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Best UK eSIM card: Unlimited data plans for travel in United Kingdom | April 2024

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Last update: April 1, 2024
Roams UK
Author: Roams UK
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In a nutshell

To enjoy your trip to London, Edinburgh, Liverpool or any other British city, you will need an Internet connection. But do you know how to connect to the internet without spending a fortune? The answer lies in eSIMs, like Holafly. Perfect for your trip!

Buy your UK eSIM Card with Unlimited data

eSIM in the UK: the best internet providers in UK

eSIM or embedded SIM technology is already available in the latest smartphones from Apple, Samsung and Google. On devices such as the iPhone 13 and Galaxy S23, you can download an eSIM onto your phone. This will allow you to connect without the need for a physical SIM card.

You can also use an eSIM to enable dual-SIM functionality on these phones. In other words: if you are travelling to the UK and don't want to lose your regular number, with this card you will have unlimited data for your adventure and your regular WhatsApp, without missing a single conversation - a dream!

It is currently possible to get an eSIM on compatible pay monthly plans from UK phone companies such as EE, O2 and Vodafone. In addition, other mobile networks are working on eSIM support. However, if you're not looking to buy an extensive plan, but want a pay-as-you-go eSIM, the solution is easy: eSIM Holafly for the UK.

In this article, we will look at eSIM technology in the UK. We'll start by telling you what eSIMs are and how they compare to traditional SIM cards, which have been in use for over 30 years. We will then look at the types of connection: public wifi, roaming with your usual operator and renting a pocket wifi.

How much does Internet cost in the United Kingdom?
Service Price/Days Data
Holafly eSIM for UK
  • From £19/5 Days
  • Unlimited
SIM Card in UK
  • From £12
  • From 1GB
Wifi in the United Kingdom:
  • Portable
  • Public
  • From £6/Day
  • Free
  • From 4GB
  • Unlimited
Roaming in UK
  • From £6
  • From 1MB

What is eSIM?

In mobile telephony, the eSIM or embedded SIM is a new version of SIM card technology in which the SIM card is integrated into the mobile device.

Instead of having a physical SIM card from your mobile network that you insert into your device, the eSIM uses a reprogrammable chip inside your smartphone. To download and install an eSIM, you usually scan a QR code with your phone.

What is an eSim card?

Compared to traditional SIM cards, there are advantages and disadvantages to using an eSIM.

The advantage of eSIM technology is that it makes it easier and faster to switch to another mobile network. Instead of waiting for a SIM card to be mailed to you, you can download or scan an eSIM to use a new network immediately. In addition, some mobile phones support dual SIM connectivity when using an eSIM. By using an eSIM and a physical SIM card in the phone at the same time, you can have two phone numbers and two active price plans at the same time (e.g. one for personal use and one for work use).

Previously, the downside of eSIM was that only a couple of mobile networks offered eSIM compatible plans in the UK and it was usually available on pay monthly plans rather than pay-as-you-go plans. However, Holafly now offers an eSIM that you can buy on a pay-as-you-go basis and with always-on connectivity.

Buy your UK eSIM Card with a 5% discount with the code ROAMS.


Cheapest eSIM plan UK

To enjoy your trip, you'll need an internet connection. But do you know how to connect to the internet in the UK without spending a fortune? eSIM Holafly for the UK is the best way to have unlimited data and spend little.

Besides being much cheaper compared to data roaming and other options, this Virtual SIM will allow you to surf with unlimited data, with 24/7 support and connected to the best network in the United Kingdom.

Check out the rates offered by Holafly in the UK.

Holafly eSIM in UK
Length of plan Price Data
5 days £19 Unlimited
10 days £29 Unlimited
15 days £44 Unlimited
20 days £49 Unlimited
30 days £59 Unlimited
60 days £77 Unlimited
90 days £87 Unlimited

Other networks to get internet

In addition to Holafly, you can also get an eSIM from specialised roaming providers such as EE, with a £10/month plan but requires a change of chip; O2, from £12/month, also with a change of SIM Card, and Vodafone. Another provider, for example, is Airalo which offers a short-term plan with 3GB of data for £12. This is a data-only plan from Uki Mobile, which offers 4G coverage on the O2 network.


Data roaming in UK

Data roaming is where the customer can use the data on their SIM plans outside the UK, for example, they can travel to Spain and use their data as they would in the UK. But if you are in the UK and want to use your data in the UK, the price will depend on your mobile operator and the plan you have.

