Similar to Optus, Telstra has gone down the path of offering physical eSIM kits – smaller pieces of physical cardboard with the unique QR code inside.
Beau Giles Posts
Need a quick refresher on what an eSIM is? Basically, it’s an alternative to the plastic SIM, and in the case of the iPhone XS, Xs Max and Xr, means you can use both an eSIM and plastic SIM at the same time and get your dual SIM on.
Optus has quietly launched eSIM support at the end of March, becoming Australia’s first telco to market – starting with iPhone Xs and Xr customers.
While Telstra is still dabbling in their Windows 10 specific eSIM offer, Optus is offering the full experience – if you happen to have an iPhone and a postpaid plan, you can swap your plastic SIM to an eSIM and take advantage of all the Dual SIM goodness that’s available.
What is eSIM? It’s an alternative to the plastic SIM, and in the case of the iPhone XS, Xs Max and Xr, means you can use both an eSIM and plastic SIM at the same time.
eSIM in the iPhone allows you to use two phone numbers on the same phone at the same time; one using the physical SIM slot and one using the eSIM. This means you can make and receive calls from two different mobile numbers without the need to switch between SIMs / phones.
Telstra this week has launched eSIM support, making them the first carrier to support eSIM devices other than wearables (eg, the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch, which only support ‘number sharing’ plans and not separate accounts).
While this is ‘officially’ only supported on Windows 10 devices with a built in eSIM (such as the 2017 Microsoft Surface Pro, or a handful of HP Spectre models), as the eSIM is just another standard (like ye olde plastic SIM), most other devices that support eSIMs can make use of this.
Telstra currently offers two eSIM specific plans; the ‘Telstra Mobile Data Connect’ plan on prepaid (which will give you 30GB for free to kick things off, which expires 30 days from activation), and the ‘Mobile Data Plan 10GB’ on postpaid (offering 10GB for $10/month).
On Windows 10, you make use of the ‘Mobile Plans‘ app to officially sign up for these eSIM plans, where Telstra appears as an option alongside Ubigi and GigSky. Things are pretty easy, as you’d expect (being ‘officially supported’) – it’s pretty much as easy as hitting ‘Get connected‘ and following the steps. But it turns out, the Mobile Plans app is merely just a browser window, and if you find a link in the Mobile Plans app, you can drag it into another browser like Chrome or Edge. And that’s how you can work out how to make eSIMs happen on other devices. 😉
Here is how you can activate and ‘provision’ an eSIM device on the Telstra Mobile Data Connect prepaid plan, and then add it on an Apple iPad or iPhone.