There's a lot you might not know about eSIMs! Today, we will discuss five things you may not know about how eSIMs work, operate, and function within your phone.

First things first:


What's an eSIM?

eSIM stands for an 'embedded sim card.' Unlike a physical sim card that you need to transfer and swap between devices, eSIM technology allows you to download and connect to a mobile network from just the embedded chip built into your phone.

You can download a data plan, turn off your local data for roaming, and stay connected using your eSIM!

Here are some key advantages:

  • Download a data plan and be up and running within minutes

  • Still be able to use your primary number for calls and text messages while getting data and internet service on your eSIM

  • Save money by not needing to use daily roaming plans

  • Switch between local, regional, or international data plans.

  • Save time by not needing to find a sim vendor while traveling.

To make sure your device is enabled for eSIM support, please make sure that 1) your phone is carrier unlocked and 2) your device is eSIM compatible.

Please consult our comprehensive list for more information on eSIM compatible phones and devices.

(Fun fact: you can purchase an eSIM with Apple and Google Pay within the Airalo App)

Now that you know about the eSIM solution, here's our list:


1) You don't always have to reinstall an eSIM? You can top it up!

Did you know that most eSIMs can be topped up from within the Airalo app? It's true! All you need to do is open the Airalo app:

Tap on 'My eSIMs' > Tap on 'Current eSIMs' > Find the eSIM you've downloaded and look for the 'Top Up' button on the pack.

If your eSIM does not have a 'Top Up' button, you'll need to delete that current eSIM and redownload another eSIM for that country/region.

You can find our eSIM removal guide here.

If your eSIM does have a 'Top Up' button, you can select from the existing eSIM options for that region (E.g., 1GB, 3GB, 5GB, etc.).


2) Airalo offers select unlimited data eSIMs?

You read that correctly; with specific eSIM packs from Airalo, you can have unlimited data while connected to your eSIM.

How it works:

Two things expire with each eSIM: the data preloaded on the card and the validity period of that data. Whichever finishes first causes the card to expire.

With unlimited data cards, you can use as much data as you like while the card is still active. So if your card is valid for a week, you only have to keep track of when you activated the card - not how much data you're using.

Here are two of our more popular unlimited cards:

Asia Unicom Regional eSIM

Dtac Thailand Unlimited eSIM

Check them out today!


3) Some countries have an eKYC requirement?

Since Airalo covers 190+ regions and countries, each region has different expectations and requirements. For example, some countries have Visa-entry requirements, background checks, and health passes - the same is true for eSIMs.

If you are traveling to a country that requires a background check, you may need to complete an eKYC assessment before getting certain eSIMs. eKYC stands for 'electronically know your customer,' you'll need to verify your passport and other travel documents within the app before downloading your eSIM.

Before you download an eSIM and can connect to a new network, you may be prompted with the following statement:

"You must verify your identity to purchase this eSIM. Please start your identity verification process by submitting your documents."

Then, tap on 'Verify Your Identity to continue.

The process can take a few days to complete, so check if your eSIM has an eKYC requirement before your trip.


4) There are three ways to install an Airalo eSIM? Manual, direct, and via a QR code.

Downloading a data pack to an embedded SIM card might seem tricky but is relatively straightforward.

The simplest way to install an eSIM is through the Airalo store. Once you've purchased your eSIM, you can select the 'direct installation' method. By doing so, most of the manual fields that need to be entered will be autocompleted.

Here is our complete guide for direct eSIM installation.

You can also install an eSIM through the QR-Code method. Instead of clicking the direct option, you can use your phone's camera to scan a QR-Code, which will allow you to begin downloading the eSIM.

Read more about using QR-Codes to Install and eSIM.

The final option is to install your eSIM through the manual method. Unlike the direct and QR-Code method, the manual installation will require you to fill every field to get your eSIM up and running.

Here is our complete guide for manual eSIM installation.


5) Depending on your phone, you can have multiple eSIM profiles installed at once!

One of the significant advantages of going digital is you don't have to worry about how many sim cards you need to store in your phone.

If your phone has Dual-sim dual standby (DSDS), you'll be able to house multiple eSIM profiles at once. With no chip restrictions, you could have a digital eSIM for Germany, Ghana, and Singapore without needing to delete an eSIM profile on your phone.

Why use the Airalo app?

The advantages of using eSIM are numerous, and this may be your sign to make the switch today! Avoid unnecessary roaming charges when you use preloaded data; plus, you save so much time when you download it directly to your phone.

Try your first eSIM today!