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Holafly eSIM in Israel: Seamless Connectivity or Just Hype?

Technology is constantly changing the communication game. The speed, versatility, and accessibility of communication are just some of the areas that have been revolutionized over and over again. With eSIM cards, this revolution means big differences in managing your connectivity when traveling.

People visiting Israel or making Aliyah can now stay connected with their loved ones without worrying about excessive roaming charges. That’s why it shouldn’t be surprising that eSIMs are quickly gaining popularity in Israel. 

With the proliferation of eSIM providers in Israel, choosing the best one might be challenging. This article will look into a popular provider, Holafly, to assess whether it lives up to the hype. In the process, you’ll learn about the Holafly eSIM Israel packages and their performance in the country. You’ll also find out whether there’s a better alternative to Holafly Israel services. 

Let’s begin. 

Understanding eSIM Technology

Understanding eSIM Technology

Before diving into the Holafly eSIM review, let’s get the basics out of the way. After all, eSIM is a relatively new technology, and not everyone is familiar with its ins and outs. So, what exactly is an eSIM, and how does it work?

eSIM is short for “embedded SIM,” which already gives you an idea of its physical properties. You see, an eSIM isn’t a physical SIM card that needs to be inserted into a device. Instead, it’s a small chip embedded directly into the device during manufacturing. This chip contains all the information necessary to identify and authenticate your device on a mobile network, just like a physical SIM card would.

But unlike a physical SIM card, you don’t have to swap your eSIM physically. Instead, switching between mobile carriers and plans can all be done digitally.

This is also one of the biggest advantages of eSIMs compared to traditional SIM cards – you don’t have to worry about losing or damaging a card during the swap. All you need is a few taps on your device. An eSIM’s flexibility is particularly useful for travelers, as it allows them to easily switch to a local carrier abroad (or during the preparation for the trip). With this simple switch, all the worries about infamous roaming charges disappear.

Best of all? You don’t have to go through a complicated installation process to use your eSIM. You don’t even have to visit a store to purchase the card. With eSIMs, virtually everything can be done digitally, making the process quick, easy, and hassle-free. The same goes for the activation. Purchase an eSIM, and you’ll have instant connectivity upon landing in Israel.

Holafly eSIM Overview

Holafly eSIM Overview

Holafly is a Spanish-based eSIM company founded in 2017. The company’s founders experienced the well-known frustration of lacking internet connectivity abroad, which prompted them to create a handy solution for travelers worldwide. 

By 2022, the company exploded in popularity and opened new global offices in France, Germany, Peru, and Thailand. As of 2024, Holafly offers eSIM cards for 197 destinations worldwide, Israel included.

However, what makes Holafly stand out from the most popular eSIM providers is its unique pricing approach for Israel. You see, Holafly offers no pre-determined packages. Instead, you get to make your own package based on the number of days you’ll spend in Israel.

Though to be fair, the number of days is all you can “control” when selecting a Holafly Israel eSIM package. The amount of data is the same no matter which package you choose – it’s unlimited. 

Here’s a brief overview of the price range for a Holafly eSIM based on the number of days you choose:

  • Unlimited data for one day: $6
  • Unlimited data for seven days: $29
  • Unlimited data for 10 days: $37
  • Unlimited data for 15 days: $51
  • Unlimited data for 30 days: $75
  • Unlimited data for 60 days: $107
  • Unlimited data for 90 days: $135

As you can see, no Holafly eSIM package for Israel includes text messages and voice calls. It’s also one of the biggest disadvantages of this provider, which can significantly impact the quality of life in Israel. But more on that later. 

Does Holafly eSIM Work in Israel?

Does Holafly eSIM Work in Israel?

By now, it’s clear that the answer to this question is: yes, Holafly eSIM works in Israel. Still, there are a few more questions to answer.

No. 1 – does Holafly eSIM work with all devices? This time, the answer is negative. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to do with Holafly itself. Any eSIM card can only work in a device compatible with the eSIM technology. Luckily, Holafly has a handy, up-to-date list of all the eSIM-compatible devices, so you can quickly check whether this technology will work with yours. 

No. 2 – what is the Holafly eSIM activation process for Israel?

The answer to this question requires a more detailed breakdown. Still, this process shouldn’t give you any trouble, no matter how tech-savvy you are. Here’s the Holafly eSIM activation process step by step:

  1. Purchase the desired Holafly Israel eSIM package on the provider’s website. After the purchase, you’ll receive a QR code via email.
  2. Open the email from Holafly on your computer or laptop.
  3. Scan the received QR code with your device’s camera.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to install your eSIM card.
  5. Turn on data roaming in your device’s settings.

The last step might scare you, but it’s necessary to ensure the best coverage for your eSIM in Israel. 

