A rapidly growing business is emerging with eSIMs. Not nearly as low cost as buying local SIMs when travelling internationally but the convenience might be priceless to many.
Just had a good look at e-sims, sims because we are planning a trip to Europe for a couple of months. You really need to read the fine print, check data allowances, network strength… we ended up taking the $5/ 5GB per day roaming option from Optus.
Keep in mind also, that most of our phones now are identified devices that identify us and allow for banking, shopping etc. This is not possible, if you change the SIM card.
If a phone supports both a SIM and an eSIM, then having both will not affect your ability to use your original number when needed. We travelled NZ using an Aus SIM and a NZ eSIM with no issues.
I had a good look ar eSIMs for using in a few weeks’ time, and was just about to buy one, when I found oit the ones I’d seen were data only, and not for voice calls nor SMS.
Sometimes the internet does not provide the answers one expects.
I eventually found a formula that seemed to return a positive outcome. Just a random sample to show that eSims do exist with data, calls and SMS, depending on destination?
I was surprised to note same as you the most offered solutions were data only. IE one needs to rely on a seperate VOIP service for voice calls or your Apple/Android specific messaging and call features using data only. I’ve only recently upgraded from an iPhone 8. We relied previously on a roaming plan from our Aussie Telco. Not cheap, but relatively seamless. Some of us feel a need to always be contactable 24x7 and in touch with home.
People tend to call and SMS the mobile number, rather than use, for example, Signal, and I’ll be with a couple of other people, so data-only doesn’t quite work.
While this following link is about eSIMs for iPhones (because Apple provide the links), the providers do not limit their service to iPhones. We used Spark in New Zealand on a prepaid plan, I still have the prepaid number in case we go back. Many of the providers have cheap prepaid plans, so if not in a Country for very long just buy a really cheap pay as you go type plan that has a limited amount of calls and SMS. If you have to use your Optus roaming then you only pay the $5 on the days you do use it, all other times you are just using the prepaid you have in the Country. If travelling with friends, you will all be on the same network, you only have to share the changed eSIM numbers when you buy in the next Country. Mostly, the convenience would be based on how long a user intends to remain in any one Country, if only a few days then just keep using the Optus roaming (or whomever Telco’s roaming plan a user is on). If a few weeks then get an eSIM from a provider in the Country and a plan that suits the needs.
Find wireless carriers and worldwide service providers that offer eSIM service – Apple Support (AU)
While I’m not a fan of Google, their website translation will make many of the non-english sites much easier to navigate.
Google Translate link for website addresses
Some of the links from the page
Wireless service providers that support other eSIM activation methods
In addition to eSIM Carrier Activation and eSIM Quick Transfer, these service providers support other ways of activating eSIM on iPhone, such as scanning a QR code or using a service provider app.
French West Indies
China Mobile Hong Kong
United Arab Emirates
Carolina West Wireless
Copper Valley Telecom
Metro by T-Mobile
West Central Wireless
Wireless service providers that support eSIM activation on pre-paid plans for international travellers
When travelling, you can stay connected through an international roaming plan from your existing service provider. Alternatively, these service providers offer pre-paid plans if you would like a local line while travelling internationally.
Metro by T-Mobile