If you’re the proud new owner of a data-only eSIM, you may be wondering “How the heck do I make a phone call with this thing? I don’t see a phone number anywhere?”
That’s because while a traditional plastic SIM cards sometimes come with phone numbers, most eSIMs are what’s called “data-only.”
A data-only eSIM provides your device with the data it needs to connect to the internet, but not a phone number you can pass out to friends and family.
Don’t fret, though — you can absolutely still make and receive calls. (You’ll just do it a little differently.)
Three ways to make phone calls with a data-only eSIM
1. Use an internet calling app.
Naturally, we’re going to give a shout-out to our sister app, Hushed. With Hushed, you can get a low-cost temporary phone number in one of 300+ area codes worldwide and use it just like a normal phone line. Calling, texting, voicemail, the whole meal deal.
Other internet calling options include WhatsApp, Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype. Since they run on internet connections, your data-only eSIM will do the job perfectly.
2. Use a social media platform.
If you already have a Facebook account, it’s easy to make video calls on Messenger. Instagram also has a calling feature within the DMs, so you can connect with your contacts there.
3. Use your main phone number, BUT be prepared to pay extra fees to your carrier.
This one can be tricky to explain, so let’s walk through it.
Imagine you’ve never heard of aloSIM, okay? You’re living your life, you take your phone with you on vacation, you turn on roaming so you’re connected, and you make/receive phone calls during your trip. The phone calls themselves might not be that expensive (your regular carrier will charge by the minute), but the roaming charges will be steep because your phone was struggling to find a connection that whole time.
But! If you’re an awesome person who uses aloSIM to get a local eSIM for your vacation, that means you can keep your regular phone number fully accessible by using aloSIM for roaming instead. You aren’t charged if a call comes in and you don’t answer it. (“Him? Nah, not gonna pick up.) But if you decide to answer a call — or make a call — your regular phone provider may charge you by the minute and those extra costs will appear on your next bill. If you don’t plan on making/accepting many calls, the fees might be super low, but it’s best to check your carrier’s rates before your trip.
So there you have it! Three very different methods for making and receiving calls using a data-only eSIM.
Now all that’s left to do for your big trip is start packing!