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iPhone XS Max Use of local SIM card on a long trip

akash.nu

macrumors G3
Original poster
May 26, 2016
9,218
10,899
Hey guys, this one feels a bit tricky to me but I wanted to see if any of you have actually gone through the same situation and what have you done to get things working.

So, over the Christmas period I’m planning to travel to India for a week and then go to Australia for 2 weeks. The issue is that I generally need to always be connected to the internet due to work commitments and rather than paying a huge amount on roaming charges and potentially slow connections, I was hoping to be able to pick up local SIM cards in both the countries and potentially benefit from cheaper / faster data services available on the local networks.

Now, I’m on EE in the UK and on an iPhone XS Max. I use the dual sim setup to use the same device for work and personal communication. EE is my personal number and also the default data provider via eSim. My work number is on giffgaff via the physical SIM card.

My question is when I reach either India or Australia, can I just replace the giffgaff SIM card with a local one and switch the default service under data settings as shown below?



Also, should I turn off data from the EE eSim to avoid it using data services?! As shown below -



If the default data service is switched to another SIM card then does the eSim still use data? I ask because unpaid use of data on roaming services might be expensive.

Since getting this device I’ve always just traveled within Europe where all of our plans remain the same so I didn’t need to get any local sim to avoid paying a lot.

One more thing - I’m going to travel all over Australia during my 2 weeks trip, can I just get a SIM card once I reach and would that work the same way across the different states in the country?! I know that in India one has to pay roaming charges if they go out of a certain locale.

Any help / suggestion will be really appreciated.
 
Last edited:

1rottenapple

macrumors 68040
Apr 21, 2004
3,219
1,357
Is your phone unlocked? When the XS max came out I traveled to Singapore and used gigsky. You buy the plan activate online. And when I landed I turned on data. It was so seamless. I got a grab (Uber service) when we landed and got to the hotel with out issue. I recommend gigsky. It’s reasonable and pretty seamless experience. You use the setting section to turn the sim and data on and off.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
Original poster
May 26, 2016
9,218
10,899
Is your phone unlocked? When the XS max came out I traveled to Singapore and used gigsky. You buy the plan activate online. And when I landed I turned on data. It was so seamless. I got a grab (Uber service) when we landed and got to the hotel with out issue. I recommend gigsky. It’s reasonable and pretty seamless experience. You use the setting section to turn the sim and data on and off.

Yeah it’s all unlocked. I’ve never used the gigsky service. Is this just a data pack or separate network service provider?

Update - I just looked at the Gigsky website and it looks like a very good solution given both India and Australia are present in the Asia Pacific region so this option will work for me for sure.

However, it looks like they use the eSim feature of iPhone XS series to invoke the network profile for this to work. I already use my permanent EE number with eSim. What happens when I push this new profile?! Does it just get added as a new connection and I just switch to it or does it overwrite the existing eSim profile?

Want to make sure my existing setup works when I get back home and I’m hoping it’ll just be a matter of switching the network again within settings when I’m back in London.

If it overwrites the existing profile then that’ll be a problem as EE needs to send a separate code in post for me to go through this setup again, which was a bit of a hassle last time.
 
Last edited:

1rottenapple

macrumors 68040
Apr 21, 2004
3,219
1,357
D70592C6-0C20-43F2-B591-90586706510B.png
Yeah it’s all unlocked. I’ve never used the gigsky service. Is this just a data pack or separate network service provider?

Update - I just looked at the website of Gigsky and it looks like a very good solution given both India and Australia is present in the Asia Pacific region so this option will work for me for sure.

However, it looks like they use the eSim feature of iPhone XS series to invoke the network profile for this to work. I already use my permanent EE number with eSim. What happens when I push this new profile?! Does it just get added as a new connection and I just switch to it or does it overwrite the existing eSim profile?

Want to make sure my existing setup works when I get back home and I’m hoping it’ll just be a matter of switching the network again within settings when I’m back in London.

If it overwrites the existing profile then that’ll be a problem as EE needs to send a separate code in post for me to go through this setup again, which was a bit of a hassle last time.
Ya sorry I can’t answer your question. Maybe someone else will or gigsky can answer. I have a physical sim for my home sim and the esim is for traveling.

Edit: I searched for you. I found this thread on reddit and it says you can have multiple esim profiles but can only use one at a time.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
Original poster
May 26, 2016
9,218
10,899
View attachment 856485
Ya sorry I can’t answer your question. Maybe someone else will or gigsky can answer. I have a physical sim for my home sim and the esim is for traveling.

