Best eSIM for cell phone use in Thailand

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The impressive tropical paradise that is representative of Thailand makes this country the perfect destination. If you want to share the best photos and videos on your social networks, you need a good internet connection. And, if you don’t want to overpay for internet in Thailand, here you’ll find the best alternative to international roaming. We refer to eSIM Thailand: go online at a good price and enjoy different advantages to improve your trip.

The first time you hear about eSIM Thailand? We will show you how to connect to the internet without overpaying. Moreover, what an eSIM is, where to get it, and the advantages and requirements to consider when buying your eSIM. We will show you how to buy an eSIM from local carriers if you need internet for a longer period.

Buy an eSIM for Thailand in Holafly


What is an eSIM?

The first thing we will see is how it works and what an eSIM is. This is for you to know what your best friend will be during your vacation in Thailand. We define eSIMs as the evolution of the SIM card that we use to communicate and connect to the mobile internet. The eSIM allows us to do everything that we mentioned above but as a virtual product.

But, if it’s virtual, how does it work? eSIMs work through a chip that is already integrated into your cell phone, so there’s no plastic SIM card involved. For this reason, since not all cell phones have this integrated chip, not all cell phones are compatible with eSIMs. Through this chip, you create an eSIM profile to connect to the internet, make calls, and send messages. Once you scan a QR code with your cell phone, you can create an eSIM profile. This QR code is the one that suppliers send you once you make your purchase.

What is an eSIM Thailand for?

With the eSIM Thailand, you will have internet for a more reasonable price than Pocket WiFi or international roaming. You should consider that, depending on where you buy your eSIM, you will access different advantages to enjoy your trip. Some of these advantages are: managing your data consumption more easily and effectively, thus allowing you to save money.

Additionally, there are certain advantages that you will enjoy from eSIMs no matter where you buy them. For example, the delivery, since it is a virtual card, you receive it as soon as you buy it. Besides, eSIMs offer you peace of mind because you won’t lose it, misplace it or break it.

However, the functioning of your eSIM will depend more than anything on the goal you have in mind. Although international eSIMs for Thailand provide you with the internet at a good price, they won’t be useful if you need internet for a longer period. If you need internet for more than a month, we recommend that you look for a local eSIM in Thailand.

Requirements to install a prepaid eSIM for Thailand

You already know the basics about an eSIM and how it allows you to connect to the internet in Thailand. Now we will see the requirements that you must consider when activating it and using it during your trip. These requirements may be easy to meet, such as having internet during the activation process, while others may be more complicated, such as having a cell phone enabled for eSIM technology:

  • The first and main requirement that you have to meet is to know if your cell phone supports eSIM technology, because not all cell phones have the integrated chip that allows eSIM to be used. To know this, you must visit the website of the provider you choose to buy your eSIM and go to “compatible cell phones”. Once you see the list, you will have to search if your cell phone is among the compatible devices.  We anticipate that the most compatible cell phones are the iPhone XS and later versions.
  • Additionally, you need a personal email address to receive the QR code of your eSIM.
  • It’s important to have internet when activating the eSIM.
  • In some cases, you will have to install an app to use or activate the eSIM.
  • You will need a second screen to project the QR code and then scan it with your cell phone.

Where to get an eSIM to use the cell phone in Thailand?

How you buy your eSIM to use the cell phone in Thailand will differ depending on what you have in mind. For example, if you’re interested in connecting to the internet for a short time, for example, one month, or if you need an eSIM with internet for a year or more. In the first case, the eSIM that best suits you is the international eSIM, since it is cheap and lasts for one month or more. On the other hand, for longer periods you would need a local Thailand eSIM.

Next, we tell you how to buy a local eSIM and an international eSIM for your trip to Thailand.

How to get a local eSIM

To buy a local eSIM for Thailand, we warn you that the process you have to go through is quite slow and complicated compared to a conventional international eSIM. This is mainly because, to buy a local eSIM in this country, the first thing you must do is arrive in Thailand and then go to a store of one of these operators: AIS, dtac, TrueMove H. Once you get there, you will have to request a postpaid or prepaid data plan that includes an eSIM. To buy these plans, it’s very likely that you will need to show a series of documents, such as your passport.

Another way to have a local eSIM is to buy a postpaid or prepaid plan with a SIM card and then request a change from SIM card to eSIM with the operator of the plan you have chosen. Remember that these eSIMs are intended for residents.

How to get an international eSIM

The process you go through to get an international eSIM card to have internet during your trip is much easier, and we can summarize it in the following steps. The first step is to find a good eSIM card provider. If you don’t know any, our safe recommendation is the online provider Holafly, which offers eSIM at low prices and with many advantages. To buy your eSIM for Thailand from Holafly you must visit its official website, search for your destination, and select the data plan you need. Afterward, you just have to fill out the purchase form and your eSIM will arrive instantly to your email.

As soon as you buy your eSIM, you will receive a QR code which you will have to project from a computer or another cell phone to scan the QR code with your cell phone. Remember that you will activate your eSIM by scanning the QR code. We recommend you scan and activate the eSIM once you arrive at your destination and not before.

Network coverage in Thailand

Before buying your eSIM for Thailand you should consider the coverage that your eSIM offers you in this country because if is not good enough, this can cause different problems when connecting to the internet during your trip. These issues can range from latency to not being able to connect to the internet in certain areas of the country.

To avoid these problems and ensure a good internet connection, we recommend that before buying any eSIM, you check the roaming agreements of this eSIM with cellular providers in Thailand. If these roaming agreements are with the best cellular providers in Thailand, your internet connection will be good. For example, eSIM Thailand from Holafly uses the network of TrueMove and DTAC, two of the best cellular providers in the country.

Cell phones compatible with the eSIM Thailand

The compatibility between the eSIM card in Thailand and your cell phone will depend on the brand of your device and the eSIM you buy. In the case of the Holafly eSIM, the compatible cell are  iPhone SE, XR, XS, XS Max, iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro-Max, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro-Ma, 12 Mini, Samsung S20, Galaxy Z Flip, Note 20 Ultra, Fold LTE, Huawei P40, P40 Pro, and Google Píxel 3, 3a,4, 4a, Motorola Razr 2019.

FAQ about the eSIM Thailand

Do I need a passport to buy the prepaid eSIM for Thailand from Holafly?

It’s not necessary to present a passport to get this product. But some providers do require your address to give you the eSIM. Therefore, to buy this product you can show that you have a temporary residence address in Thailand, such as a previously booked hotel.

Can I share data with the eSIM in Thailand?

This will depend on the features of the eSIM that you bought from your provider. You can do that with certain providers only. In the case of Holafly’s eSIM Thailand, you can share data without problems.

How to activate the eSIM for Thailand?

The activation process will depend on the operating system of your smartphone. You must scan the QR code sent to your email after buying the eSIM and once you do this, you must choose it as the default means of cellular data, activate data, and roaming and your virtual SIM should now work.

Do international prepaid eSIM cards expire?

Yes, like physical cards, virtual SIMs also have an expiration date.

What other options do I have to connect to the internet in Thailand?

During your trip to Thailand, you will have different options to connect to the internet. However, most of these alternatives are expensive and very inconvenient. Among these alternatives, you find the roaming service and Pocket WiFi.

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