Review: How Airalo Discover eSIM works in Qatar

In this article, I will focus on how Airalo Discover eSIM works in Qatar. I have tried various other eSIM products while I was in Qatar. This time, I was curious about how voice calls and SMS work in this small country in the Gulf region.

If you want to compare Airalo Discover eSIM with other eSIM, you can find my reviews here:

Reviews: eSIM for Qatar

Disclaimer: Some links in this article contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase any service, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

I planned to visit five countries during my vacation and try the Airalo Discover eSIM product. Qatar was the second country. I started the trip in the UK and planned to continue through the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka to Indonesia.

More about eSIM technology and other companies is in this article. In this blogpost, you will find advice on choosing a suitable product for a trip abroad. All eSIM reviews are available here.

Airalo Discount Code

Use this link to access the Airalo webpage. You can get $3 off on your first eSIM if you use my Airalo code SANDRA4293.

If you already have an existing account, see this article for the discount code.

Airalo Applications

Airalo has apps where you can buy new plans or track the usage of your existing plans. Below are the links where you can download them:

For Google Play click here.

For Apple Store click here.

Airalo offering for Qatar

Airalo offers three types of products for Qatar. The first product is the Airalo Pearl Mobile. It is a data plan specifically for use in Jordan.

The second type of product is Airalo Menalink, which can be used in 15 countries in the Middle East and the northern part of Africa. These include Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Tunisia)

Airalo offers two types of “Global eSIMs”. The first one is Airalo Discover eSIM, which offers data only. It varies from 1 to 20 GB. In March and April 2024, these data eSIMs could be used in 124 countries.

The second type is Airalo Discover eSIM, which contains data, voice calls, and SMS. The plans include voice calls (from 10 minutes up to 200 minutes), SMS (from 10 SMS up to 200 SMS), and mobile data (from 1 GB to 20 GB). These eSIM cards come with the Austrian phone number +43. In March and April 2024, these data eSIMs could be used in 125 countries.

Detailed instructions on creating an account and buying a data package can be found in this article.

Price 

At the time of my trip, Airalo offered six Discover products. Each product had a different amount of mobile data, minutes for calls and SMS – from 1GB, 10 minutes, 10 SMS (for $15) to 20 GB, 200 minutes, 200 SMS (for $89). The validity of the plans was from 7 to 365 days.

What phones support eSIM?

With this technology’s growing popularity, more and more phones and tablets are on the market that support it. When buying a phone, you should ask the seller if the phone supports eSIM. Airalo regularly updates the list of supported devices, so it is better to check their official support page.


Mobile operators in Qatar and connection type

There are two mobile operators in Qatar – Ooredoo and Vodafone. The Discover eSIM data plans can be used on both networks. In the capital city, Doha, both operators have great signal coverage, but it varies outside the city.

Connection type

Airalo lists 4G/LTE on its website. More and more operators are launching 5G networks, so you may see a 5G icon on your phone.

eSIM Activation

The activation and validity period of the data package starts as soon as the eSIM is connected to one of the supported networks.

My Airalo Discover eSIM experience

My data plan

Buying an Airalo Discover eSIM is more complicated as it requires identity verification. I bought Airalo Discover eSIM with 3GB of data, 30 minutes and 30 SMS. This plan was valid for 30 days. The price was $36 (approximately £29). After applying the discount code, it is possible to have this package for $33 (approximately £26).

Airalo Discover eSIM
My Airalo Discover eSIM – Usage

Network registration

When I was in Doha, I enabled Airalo Discover eSIM in the phone settings. It took about two minutes for the Airalo Discover eSIM to register to the Vodafone network. After enabling mobile data, the 5G icon appeared.

I was surprised that I did not receive a welcome SMS.

Functionality

This time, my main goal was to test voice calls and SMS. I tried to make an outgoing call first. It is essential to use the correct country code for outgoing calls. Each country has its own prefix. For example, the UK uses +44, and Qatar uses +974.

If you plan to make a phone call, ensure your mobile phone is not connected to Wi-Fi. Many mobile operators have switched off (or are in the process of switching off) the 2G and 3G networks, which are used for phone calls. 4G networks use VoLTE (Voice over LTE), which requires a mobile internet connection (but not Wi-Fi).

A few seconds after dialling the number, I heard a ringing tone. When the called party (number I called) picked up the call, we could hear each other clearly. Sending and delivering SMS also took only a few seconds. I tried several phone numbers – Slovak (+421), English (+44) and even the Srí Lankan (+94).

Airalo states on its website that it also supports tethering (personal hotspots). When I travel, I carry a Nintendo Switch with me so I can play during flights. I connected the Switch to the phone and tried the games to see if they could connect to the Internet. Everything worked smoothly.

Speed

I did not test the speed. I assumed it would be the same as for the Airalo Pearl Mobile eSIM (reviewed in this article).

Top-ups

Buying additional data was easy. Go to “My eSIM” and you will see all “Top-up” options.

Conclusion

I did not encounter issues while using Airalo Discover eSIM in Qatar. Airalo Discover eSIM is an excellent travel eSIM card for making calls or sending SMS while abroad. I rarely use SMS. There are many other alternatives: RCS (Android phones), iMessage (iPhone), Whatsapp, Signal, Viber, etc.

The voice call minutes included in the eSIM product are great if you need to make a phone call in an emergency. This will avoid a shocking bill for expensive calls abroad.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Three options – local Mitura, regional Asialink and global Discover eSIMNo Unlimited Data bundle
Voice calls and SMS support
Two supported operators – Ooredoo and Vodafone
Different sizes of data offered – from 1GB to 20GB
Different validity periods of data plans – from 7 to 365 days
Simple process for top-up

What is your experience with eSIM in Qatar? DO you have a favourite one?


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