eSIM: new alternative to roaming in USA: Image: Supplied

eSIM: new alternative to roaming in USA

The eSIM offers more advantages than traditional data roaming—from lower costs to more flexibility. Discover all the perks of this groundbreaking technology.


eSIM: new alternative to roaming in USA: Image: Supplied

The eSIM: A Groundbreaking Alternative To Roaming In The USA

Despite rising airfares and accommodation costs, South Africans are taking a holiday away from home in the summer season. According to data from InfoQuest, 25% of people who are travelling overseas are choosing the United States as their destination. From emblematic cities like New York and Los Angeles to its pristine beaches and natural landscape of forests and mountains, the North American nation has plenty to offer. 

However, as experienced travelers surely know, accessing the internet and staying in touch with loved ones at home is always a challenge. Recently, a new kind of technology has emerged as a solution: the eSIM. In what follows, we dive into the advantages of this technology as well as the necessary steps to activate an eSIM USA to stay connected and make the most of the travelling-abroad experience.  

What is an eSIM?

Simply put, an eSIM (embedded SIM) is the digital version of the traditional SIM card that we typically insert in our mobile phones or tablets to get service. If you own a device that supports this type of technology (iPhone 11 to 14, Samsung Galaxy S20 to S23, Pixel 3 to 7, Huawei P40, and Motorola Edge+ among others) a microchip will be already incorporated in the hardware, allowing you to install multiple eSIM profiles (the equivalent to physical SIM cards). These profiles will have their respective phone numbers and data plans. 

While eSIMs may be a new concept to some, they have existed for a little over a decade now. GSMA developed the technology back in 2012. From there, it entered the consumer market with uses in smartphones, tablets, wearables, smart home devices, and automobiles. 

Man sat on a doorstep looking at this smartphone. Getting an eSIM USA can help you connect to the internet and make international calls: Image: Supplied

Why are eSIMs better options than data roaming?

Using a mobile phone in the USA to access the internet may result in additional charges. An option is to activate your current provider’s data roaming services, which can be quite expensive. Providers like Vodacom charge R0.49 per Mb in the United States. Taking into account that the average person uses anywhere from 1 to 30 GB of data per day, activating data roaming in New York, Los Angeles, or any other city across the USA may result in a hefty phone bill. 

A more affordable option is getting a traditional SIM card from a local provider. Yet, this means that you will need to head up to the nearest store and depend on data roaming or public Wi-Fi in the meantime. Once your holidays are over, the local SIM card will become useless and may end up in the rubbish. 

To address these issues, the eSIM has been designed to eliminate the high costs of data roaming and the need to buy and discard traditional SIMs. As an eSIM already has all the information on the phone operators, changing the data plan or carrier will only require one click.

How to get an eSIM USA?

Those wanting to get a hold of an eSIM USA to start roaming in New York, Orlando, Washington, or any other major city will need to ensure that their device supports the technology. 

Then, the eSIM must be configured by aiming the device’s camera at a barcode provided by the operator. Depending on the mobile operating system, a set of steps will need to be taken—for example, choosing whether the eSIM will be used for data or class and data. 

Now, travel and tech companies such as Holafly offer comprehensive, international eSIM plans for those looking forward to using their mobile phones in the USA. As the latest tool for a travel experience upgrade, it allows travellers to stay in touch with family and friends in South Africa while exploring over 160 destinations. 

Holafly’s eSIM offers unlimited data roaming in New York and other major US cities for a more accessible price. The activation process is simple. You get a QR code to your email, which you must scan with your phone’s camera. Soon, you’ll have an internet connection.

To conclude

The United States is an attractive destination for millions of South Africans. With an eSIM USA, the process of connecting to the internet and making international calls is much easier and more affordable. Discover what it is like to have unlimited data while abroad with providers like Holafly. 

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