Each network applies a slightly different fair usage policy, depending on your data allowance and the plan you have signed up for.

For example, O2's pay-as-you-go Big Bundle is £30 per month. In the UK you have a monthly allowance of 20GB. But under the "fair usage" policy, the limit is 10 GB when you use the phone in the EU.

For the same reason, with Always On, tariff of Giffgaff, you will have to pay extra if you exceed 6 GB of usage.

Are you a Three pay-as-you-go customer? You'll have to pay more if you go over 12 GB. And EE's fair usage limit for all customers is 25 GB.

The only way to find out if your data usage is capped and how much is to call your operator. So keep an eye out for Holafly eSIMs for the UK.

Buy your UK eSIM Card with a 5% discount with the code ROAMS.


Wifi public or pocket wifi

To enjoy your trip to London, Edinburgh, Liverpool or any other British city, you'll need an internet connection.

Using public wifi or portable wifi may be your option. We'll tell you the pros and cons of these services.

Pocket wifi in UK

Pocket wifi, also known as portable modems, hotspots or MiFi, are devices that companies rent, so you can connect all your devices to the internet while you are on the road. Here are three examples to show you how much it costs to have portable internet in the UK.

What is MiFi? MiFi Deals in the UK 2023
  • Travelers WiFi: by renting this portable pocket wifi you will have high speed internet in the UK for a price starting from £29/day. You will have unlimited daily data to use and connect up to 5 devices simultaneously.
  • TravelWiFi: TravelWiFi's pocket wifi device costs from £8/day, and offers 1GB to connect up to 5 devices and up to 4G speed.
  • Klook: This company offers portable wifi for €6/day. It has 4G speed and allows up to 10 devices to connect simultaneously, with a data limit of 4GB.

The prices for this service tend to be a bit high. We can conclude that it is not an alternative for mobile data on your trip to the United Kingdom.

Public Wifi in the UK: free but dangerous

There are a number of free wifi hotspots in the UK, including airports, underground stations, libraries and public parks. These hotspots usually have a time or speed limit.

We recommend that you do not access your bank account or accounts with information that is important to you when using public internet in the UK or any country, as it could be hacked and your travel will be seriously affected.

Although there are mobile apps to help you find free wifi networks in the UK, availability may be limited, especially in rural or remote areas such as small towns. In addition, speeds will be variable, and you will not enjoy a fast network, such as with an internet plan or the Holafly eSIM for the UK.


Advantages to using an eSIM in UK

An eSIM allows for seamless and convenient mobile connectivity while travelling in the UK. With an eSIM, like Holafly, you can avoid the hassle of purchasing and carrying physical SIM cards, saving you time and money.

An eSIM is also a cost-effective solution as it allows you to switch between different carriers and plans depending on your needs.

Moreover, having mobile data while travelling to the UK gives you the ability to stay connected, access maps, make bookings, and stay informed at all times. With mobile data, you can also keep in touch with loved ones, stay connected with work, and have access to essential information even when you are on the go.

The benefits of having an eSIM make travelling to the UK an enjoyable and stress-free experience.


FAQs

Which UK mobile phone providers offer eSIM?

Currently, you can get an eSIM on the following UK mobile phone networks:

  • Holalfy: with the best connectivity, 24/7 care and no need to physically order anything.
  • EE: Available on pay monthly and small business plans. You can order a replacement eSIM online.
  • O2: Available on pay monthly and small business plans. You can order a replacement eSIM over the phone or in-store.
  • Vodafone: Available on monthly and small business plans. You can order a new eSIM plan online or switch your current plan to an eSIM.

How do I change my normal SIM card to an eSIM?

  • On EE and O2, you will need to order a physical SIM card to start with. You can later upgrade to an eSIM by ordering a replacement eSIM pack.
  • On Vodafone, you can order an eSIM directly by choosing the corresponding option when ordering online.
  • With Holafly, you don't need to order or exchange your regular SIM. Just order it, use the code sent to your email and activate it. Without losing your regular number or doing anything else.

Which mobile devices are compatible with the eSIM?

You can use an eSIM on selected mobile phones from Apple, Google, Huawei, Motorola and Samsung. Compatible devices include Apple's iPhone 13 and Samsung's Galaxy S22 and S23. On most devices, the eSIM will also enable dual-SIM connectivity, allowing you to have two phone numbers on your device at the same time.

Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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Nadia Pérez
Edited and revised por Nadia Pérez