This brings us to question No. 3 – how is the Holafly eSIM Israel coverage?

In a word – solid. Holafly provides connectivity through Partner, one of the leading networks in Israel. For this reason, most users have no issues with 4G LTE coverage across the country. Individuals visiting the biggest cities in Israel, such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, can also expect 5G coverage. 

Of course, the situation isn’t necessarily the same for smaller towns and remote areas. Some of them offer only 2G or 3G coverage, while others lack coverage altogether. This is the case for many smaller communities in Israel, such as Karmei Yosef.

Pros of Using Holafly eSIM in Israel

Using a Holafly eSIM card in Israel offers many advantages. After all, there’s a reason Holafly is one of the biggest eSIM providers in the world. Let’s do a quick rundown of reasons why purchasing a Holafly Israel eSIM plan is a good idea. 

You Can Customize Your Data Plan

You Can Customize Your Data Plan

As mentioned, Holafly has a unique approach to pricing for Israel, allowing you to customize your data plan. So, if you’re staying in Israel for an “unusual” number of days, such as four or 18, you no longer have to be forced to waste money on days you won’t use.

Plus, the maximum number of days is another rare feat. While the plans for many other eSIM providers cap at 30 days, Holafly offers a 90-day package. This makes it perfect for people planning to visit Israel for an extended period, as well as those moving to the Holy Land.

You Get Unlimited Data

Another unique selling point of Holafly Israel services is the unlimited data you receive. Again, most other eSIM providers limit the amount of data you receive, and the limit is fairly strict. At most, you can expect about 30 gigabytes of data in the most expensive plans, so getting unlimited data with Holafly is truly a treat.

However, be careful about choosing the appropriate number of days for your stay in Israel. Why? Because if you decide to stay longer, your eSIM will stop working as soon as you run out of pre-paid days. You will go from unlimited data to no data at all. Luckily, there’s a quick fix, but it will require an internet connection. Download (or log into) the Holafly app and purchase another Holafly Israel eSIM plan.

Unfortunately, you might be forced to look for another data plan under other circumstances. Some users have reported that their Holafly eSIM cards suddenly stopped working before the end of their plan despite having been guaranteed unlimited data. For instance, Catarina from the U.K. says, “Bought a 15-day UNLIMITED data plan, and by the 12th day, it simply STOPPED working.”

Competitive Pricing - Is it worth the risk? 

The main reason that individuals have shown interest in Holafly is undoubtedly because they market themselves as a cost-effective solution plus they claim to offer unlimited data. Most international eSIM providers charge between $3 and $10 per gigabyte for Israeli eSIMs. Holafly offers unlimited data for as little as $6 (for one day), but still won’t allow you to make calls. 

You Should Have No Issues Installing Your eSIM

You Should Have No Issues Installing Your eSIM

The entire process of obtaining a Holafly Israel eSIM, from the moment of purchase to the activation time, should be hassle-free for the most part.

You can order the eSIM card directly from Holafly’s website in a few clicks. From there, the provider will take care of most of the subsequent steps through email instructions. Installing through a QR code should work for most users. If not, you’ll also receive instructions for manual installation, which is a bit more complex and time-consuming.

However, it’s important to note that not all users have the same seamless experience with the installation process. For instance, Jinzhu from Denmark says, “Firstly, I didn’t receive the eSIM for hours until I contacted customer service.” Similarly, Beverley Irene from Vietnam had issues with both the installation and activation. The user says, “Once I worked out how to scan the QR code, the eSIM still did not work.”

You Are Instantly Online Upon Landing

Holafly recommends installing your eSIM a few hours before your trip to Israel (as do all eSim providers) to streamline the process. Then, as soon as you land, your plan will activate by connecting to the supported network in the country. Be mindful of the exact time of the Holafly eSIM activation, as this is the time your eSIM will stop working once your pre-paid days run out. 

You Will Have Solid Coverage 

As mentioned, Holafly eSIM cards connect to one of the primary networks in Israel, Partner. For this reason, you should have excellent coverage in Israel, especially in major cities.

However, if you plan on traveling outside of city limits, you might want to use a different carrier. In these areas, the coverage typically becomes unstable or cuts out altogether. 

You’ll Enjoy Excellent Data Speed

You’ll Enjoy Excellent Data Speed

For the most part, the data speed guaranteed by Holafly is similar to its coverage – it excels in major cities but varies in remote areas.

When the connection is solid, you should enjoy clear video calls with no delays, seamless use of social media apps, and even sending video files to your loved ones (or posting them online).

However, the Holafly team itself warns that this won’t always be the case. Sometimes, local operators can enforce an international measure called the Fair Usage Policy, which guarantees optimal internet connection to everyone. This measure can significantly slow down your data speed for an entire day, leading you to seek alternative options for a solid internet connection.

