eSIM + Dual SIM Q&A

Discussion in 'iOS 12' started by DeanLubaki, Oct 27, 2018.

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  1. michael31986 macrumors 68040

    Jul 11, 2008
    So anyone with t mobile work around for e sim Having issues? Any news on when they will officially release
  2. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010

    A problem with streaming media developed for me but I am no longer convinced completely that it has anything to do with dual plans.

    After consulting Apple, I noticed a VPN update two days later and the problem is no longer occurring.

    Before that, I had to take a moment to disable the physical SIM if I wanted to stream data from the eSIM. If I did not do that, the stream would be interrupted every 10-15 minutes, for a few seconds at a time.

    I was being interrupted on Pandora but not Amazon Music.

    People who know more than I do suggest to me that since I was using the free version of Pandora, the interruptions might have had to do with how the VPN refused advertising.

    I was not seeing the problem on Amazon Music because the Amazon plan does not send advertising.

    On the other hand, somebody else here who has the same stream interruption problem says that he has to disable the physical SIM to stream from the eSIM.

    Now...another problem....

    Yesterday while the physical SIM was off, and while I was in the middle of a phone call originating from the eSIM, I suddenly lost all service.

    Waiting an extended period while driving and the signal did not return. This was about 15 minutes waiting and it never can back.

    The phone only got signals when I turned on the physical SIM again and cycled airplane mode.


    That is precisely the problem that T-Mobile has been telling us about. LOL....

    Only one occurrence of this problem, and I have had the eSIM ever since T-Mobile’s workaround became available. A few weeks now, I think.

    If I had it to do over again, I might want to keep my main plan on the physical SIM because iOS looks for that first and keeps setting “Number 1” on the physical SIM even though you use iOS settings to make defaults your eSIM.

    I think this might continue to cause small glitches until the GM of 12.1.3 and all the associated fixes.

    But not all providers support eSIM, so your secondary might very well have to go on the physical SIM. Because it is a Verizon MVNO and provides occasionally better coverage, my secondary plan is Xfinity Mobile.

    Xfinity won’t even support Apple Watch, never mind eSIM. :)

    That’s how I ended up with my main T-Mobile plan on esim.
  3. iGeneo macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2010
    Here's a thought.... I used my Truphone eSIM last trip abroad. My VZW SIM is a physical SIM. I'm thinking since TruPhone and Gigsky are son pricey... I may be better off buying a SIM at the airport and switching from a physical SIM to the VZW eSIM? Any downside?

    TruPhone worked just fine, but very overpriced..
  4. jtkboston macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2014
    That is exactly why I switched to eSIM for my VZW primary line
  5. M.Rizk macrumors 6502


    Apr 20, 2015
    Not in the US but that’s what I do. My carrier is on eSIM and I use local SIMs abroad if they offer a cheaper service than my carrier does.

    Truphone and Gigsky are a rip-off and made for lazy people (or to be used in countries that don’t offer SIMs to visitors and who happen to have expensive roaming prices).
  6. iGeneo macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2010
    Thanks for confirming that...

    Last Question: Are any available here in the states (amazon?) that you would recommend? Would be nice to have it handled before arrival.
  7. E3BK macrumors 68030


    Mar 15, 2008
    It's why I switched to VZW from TMO. I moved my main line to eSIM and use a physical SIM when traveling. I've had my Three UK line for many years and now I don't have to carry 2 phones. Worked perfectly in the UK. This is the best course for people who travel overseas often.

    Gigsky and TruPhone are for one-offs or people who don't know/want to figure out another way.
  8. M.Rizk macrumors 6502


    Apr 20, 2015
    Depends on where you are traveling. If Europe then I think I noticed Three (3) UK SIMs available for sale on Amazon US. Many were saying it was easy to use throughout Europe. Some reviews said it only offers 4G LTE in the UK and 3G (what you guys call 4G) outside the UK. I haven't tested it myself as my main carrier plan includes roaming in Europe, US, Canada, the Middle East, and most Asian countries so I rarely need to research this.
  9. d123 macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2009
    Three UK now offers 4G LTE roaming on a number of networks around the world.

    This is the most up to date list I’ve seen (date shown is the date that LTE roaming started).

  10. OBirder macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2015

    I am not for sure this is the best approach even so everybody seems to approach it this way. Maybe for now depending on many providers offer PrePaid eSIM and to how many countries you travel. However I am sure this will increase in the not too far future.

    If you have more than 1 local SIM, in your scenario depending on where you travel, you will have to remove a case, remove the physically SIM and keep track of it. Switch back when you return from travel.

