Which is Better: eSIM or Roaming Plan?

29 September 2023

eSim is better than roaming

In today's hyper-connected world, staying connected while traveling internationally has become a necessity. Whether you're a business traveler or simply jet-setting for leisure, the need to access data and make calls without breaking the bank is paramount. Traditionally, travelers have relied on international roaming plans provided by their mobile carriers. However, with the advent of eSIM technology, there's a new contender in the ring. So, which is better: eSIM or roaming plans? Let's explore both options to help you make an informed choice.

Understanding Roaming Plans:

International roaming plans have been the go-to solution for travelers for years. These plans allow you to use your home carrier's network while abroad, ensuring you can make calls, send texts, and use mobile data. Roaming plans usually come in two varieties: pay-as-you-go and bundled packages. Here are the pros and cons of roaming plans:

Pros of Roaming Plans:

  1. Familiarity: Roaming plans are well-established and widely used. Most travelers are already familiar with how they work.

  2. Coverage: Roaming plans generally offer good network coverage in various countries, ensuring you can stay connected almost everywhere you go.

  3. One Number: You can keep your regular phone number while using a roaming plan, making it easy for friends, family, and colleagues to reach you.

Cons of Roaming Plans:

  1. Cost: Roaming plans can be expensive. The per-minute, per-text, and per-MB data charges can quickly add up, leading to bill shock upon your return.

  2. Inflexibility: You're tied to your home carrier's terms and rates, which may not be the most cost-effective option for international travel.

  3. Limited Control: Roaming plans offer limited flexibility and customization, leaving you with little control over your mobile services.

Africa eSIM data plans

Enter eSIM Technology:

eSIM, short for embedded SIM, is a relatively new technology that is changing the way we approach international connectivity. Instead of swapping out physical SIM cards, eSIMs are built into your device and can be programmed with multiple mobile plans. Here are the pros and cons of eSIM:

Pros of eSIM:

  1. Cost-Effective: eSIM can be more cost-effective than roaming plans. You can choose local data plans in the country you're visiting, often at lower rates than your home carrier's international roaming fees.

  2. Flexibility: eSIM offers unparalleled flexibility. You can switch between mobile plans on the fly, adapting to your data and calling needs as they change.

  3. Convenience: No need to visit a local store or wait for a physical SIM card to arrive in the mail. eSIM activation can often be done remotely, saving you time.

Cons of eSIM:

  1. Limited Carrier Support: Not all carriers support eSIM technology, so compatibility may be an issue depending on your home carrier.

  2. Device Compatibility: Your device needs to have eSIM capabilities. While many newer smartphones and tablets support eSIM, older devices may not.

  3. Learning Curve: For those unfamiliar with eSIM, there can be a learning curve in terms of setting it up and managing multiple mobile plans.

Making the Choice:

The decision between eSIM and roaming plans ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you value convenience, flexibility, and cost savings, eSIM is a compelling choice, especially if your device supports it and you have access to eSIM-compatible carriers.

On the other hand, if you prioritize simplicity, reliability, and are willing to pay for the convenience of staying with your home carrier, traditional roaming plans might still be the way to go.

In conclusion, both eSIM and roaming plans have their merits, and the better option depends on your individual circumstances. As technology continues to evolve, eSIM is likely to become more widespread, potentially making it an even more attractive choice for international travelers. Whichever path you choose, staying connected while abroad has never been easier.

In order to cehck the phones that are currenltly supported with eSIM, we created this list to help you determine whether your smartphone can accept an eSIM.


An easy instalation quide for iOS devices can be found on this guide for eSIM installation on iOS devices.


An easy instalation quide for Android devices can be found on this guide for eSIM installation on Android devices.

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