Cons of Using Holafly eSIM in Israel

Though Holafly’s offerings look great on paper, they don’t always live up to expectations in practice. That’s why using Holafly eSIM in Israel also has a few major disadvantages that might deter you from choosing this eSIM card for your travels. 

You Might Experience Connectivity Issues

Though Holafly promises superb coverage throughout the destination country, in this case, Israel, this isn’t always the case once you land. There’s one Holafly eSIM review after another expressing frustrations over poor coverage or a total lack of coverage.

For example, Eduardo from Sweden explains that he only had 3G coverage despite paying for 5G unlimited data. Even worse, the 3G coverage was spotty at best, often cutting out and leaving him stranded. The result? We’ll let Eduardo say it in his own words, “So, I ended up during my vacation with no internet and losing almost two hours of my vacation time speaking with [customer service] with no fix at all.”

Another Holafly user from the United Arab Emirates had a similar experience, which left him in the following situation: “In the end, I was only able to connect in places with Wi-Fi, which was a problem.”

You Won’t Be Able to Call or Text

As mentioned in the article, none of the Holafly eSIM Israel plans include voice calls or text messages. This means you’ll only be able to stay in touch with your loved ones using internet-based communication apps, such as WhatsApp and Skype.

Now, for the most part, this wouldn’t be a problem since most people already prefer using messaging apps over traditional means of communication. But what if you experience connectivity issues, as many users have with Holafly eSIM? It’s simple, really. You’ll be left without any means of communication unless you can find free Wi-Fi nearby. Of course, you can always use your SIM card to make the call, but the exorbitant prices of calling abroad from Israel will undoubtedly make you regret this decision.

And what if you plan to make Aliyah? Being left without the ability to make local calls with your mobile phone can be a major drawback.

You Won’t Be Able to Share Data

You Won’t Be Able to Share Data

Holafly might offer you unlimited data. However, you’ll be the only one enjoying that data. You see, the Holafly Israel eSIM doesn’t allow you to share data or use the hotspot feature with other devices. This means that every family member (or friend) traveling with you to Israel will have to get a separate eSIM card.

You Might Have Issues With Customer Support

Holafly boasts that its customer support is available 24/7 via phone, chat, and WhatsApp. Unfortunately, numerous Holafly users have realized that this isn’t exactly the case after experiencing issues with their eSIMs. 

So, Eduardo from Sweden waited about 50 minutes to get a response, Valerie from the United Arab Emirates did so for about three hours, and Tom from Puerto Rico never heard back from the Holafly customer support team. 

Comparing Holafly With Other eSIM Providers in Israel

Here’s a brief overview of how Holafly compares to other eSIM providers in Israel, some local and some international.

Why Consider TCS for Your eSIM Needs in Israel? 

Why Consider TCS for Your eSIM Needs in Israel? 

As a local provider, SkyCall offers numerous advantages over Holafly and other international eSIM providers. The mere fact that SkyCall offers calls and texts in its eSIM packages already makes it a more attractive option for many users.

But it certainly isn’t the most attractive option in Israel. TCS Telecom is. If you’re looking to receive actual customer service that is. 

TCS Telecom has long reigned supreme in various telecom needs for English-speaking Israeli travelers and residents. Now, the company has also joined the eSIM game.

With an eSIM from TCS Israel, you receive a reliable means of communication at local rates. The card is easy to set up and activate and allows you to enjoy stable data speeds, calls, and texts as soon as you land in Israel. Another factor that makes TCS Telecom different from Holafly (and most international eSIM providers) is the stellar customer service. It’s truly always at your disposal and never leaves you stranded in a foreign country.

As Theo Tigre, who has used TCS Telecom in Israel, puts it, “I couldn’t wish for better service!” Similar sentiments are present throughout all TCS Telecom reviews, culminating with one that says, “TCS is absolutely without parallel.”

Travel to Israel Worry-Free

Travel to Israel Worry-Free

Choosing the right eSIM provider is one of the most important decisions you can make when traveling to Israel. After all, this decision will dictate whether your trip will be smooth and stress-free or fraught with connectivity issues.

While Holafly eSIM Israel packages sound amazing in theory, the practice can sometimes be different. To be fair, you might not experience any issues at all. Or, you might lose connectivity altogether and you won’t be able to even reach customer service to resolve the issue.

If you don’t want to risk it, consider using a more reliable local provider like TCS Telecom. Get an eSIM from TCS Telecom and enjoy a worry-free travel experience in Israel. If you want to make Aliyah, you can also look into other TCS Telecom offerings, such as mobile plans, high-speed internet, and a landline.

But now we’d like to hear from you. How was your experience using eSIM technology in Israel? Or, if you’re yet to do so, do you have any additional questions about this technology? Whatever the case, we’d like to hear from you below.

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