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Which mobile providers have eSIM in Australia?
The SIM is dead, long live the SIM.
eSIM is a relatively new technology designed to kill of the SIM card. Instead of needing a physical SIM card to connect to a mobile network, eSIM is a rewritable SIM card built into your phone, smartwatch, laptop or tablet.
If you want to swap providers for a better mobile plan, you don't need to go to the store or mail order a new SIM card. You simply download a "software SIM" from your telco of choice.
While eSIM is still in its infancy in Australia, it's already supported by a number of telcos.
Postpaid mobile providers with eSIM
If you're after a postpaid mobile plan with an eSIM, you can get one from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Woolworths Mobile, and Kogan Mobile. Woolworths Mobile is powered by the Telstra network, and Kogan Mobile is powered by the Vodafone network.
Here are the cheapest postpaid plans from these providers:
Prepaid mobile providers with eSIM
If you'd prefer a prepaid mobile plan with eSIM, you've got a few more options. To start, the aforementioned postpaid providers all have prepaid eSIM plans too.
You can also get a prepaid eSIM plan from amaysim, gomo, felix, and Lebara. amaysim and gomo are powered by the Optus network, while Lebara and felix are powered by the Vodafone network.
For our money, we like the felix prepaid eSIM. You'll get unlimited data (speed capped at 20Mbps) and 50% for your first three months if you're a new customer.
Here are the cheapest prepaid plans from these providers that have a minimum 28-day expiry and at least 20GB of data:
What phones support eSIM?
eSIM phones have sold in Australia since 2018, with most flagship phones now supporting eSIM. Australia models of these phone series all support in eSIM:
- Apple: iPhone XS / iPhone XR and newer
- Samsung: Galaxy S20 and newer, Galaxy Fold and never, Galaxy Z Flip and newer
- Google: Pixel 3a and newer
- OPPO: Find X3 Pro and newer, Find X3 and newer
eSIM is still however rarely found in non-flagship devices.
Should I swap to an eSIM?
There's no pressing need to swap to an eSIM. While iPhone 14 models swapped in the US no longer have a physical SIM slot, Australian models support both a physical SIM and an eSIM.
Getting an eSIM for your phone does effectively turn it into a dual SIM device, however. There are a few key reasons this could be handy:
- You have a work number and a personal number, but don't want two phones
- You want coverage from two different networks at the same time
- You still want to keep your Australia number while travelling overseas, but use a local SIM for more affordable mobile data
At the same time, eSIM still has some trade-offs. Moving an eSIM from one device to another isn't as simple as prying out your SIM card and popping it into your new phone. Telcos have been working on improving this process.
On some, like Telstra, you can request a new QR code. On others, like Kogan Mobile, you need to get a new SIM and ask your account to be transferred over.