Esim + Second Sim iPhone SE for Overseas Data Roaming?

I've read a few threads here about eSims in dual sim phones, but want to make sure I have things right before buying a phone.

I need to buy a new phone, and thinking of the iPhone SE. I need to be able to data roam when o/s (starting with NZ in next months, then hopefully Europe next year).

Am I right in thinking that with the SE I can get a plan here using eSim (thinking Telstra or Boost), and then use a local physical sim overseas for data roaming? And I can send/receive calls & texts with the eSim at the same time as using data on the physical sim?

Any catches I need to know about?



  • Just note that eSIM are only offered by the 3 major telco in Australia (Telstra, Optus and Vodafone).

    More information from Apple on Dual Sim with eSIM

  • When you get an overseas SIM, that would be in its local network and not on roaming. Your Aussie line would be on roaming when you're in NZ or in Europe. Yes, this can be done. You just need to make the iPhone use the physical line's data.
    I've read posts that have said it's possible to get a SIM from the country you're visiting and then use the Aussie Telstra number on WiFI calling thereby not triggering roaming charges from Telstra. Not been able to actually test this out due to covid. See rightmost photo in "Learn about Dual SIM status icons" here
    Finally, Boost does not do eSIMs as RichardL also said.

  • I imagine you've seen Apple's page on this, but it sounds like it's possible with the SE:

    Would you be planning to pay roaming charges for the calls/messages you send while roaming with the eSIM? My experience has been that only receiving messages is free while roaming.

    Edit: For Europe, if you have low data needs, then you could consider getting a global roaming eSIM from a company like Truphone or Flexiroam. They're handy because you don't need to deal with the language barrier and hassle of buying, activating and loading a SIM potentially multiple times during your holiday. That said, I usually go the local SIM route because I like having heaps of data.

  • Thanks a lot for your replies - very helpful. Indeed, it looks like this is the way to go. I have a 1st Gen iPhone SE which I love. Want to replace it with something small, but also with dual sim capability for my travels. Seems like the 2020 SE will fit the bill, even if it is slightly larger than I'd like.

    Thanks also for mentioning that only major Telcos offer eSim. That's puzzling as to why, but good to know.

  • I've been looking at eSIm comparison sites (e.g. ). Seems you can get a Europe-wide eSim with 10G data for a month for about $40-50. So that's good to know. iPhone SE seems to be worth getting then. Thanks again.

    • I used Ubigi esims for the family in Europe - we were there just as the crest of covid19 followed us from Italy, France to UK in early 2020. Awesome flight home as no Chinese tourists on the Qatar flights so everyone had 4 or 5 seats each…

      Good value and easy to use.