747FC
Anyone have an idea of why the Ubigi altered my phone's ability to make/receive calls and how I can install Ubigi so that I can use it for data when I travel.
I don't have verizon, so I'm shooting in the dark here ...

Is verizon on a physical sim on your phone? If it's on e-sim, you can only have one e-sim active at a time.

Anyway when you have one physical sim and one e-sim on your phone, you can control which is used for for data, etc in setting/cellular

Verizon should be able to give you a physical sim if you need one.

-David
LIH Prem is offline  
Old Jun 30, 2019, 9:09 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 409
I'd say it depends on your needs. If swapping physical Sims is your more common approach, then your main line being esim would work. But if you plan to regularly change esim then having your primary as physical Sim may be better for you


Originally Posted by 747FC
Thank you. I'm wondering whether I need to change my Primary line to the physical Sim so that I can then use the eSim for data with Ubigi? I do not need my Secondary line while I am traveling.
PackingIt is offline  
Old Jul 1, 2019, 12:13 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: LAX
Programs: Fallen DL DM (PM) 2MM
Posts: 4,783
Originally Posted by 747FC
Thank you. I'm wondering whether I need to change my Primary line to the physical Sim so that I can then use the eSim for data with Ubigi? I do not need my Secondary line while I am traveling.
If you are traveling to the EU you could buy a physical SIM from an EU carrier that has a good EU wide data package (most do). This also would work traveling elsewhere to a single country. This is what I planned to do with my Xs and TMO when it first came out. Since TMO won't do postpaid eSIMs I've gone the data eSim route (i.e. Ubigi)
TheMadBrewer is offline  
Old Jul 1, 2019, 12:59 am
  #94  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hawai'i Nei
Programs: Au: UA, Marriott, Hilton; GE
Posts: 7,080
Many thanks for all of your kind replies.

Originally Posted by LIH Prem
I don't have verizon, so I'm shooting in the dark here ...

Is verizon on a physical sim on your phone? If it's on e-sim, you can only have one e-sim active at a time.

Anyway when you have one physical sim and one e-sim on your phone, you can control which is used for for data, etc in setting/cellular

Verizon should be able to give you a physical sim if you need one.

-David
Both of my lines (eSim and Physical Sim) are Verizon.

Originally Posted by PackingIt
I'd say it depends on your needs. If swapping physical Sims is your more common approach, then your main line being esim would work. But if you plan to regularly change esim then having your primary as physical Sim may be better for you
Actually, I don't have an approach that I have developed. I am new to this concept. The idea I had was that my primary number would remain active during my trip. The secondary voice number would be forwarded to an associate. Once forwarded, I would then use the Sim "space" for international data roaming when I was traveling.

Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer
If you are traveling to the EU you could buy a physical SIM from an EU carrier that has a good EU wide data package (most do). This also would work traveling elsewhere to a single country. This is what I planned to do with my Xs and TMO when it first came out. Since TMO won't do postpaid eSIMs I've gone the data eSim route (i.e. Ubigi)
Before I even knew what an eSim was and how it could be deployed, my idea was to take out the physical Sim on the secondary line and replace it with a physical SIM. However, it seems like the eSIM offers opportunties to download on the fly, improving functionality?

Any experiences or advice anyone can offer would be very much welcome!
747FC is online now  
Old Jul 1, 2019, 6:32 pm
  #95  
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upcountry Maui, HI
Posts: 13,287
You have 2 VZW active lines? If you want to use another SIM when traveling you are going to have disable one, either by removing the physical SIM or by temporarily replacing the e-sim with something like ubigi.

I have t-mobile, they have a virtual phone app called digits. I can set that up and log into it and enable/disable it in it's settings. If it's enabled, I will get all my calls to my normal t-mobile number through that app (and also through the phone if I make the mistake of activating both at the same time.)

I'm pretty sure Verizon has something like that also. Is it "my numbers?"
https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/my-numbers/

With a virtual phone app, your phone number that you displace can be virtual (similar to google voice), and you will still get calls etc on that line, just through the virtual phone app. If you want to use ubigi, just use the Verizon virtual phone app for the number you temporarily displace. When you are done with your trip, restore your VZW e-sim, and disable that number in the virtual phone app.

You may find that you like the virtual phone app for your second number.

ETA, the my numbers faq says they charge $15 per line? Maybe I'm reading it wrong or there's a different app? Somebody here will know.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Jul 1, 2019 at 6:39 pm
LIH Prem is offline  
Old Jul 2, 2019, 7:36 am
  #96  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: ORD
Posts: 14,136
Verizon's "virtual phone" app is called Message+. I used it in France via the Ubigi data line on my eSIM, with the Verizon SIM turned off. It worked well. Just be sure you activate it before you turn off the Verizon line.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/message/id621469412
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gfunkdave is offline  
Old Jul 2, 2019, 11:36 am
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hawai'i Nei
Programs: Au: UA, Marriott, Hilton; GE
Posts: 7,080
Thanks all for their input!

