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How to make phone calls with a data-only eSIM

How to make a phone call with a data-only eSIM

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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 with an eSIM. (And we’ll walk you through three different options.)


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. Just be sure to keep Data Roaming OFF for your primary SIM, so your carrier doesn’t try to connect you to an international network. You want your device to only be relying on your eSIM for data.


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. Once again, keep Data Roaming OFF for your primary SIM, to avoid roaming charges, and make sure your device is only relying on your eSIM for data.


3. Use your main phone number.

Yes, it’s true! You can use a data-only eSIM to power your regular phone number. But this part can be confusing, so let’s explain the difference between using your phone number on vacation while roaming with your usual phone plan, versus using your phone number on vacation with a travel eSIM.


MAKING CALLS USING YOUR REGULAR DATA PLAN: Imagine you’ve never heard of aloSIM, okay? You’re living your life, you leave 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 an international network connection that whole time. We do not recommend this!


MAKING CALLS USING YOUR DATA-ONLY eSIM: 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. Your data-only eSIM will keep your phone connected to networks so can call and text. Because eSIMs are prepaid and you’re relying on aloSIM for all data, you will not pay any roaming charges.


How to use your phone number with a data-only eSIM:


1. Leave your primary SIM “on” (to keep your phone number accessible)

2. Turn Data Roaming “off” for your primary SIM (so you won’t pay roaming charges)

3. Choose your aloSIM as your phone’s source of data (with Allow Cellular Data Switching “off”)

4. Turn Data Roaming “on” for aloSIM (to be connected to the best local network)

5. Understand your carrier may charge you only for active calls & texts



While your home carrier can’t charge you for data — since you’ve wisely switched OFF Data Roaming on your primary SIM to avoid roaming charges — they can still charge you for individual calls and texts, since they’re still letting you use their network’s phone number.


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!

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What is travel data?
What is travel data?

When you jet off on vacation, travel data is the most affordable way to keep your phone connected.   Travel data lets you latch onto local networks for a lower