    This is why I went a different path:

    I keep my primary line on the physical SIM. I want my secondary lines to be on eSIM.

    I currently added two eSIM PrePaid profiles (AT&T in the US and Telekom in Germany). For both I had physical SIM’s and for both I was able to convert them online via chat to eSIM. For AT&T I had to get a physical eSIM card with QR code.
    Telekom did it state of the art: Online chat - They submitted QR code into my online customer portal a few minutes lates. Added cellular plan scanning QR code from computer screen. Didn’t even have to be in country.

    Now I don’t have to remove the physical SIM. I only turn on the eSIM I want. It automatically turns off the other one.
    No more keeping track of SIM’s.

    As more low cost providers will move without a doubt to eSIM even for prepaid, to me this is the way to go.

    Further along I foresee all eSIM phones.
  11. E3BK, Jan 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019

    E3BK macrumors 68030


    Mar 15, 2008
    There just aren’t enough...or any...local mobile providers to have overseas accounts on prepaid or temp eSIM. That’s really all it is. When it changes, the best course changes. Until then, “traveling” SIMs in the physical slot is the best course for those who travel often. I’m certainly not signing up for a 12 mo contract with EE for what I use a couple months total out of the year.

    I look forward to the day when it is possible to go to any country and use prepaid eSIM and paying for it in Apple Pay. It’ll come someday, but it isn’t now.
  12. OBirder macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2015

    I totally agree on your last statement.

    But I have to say I am very positive surprised about Telekom in Germany.

    I think I have a prepaid card with them since 3 or 4 years. I bought it in a store in Germany and my passport and address of hotel was sufficient.
    The monthly is 9.95 EUR, but if I don’t have money on the card is not deducting more. They keep the account active for a year. The minimum top off is 5 EUR and you can keep it for another year.
    So every time I travelled to Germany I loaded between 15 EUR and 25 EUR depending of length of stay and data usage and nothing else until my next travel.
    Just last week I made the conversion to eSIM and probably will keep it even if I won’t travel. It will be worth 5 EUR a year to keep it active.

    Maybe others do have something similar you might be able to use any EU provider with an offer like this, since the EU has liberated with the roaming.

    But yes, to get originally a prepaid SIM to all I know you have to be physically in country. After that it becomes easier.

    Unfortunately most big providers are not there yet, so your method might be best for this scenario.
  13. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Oct 13, 2010
    The longer that I use dual plan functionality on my XS Max, the more convinced I become that iOS and Apple intended for your primary plan to be on the physical SIM.

    For example, if you don't already realize it, iOS looks at the physical SIM first, and some applications can even misidentify your cellular provider based on the physical SIM...even if it is turned off! Open Signal comes to mind immediately.

    As others have said, however, it's the acceptance and adaptability of other providers that have forced us to put our primary cellular plans on an eSIM, and our secondary plans on the physical SIM.

  14. danox574 macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    Searched through the thread here, but didn't find exactly this. I have a XS Max (unlocked, purchased retail) in the US, and went into an AT&T store asking for my service to be moved to the eSIM to free up the tray. I have a foreign number being delivered in a few weeks and I wanted to get things stabilized with my primary AT&T service before I start using dual sim.

    I was told no, I can't have service on eSim under any circumstances without a physical SIM present and active on a second provider. They apparently attempted this before, but had a problem and had to move it back. They gave me the eSim physical card with QR and bar codes and said when the foreign provider gets the physical SIM to me, I can go ahead and do the change myself, but not to do it before.

    Does this check out with anyone else's experience?

    After reading the rest of the thread, I feel like maybe I should keep my physical SIM for my primary service and I should ask the foreign provider to give me the service on an eSim card instead that I can install myself. Is that a better idea?
  15. techiegirl macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2007
    Danox574: That’s not true. I’m using the eSim on Verizon right now with no physical SIM card.
  16. OBirder macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2015

    You may get different answers. There is functionality which is impacted when you use eSIM only e.g. Hotspot.
    Some Apps as well don’t like it.

    However in general it will and should work.

    It might even work if you leave a dummy SIM in slot e.g. your old AT&T SIM card.

    In addition we might get an iOS update this week and it could improve things (T-Mobile has not released eSIM for postpaid customers and seems to wait for iOS and carrier update).

    For the second part I agree that I prefer to keep the primary provider on SIM and the secondaries on eSIM. The question will be, if your foreign provider will support eSIM.

