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E-Sim card

El Cascayal

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi to all,
Just ordered new iPhone 13. I have coverage in the US with Xfinity who goes with Verizon. New phone has dual SIM cards and was told I could get an eSim in Spain.
I am looking for a pay as you go plan. Looking at Vodafone for El Camino de Invierno. Does anyone know how this works? Do I need to visit one of the 2 stores in Ponferrada? May it be accomplished online? What are the logistics of using this? Will I still e able to use WhatsApp as is, or will I need to re-enter phone numbers? Any techies out there or anyone who has done this? Thank you,
Aymarah
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Easiest to go to the shop if you’re not familiar with ESims. You get a QR code rather than a physical SIM. You just scan that with the phone camera and the magic of Apple takes it from there. You can then select on your iPhone which sim (or esim) to use. You can have multiple esims. I assume your ‘contacts’ are on your iPhone and/on the cloud and not saved directly to your SIM? (Can you even do that these days?), in which case you’ll notice no difference wrt WhatsApp.
 

O Peracha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
1341
I chose to do the opposite. I switched to an E-Sim for my home country (US/AT&T) and then will use an Orange physical SIM when I'm in Europe.

I figured that it would be easier to do the E-SIM in the US than in a foreign country. And it turned out to be not that straightforward. I got the QR code through the mail and it did not work. Called AT&T and they tried to fix the issue over the phone but couldn't. Had to go into a store and they got it working in no time.

I've had it now for several months. Everything works including Whatsapp and did not have to do anything else.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I looked at switching my current physical SIM to an eSIM (in the UK) and it required my physical SIM to be switched off before a QR code could be sent to me in the normal mail system; so I declined. Given that the eSIM option is only really applicable to a small number of latest-version handsets I think that the network providers haven’t yet geared-up.

You can, of course, remove your physical SIM, keep it safe, and use an alternate physical SIM.

I did at one time (iPhone 7 I think) have a carry case which purported to hold two SIMs and allow you to switch between the two at the flick of a switch. It didn’t work.
 
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Glamgrrl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Travel318
Use the recommendation above regarding E-sim for the US. We specifically got dual sim for exactly the reason of traveling. E sim is just a sim that your phone company will scan and set up for your phone, nothing will be obvious to you. You would only lose data you saved to your SIM card. Then when you get to country you’re spending time in, buy a SIM card to insert in your phone. You now have local data plan and local number. I suggest you see what plans they’re offering and buy the largest, best priced one you can. Pay as you go is a hassle, here’s why, all the messages about how much data and calling you have left will go to your new number, and you’ll have to call and enter numbers to get to the right area. The message will be in whatever language the country you bought sim speaks, so unless you’re fluent in that language, you’ll struggle. We’d go into a store and have them help us but that all takes time. Data is cheap, overbuy. Buen Camino!
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Travel318
I chose to do the opposite. I switched to an E-Sim for my home country (US/AT&T) and then will use an Orange physical SIM when I'm in Europe.

I figured that it would be easier to do the E-SIM in the US than in a foreign country. And it turned out to be not that straightforward. I got the QR code through the mail and it did not work. Called AT&T and they tried to fix the issue over the phone but couldn't. Had to go into a store and they got it working in no time.

I've had it now for several months. Everything works including Whatsapp and did not have to do anything else.
This is exactly perfect advice and how the dual sim system should be used.
 

Rmarkob

New Member
Past OR future Camino
April 2020 (postponed indefinitely)
I did the same, but I started off going to the at&t store. I left, and tried to make a call , and no service. I turned around and went back to the store and another agent helped me. He said I HAD to have another SIM in the slot for it to work. That sounded sketchy to me, but I already had another SIM with a different provider so I went along with it and voila! Both numbers worked (shrug).
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Travel318
Interesting. This isn’t the case for me (AT&T also). I only have e-sim and phone works just fine. Keeping that slot open for euro travel next year 🤞🏻
 

