The introduction is being written.
Original publication: 21st of September 2023. Last updated: 28th of September 2023.
Table of Contents
Which Phones are Compatible with Nomad eSIMs?
Before discussing the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM, you must know whether your phone can even support Nomad's eSIMs.
Unlike most travel eSIM providers, Nomad claims that every eSIM-compatible phone can use its eSIMs.
So that makes things easy 😎.
But the image will still give you an overview of the most popular phones that support eSIM.
As of August 2023, the phones shown in the infographic below are compatible with Nomad eSIMs:
With that out of the way, let's talk more about the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM!
How Much Does the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM Cost?
You can get the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM for as little as 6 USD for 1 GB (7 days) and up to 60 USD for 30 GB (60 days).
The Nomad APAC eSIM, which can be used in the same eight countries as the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM, is slightly more expensive (up to 9 USD) because it covers a total of 21 countries, unlike SEA-Oceania's.
Below is an overview of how much each Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM costs:
- SEA-Oceania 1 GB eSIM for 7 days, costing 6 USD/6 EUR/5 GBP/8.50 CAD/5.50 CHF (price dropped)
- SEA-Oceania 3 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 11 USD/10.50 EUR/9 GBP/15 CAD/10 CHF
- SEA-Oceania 5 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 14 USD/13 EUR/11.50 GBP/19.50 CAD/12.50 CHF (price dropped) – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- SEA-Oceania 10 GB eSIM for 30 days, costing 19 USD/18 EUR/15.50 GBP/26 CAD/17 CHF (price dropped) – most popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- SEA-Oceania 20 GB eSIM for 45 days, costing 35 USD/32.50 EUR/28 GBP/48 CAD/31 CHF (price dropped) – very popular with Phone Travel Wiz readers
- SEA-Oceania 30 GB eSIM for 60 days, costing 60 USD/56 EUR/48 GBP/82 CAD/53.50 CHF (price dropped)
Note: Phone Travel Wiz reader popularity ranking was updated in September based on data up to the 13th of September (2023 data only).
If your credit/debit card charges you foreign exchange fees, get yourself a Wise Borderless Account and Debit Card.
Their fees are MUCH lower than banks and credit card companies charge you (and Wise is transparent about their fees, unlike banks).
I have saved literal THOUSANDS of Australian Dollars and Euros, my main currencies, when using Wise abroad when traveling compared to my debit and credit cards.
Moreover, regardless of which Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM you choose, you can always top it up for the same data and prices listed above.
Many eSIM providers out there do not allow you to top up or extend the validity of your eSIM, so it is cool that Nomad allows you to do so.
In Which Countries Can the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM Be Used?
The Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM can be used in eight Southeast Asian and Oceanian countries: Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand & Vietnam.
With the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM, you can save a lot of money by skipping the initial SIM card costs per country you visit.
So if you plan on visiting multiple Southeast Asian countries + Australia and/or New Zealand, getting the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM will be convenient AND will save you a lot of money too.
Unlike the European counterpart, the Nomad Europe eSIM (which I used in 13 countries), you cannot use 5G NR with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM… yet 😏.
My Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM Experiences
I have used, and will be using, the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in all eight countries it can be used in.
But as you can expect, achieving this goal will take me a while if I want to get meaningful data to analyze for you.
Luckily, it gives me (another) reason to travel around Asia (my favorite continent, honestly) 😎.
Before we continue, I do want to let you know how travel eSIM providers like Nomad work.
It is impossible for Nomad, or any other mobile operator, to operate in every country (and do not trust any company saying otherwise), so they set up roaming agreements.
What Nomad does, and basically all (actual) mobile operators do, is partner up with a local mobile operator so that their customers can still stay connected abroad.
In the case of the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM, it uses the networks of 11 local mobile operators with the help of JoyTelecom (from Hong Kong).
Most of the supported networks are the better ones in the country (often the best), but some of them suck (Dtac in Thailand or Vietnamobile in Vietnam – but you can choose an alternative network in both countries. The alternative ones are good).
But your experience will often not be as good as if you were to get a SIM card from these mobile operators directly.
That is because you are roaming on the local networks instead of being a native customer.
But that does not mean you will have (incredibly) slow speeds – just slower than native customers.
I cannot give an average percentage because it really depends on the roaming agreement Nomad/JoyTelecom has made… that is why I have to test the eSIM everywhere!
While I will extensively test the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in each city and country I visit, I will not analyze it in-depth in this review.
Not because I do not want to, but otherwise this review will be excessively long after analyzing a handful of countries.
So I will give you a “brief” analysis, which is still elaborate (lol), of the eSIM's performance per country and will link to the in-depth country-specific review, like my Nomad SEA-Oceania experience in Singapore.
That way, this review loads fast on your end, and you can have a quick overview of which countries the eSIM works well and which ones it does not.
