How to connect to the Internet everywhere using a digital SIM card

How to connect to the Internet everywhere using a digital SIM card

How to Connect to the Internet Everywhere With a digital SIM card Traveling abroad can make you struggle to connect your smartphone or tablet to a mobile network, effectively rendering it useless until you find a wireless signal.

The basic problem is your SIM card, which stores your carrier, location, and personal information needed to essentially turn your mobile device into a networked phone. In recent years, the advent of the eSIM, or digital SIM card, has been intended to simplify international travel by circumventing the need to activate roaming and pay international fees.

If you travel abroad frequently and need access to the international internet, then you will want to take advantage of an eSIM. Being a relatively new concept, it helps to understand what an eSIM is, how it differs from the physical card in your phone, and how services like Holafly international eSIM can keep you connected even when you are out of range of your carrier.

What is an eSIM card?

If you've ever upgraded your smartphone, you or your carrier representative probably replaced it with a small card tucked behind a semi-invisible compartment. This Subscriber Identity Module card acts as your phone's identity and connects you to a specific mobile network. The removable component follows you around, from one phone to another, and it is always associated with this information, so if it is lost or damaged, you will need to find a replacement.

And for physical SIM card failure points, the eSIM card solves many of them. The eSIM was first introduced for network-connected devices in 2016 and has slowly become a standard on flagship devices such as Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones and Apple's iPhone. It usually stands for "electronic," and in this case the eSIM is built into the motherboard of the phone. A digital SIM is more convenient as it takes up less space in the device, but there is more to this little card that makes it a more convenient option than its physical counterpart.

digital SIM card vs. physical SIM card
There are a few things that separate an eSIM or digital SIM card from a physical SIM card or physical SIM card. The main one is that unlike a physical card, the eSIMS data is completely virtual, and if you misplace your phone, you don't have to go through the headache of deactivating the SIM card and waiting for a replacement. If you lose your Samsung Galaxy S22 in Belgium and buy an iPhone 13 in Malta, all your information can be stored in the cloud, which makes it possible to recover what can be lost with a physical SIM card. This is why the eSIM does not have to be removed from the phone at all, and for some, it represents the loss of the physical SIM card. Also a step towards sustainability, as the typical SIM card is considered "mixed waste" because it is made of different materials and each has its own methods of recycling, and with billions of SIM cards being thrown away annually, switching to eSIMS can help reduce the amount of global plastic waste.

What phones are eSIM-compatible?

While eSIMs are growing in popularity, they are still not supported by every smartphone manufacturer. And be sure to check if your device is on the list of devices that support eSIM. In fact, even leading companies like Apple and Samsung didn't introduce eSIM in their flagship phones until 2018 and 2020, respectively. Every iPhone XR is equipped with an eSIM, including the 3rd generation SE. Not all iPhone 12 mini, 13 mini, SE 2020, and XS from China, Hong Kong, and Macau support eSIM.

And only the Galaxy S20 FE and the US version of the Z Flip 5G and the US and Hong Kong versions of the Note 20 Ultra and Z Fold 2 support eSIM. Finally, most of the Google Pixel line for the 2 XL will work except for the Pixel 3 from Australia, Japan, and Taiwan and the 3A from Southeast Asia. With Holafly eSIM, of course, this list is not exhaustive, and other small manufacturers support the eSIM data plan. You can find out if your phone has a built-in SIM card by following the steps to try to add one. To make your life a little easier, the basic steps are outlined below:

Settings → Mobile Data → Add Mobile Data Plan Settings → Mobile Data → Add Mobile Data Plan If you are given the option to scan a QR code, then the phone is eSIM compatible.

Settings → Connections → SIM Card Manager → Add a Mobile Plan Settings → Connections → SIM Card Manager → Add Mobile Plan If you are able to add a mobile plan, then your phone is eSIM compatible.


Settings → Networks & Internet → Advanced → Add Operator Settings → Networks and Internet → Advanced → Add Operator If you are asked to use your phone's camera to get a QR code, then your phone works with eSIMs.


Settings → Mobile Networks → SIM Card Management or Settings → Mobile Networks → SIM Management, and if prompted to add an activation code, your phone must be eSIM-ready.


Settings → Internet & Networks → Mobile Network → Advanced → Carrier → Add Carrier Settings → Internet & Networks → Mobile Network → Advanced → Carrier → Add Carrier If the QR code scanner appears, your phone will work with eSIM cards.

Activate your embedded SIM card.

With a Holafly travel eSIM, the activation and setup is relatively easy no matter what device you're using. When you buy a Holafly eSIM, you'll receive a QR code in your email. Once you have that, it's a matter of downloading your eSIM data via the code. Name your plan and set your new eSIM to "Data" (Data Only), and make sure mobile data and data roaming are activated. Once activated, your eSIM will be ready to connect your phone directly to the Internet, but before you get to this step, you have to decide on the best eSIM data plan.