eSIMs and Overseas Travel

I’m travelling to Japan later this month and, since I now have an iPhone 11 which supports multiple SIM cards (well, one actual SIM and one eSIM), it seems like a good time to re-raise the perennial question of how to access the internet while overseas, without breaking the bank.

An option which seems to be new is a service called Ubigi, which is apparently operated by the French telecom company Transatel. Apparently, you enter your details on their web-page and they promptly send you an eSIM by email. You can then install this and sign up for a data plan for the eSIM. Their plans are data-only, so you tell your phone to use the eSIM for data, and your regular SIM for phone calls. (You can, of course, make your phone calls via FaceTime or Skype, thus using your eSIM anyway.)

For my purposes, one of their Japan plans offers 3GB for 30 days, for US$19…which seems like a good deal to me. At the same time, this is a company I’ve never heard of before. Has anyone tried Ubigi? Are they on the level? Does this stuff actually work?!


I know nothing about Ubigi, but as to the question of “Does this stuff actually work?” the answer is “Yes.” I used a GigSky eSIM with an iPhone Xʀ at various ports while traveling from LA to Tampa via the Panama Canal and it worked just fine. It was data-only, just as the Ubigi plan.