In the summer of 2023, when people will be able to enjoy overseas travel as freely as before for the first time in a while, some people may have already spent a long vacation abroad. Even if you don’t, some of you may have seen posts from friends and acquaintances enjoying their time abroad on social media.
Thanks to the ability to communicate using a smartphone locally, we are able to broadcast information about our overseas travels in almost real time. However, even though there are hotels and other facilities where you can use free Wi-Fi, it is not guaranteed that Wi-Fi will be available everywhere you go. It is especially important to be able to communicate anytime and anywhere, just like when you are in Japan, especially when you are abroad and are not used to it.
To be able to use your smartphone to communicate data overseas, you will need to sign a contract with a local telecommunications company. Up until now, the most common pattern has been to either obtain a foreign SIM card online in advance, or purchase a SIM card at a store at the airport after arriving at the destination, insert it into the terminal, and follow the prescribed steps. The settings are as follows. It’s difficult to understand how to set this up, so you’ll have to ask a staff member to help you, and you might not be able to leave the airport until communication is established.
There is another thing to keep in mind when signing a contract with a foreign telecommunications company. Just as multiple telecommunications companies provide services with their own plans in Japan, multiple telecommunications companies provide communications services with various plans in overseas countries. It can be quite difficult to find out which service from which carrier to purchase and where to purchase it. In some countries, information is only available in foreign languages, making it difficult to choose the correct service.
However, in today’s world, it is no longer necessary to go through such troublesome and time-consuming procedures. If your device is an eSIM-compatible iPhone or Android smartphone, you can sign up for a contract while you are in Japan and be able to communicate from the moment you arrive at your destination.
What I would like to recommend is that you can purchase an eSIM service that supports over 200 cities around the world.Holafly. Some people may think it’s a name you’ve never heard of before, but it’s a convenient eSIM sales site that makes the process easy even for people who are going abroad for the first time or are using an eSIM for the first time. Let’s check out what it’s all about.
Mechanism and advantages of eSIM that are different from traditional SIM cards
Holafly is a service specializing in eSIM provided by companies based in Spain and Thailand. It is characterized by the ability to easily subscribe to data communication services in various countries via the Internet.
Let me explain about eSIM again. What is eSIM? Rather than inserting a card into a device to enable communication like a physical SIM, eSIM achieves the same functions as a physical SIM by writing the necessary information to a chip inside the device, and allows specific communication. This is a mechanism that allows you to use the service.
Depending on the smartphone model, you can register information for multiple eSIMs in advance, and then replace (rewrite) the information as per your convenience. Therefore, you can easily switch the eSIM you use when you are in Japan and abroad, or switch eSIMs each time you travel between multiple countries.
To use eSIM, you need a device that supports eSIM. Compatible models are introduced on the Holafly website as shown below, and most iPhones and Android smartphones released within the past two to three years are now compatible.
To use an eSIM for overseas, you basically need a SIM-free device or a device that has been unlocked. If you purchase a smartphone from a carrier, it may be SIM-locked, so check your contract status on the carrier’s support site in advance and take steps to unlock the SIM if necessary.
For the three carriers NTT Docomo, au (KDDI), and Softbank, if you meet the conditions, you can apply for free on their website. Devices purchased from the Apple Store, Google Store, or Rakuten Mobile are SIM-free, so no cancellation procedure is required.
To summarize the points about eSIM…
- With eSIM, you can quickly switch between multiple communication services.
- To use eSIM, your device must support eSIM.
- To use overseas, you need a SIM-free device or a SIM-unlocked device.
- SIM locks can be unlocked for free on each carrier’s website.
That’s what it means. eSIM has the image of being somewhat difficult, but once you use it, it’s surprisingly easy to set up and you’ll understand how convenient it is. I will explain the steps from purchasing Holafly’s eSIM to setting it up later, so if you are planning on traveling overseas, please give it a try.
Why is Holafly’s eSIM recommended?
One of the benefits of using Holafly is that we have all the eSIM services available in over 200 cities around the world, and we provide easy-to-understand plans based on the number of days you use them. There is no need to go through all the trouble of searching the websites of telecommunication companies in each country, checking what contract plans are available, and deciding whether it is the plan that really suits you.
Another advantage is that they are inexpensive and can accommodate long-term stays. With Japanese carriers, you may be able to use the high-speed data communication frame you have contracted for in Japan overseas (roaming), but in most cases there are restrictions. For example, if you exceed the capacity limit for high-speed data communication, the speed of communication may become slow or you may only be able to use it for up to two weeks. If you attempt to communicate overseas beyond these limits, additional optional services will be required and fees will be higher.
