Nigel Ramsay

Software Engineer from Wellington, New Zealand

Travelling with a SIM card sticker

18 September 2017

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in the Pacific Northwest of North America, visiting both Vancouver and Seattle — primarily for this year’s ElixirConf USA in Bellevue, WA.

Before I left, I was given the opportunity to trial a new overseas roaming product called Flexiroam X. I was given 100 MB of free credit — a fairly small, but adequate amount for the land of free wifi.

Flexiroam X is a SIM card in a form of a thin sticker that attached to the top of my existing SIM card from Skinny. It is so thin that both it, and my existing card, slotted back into my iPhone without a problem.

Once I had activated the card, the next step was to switch to the piggyback card using my phone’s Settings / Phone / SIM Applications menu. After a phone reboot, the new SIM card was running. I confirmed that data roaming was enabled, and that was it.

There is an iOS (and Android) app so you can keep an eye on the available balance. You can also purchase data packs here — either globally, or just for a single country (a little cheaper).

I understand that any phone calls and TXTs come out of the balance. And there seems to be some VOIP capability built into the iOS app, but I pretty much stuck to iMessage and Facetime (on the plentiful free wifi) so never explored this option.

My thoughts

I found the overall service provided to be good. Roaming overseas can be expensive. Depending on the country, getting a local SIM card can be either easy or more difficult. USA is certainly in the 2nd category. And for short visits, it may not be worthwhile using a replacement SIM card.

I liked the idea of having my usual phone number most of the time, and only occasionally activating the piggyback SIM card when required. The coverage seemed satisfactory, and I had no slowness issues with my occasional usage.

I’m going to keep the piggyback SIM card in my phone, and next time I am travelling I will certainly add some credit to it.