Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

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Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:42 am

Any suggestion for activating an eSIM prepaid plan for traveling in Europe on iPhone? I estimated I will need 30+ GB data in about six weeks. I am not interested in using my USA career plan for internet access in Europe. So anyone suggestions will be helpful. Using eSIM will allow me to keep my USA phone working.

I usually end up having to buy a local SIM card to plug into my phone, making my USA number inactive.

gtd98765
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:15 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by gtd98765 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:54 am

there was a thread on this just a week or two ago in which someone bought a SIM (not an eSIM, sorry) on Amazon and used it for travel in several European countries. A search should turn it up.

neilpilot
Posts: 2805
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:46 pm
Location: Memphis area

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by neilpilot » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:22 am

Have you already looked at this site?

https://esimdb.com/

I have no interest or experience, just tried a simple Google search after I read your post

jminv
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by jminv » Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am

Truphone has a relatively inexpensive esim plan. 5gb for 20 euros. It’s app based, has support for 80 countries. There’s GigSky too. Those are the two that apple support certified as worldwide esim service providers but who knows if you’ll run into problems or not but you can run into problems roaming around Europe with regular sim too.

bluebolt
Posts: 974
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by bluebolt » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:19 am

Because of the broader availability, I decided to use a physical SIM in my dual-SIM (eSIM & SIM) phone when I traveled to Europe. I first switched my US plan from the physical SIM to the eSIM, which took about 10 minutes at my carrier's retail store.

I then purchased one of these which has 12GB of data and 3000 minutes/texts for $22. I was able to activate in the US to confirm it was working properly. Only good for 30 days though, so you'd have to buy 2:
https://www.amazon.com/PrePaid-destinat ... 01FI1JW72/

If you still want to go the eSIM route, here's a list of carriers by country that support eSIM:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209096

dsmclone
Posts: 380
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:50 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by dsmclone » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:39 am

I always buy an Orange Holiday card when I arrive. Last time I just picked one up at a convenience store inside the train station. They even had the tool to remove my SIM. I think 20gb is around $40 and the coverage is always good.

ceperry
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:45 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by ceperry » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:50 am

For what it’s worth, I have used GigSky eSIM/service in both Mexico and Germany with my U.S.-based iPhone, and I was happy with the coverage and speed.

michaeljc70
Posts: 5746
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:58 am

I just saw this article last week:

https://www.androidcentral.com/knowroam ... pe-just-10

I haven't tried it yet. The company is KnowRoaming. $10 for 1GB and 5gb for $40. Very reasonable for international data.

I noticed some companies charge you to activate a "profile" for their service since they cannot charge you for a sim. No thanks.

One of the huge benefits to me with these eSims is if I get to the country where I am going and the one I signed up for doesn't work, I can get something else with having to get a physical sim. Previously I always just prayed the 1st one would work.

pkjr
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:01 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by pkjr » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:23 pm

Google fi.

Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:53 pm

jminv wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am
Truphone has a relatively inexpensive esim plan. 5gb for 20 euros. It’s app based, has support for 80 countries. There’s GigSky too. Those are the two that apple support certified as worldwide esim service providers but who knows if you’ll run into problems or not but you can run into problems roaming around Europe with regular sim too.
Thank you - this could be perfect for me. I went to Truphone website. But it says $20 for 1 GB data. Do you know where it says 5 gb for 20 euros?

Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:54 pm

pkjr wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:23 pm
Google fi.
That was my first choice. But it doesn't seem to support iPhone unfortunately.

Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:56 pm

bluebolt wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:19 am
Because of the broader availability, I decided to use a physical SIM in my dual-SIM (eSIM & SIM) phone when I traveled to Europe. I first switched my US plan from the physical SIM to the eSIM, which took about 10 minutes at my carrier's retail store.

I then purchased one of these which has 12GB of data and 3000 minutes/texts for $22. I was able to activate in the US to confirm it was working properly. Only good for 30 days though, so you'd have to buy 2:
https://www.amazon.com/PrePaid-destinat ... 01FI1JW72/

If you still want to go the eSIM route, here's a list of carriers by country that support eSIM:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209096
I would love to do that. But I have T-Mobile and they refuse to switch my physical SIM to eSIM. Their eSIM is only available for travel plans. Now with the Sprint merger they had to promise to provide eSIM support - but not sure when that will happen.