Edit: I searched for you. I found this thread on reddit and it says you can have multiple esim profiles but can only use one at a time.

Ah nice one. thanks a lot for that.
 

1rottenapple

macrumors 68040
Apr 21, 2004
3,219
1,357
Ah nice one. thanks a lot for that.
No prob. I’m planning on traveling next month and gigsky has a global plan. $25 for 1gb for 15 days. It’s not bad. I like the idea of just landing and activating right away instead for paying $10 at a sim stand at an airport and trying to activate the sim, remove sim, etc... I’m definitely paying for convenience.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
Original poster
May 26, 2016
9,218
10,899
No prob. I’m planning on traveling next month and gigsky has a global plan. $25 for 1gb for 15 days. It’s not bad. I like the idea of just landing and activating right away instead for paying $10 at a sim stand at an airport and trying to activate the sim, remove sim, etc... I’m definitely paying for convenience.

Yeah I definitely like the idea too. I’d probably go for the 5GB plan to be honest. I’ll be travelling 3 weeks all in. Do you know once the plan is activated, while you fly between countries, if it still works seamlessly?!
 

riteshritesh

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2016
127
68
Mumbai INDIA
2 answers to your original question.

1) Do you have under Settings>Mobile Data>Mobile Data Options>Data Roaming? Toggle to turn it on and off? Maybe you can turn it off,so that your UK service doesn't use data once you are out of UK.
2) Most of the India plans are Nationwide and the concept of National Roaming is done away with ( atleast for Postpaid plans). But the main hindrance is activation of a new simcard for tourists with passport as identity proof. It takes 24-48 hours to activate your services, so in my opinion, you could ask a relative to buy a sim in his name and keep it activated or use Gigsky pre-purchased service, which seems like a better option.
 
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akash.nu

macrumors G3
Original poster
May 26, 2016
9,218
10,899
2 answers to your original question.

1) Do you have under Settings>Mobile Data>Mobile Data Options>Data Roaming? Toggle to turn it on and off? Maybe you can turn it off,so that your UK service doesn't use data once you are out of UK.
2) Most of the India plans are Nationwide and the concept of National Roaming is done away with ( atleast for Postpaid plans). But the main hindrance is activation of a new simcard for tourists with passport as identity proof. It takes 24-48 hours to activate your services, so in my opinion, you could ask a relative to buy a sim in his name and keep it activated or use Gigsky pre-purchased service, which seems like a better option.

Thanks for your response. Yes I’ve had bad experience with trying to get a new SIM card in India and then travel across the country last time when I visited a few years back. Things may have changed since then.

Curious about the data speed on GigSky, given by the sound of it, the services latches on to the bandwidth of one of the domestic service providers.
 

1rottenapple

macrumors 68040
Apr 21, 2004
3,219
1,357
Yeah I definitely like the idea too. I’d probably go for the 5GB plan to be honest. I’ll be travelling 3 weeks all in. Do you know once the plan is activated, while you fly between countries, if it still works seamlessly?!
it’s supposed to work seamlessly I think. Maybe others can chime in.

Wish I had the service back a few years ago when I was traveling for a few months in multiple countries.
 

Zxxv

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2011
3,558
1,103
UK
Get your employer to pay for it. If they won’t then fine don’t be connected and enjoy your holiday.
 

akash.nu

macrumors G3
Original poster
May 26, 2016
9,218
10,899
So I found a much better and cost effective solution for my trip, at least for the time in Australia.

In case anyone else is looking for it. EE does this - Roam Further Pass - add on, that can be activated with any pay monthly existing contract. Much cheaper than GigSky.

https://ee.co.uk/help/help-new/offers-and-services/passes/what-is-the-roam-further-pass

For the time I’m gonna be in India, it’s probably better for me to just use the EE - Travel Data Pass - for £6 per day for 500MB of data.

https://ee.co.uk/help/help-new/roaming-and-international/roaming-data-add-ons/travel-data-pass

So my conclusion seems to be this -

- 6 Days in India 500 MB / Day = £36
- 14 Days in Australia with 15GB fair usage of my own data limit = £10

Total with EE = £46

With GigSky it’s $50 ~ £40 I get only 5GB to spend across all the countries.

So I’m sticking with EE, will just get the appropriate add on activated as I go through the countries. I’ll try to stick with just WiFi in China and Hong Kong as I’m there just for a day each.

Life is good.
 
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