    If you want to switch, all you need to do, go into an AT&T chat and ask them that you want to update your SIM card on the account (you don’t have to mentioned eSIM). Give them the SIM card number from your blue eSIM card.
    Once they confirmed,add the Cellular Plan by scanning the QR code and your are done.

    Good luck!
  17. danox574 macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2010
    Good stuff. I can move it there, move it back to figure it out for myself then and see what happens. The reports of physical SIM providing carrier data even when using eSim kind of aligns with the feedback I have that says physical SIM is still touched/referenced and may cause heartache on AT&T if not active.

    I'm being assigned a Japanese number, which they are happy to deliver to me on a SIM I can put in the tray. I'm going to try to get them to give me an eSim if possible. Last I heard, it wasn't supported in Japan but the speed at which things change in this area is so high that could have easily changed.

    Thank you for the guidance.
  18. iGeneo macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2010
    Has anybody been able to activate eSIM on the 11" iPad Pro with Verizon?

    I was in a chat getting my iPhone handled, the rep said "not supported". I then sent this link

    Then she pointed out the footnote:
    1. Not all carriers support Apple SIM and eSIM. See your carrier for details. Not available in China. The eSIM technology works with the 11‑inch iPad Pro and 12.9‑inch iPad Pro (3rd generation). Apple SIM works with the 10.5‑inch iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation or later), iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 or later.
    I told her, that was from the VZW web page...

    (Maybe I should ask elsewhere?)
  19. jpiszcz macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2010
    Instant HotSpot does not appear to be fixed in iOS 12.1.3 if you are on eSIM (without a physical SIM card).
  20. iGeneo macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2010
    Working fine for me... just tested my iPad Pro 11 with my XS Max using eSIM only and it worked without issue...
    --- Post Merged, Jan 22, 2019 ---
    Ditto... doing the same
  21. jpiszcz macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2010
    Using ATT here.
  22. iGeneo macrumors regular


    Jul 3, 2010

    Looks like an AT&T issue?
  23. jpiszcz macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2010
    Anyone else reading this using ATT with eSIM only have Instant Hotspot working?
  24. idgsd macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2018
    Currently abroad on a long vacation, iPhone XS with an AT&T esim (my US account) and a prepaid local physical sim (“Local” for present discussions). My normal setup is: Cellular Data - Local, Default Voice - Local, Cellular Plans - Local is on, AT&T - off (don’t care receiving calls in real time). I wish to check my AT&T line for missed calls, voicemail, text messages, etc. every couple of days, so I turn on my AT&T line for 5 min or so, but thus far it showed nothing. Do I do it correctly? Do I need to switch Cellular Data to AT&T as well (roaming stays off to avoid triggering my Daily Pass). Do I need to wait longer with AT&T on?
  25. CommanderData macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2007

    I've have an iPhone XS and have been out of the USA since before eSIMs were allowed to be activated, so I still have an AT&T physical SIM and have been using various roaming eSIMs (GigSky, Ubigi, "3" Hong Kong Roaming), and recently got an AIS Thailand eSIM. I also pay for the AT&T monthly international roaming package with 3GB data.

    I keep AT&T as primary, and use the various eSIMs for data most of the time. However: any time an eSIM is active (whether roaming, or local with the AIS eSIM when I was in Bangkok), my Visual Voicemail is disabled and the voicemails disappear completely until I switch my data back to primary (AT&T) and turn off eSIMs. Sometimes I even have to reboot the phone after that and wait a while before it comes back. Sometimes have to call into Voicemail manually old-school by pressing/holding "1" on the dial pad before the VVM re-appears. In the meantime I'm stuck with a "visual voicemail is unavailable" and/or "call voicemail" on the screen.

    Voicemail notifications are sporadic no matter what I do. With AT&T set as primary for Calls, SMS, and Data and all eSIMs turned OFF, I called myself from a VoIP line and left a message on AT&T voicemail. I didn't get the notification or visual voicemail for that until about 45 minutes later. IDGSD- I think you're going to have to turn roaming "on" to get it to work, but also try to turn on the AT&T line and reboot your phone and/or call voicemail with "1" to see if that kickstarts any of your AT&T notifications?

    Still don't understand why Visual Voicemail breaks every time I turn "on" an eSIM... even with AT&T set as the Primary for all Calls, SMS, and Data. My only guess is because all my eSIMs are either data-only or do not support voicemail boxes even if they have calling/SMS, and it somehow messes with AT&T's VVM when they are on? Currently on iOS 12.1.2, but will update to 12.1.3 to see if anything changes. Is there anybody here that is seeing this same issue?
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