How to enable iPhone eSIM to use cell phone plans for international travel

How to enable iPhone eSIM to use cell phone plans for international travel

The new iPhones bring a very interesting novelty: the possibility of activating a second phone line on the device, through a virtual “chip” (the so-called eSIM).

Even if your operator in Brazil does not yet support this excellent functionality, whoever has the new models can activate the second line when travel to another country, without having to remove your physical SIM from the device. Thus, it is possible to continue receiving calls and SMS by the Brazilian number.

We will comment here in this article on some ways you can activate eSIM when traveling abroad.



Activating by operator

To activate an extra line in your eSIM, a code provided by the operator must be included in the system. It allows the activation of the virtual line. Therefore, you will have to look for a compatible operator wherever you go.



Apple itself has a page with the list of operators offering plans for eSIM in several countries.

In the United States, T-Mobile made it very easy to subscribe to prepaid plans through eSIM, which is great for travelers. Just download the corresponding application and activate eSIM directly through it.

→ T-Mobile (USA)

T-Mobile has the following prepaid plans for foreigners (prices in dollars):

  • $ 30 – Tourist Plan: 2 GB of internet, 1,000 minutes of voice and unlimited SMS (for 21 days)
  • $ 40 – Simply Prepaid: 10 GB of internet, unlimited SMS and voice calls (for 30 days)
  • $ 70 – T-Mobile One: unlimited internet, unlimited voice calls and SMS (for 30 days)

You don’t even have to go to a store to activate the line. Just download the application and activate your plan directly on the iPhone, using your Brazilian credit card. More practical, impossible.


Activating through a parallel service

For those who do not want to be hunting operators, there are two services suggested by Apple that offer internet through eSIM: they are the GigSky and the Truphone. The latter does not have an application available on the Brazilian App Store, so we will focus this tutorial on GigSky.

This type of service, different from the operators, offers data plan only. There is no phone number to receive calls or SMS. However, in a world of messaging applications (like WhatsApp), this solution can solve the needs of those who travel very well.

→ GigSky (world)

GigSky has different prepaid plans for foreigners, depending on the region you want to use. Below you can see the values ​​for North America, South America and Europe (prices in dollars):

  • $ 10 – 1 day: 300 MB 4G internet
  • $ 15 – 15 days: 500 MB 4G internet
  • $ 20 – 15 days: 1 GB 4G internet
  • $ 30 – 15 days: 2 GB 4G internet
  • $ 50 – 30 days: 5 GB 4G internet

Yes, they are more expensive than the plans of operators, but for those who intend to stay less than 15 days and only want constant access on the street (using Wi-Fi when they can), this type of plan may be more worthwhile. For example, 1GB of internet for a few days may be more than enough to access messages, maps, e-mails and applications on the street.


Credit code: you can still have $ 5 free credits using the coupon TRAV135 when you sign up for the service.


To hire a plan at GigSky you don’t need a QR Code, everything is done by the app. Here’s the step by step:


Step 1: Download the app from the App Store and install it on your iPhone with eSIM (only XS and XR models at the moment).


Step 2: Authorize your location. The app will try to identify the eSIM of your device, which needs to be unlocked from the operator (devices purchased in Brazil always come unlocked).


Step 3: You will see the screen with the plans and their values. Right below, on the “Change Destination“, Choose the country where you intend to use the line. Each country is a different eSIM, so it is important that you choose correctly.


Step 4: When choosing the desired plan, touch the “Buy Now”Corresponding to that plan.


Step 5: You will then be asked to create a new account on the service. You just need an email address and choose a password. Touch the phrase “Click here”To include the promotional code TRAV135, for you earn 5 dollars on the first purchase.


Step 6: If you used the code correctly, you will now see the discount applied in the order summary. You can pay with Apple Pay (if you have a card registered with your device) or add your credit card.


Step 7: You will see a screen for choosing the default line (the one used for iMessage). Choose the third option (Use Secondary for cellular data only). As we said here, the secondary line is eSIM and you will be telling the system that you want to use his cell data.


From there you can activate the plan whenever you want. You can purchase the plan before you travel and activate it in iOS Settings when you arrive in the country. Just make sure you have purchased for the correct country.

These are the easiest ways to activate a secondary line on your iPhone eSIM when traveling abroad. If you know any other way, comment here in the comments that we will update this article.