E-sim or sim card for travel

Old Aug 4th, 2022, 01:43 PM
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E-sim or sim card for travel

Because I have not traveled internationally since 2019, I feel like I have lost all my sense about how to do things! I have an extra phone with no sim card that I plan to use in Italy while giving my US phone to my husband. I will add an e- sim or sim card to my extra phone. Has anyone used an e-sim. How will I know if it is working before I get there. I will use my phone with my European sim to stay in touch with my husband. I can call a U S number using that right? I will want to call him while he is "in" resting.
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Old Aug 4th, 2022, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by marty View Post
Because I have not traveled internationally since 2019, I feel like I have lost all my sense about how to do things! I have an extra phone with no sim card that I plan to use in Italy while giving my US phone to my husband. I will add an e- sim or sim card to my extra phone. Has anyone used an e-sim. How will I know if it is working before I get there. I will use my phone with my European sim to stay in touch with my husband. I can call a U S number using that right? I will want to call him while he is "in" resting.
Exactly what I am wondering too marty! I bought an Orange e-sim for Paris, which I plan on using starting Sunday. Hopefully it’ll work well, we’ll see…😉
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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 04:01 AM
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The main carriers in Italy offer e-SIMs if your phone supports the technology.

The two main providers, TIM and Vodafone, offer reasonable 30-day plans for tourists, which include calls to the US and other countries.

https://www.tim.it/en/landline-mobil...ly/tim-tourist
Holiday Tariff, call home from Italy - Vodafone

Both include a SIM card with an Italian number. The TIM plan is cheaper and more straightforward. Both can be used in other EU countries, but the Vodafone plan seems to charge extra for that, although I don't know how that works. I thought all SIM cards sold in Europe had to be usable throughout the EU. The TIM plan is for 30 days, non-renewable, while the Vodafone plan is renewable, and is automatically renewed once at the end of the 30 days.

I don't see the advantage of an e-SIM if you don't have another (physical) SIM card already occupying the slot in your phone. Is there a particular reason why you want an e-SIM?
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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by geetika View Post
Exactly what I am wondering too marty! I bought an Orange e-sim for Paris, which I plan on using starting Sunday. Hopefully it’ll work well, we’ll see…😉
I would suppose that your Orange e-SIM can be used in Italy, or in any other country in the EU. If not, I'd like to no why the EU no-roaming law doesn't apply.
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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by geetika View Post
Exactly what I am wondering too marty! I bought an Orange e-sim for Paris, which I plan on using starting Sunday. Hopefully it’ll work well, we’ll see…😉
Thank you. I leave in early September. Post what happens, if you can.
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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
The main carriers in Italy offer e-SIMs if your phone supports the technology.

The two main providers, TIM and Vodafone, offer reasonable 30-day plans for tourists, which include calls to the US and other countries.

https://www.tim.it/en/landline-mobil...ly/tim-tourist
Holiday Tariff, call home from Italy - Vodafone

Both include a SIM card with an Italian number. The TIM plan is cheaper and more straightforward. Both can be used in other EU countries, but the Vodafone plan seems to charge extra for that, although I don't know how that works. I thought all SIM cards sold in Europe had to be usable throughout the EU. The TIM plan is for 30 days, non-renewable, while the Vodafone plan is renewable, and is automatically renewed once at the end of the 30 days.

I don't see the advantage of an e-SIM if you don't have another (physical) SIM card already occupying the slot in your phone. Is there a particular reason why you want an e-SIM?
No. I have no reason for wanting an esim. It just was not available last time I traveled, and I wondered about advantages. I am fine with buying a sim card here and putting it my old phone that has no sim card.
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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 06:01 AM
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If you have a new(ish) phone, you may be able to buy an e-sim and use the dual sim option in order to use one phone that will work for both your regular number and the e-sim number. I'm a T-Mobile customer that went to France in May and did this with my iPhone 12 Pro, buying an e-sim from Orange which I used mostly for data, while still having my T-Mobile sim active so that I could field calls and texts to my regular number. I opted for the e-sim, rather than simply relying on T-Mobile's pretty good international roaming option simply because T-Mobile's weakness is in data (only 2G is available on the free international roaming, which my sister -- who did not get the e-sim -- found was not good enough for things like Google Translate or web browsing). If I had it to do over, I would still get an e-sim but would probably have opted for data only for the international plan.
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Old Aug 5th, 2022, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by twk View Post
If you have a new(ish) phone, you may be able to buy an e-sim and use the dual sim option in order to use one phone that will work for both your regular number and the e-sim number. I'm a T-Mobile customer that went to France in May and did this with my iPhone 12 Pro, buying an e-sim from Orange which I used mostly for data, while still having my T-Mobile sim active so that I could field calls and texts to my regular number. I opted for the e-sim, rather than simply relying on T-Mobile's pretty good international roaming option simply because T-Mobile's weakness is in data (only 2G is available on the free international roaming, which my sister -- who did not get the e-sim -- found was not good enough for things like Google Translate or web browsing). If I had it to do over, I would still get an e-sim but would probably have opted for data only for the international plan.
Thanks. I really need calling and messaging more than data so I can stay in touch with my husband as we go out separate ways.
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Old Aug 6th, 2022, 05:53 AM
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Would you consider using Whats App? As long as you both have the app downloaded and wifi connected, you could call that way using your phone, I believe.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 01:50 AM
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Originally Posted by joan View Post
Would you consider using Whats App? As long as you both have the app downloaded and wifi connected, you could call that way using your phone, I believe.
I have used What's app from US to call someone in Europe but have never used it to communicate between two people both in Europe. My extra phone does not have a sim but can be used with wifi for internet. If I install What's app on it, what phone number would I use, since it does not have one? I know I just can go ahead and buy 2 sim cards and be done, but I hate to spend the money just to make a few calls between the 2 of us.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 03:42 AM
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Facebook Messenger or Facetime (IOS) can also be used for WIFI-based communication, and do not require a phone number.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by marty View Post
I have used What's app from US to call someone in Europe but have never used it to communicate between two people both in Europe. My extra phone does not have a sim but can be used with wifi for internet. If I install What's app on it, what phone number would I use, since it does not have one? I know I just can go ahead and buy 2 sim cards and be done, but I hate to spend the money just to make a few calls between the 2 of us.
If you install whatsapp on a device without a phone number, you have two choices: either use a landline number ( and receive a phone call with verification code) or use a mobile number (and use that phone to get the verification code). I'd suggest you try it with your spouse at home now. Both download Whatsapp, then send messages and make a call. You have to give permission to access mic, contact list, photos etc in order to receive texts and calls. Say yes. Or "yes while using the app"

