What Is an eSIM and Why Is It Better For International Travel?

Using an eSIM means you won’t need a physical SIM card anymore. In just a few minutes you can buy a Getcontact eSIM directly from your phone, taking the stress out of international travel.

How many times have you landed in a new destination without cell phone service and struggled to connect to wifi, find a cell phone store to buy a local SIM, or fumbled with changing plastic SIM cards, occasionally dropping one between the seats of an airplane?

Landing in a new country is exactly when you need your cell phone the most. You need to find transportation or coordinate with someone meeting you on the ground. You need to access a map to find your way to where you’re going. And, unfortunately, airport wifi access is often shoddy or difficult to connect to.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just turn on your phone and connect to a local cell phone network without all this stress?

Meet the eSIM. It’s already built into most new phones and is likely to be the future of cell phone technology. Getting an eSIM from Getcontact takes only a few minutes, and with rates that beat local SIM cards, it’s one of the hottest new travel hacks.

What is an eSIM?

Contrary to popular belief, the “e” in eSIM doesn’t actually stand for “electronic,” it stands for “embedded” Subscriber Identity Module. eSIM cards have been built into most cell phone models for the last few years. They act like regular physical SIM cards, accessing mobile data networks, but without the physical hassle of inserting or removing it.

This means that if you have a device with an eSIM, you can activate it digitally without going to a store or messing around trying to put a plastic SIM card into your SIM card slot. No using pins to try to open a tiny SIM card tray. eSIMs are activated entirely digitally by purchasing an eSIM package, which can be done before your trip or as soon as you land.

Advantages of an eSIM

Everyone is asking the same question: “Is an eSIM better than a physical SIM card?” Using an eSIM is ideal for international travelers. Usually when arriving in a new country, one of the first things you need is cell phone service. Yet getting a local SIM card often means finding a store at the airport which charges exorbitant prices and navigating cell phone service in a foreign country, then fumbling with a piece of plastic which can easily be lost. An eSIM, on the other hand, requires no physical hardware, can be bought before your flight, and doesn’t take a trip to a cell phone store in a foreign country.

Imagine landing in a new place, having bought your eSIM ahead of time, turning off airplane mode on your phone and immediately being able to connect to a local cell phone network. You could then coordinate meeting someone or finding a taxi without the stress of having to find a local physical SIM card.

How to use an eSIM

If you want to know how to download a Getcontact eSIM, it’s as easy as picking your package and buying. Here’s a TikTok showing how simple it is.

Getcontact packages are available in 114 countries with options for local, regional, and global eSIM plans. For example, you can browse some of the best eSIM plans and choose a European regional package that works in 31 destinations across Europe. Perfect for a European road trip. And it’s more affordable than getting a local SIM card.

All you have to do is go to Getcontact eSIM website, choose your package which is suitable for your travel. Login or register to the site and make the payment for your chosen package. When you want to start using the package, enter the activation information provided by your service provider.

eSIM vs. SIM

One of the beauties of an eSIM is that you can use it at the same time as you use a physical SIM. So if you use a physical SIM at home, you don’t have to remove it to use an eSIM while traveling. You can switch between your eSIM and your physical SIM card number at any time. Check out Getcontact’s FAQs if you want more information on how to use a dual SIM.

While physical SIM cards can be simple to switch between different devices, they’re also a lot easier to lose. Getcontact eSIMs will also be easy to switch between devices using the Getcontact app, thus making physical SIM cards less and less attractive. eSIMs are increasingly becoming the better option.

eSIM compatable phones

Cell phone makers have been building eSIMs into phones since around 2018, so if your phone is newer than that, you likely have one already in your phone.

For Apple products, the iPhone SE 2, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone 11 and all more recent products come with an eSIM.

Compatible Android devices include the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, the Note 20 series, Google Pixel 3, Huawei P40, and all more recent devices.

Are eSIMs the future of cell phone service?

A number of major cell phone carriers (especially in the US) have balked at the idea of eSIMs, fearing the ease with which customers could switch eSIM providers. Because eSIMs don’t require a visit to a physical store or any in-person sales contact, customers can more easily choose a better data package from another provider, driving up competition and driving down prices. This is how Getcontact can offer such competitive prices in markets like the US where few mainstream providers offer such service.

There’s little doubt that if eSIMs can be used on a global scale, it would eliminate a lot of the hassle of physical SIM cards and provide savings to consumers. As new cell phones all come equipped with the technology, it seems inevitable that the use of eSIMs will only become more widespread.

As cell phone technology evolves, cell phone makers may even replace physical SIM card slots with eSIMs completely, creating more space on the device and making waterproofing simpler.

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