Lrarey

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2023
Hi to all,
Just ordered new iPhone 13. I have coverage in the US with Xfinity who goes with Verizon. New phone has dual SIM cards and was told I could get an eSim in Spain.
I am looking for a pay as you go plan. Looking at Vodafone for El Camino de Invierno. Does anyone know how this works? Do I need to visit one of the 2 stores in Ponferrada? May it be accomplished online? What are the logistics of using this? Will I still e able to use WhatsApp as is, or will I need to re-enter phone numbers? Any techies out there or anyone who has done this? Thank you,
Aymarah
I’m not a techie, but there are tons of phone stores in bigger cities like Pamplona or Logroño. I bought a Spain SIM card for 40EU and they totally set it up for me and explained everything. (Can get one for 20EU, but I wanted more data) You can switch back to your Verizon SIM at any time. I switch back & forth if I need to call the US. I can use my Spain card anywhere in Europe, but I can’t call the US. No, you don’t need to re-enter ph#s. The phone does it automatically.
 
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El Cascayal

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Use the recommendation above regarding E-sim for the US. We specifically got dual sim for exactly the reason of traveling. E sim is just a sim that your phone company will scan and set up for your phone, nothing will be obvious to you. You would only lose data you saved to your SIM card. Then when you get to country you’re spending time in, buy a SIM card to insert in your phone. You now have local data plan and local number. I suggest you see what plans they’re offering and buy the largest, best priced one you can. Pay as you go is a hassle, here’s why, all the messages about how much data and calling you have left will go to your new number, and you’ll have to call and enter numbers to get to the right area. The message will be in whatever language the country you bought sim speaks, so unless you’re fluent in that language, you’ll struggle. We’d go into a store and have them help us but that all takes time. Data is cheap, overbuy. Buen Camino!
Thank you. Xfinity, my US carrier doesn’t support E-sim.
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Travel318
I’m not a techie, but there are tons of phone stores in bigger cities like Pamplona or Logroño. I bought a Spain SIM card for 40EU and they totally set it up for me and explained everything. (Can get one for 20EU, but I wanted more data) You can switch back to your Verizon SIM at any time. I switch back & forth if I need to call the US. I can use my Spain card anywhere in Europe, but I can’t call the US. No, you don’t need to re-enter ph#s. The phone does it automatically.
That’s how it works with single sim phones for sure. Now with the dual sims you can actually have two at once!! The rain isn’t a physical sim, so it leaves a slot open for whatever one you buy. It’s awesome for travel or if you only want to carry one phone for personal and business but have it ring on separate lines.
 

Tony Bobcat

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2017
I’m not a techie, but there are tons of phone stores in bigger cities like Pamplona or Logroño. I bought a Spain SIM card for 40EU and they totally set it up for me and explained everything. (Can get one for 20EU, but I wanted more data) You can switch back to your Verizon SIM at any time. I switch back & forth if I need to call the US. I can use my Spain card anywhere in Europe, but I can’t call the US. No, you don’t need to re-enter ph#s. The phone does it automatically.
Hi Lrarey
The only problem I found in buying a SIM card in Pamplona is that all your messages are in Spanish.
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
Yes, you can use Xfinity Mobile internationally!

Spain is only 20 cents/minute, 10 cents/text, 10 cents/MB data.

For details, see:



-Paul
 

CAJohn

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
You can get eSIMs on line. You can get them for one country or a region. You can top them off. You can get another one for another country or region and it really is convenient.

There are eSIM distributors. Airalo is one of the oldest (and I think it is the cheapest). You can keep your regular SIM, download an eSIM and use the eSIM for data only. Most of these eSIMs do not come with a phone number. But you can use WhatsApp or another service for that.

It sounds a little complicated, but I have been researching this lately and there are some great articles explaining how to use eSIMs, and I have come to the conclusion that it is probably much easier than bothering with the local mobile phone company shop.

Also, in some countries, you cannot top off your traditional pay as you go SIM card if you do not have a local bank account. My cousins bailed me out on that once in Ireland. With the eSIM dealers, a local bank account is not an issue.

I would recommend Googling eSIM for travel and read one of the better written articles, and I think you might be surprised how unintimidating the process is

I have T-Mobile, which gives me text and data overseas, but I found it painfully slow at times, and the next time I travel, I am going to try the eSIM. I was considering bringing an old phone and getting a traditional SIM for the old phone and using that as a mobile WiFi spot, but the eSIM should do the same without the hassle of carrying another device. I want to be able to keep my home phone number for texts and if you replace the traditional SIM, you lose your home phone number
 
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