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Home / Technology / Review: GigSky & # 39; s Data-Only eSIM service offers convenient LTE travel travel

Review: GigSky & # 39; s Data-Only eSIM service offers convenient LTE travel travel



On a recent trip to Europe, I got a chance to try GigSky's new pay-as-go-go data plan available via eSIM on the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max.

I used GigSky's service across four countries, testing usability, coverage, setup process, and how to use eSIM to get mobile connectivity in another country.

Setup

Setting up the GigSky service was simple and much more convenient than having to connect to a physical SIM to follow a mobile service using a regular SIM card. I downloaded the GigSky app, opened it and chose the country I visited.

GigSky recommended that I buy a plan when I arrived in the recipient country (Czech Republic), as I did, and after the purchase and payment confirmed, I was set up and ready to go.


The app downloaded eSIM on my phone and I was able to select it as a secondary mobile choice using the Cellular section of the Settings app on the iPhone.

Service Requirements

Using GigSky's eSIM service requires an iPhone that is both unlocked and that supports eSIM, allowing the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. My operator is Verizon, and I bought my iPhone directly, so it came up locked by default and there was nothing else I needed to do. GigSky eSIM only worked.


Potential customers on other carriers may need to make sure their iPhone has been unlocked before the GigSky service will work. It is not available on a device that is locked.

eSIM use

I activated GigSky eSIM after arriving in the Czech Republic, and from there I did not need to do anything when traveling between borders. The data plan was active no matter what European country I was in, and I saw nothing more than a brief lapse at the border.

When I first used eSIM, I went into some problems. GigSky's eSIM is just data, meaning there's no phone number attached to it, and I didn't think there were enough instructions on how it worked.


Basically, I wanted to disable the Verizon SIM to make sure I didn't actually use any Verizon data or place Verizon calls / texts, but it did put me into some practice problems. After turning off the Verizon number on the first day in the Czech Republic, I was divorced from the people I was with.

As it turns out, the primary number disables without secondary number iMessage and FaceTime, and I couldn't get any texts, messages, or conversations to go through, so I was thoroughly disconnected. There are probably similar issues when you change your main iMessage number, so when using a secondary SIM card, whether it's data or another phone number, make sure your primary is enabled so that iMessage continues to work.


After the little setup snafu, I again activated my Verizon number, set GigSky as the primary data source, and left Verizon as the secondary data source.

I'm not quite sure how it works with other operators, but with Verizon, the TravelPass service is not enabled unless I place a phone call or send an SMS message. Because I couldn't turn it off completely, it was once where I called someone and got me a $ 10 daily data load, but that was my fault.

For the most part of the trip, when I had the settings properly established, the GigSky data worked without chopping and I didn't have to activate my Verizon travel plan.

Coverage

I tested GigSky's service over four countries in Europe: Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. At most of these sites, except when I was in several rural locations, I had reliable, fast LTE service that led me to use social networks, check emails, and watch videos without any problems.

In Hungary, especially in Budapest, my service changed between 3G and LTE, but I was never left without any connection at all, except for remote areas. In the big cities, and even smaller cities, my mobile connection worked well.


GigSky's service also worked in the Bay Area of ​​California and Washington DC, two other areas where I could test its reliability.

Of course, connectivity will vary from country to country, and this is not a reliable service for other services, but based on this sample, in urban areas, GigSky's service is decent and comparable to LTE from a standard carrier.

Costs

In Europe, and several other countries, including the United States, GigSky's service is priced from $ 10 and is available in several high-speed (LTE where available) data listings that last for varying amounts of time so you can buy only the data you need.

300MB of data is available for $ 10, and the data pot lasts only one day.

You can get 500MB of data for $ 15, 1GB of data for $ 20 and 2GB of data for $ 30, with all these data pots available for 15 days.


GigSky's most expensive plan is its 5GB data plan, which costs $ 50 and lasts for 30 days. I chose this latter option and I used about 5 GB of data during the trip. I didn't do much data heavily, but I was surfing the internet, checking social media, uploading photos to social media, and checking and responding to emails.

Priced, I think GigSky's options are quite expensive, but my own carrier doesn't offer any better. I have Verizon coverage in the US, and Verin's travel plan is $ 10 per day for 0.5GB of data and unlimited 2G data after that, which is low-speed data for a high price tag.

Some operators have better deals, but most limit LTE access or take a bit of data. T-Mobile has free unlimited 2G speed when traveling or charging $ 5 per day for 0.5GB high speed data. Sprint offers free 2G data when traveling, or offers high speed data cards for $ 5 day ($ 25 per week), and AT & T charges $ 10 per day with LTE speeds limited to normal data plan allocation.


It would have cost me up to $ 100 to have limited high speed data available on Verizon during my trip, so GigSky was definitely the best option. Getting a SIM card in each country or signing up for a European data plan would probably have been most cost effective, but GigSky was the simpler option that was still better than what my carrier offers.

App

Beyond configuring and activating the GigSky eSIM service, the GigSky app can be used for troubleshooting and answering common questions through a Support section. There is also an account setting option, an inbox for communicating with GigSky if there are customer support questions, and a referral section for referring friends to free credit.

While using the GigSky service, I didn't really open the app, because many of the settings are handled through the "Cellular" section of the Apple Settings main app.

Available Countries

GigSky's data service works in more than 190 countries around the world, with a cover card available here. All North American and almost all European and South American countries support the GigSky service, like many Caribbean islands.

The service is more limited in Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, but there are a few countries where it works.

Bottom Line

Having overcome a few hiccups that come with using a data service as a secondary option on an iPhone, I thought GigSky was easy to use, offered great coverage that rarely left my sense of mobile connection, and to Finally, practical.

Getting a new SIM or eSIM plan in the country you are traveling to is an option and it is potentially less expensive than GigSky, but it can be a problem if you visit multiple countries.

$ 50 for 5GB is not the best data deal, but I found that the data pot lasted me for almost two weeks of regular use – uploading photos to Instagram, checking my email, responding to messages, using maps and browsing internet – although I connected to WiFi where it was available, for example in hotels.

The GigSky service worked seamlessly, even when I crossed country borders in Europe, and I didn't have to worry about replacing SIM cards, changing my phone number and merging with iMessage, or finding different plans in countries where I & # 39; 39; Don't speak the language.

GigSky was much cheaper than the plans offered through my own carrier here in the US (Verizon costs $ 10 / day for 0.5 GB and then unlimited 2G) and I would not hesitate to use it again on another multi-country trip . I can choose something less expensive if I go to a single country, but you can't beat the benefits of a mobile phone plan you can buy and get on the device.

How to buy

If you want to use GigSky's service via eSIM on a compatible iPhone XR, XS or XS Max, download the GigSky World Mobile Data app from the App Store. From there, plans are purchased in the app at prices starting at $ 10.

Note: GigSky gave MacRumors $ 100 data credit for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received.


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