My husband and I just did this today, and tested it. Changed the notification sounds so they were unique to whatsapp. We are meeting our daughter in Italy in September and plan to communicate via whatsapp, as long as we all have internet. We've done this in the past, communicating with Airbnb hosts etc. Anyone in your regular contact list who also has whatsapp will automatically appear in the whatsapp contact list.

Bvlenci is correct, but my husband does not have Facebook, so that was not an option for us.

Let me know if this works out for you. Here's a link to an explanation:
https://www.techuntold.com/use-whats...-phone-number/
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by joan View Post
If you install whatsapp on a device without a phone number, you have two choices: either use a landline number ( and receive a phone call with verification code) or use a mobile number (and use that phone to get the verification code). I'd suggest you try it with your spouse at home now. Both download Whatsapp, then send messages and make a call. You have to give permission to access mic, contact list, photos etc in order to receive texts and calls. Say yes. Or "yes while using the app"

My husband and I just did this today, and tested it. Changed the notification sounds so they were unique to whatsapp. We are meeting our daughter in Italy in September and plan to communicate via whatsapp, as long as we all have internet. We've done this in the past, communicating with Airbnb hosts etc. Anyone in your regular contact list who also has whatsapp will automatically appear in the whatsapp contact list.

Bvlenci is correct, but my husband does not have Facebook, so that was not an option for us.

Let me know if this works out for you. Here's a link to an explanation:
https://www.techuntold.com/use-whats...-phone-number/
Thank you! I had thought of that and just tried it. It worked great! I will buy one sim card so I have internet while I am out by myself and not waste money on one for him!
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by marty View Post
Thank you! I had thought of that and just tried it. It worked great! I will buy one sim card so I have internet while I am out by myself and not waste money on one for him!
One last tip (I learned this the hard way, which is why my sim card I purchased in Venice wouldn't work). Remember to edit and add +39 for all Italian phone numbers, or +01 for US. Otherwise it may not get through.

If I knew then what I know now!!! Haha!
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by joan View Post
One last tip (I learned this the hard way, which is why my sim card I purchased in Venice wouldn't work). Remember to edit and add +39 for all Italian phone numbers, or +01 for US. Otherwise it may not get through.

If I knew then what I know now!!! Haha!
We’re Paris now, but I didn’t download the e-sim before we flew out, as I apparently needed to. We were so rushed getting everything done and I didn’t even look at the instructions, though I bought the e-sim end July.

Anyhow, I removed my original sim and scanned the QR code for the Orange sim. Works well, which is what matters, will insert my sim on the flight back home.
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Old Aug 7th, 2022, 08:34 PM
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Some eSIMs use an app to provision, though QR code seems more common.

It really depends on which countries you plan to visit and what are you going to use it most for.

Italy prepaid are among the most generous for amount of data and roaming in other EU countries. Always be aware that the amount of EU roaming data is usually a fraction of the data bundle that you get.

French prepaid offers are among the least generous but I know people go for the Orange prepaid SIMs that you can purchase on Amazon and other outlets so that they have an activated plan already to go when they arrive.

VOIP does make things simpler, so you don't have to worry about how many calls you can make to international numbers. I've not used WhatsApp that much, usually to connect with people in Europe where it's more popular, but I've not allowed WA to access my address book because they are owned by FaceBook after all. But that means I have to enter the phone numbers manually.

WA is suppose to be encrypted but if it's a matter of trusting companies, I'd rather use Apple's Messages and FaceTime audio calls than WhatsApp.

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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 06:47 AM
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Try to search *RedteaGO*, Apple's eSIM service provider and use the promo code of REDICINA for 2$ for free.
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Old Aug 8th, 2022, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by helenchen1889 View Post
Try to search *RedteaGO*, Apple's eSIM service provider and use the promo code of REDICINA for 2$ for free.
helenchen, what’s this for, is this for international travel? Would appreciate if you could give us some details, thanks.
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