02nz
Posts: 2382
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by 02nz » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:58 pm

Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:54 pm
pkjr wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:23 pm
Google fi.
That was my first choice. But it doesn't seem to support iPhone unfortunately.
Yes they do now. There are some limitations (e.g., the iPhone can't switch dynamically between carriers the way native Fi phones can do), but it's officially supported now, unlike before.

jminv
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by jminv » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:05 pm

Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:53 pm
jminv wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am
Truphone has a relatively inexpensive esim plan. 5gb for 20 euros. It’s app based, has support for 80 countries. There’s GigSky too. Those are the two that apple support certified as worldwide esim service providers but who knows if you’ll run into problems or not but you can run into problems roaming around Europe with regular sim too.
Thank you - this could be perfect for me. I went to Truphone website. But it says $20 for 1 GB data. Do you know where it says 5 gb for 20 euros?
https://www.truphone.com/iphone-xs-dual-sim-plan/#local

You need to select the local phone plan, not global. Type in the country you’ll be spending most of your time in. Remember that with a local plan in a europe you can roam in 34 countries thanks to the EU commission. You should select euros as it is the cheapest currency offering (I checked three, 20 euros, 20 gbp, or 26 usd So eur is cheapest 20 eur = 22.29 usd).
Last edited by jminv on Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:09 pm

jminv wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:05 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:53 pm
jminv wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am
Truphone has a relatively inexpensive esim plan. 5gb for 20 euros. It’s app based, has support for 80 countries. There’s GigSky too. Those are the two that apple support certified as worldwide esim service providers but who knows if you’ll run into problems or not but you can run into problems roaming around Europe with regular sim too.
Thank you - this could be perfect for me. I went to Truphone website. But it says $20 for 1 GB data. Do you know where it says 5 gb for 20 euros?
https://www.truphone.com/iphone-xs-dual-sim-plan/#local

You need to select the local phone plan, not global. Type in the country you’ll be spending most of your time in. Remember that with a local plan in a europe you can roam in 34 countries thanks to the EU commission. You should select euros as it is the cheapest currency offering (20 euros 20 gbp or 26 usd).
Thank you for the tip. This is perfect !!

jminv
Posts: 982
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by jminv » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:17 pm

Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:09 pm
jminv wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:05 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:53 pm
jminv wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am
Truphone has a relatively inexpensive esim plan. 5gb for 20 euros. It’s app based, has support for 80 countries. There’s GigSky too. Those are the two that apple support certified as worldwide esim service providers but who knows if you’ll run into problems or not but you can run into problems roaming around Europe with regular sim too.
Thank you - this could be perfect for me. I went to Truphone website. But it says $20 for 1 GB data. Do you know where it says 5 gb for 20 euros?
https://www.truphone.com/iphone-xs-dual-sim-plan/#local

You need to select the local phone plan, not global. Type in the country you’ll be spending most of your time in. Remember that with a local plan in a europe you can roam in 34 countries thanks to the EU commission. You should select euros as it is the cheapest currency offering (20 euros 20 gbp or 26 usd).
Thank you for the tip. This is perfect !!
No problem, if you go that route I’d be interested in hearing how it worked.

For 30gb, though, and If you don’t need to have your USA sim in, it would be cheaper to just go with a SIM card on arrival. Lebara has a deal for 30gb for 20 euros (you can preorder a sim to arrive or by on arrival at a shop that carries lebara cards).

Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:26 pm

jminv wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:17 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:09 pm
jminv wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:05 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:53 pm
jminv wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am
Truphone has a relatively inexpensive esim plan. 5gb for 20 euros. It’s app based, has support for 80 countries. There’s GigSky too. Those are the two that apple support certified as worldwide esim service providers but who knows if you’ll run into problems or not but you can run into problems roaming around Europe with regular sim too.
Thank you - this could be perfect for me. I went to Truphone website. But it says $20 for 1 GB data. Do you know where it says 5 gb for 20 euros?
https://www.truphone.com/iphone-xs-dual-sim-plan/#local

You need to select the local phone plan, not global. Type in the country you’ll be spending most of your time in. Remember that with a local plan in a europe you can roam in 34 countries thanks to the EU commission. You should select euros as it is the cheapest currency offering (20 euros 20 gbp or 26 usd).
Thank you for the tip. This is perfect !!
No problem, if you go that route I’d be interested in hearing how it worked.

For 30gb, though, and If you don’t need to have your USA sim in, it would be cheaper to just go with a SIM card on arrival. Lebara has a deal for 30gb for 20 euros (you can preorder a sim to arrive or by on arrival at a shop that carries lebara cards).
I used Lebara last month when I was in France and London. But then my USA number stops working.

Only issue I will have on this trip is I will be in France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Spain. So EU regulations don't apply to Switzerland, Montenegro and Albania. But I guess I could live with T-Mobile 2G speed internet in those countries.

Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:47 pm

02nz wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:58 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:54 pm
pkjr wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:23 pm
Google fi.
That was my first choice. But it doesn't seem to support iPhone unfortunately.
Yes they do now. There are some limitations (e.g., the iPhone can't switch dynamically between carriers the way native Fi phones can do), but it's officially supported now, unlike before.
Just talked to the Google fi support. For iPhone it still has to be physical SIM.

02nz
Posts: 2382
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:17 pm

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by 02nz » Mon Jul 29, 2019 6:21 pm

Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:47 pm
02nz wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:58 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:54 pm
pkjr wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:23 pm
Google fi.
That was my first choice. But it doesn't seem to support iPhone unfortunately.
Yes they do now. There are some limitations (e.g., the iPhone can't switch dynamically between carriers the way native Fi phones can do), but it's officially supported now, unlike before.
Just talked to the Google fi support. For iPhone it still has to be physical SIM.
Sorry, I was talking about iPhone support in general. My guess is the iPhone XS/XS Max eSIMs will be supported once Sprint (one of the carriers that Fi runs on) gets its act together. Currently Sprint is the only major carrier not supporting iPhone eSIMs.

Topic Author
Theseus
Posts: 596
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Prepaid eSIM for Europe travel

Post by Theseus » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:49 pm

jminv wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:17 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:09 pm
jminv wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:05 pm
Theseus wrote:
Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:53 pm
jminv wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:27 am
Truphone has a relatively inexpensive esim plan. 5gb for 20 euros. It’s app based, has support for 80 countries. There’s GigSky too. Those are the two that apple support certified as worldwide esim service providers but who knows if you’ll run into problems or not but you can run into problems roaming around Europe with regular sim too.
Thank you - this could be perfect for me. I went to Truphone website. But it says $20 for 1 GB data. Do you know where it says 5 gb for 20 euros?
https://www.truphone.com/iphone-xs-dual-sim-plan/#local

You need to select the local phone plan, not global. Type in the country you’ll be spending most of your time in. Remember that with a local plan in a europe you can roam in 34 countries thanks to the EU commission. You should select euros as it is the cheapest currency offering (20 euros 20 gbp or 26 usd).
Thank you for the tip. This is perfect !!
No problem, if you go that route I’d be interested in hearing how it worked.

For 30gb, though, and If you don’t need to have your USA sim in, it would be cheaper to just go with a SIM card on arrival. Lebara has a deal for 30gb for 20 euros (you can preorder a sim to arrive or by on arrival at a shop that carries lebara cards).
So I ended up going this route. I used local plan in France. Then France, Austria, Croatia, Montenegro etc. were fine - no extra charges for roaming. But it didn't work in Switzerland and Albania as I had not bought the global plan. I am not sure Albania is even supported by Truphone.

But one thing to note, the data goes super fast. We don't realize how much data we use since we are mostly on wifi when we are in USA.

But going forward, I plan to get my local SIM card transferred to eSIM now that T-Mobile allows that. And then I will just buy local sim card which is much cheaper and a lot more data.

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