Originally Posted by LIH Prem
You have 2 VZW active lines? If you want to use another SIM when traveling you are going to have disable one, either by removing the physical SIM or by temporarily replacing the e-sim with something like ubigi.

I have t-mobile, they have a virtual phone app called digits. I can set that up and log into it and enable/disable it in it's settings. If it's enabled, I will get all my calls to my normal t-mobile number through that app (and also through the phone if I make the mistake of activating both at the same time.)

I'm pretty sure Verizon has something like that also. Is it "my numbers?"
https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/my-numbers/

With a virtual phone app, your phone number that you displace can be virtual (similar to google voice), and you will still get calls etc on that line, just through the virtual phone app. If you want to use ubigi, just use the Verizon virtual phone app for the number you temporarily displace. When you are done with your trip, restore your VZW e-sim, and disable that number in the virtual phone app.

You may find that you like the virtual phone app for your second number.

ETA, the my numbers faq says they charge $15 per line? Maybe I'm reading it wrong or there's a different app? Somebody here will know.

-David
I do have two active Verizon numbers on my phone's two SIMS. The Verizon "My Numbers" app looks interesting, but I'm not seeing how it would help in my situation (perhaps I have failed to properly communicate my needs.) However, the "My Numbers" sounds like a winner if a couple desire to have a shared number that can be answered on either device!

Originally Posted by gfunkdave
Verizon's "virtual phone" app is called Message+. I used it in France via the Ubigi data line on my eSIM, with the Verizon SIM turned off. It worked well. Just be sure you activate it before you turn off the Verizon line.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/message/id621469412
Thanks for this information. How does this app help over the iMessage? Is it used to just avoid international text message charges?

Also, when you say "Verizon SIM turned off," are you referring to going to Settings/Cellular/Cellular Plans/Turn this line On/Off?
747FC is online now  
Old Jul 2, 2019, 12:52 pm
  #98  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: ORD
Posts: 14,136
Originally Posted by 747FC


Thanks for this information. How does this app help over the iMessage? Is it used to just avoid international text message charges?

Also, when you say "Verizon SIM turned off," are you referring to going to Settings/Cellular/Cellular Plans/Turn this line On/Off?
It doesn't have anything to do with iMessage. It just lets your send/receive SMS and phone calls using your regular number over a data connection from any device, or from your phone with that line turned off.

Yes, that's what I mean.
gfunkdave is offline  
Old Jul 2, 2019, 12:55 pm
  #99  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Hawai'i Nei
Programs: Au: UA, Marriott, Hilton; GE
Posts: 7,080
Originally Posted by gfunkdave
It doesn't have anything to do with iMessage. It just lets your send/receive SMS and phone calls using your regular number over a data connection from any device, or from your phone with that line turned off.

Yes, that's what I mean.
Thanks. That is helpful.

A general question for Verizon users: How does a user best discover all the features helpful in global travel. Is there a single stop that says: Hey, check out all of our good stuff for you?
747FC is online now  
Old Jul 17, 2019, 9:26 am
  #100  
 
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
To all our UK friends. Does anyone know if Three is going to esim? Since I can't get T-mobile to give me a sim swap.
powerlifter is offline  
Old Jul 17, 2019, 4:29 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 409
Quick report about GigSky data eSIM. I'm in the middle of a France and Italy trip, and it has been working flawlessly so far.
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PackingIt is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2019, 10:14 am
  #102  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seoul, Tokyo
Programs: OZ Diamond+ Lifetime, JL Diamond
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by scubadu
Does anyone have any thoughts as to why the carriers are so resistant to eSIMs? I mean, why do the care?
Think about how carriers make their money for a second and it will make sense to you. eSIMs are the end of contracts, ie recurring carrier revenue.
sixpaq is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2019, 10:16 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seoul, Tokyo
Programs: OZ Diamond+ Lifetime, JL Diamond
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by paperwastage
You missed mentioning the super important part

It's a pack of 10 individual day passes, pack/esim is valid for 90 days after validation.

Each day pass can be activated individually, ending at 23:59HKG time (no proration, so it'll be a waste if you activate it at 8pm to use for 4 hours)

Don't have to use days consecutively.. if you purchase another set of 10-passes, esim and previous passes will be extended another 90days
Yeah I forgot to mention that point which is a real plus on top of the other benefits.
sixpaq is offline  
Old Jul 22, 2019, 11:25 am
  #104  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 15
Hi, does anyone have experiences with eSIMs in Japan other than GigSky? In particular, any experience with Ubigi ?

Thanks.

M.
Michele De Acetis is offline  
Old Jul 27, 2019, 1:33 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boulder
Programs: AA Plat, CX Silver
Posts: 2,361
I'm currently using a physical TMO SIM and a Spark NZ eSIM. It's flawless. Two active phone numbers while relying on Spark NZ for data.
txflyer77 is offline  

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