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Thread: Roaming iPhone 11 Pro in China on Verizon eSIM

  1. #1
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    Roaming iPhone 11 Pro in China on Verizon eSIM

    Hey folks. I travel to China a couple of times per year on business for less than a week and just expense the $50-$80 of TravelPass fees back to work. The last two years were iPhone X, and it's all good.

    I upgraded to iPhone 11 Pro and got it from Apple so it would be SIM unlocked. I bought it activated on Verizon through iUP (not a SIM-free purchase.) I had Verizon move my line over to the eSIM last week so that the physical SIM slot would be vacant for getting a local China SIM. I was kind of excited to finally try both at the same time.

    When I logged in to my account on Verizon's site to add travelpass to other lines, I noticed it shows my iPhone 11 Pro as "Not Compatible" with international roaming plans. Screenshot here: https://i.imgur.com/MzBqctM.png

    The line still has TravelPass on it, but I can't manage international plans through the website because of this. It's not that I need to change it, but the incompatible message gave me concern.

    My question is, will my phone roam in China on Verizon's eSIM or does it being on an eSIM somehow preclude it from working there? I'm assuming that this is merely a website glitch?

    I can move back to a physical SIM if I must in order to travel there. I was just really hoping to do the dual SIM thing with a China SIM. Has anyone had experience with international roaming on eSIM?

    Thank you.

    EDIT: My apologies as this topic was already posted here https://www.howardforums.com/showthr...0-Verizon-esim but the mystery still remains.
    iPhone 11 Pro 256GB on Verizon eSIM (Get More Unlimited plan) + Mint 2nd SIM.

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  3. #3
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    Unfortunately that doesn't answer the question. That's a list of carriers that offer eSIM, not a list of carriers that will support roaming. I did see a few claims of people on T-Mobile eSIM roaming in China fine.
    Also I realized that I get unsupported for international roaming for all counties so I think the Verizon site just doesn't identify my phone as one capable of intl roaming.
    I guess I have to call them an confirm.

    Thanks for the link. I'll did around apple i go to see if I can figure out more.

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    Maybe the other countries don't recognize the eSIM in roaming mode?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    Maybe the other countries don't recognize the eSIM in roaming mode?
    That would not make sense, as the network it's roaming on would only see a normal SIM, as eSIM is just the physical SIM software stored in the phone internally, the network would not know any different.

    I assume this is a bug on Verizon's site, as i've been using eSIM in my XS Max for quite some time and have used my TravelPass in Paris, London, Brisbane, Sidney, Prague, and Switzerland no problem.

    I've noticed a lot of Verizon's systems/apps have not been updated to actually "support" eSIM other than billing/activation.
    Verizon: Grandfathered UDP
    T-Mobile: Magenta Amplified (airline employee plan)
    AT&T: Premium & More w/ Free 100Mbps VDSL2 "for life"

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    Yeah, it's just a bug on the Verizon website. The Verizon mobile app doesn't have this bug. Also, there are places on the Verizon website where it doesn't show my model of phone on my line. It's as if the IMEI of the eSIM isn't in the database of known devices so little things like this get jacked up. Otherwise, it should work just fine in China. You can buy eSIMs for data only while visiting China and other people say they roam there just fine on eSIM.

    Three is another bug. Verizon Call Filter application says I'm not on Verizon when I'm using Verizon eSIM. I actually have to have another carrier in the physical SIM slot for it to identify. I'm not sure if this feature is tied to my physical SIM IMEI or what. Maybe removing and re-adding the feature could fix it, but it's a weird bug.

    I'm considering going back to physical SIM and just buying one of these data-only local eSIM plans. I didn't realized how big the market was for international traveling eSIM plans and they're pretty reasonable. The only problem is that none of them have phone numbers for calls or texts that I can find. They're data only so you would use your (Verizon) plan for calls and texts but use "cheaper local data." That doesn't get me around activating TravelPass which will activate if you receive texts so I guess you have to remove travelpass if you're going to do this

    I guess what I'll do is stick with Verizon on eSIM for now and try a local SIM for calls/texts/data while there. I'll bring my old iPhone X and possibly just use two phones (Verizon eSIM, the iPhone X for local SIM). Maybe on future trips I'll try the other way around with Verizon on physical SIM and buy local eSIM data plans. It's all an experiment for me at this point.

    The only thing stoping me from going back to physical SIM is that I got my Verizon on eSIM and got Mint Mobile one physical SIM. I'm using both on my iPhone 11 Pro now. This is merely for carrier coverage redundancy or Mint as a backup, just trying it out. So far my experience is that there is almost no place that Mint works where Verizon doesn't. If Mint did eSIM it would be a no-brainer to reverse this.
    T-Mobile does prepaid eSIM, but I don't want a $40 T-Mobile plan.

    When this 3 months on Mint expire, I'll probably just dump that and go back to microSIM. Do Verizon roaming with local eSIM in other countries for data. I have a few in-country road trips and international trips coming up so I'll be experimenting with what works best.

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    When I travel internationally, data is all I need. Google Voice and WhatsApp do the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    When I travel internationally, data is all I need. Google Voice and WhatsApp do the rest.
    You're right. I think I'm overthinking it. Just use WeChat instead of WhatsApp for China, though which I pretty much already do.

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    China currently does not support iPhone. esim refers to support for Apple Watch esim.

  10. #10
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    You travel to China to travel esim to roam local because China does not currently support esim, so selling iPhone dual card dual standby in China is sim card, instead of esim with other countries, another card slot, the second sim card,

  11. #11
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    I was referring to an eSIM service like these:
    https://esim.flexiroam.com/products/...esim-data-pass
    https://www.airalo.com/china
    https://esimdb.com/china
    I have already got an eSIM from https://www.mtxc.eu/en/ which is basically worldwide. Just pick the country you want your plan in. I actually ordered a physical SIM also just for fun experimenting with both.

    And China Unicom has rolled out eSIM on postpaid (in store activation) but that's way too much effort for a short trip:
    https://technode.com/2019/04/02/brie...ot-nationwide/

  12. #12
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    Hi, for what it’s worth, I have a regular SIM and an IPhone 11 pro max and I too noticed on the Verizon website yesterday that it said my new iPhone is not compatible with international roaming plans. It sounds like a glitch on the website.

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