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eSim Query

I'm a participant level 1
I'm a participant level 1

Hi there,

I'm travelling to Scandinavia this summer for three months and wondering if I should purchase an International eSim plan.  I've never purchased one before and not sure how they work.  A key item for me is when I log into a website that texts me a security code to my mobile number (so that I can continue to the site), I want to be able to receive the text message.  Do you think this would be solved by using a eSim plan?   I guess I would also have to continue my Fido plan too?  Secondly, just the ease of not having to purchase sim cards as I travel from country to country is something I'm interested in.  Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.



Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello Kathleenm,


  Welcome to the community!


  Original_Lucy made some good suggestions below regarding obtaining an International eSIM. Choosing to travel with an International SIM or local SIM (eSIM or physical) or roam with their home provider is generally a personal choice. Though, people will need to roam with their home provider (at least partially) if they want/need access to their Canadian phone number.


  If you require receiving text messages, you will not be able to temporarily suspend your services. The Fido Roam charges will only incur if your phone uses services -- make or receive a call, send a text message or use data abroad.


  While receiving SMS would not incur the roaming charge, it's worth mentioning that the data contained within MMS (incoming or outgoing) would be considered roaming data and charged accordingly. You should note that MMS are not solely restricted to pictures or video messages. Messages with subject headers or group messages etc are also considered MMS. Disabling MMS should prevent that data transfer. Though, it should further be noted that iMessages and RCS messages are sent (and received) as data and not as text messages (SMS).


  In order to prevent unintended roaming charges, it is generally recommended to disable data and roaming data. However, you should note that disabling those settings does not prevent roaming for voice and messaging. In addition, some manufacturers might allow some data usage to occur despite those settings (see here). That's why it is also generally recommended to enable Airplane and/or Flight modes in order to prevent unintended roaming usage. You could then manually enable Wifi when required. Obviously, if you are using another SIM, those settings would need to be enabled to use those services.


  If you did not wish to avail of that feature, you would need to opt-out of Fido Roam. In doing so, any usage abroad would be on a pay-per-use basis. You can view those rates here.


  For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that while using Wifi for regular internet access will not incur Fido Roam charges, there seems to be some misunderstanding regarding Wifi-calling. I'm not sure how people have gotten the impression that Wifi-calling does not use the networks. However, that is not true. While the calls and messages do not transmit via cellular towers, they still use the networks via the internet gateway (see image here). The cellular towers and Wifi are merely alternate means of accessing the networks. Calls and messages would not be able to complete or get sent/received without the networks. As such, using Wifi-calling is technically using Fido services. However, they have allowed certain usage to be free from additional charges. All the messages and calls you receive (from anywhere in the world) will be taken from your plan's voice minutes and messaging limits. As well, all Wifi-calling messages and calls you make to a Canadian phone number while abroad won't incur long-distance or roaming charges (see link above).


   I understand you are enquiring about using International eSIM. What device are you using? Is it capable of dual-SIM functionality? Is your Fido SIM an eSIM as well? Customers would need to know how their devices behave abroad. There have been instances where device settings do not behave as customers expect. As mentioned above, one would believe that disabling data and roaming data should prevent the device from using any data. Yet, some devices seemingly allow some data usage despite those settings disabled. There have also been instances where some manufacturers don't completely disable a secondary SIM in devices with dual-SIM functionality. The mobile providers only know usage. They do not know what settings may or may not have been enabled on a customer's device. If there is usage occurring when customers do not believe their devices should be able to do so, that usage would still incur charges. 


  There are both pros and cons for using International or local SIMs (eSIM or physical) and roaming with your home network provider. Using a different SIM won't incur roaming charges (provided device does not unintentionally use services on Fido SIM). However, using a different SIM will also mean having a different phone number. Any contacts calling from Canada will likely need to pay long-distance charges to reach you. In addition, a 'local' SIM may not include long-distance calling back to Canada. Perhaps more pertinent to your situation, you will not be able to receive text messages on your Canadian phone number.


  Personally, I have travelled with both local SIMs and roamed with Fido Roam (not eSIM, though, as my device(s) are not capable). I do not have a device capable of dual-SIM functionality so I carried two devices. The 'local' SIM I used for access to data and local calls etc, while I reserved my Fido SIM for Wifi-calling with Canada and receiving SMS. I understand carrying two devices might not suit everyone. Devices with dual-SIM functionality might work similarly. Though, as mentioned, you would need to be aware of how the device handles that functionality abroad.


 Hope this helps 😀



Hi there @kathleenm , I always buy a Sim card when I travel in Europe. I look for one that will work for whatever countries I'll be traveling to. I suggest you google esim in Scandinavia and read the suggestions as to the best coverage for the best value for the countries you'll be traveling to. When I googled it, a lot of good information came up. As for your fido account, you can suspend your plan while away from the app or online. If you've financed a device, those charges still have to be paid. Happy travels.