Review: How Airalo Pearl Mobile eSIM works in Qatar

In this article, I will focus on Airalo eSIM for Qatar. As always, I checked the roaming charges for calls, SMS and data with my mobile operator before travelling. The price of 6 GBP for 1 MB was an unpleasant surprise. I saw a similar price for another Middle Eastern country – Jordan.

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

Reviews: eSIM for 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.

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.

Airalo Jordan Pinterest

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.

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 Qatar.

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)

The third product is the global product Airalo Discover, which is intended for 130 countries.

During my short visit to Qatar, I planned to stay only in Doha. From the offer, I chose the local data plan Pearl Mobile.

Detailed instructions on how to create an account and buy a data package can be found in this article.

Price 

At the time of my trip, Airalo offered six Pearl Mobile products. Each product provided a different amount of mobile data – from 1GB (for $5) to 20 GB (for $49). The validity of the packages was from 7 to 30 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 Pearl Mobile data plans can only be used on the Vodafone network. 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 a supported network, in this case, Vodafone.

My Airalo Jornet experience

My data plan

I planned to be in Qatar for only 6 days. I bought Airalo Pearl Mobile eSIM with 3GB of data and a validity period of 30 days. The price of the package was $12. After applying the discount code (see above), it is possible to have this package even for $9.

Network registration

My phone supports the use of two SIMs simultaneously. Before travelling to Qatar, I enabled Airalo Pearl Mobile eSIM as a second eSIM in the phone settings.

After landing and parking the plane at the airport, I watched how quickly both (e)SIMs could log in to the mobile network. When both (e)SIMs could not log in to the network after 5 minutes, I turned on airplane mode again. It helped my work SIM card, and it registered into the Ooredoo network. However, Airalo eSIM still had problems. It took another 6 minutes to register into the network.

Having waited for another 10 minutes, I still had no data. So, I went to the phone settings and tried to reset the APN (access point) to the default settings. Sadly, it still didn’t help. Once the airport wifi became available, I went to the Airalo site to find help with my problem. Using their chatbot, I got advice to manually configure the APN to “globaldata”. This is not a good user experience. Not every user knows what it means and where to find it.

Coverage

During my stay in Qatar, I only visited Doha. I had no problem with the signal in Doha. Internet was available whenever I needed it. To my surprise, I also saw the 5G icon.

Speed

Since 5G was available, I decided to test the speed. To my surprise, the data download speed was up to 114 Mbps.

Airalo Pearl Mobile speedtest
Airalo Pearl Mobile speedtest

Top-ups

Buying additional data was easy. After clicking “My eSIM” and “TOP UP”, I saw these six plans. After paying, there was no need to install the eSIM again. The data was automatically added to the existing eSIM. Quite simple, isn’t it?

Airalo Pearl Mobile Top-ups
Top-up

Conclusion

I think this was the first time I had problems with Airalo eSIM. It was a very negative experience that cost me a lot of money. I find it very user unfriendly to manually set up the APN in the phone settings. Only some people are technically proficient and know what to do.

On the other hand, once I got everything set up, there were no more problems.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
Three options – local Pearl Mobile, regional Mena and global Discover eSIMNo Unlimited Data bundle
Different sizes of data offered – from 1GB to 20GBProblem with network registration
Different validity periods of data plans – from 7 to 30 daysManual APN set up
Simple process for top-ups

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


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