Holafly’s service, on the other hand, offers plans with a wide range of usage days, from a minimum of 5 days to a maximum of 90 days, and in many regions you can choose “unlimited data”. Prices are also reasonable, ranging from 2,400 yen (5 days) to 11,900 yen (90 days). If you are staying for a short period of time, you may be able to make do with roaming with a domestic carrier, but Holafly is quite advantageous when you consider the fact that you can enjoy unlimited high-speed communication and can use it with peace of mind even during long-term stays.
When you want to collect information, when you want navigation with a map app, when you don’t understand the language and want to translate it, when you want to post photos and videos on SNS, when you want to use a video distribution site while waiting or free time, etc. There are many more situations where you want to communicate overseas than at home. With Holafly, there is no limit to high-speed data communication capacity and you can choose according to the number of days you plan to stay, so you can use your smartphone without hesitation without worrying that you might run out and enjoy your trip to the end. there is no.
By the way, the eSIM service provided by Holafly currently supports data communication + voice calls only for some countries in Europe, and plans for other countries are data communication only. If you want to make regular phone calls in such areas, we recommend using international roaming with the same SIM that supports voice calls that you always use in Japan.
In general, eSIM-compatible smartphones can be used simultaneously with a physical SIM, so it is reasonable to use a physical SIM for domestic voice calls and an eSIM for overseas data communication. However, voice calls using international roaming are inevitably expensive, so it is best to use the call function of message tools such as LINE, which handles data communication, as much as possible.
Holafly eSIM purchase and setup steps
Now, I would like to actually purchase and use Holafly’s eSIM service. Please refer to it as we will explain the specific steps one by one. I’m using an iPhone here.
Setting up eSIM on your device (after arriving overseas)
1. Once you arrive overseas, configure the settings to activate your eSIM. Tap “Mobile data communication” under “Mobile communication”.
2. Select “Travel” which is Holafly’s eSIM. It is a good idea to turn off “Allow mobile data communication switching” just in case.
3. Return to the previous “Mobile communications” screen and select “Travel”.
4. Turn on “Data roaming”. Now you can communicate overseas.
5. At the end of your trip, turn off your eSIM when you leave or return home.
In addition, Holafly also provides an official app. When you download the app and log in with the email address you registered at the time of purchase, the status of the eSIM you have purchased will be displayed, and you can check the target countries, expiration date, etc. Although it is written in English, please use it when you want to check the expiration date to see how long it can be used.
This is what it looks like when you use Holafly while traveling.Enjoy your trip abroad 100% without any worries
Since this is just a test, I chose an eSIM that can be used in Japan. Therefore, the radio wave conditions may be different from when using it overseas, but in order to see how it actually works, let’s try using it in a situation where communication with a smartphone would be useful.
Situation (1) Beach
When you think of overseas resorts, the first thing that comes to mind is the beach. Despite the great atmosphere, Wi-Fi access points are often not available. Even if there is, it’s only in some places. If you use eSIM, which covers a wide area, you can easily make video calls with friends in Japan with the blue ocean in the background.
Situation (2) Cafe
It’s tempting to use your smartphone when taking a break at a small cafe or food stall in a tourist area. However, these places often do not have Wi-Fi access points. If you use eSIM data communication, you can easily share photos of your delicious meals on SNS.
Situation (3) In the city
In cities, Wi-Fi access points are often available at large shops and stations, but it is difficult to find Wi-Fi access points on the streets where you want to use map services. Data communication services using eSIM can be used quickly wherever you want. You don’t have to worry about data traffic either.
Situation (4) Inside the car
Data communication via eSIM is also useful when traveling by rental car, taxi, or bus. Not only can you use map apps, but you can also use videos and games to kill time without hesitation.
I tried communicating using Holafly’s eSIM service in a place where a Wi-Fi access point is not available, but I was not able to browse websites, post images on SNS, or play videos on YouTube etc. I was able to do it without any problems.
In Japan and overseas, you can find free Wi-Fi in the city, but it is difficult to use because there are too many users and the communication is unstable, or it is not encrypted and there are security risks. is filled with anxiety. Also, if you go to a tourist spot far from the city, free Wi-Fi is unlikely to exist. Even if you take a photo at a photogenic spot you’ve found, you won’t be able to post it on social media right away, and if you get lost, you’ll end up wandering in an unfamiliar place, which could put you in danger.
Traveling abroad can be safe and 100% enjoyable only if you can communicate with your smartphone as usual. By issuing an eSIM well in advance of your departure, you can spend your time abroad without worrying about the unknown. If you have the opportunity to travel abroad in the future, we recommend you try Holafly’s eSIM service, which supports short-term to long-term overseas stays at a reasonable price.