Review: How Airalo Discover eSIM works in Srí Lanka

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

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

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.

During my vacation, I planned to visit five countries and try the Airalo Discover eSIM product in each one of them. Srí Lanka was the fourth country I visited during my crazy trip to Indonesia. I started my journey in the UK, from where I went to the United Arab Emirates via Qatar.

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’s products for Srí Lanka

Like many other countries, Airalo offers three types of products for Srí Lanka. The first product is Airalo Mitura, a data plan specifically for use in Srí Lanka. Airalo Mitura eSIM review is in this article.

The second product type is Airalo Asialink, which can be used in 18 Asian countries.

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.

Airalo Discover eSIM 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 Srí Lanka and connection type

Srí Lanka has four mobile operators: Airtel, Dialog, Hutchison, and Mobitel. Airalo Mitura eSIMs can be used on the Dialog, Hutchison, and Mobitel networks. Each mobile carrier has different coverage, so I recommend checking out nperf.com. Especially outside the capital, there are many areas without coverage.

Connection type

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

eSIM Activation

The data package’s activation and validity period will start as soon as the eSIM is connected to one of the supported networks in Srí Lanka, in this case Dialog, Hutchison or Mobitel.

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
Airalo Discover eSIM

Network registration

Once in Srí Lanka, I enabled Airalo Discover eSIM in my phone settings. It only took a few seconds for the eSIM to register into the Hutchison network. Subsequently, I also received an SMS. In it, I was welcomed to the Hutch network. At the same time, they sent me instructions on how to switch the phone to manual mobile network selection.

After enabling mobile data, the 4G icon appeared. 

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 Srí Lanka uses +94.

If you plan to make a phone call, make sure 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, English (+44) and even the United Arab Emirates (+62).

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 had enough data to test the speed of the mobile network. Data downloads went up to 9.31Mbps, which was all right.

Top-ups

Buying additional data was easy. After clicking “My eSIM” and “TOP UP”, I saw these six plans. 

Conclusion

Airalo Discover eSIM is an excellent travel eSIM card for making calls or sending SMS while abroad. Personally, I rarely use SMS. There are many other alternatives: RCS (Android phones), iMessage (iPhone), Whatsapp, Signal, Viber, and so on.

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 huge bill for expensive calls abroad.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Three options – local Mitura, regional Asialink and global Discover eSIMNo Unlimited Data bundle
Voice calls and SMS support
Three supported operators- Dialog, Hutchison and Mobitel
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 Srí Lanka? Do you have a favourite one?


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