But you can click the links below to jump to the country you are interested in – or read about them all!
- Australia (here at the moment for a few months. Not sure when I will finish the testing)
- Malaysia (trip not scheduled yet (will be in 2024))
- New Zealand (I was there before the eSIM existed. I will revisit it eventually)
- Philippines (trip not scheduled yet (will be in 2024))
Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Indonesia Experiences + Speed Test Results
I used my Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Bali and Jakarta, where I could access two of the four Indonesian networks (Telkomsel and Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison – in most countries, you can only be on one network).
If you are concerned about coverage and plan to visit jungles and islands (like Nusa Penida), select Telkomsel (best coverage). If you are in urban areas and want fast(er) speeds, choose Indosat (Ooredoo Hutchison)).
When Nomad started working with JoyTelecom, the latter throttled speeds @ 42 Mbps. After I complained to Nomad, which directed the complaint to JoyTelecom, JoyTelecom increased the speed to 82 Mbps (March 2023), which I mentioned in my Nomad SEA-Oceania Singapore review. But it looks like the 42 Mbps speed limit is back (in Indonesia, at least – I hit 82 Mbps multiple times in Taiwan, which I visited immediately after Indonesia).
Taking all 53 speed tests I did in Indonesia into account, I had an average overall download speed of 22.42 Mbps and a median download speed of 22.07 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM.
Compared to the global median in August 2023 (43.20 Mbps), the SEA-Oceania eSIM did terribly.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 16.44 Mbps and a median upload speed of 8.91 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Indonesia.
And that was… decent. The global median was 10.23 Mbps.
Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Singapore Experiences + Speed Test Results
I used my Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM throughout Singapore, where you can only be on the Singtel network (different from most countries where you can pick and choose a local network).
Taking all 20 speed tests I did in Singapore into account, I had an average overall download speed of 61.94 Mbps and a median download speed of 76.58 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM.
Compared to the global median in August 2023 (43.20 Mbps), the SEA-Oceania did incredibly well.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 0.51 Mbps and a median upload speed of 0.50 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Singapore.
What the f*ck is this!?
Apparently, JoyTelecom was experiencing issues in Singapore, resulting in extremely slow upload speeds when I was in Singapore (this affected the Nomad Singapore eSIM too).
I met my contact at Nomad during this trip and informed him about it – he was shocked and contacted JoyTelecom immediately.
Just after I left Singapore, Nomad and JoyTelecom made a deal with StarHub, allowing its customers to use the StarHub network until the issue with JoyTelecom and Singtel was fixed (at a higher cost for them but not for us).
It took a few weeks to fix the upload issue, and you will get normal upload speeds now.
Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Thailand Experiences + Speed Test Results
I used my Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Bangkok, Koh Samui & Koh Pha Ngan (+Phuket International Airport), where I could access two of the three Thai networks (AIS Thailand and Dtac Thailand – in most countries, you can only be on one network).
I highly recommend manually selecting AIS Thailand over Dtac Thailand… your network experience in Thailand will not be frustrating, unlike being on the Dtac Thailand network.
Taking all 76 speed tests I did in Thailand into account, I had an average overall download speed of 31.73 Mbps and a median download speed of 33.47 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM.
Compared to the global median in August 2023 (43.20 Mbps), the SEA-Oceania did fairly well.
But this was mostly due to JoyTelecom throttling speeds @ 42 Mbps (and often lower than that), while I got blazing-fast speeds with AIS Thailand itself.
Although I visited Thailand in March 2023, I would not be surprised if the speed restriction is still in place based on what I experienced in Indonesia (August 2023 @ 42 Mbps) and Taiwan (September 2023 @ 82 Mbps).
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 16.81 Mbps and a median upload speed of 13.73 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Thailand.
And that was… decent. The global median was 10.23 Mbps.
Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Vietnam Experiences + Speed Test Results
I used my Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Ho Chi Minh City, where I could access two of the four Vietnamese networks (Mobifone and Vietnamobile) – in most countries, you can only be on one network).
I highly recommend manually selecting Mobifone over Vietnamobile… your network experience in Vietnam will not be frustrating, unlike being on the Vietnamobile network.
I think my phone defaulted to Mobifone, but I chose Vietnamobile instead (and picked Mobifone with the Nomad Vietnam and APAC eSIMs to show you how bad Vietnamobile is compared to Mobifone).
Taking all seven speed tests I did in Vietnam into account, I had an average overall download speed of 8.86 Mbps and a median download speed of 1.98 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM.
Compared to the global median in August 2023 (43.20 Mbps), the SEA-Oceania eSIM did poorly.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 11.29 Mbps and a median upload speed of 7.29 Mbps with the Nomad SEA-Oceania eSIM in Vietnam.
And that was… decent. The global median was 10.23 Mbps.