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Ubigi vs Airalo: Which eSIM provider is better?


Ubigi and Airalo are two of the most popular eSIM providers in 2024 with coverage in 200+ countries and regions worldwide.

Ubigi has been around for almost 20 years, has over 10,000 satisfied customers, and offers near-unbeatable data prices for eSIMs. However, even though Airalo is a new provider, its incredible 5G coverage, easy-to-use apps, and impeccable customer service have made it a worthy competitor in the eSIM market.

So, which is better? In this article, we compared prices, plans, coverage, customer support, user experience, and more to find out who the winner is in the eSIM battle between Ubigi vs Airalo.

Ubigi vs Airalo: Overall comparison

Looking at the basics, Ubigi and Airalo are very similarly matched. Both eSim providers offer services in 200+ countries and regions, support the same network types, and start around a similar price point.

Check out our table below to discover some of their differences and similarities.

AiraloUbigi
Rating
4.7
4
Overall rank#2#4
PriceFrom $4.50 (1GB for 7 days) - Region dependantFrom $4 (1GB for 7 days) - Region dependant
Countries and regions200+ 200+
Cellular network types3G, LTE, 4G, and 5G 3G, LTE, 4G, and 5G
Phone call support✅ Yes (Discover+ global plan)❌ No
Mobile hotspot support✅ Yes❌ No
Customer serviceLive chat, ticket support, help centerTicket support, help center

As you can see from the table above, Ubigi has more affordable prices for some of its plans. However, Airalo offers two essential features that Ubigi does not: phone call support and live chat, in addition to some extra features like faster speeds and wider plan variety.

Since it is important to be able to access customer service easily and enjoy blazing-fast speeds while abroad, we will choose Airalo here as the winner for the best eSIM provider in this comparison.

Ubigi vs Airalo: Data plans and pricing

Whether you choose Ubigi or Airalo, you’re going to get a good deal. Both eSIM providers have very fair data prices.

However, the prices aren’t exactly the same. For many of the most popular eSIM countries, including the USA, Japan, and the UK, Ubigi starts at $4 for 1 GB for seven days, whereas Airalo price plans start at $4.50.

$0.50 per GB might not seem like a huge difference. But, for larger data plans, Ubigi is a clear winner for price. So, if price is all you care about, Ubigi is the better choice in most countries.

CountryUbigi (3 GB valid 30 days)Airalo (3 GB valid 30 days)
USA$8.00$11.00
Japan$8.00$10.00
UK$7.00$10.00
Italy$7.00$10.00
Mexico$33.00$15.50
France$5.00$10.00
Spain$7.00$8.50

In terms of plans, both providers offer seven-day, 15-day, and 30-day single-country deals. For most people, who are simply looking for an eSIM for a holiday or business trip, these are ideal.

Ubigi also has a 12-month deal which might suit you better for longer stays in a single country. However, if you’re a digital nomad and need data for multiple countries, Airalo has 60, 90, and 180-day regional plans making it the preferred choice for frequent travelers.

There are some differences in data sizes too! Airlao has 1 GB, 2 GB, 3 GB, 5 GB, and 20 GB deals. Ubigi offers 1 GB, 3 GB, 10 GB, and 50 GB. Overall, Airlao, which has one of the best data-only eSIM plans, has a better range, offering the data plans most eSIM users need. But considering both support top-ups, this isn’t a deal breaker.

We also looked at the payment options for each provider. Here are the results.

UbigiAiralo
Credit card✅ Yes✅ Yes
Debit card✅ Yes✅ Yes
PayPal✅ Yes✅ Yes
AmazonPay❌ No❌ No
UnionPay✅ Yes❌ No
Apple Pay❌ No✅ Yes
Google Pay✅ Yes✅ Yes
AMEX✅ Yes❌ No
Sofort❌ No❌ No
JCB✅ Yes❌ No
UnionPay✅ Yes❌ No
Alipay❌ No✅ Yes (Mobile app online)
DinersClub✅ Yes❌ No
Discover✅ Yes❌ No
Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others)❌ No❌ No

Both support the most common payment methods – debit/credit cards, Google Pay, and PayPal. But Ubigi offers more payment methods overall, even accepting travel cards such as DinersClub.

Hence, based on the overall price of its plans and the wide range of payment options, Ubigi is the winner in this category.

Ubigi vs Airalo: Speed & coverage

Speed and coverage are two of the most important factors to consider when it comes to picking the best eSIM provider.

Slow speeds cause buffering, lag, and long-loading screens, which can easily ruin your browsing or streaming experience.

Additionally, if you pick an eSIM with bad coverage, you might not have any internet access at all in the country you visit.

Below we compare the speed and coverage for both providers.

Average speed

For the most part, average speeds depend on the local carriers the eSIM provider has chosen to partner with. Ubigi and Airalo use some of the best and most reliable local networks. So, you can expect decent speeds with either.

However, Airalo and Ubigi use different networks in some countries which translates to differing speed capabilities. Let’s take a look at the available networks in some popular countries.

CountryAiralo networksUbigi networksMax speed AiraloMax speed Ubigi
USAT-Mobile and VerizonT-Mobile5G5G (4G in Puerto Rico)
JapanKDDI and SoftbankNTT DoCoMoLTE5G
UKEE and H3GO2-UK and Three UK5GLTE
ItalyIliad and WindTreVodafone, Telecom Italia, andWind Tre5G5G
MexicoAltan Redes and TelcelTelcel4GLTE
FranceSFR and Free MobileOrange, Bouygues, andSFR5G5G
SpainYoigo and Orange SpainMovistar5GLTE

In terms of max speed, Airalo is faster in the USA (including Puerto Rico,) the UK, Mexico, and Spain. It also matches Ubigi’s speeds in Italy and France. However, if you’re looking for data in Japan, you should consider using Ubigi because it’s significantly faster.

Coverage

Both Ubigi and Airalo have excellent coverage with 200+ countries to choose from. Plus, the pair have a diverse range of regional and global plans.

In terms of regional coverage, the two are similarly matched. Both have regional deals for Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania. However, Ubigi does have more specific options such as Eastern Europe rather than the whole of Europe.

It’s also important to remember that Airalo offers deals for seven, 30, 60, 90, and 180 days for regional plans. However, Ubigh only has seven-day, 30-day, and 12-month offers.

Comparing global plans, Ubigi has a more comprehensive offer. Its world plan includes 186 countries while Airalo covers you for just 124. However, both providers support the most common countries needed. So, unless you’re traveling to somewhere quite obscure this isn’t a big deal.

Therefore, based on the speeds you can get when traveling and the duration of the plans you are offered, Airalo comes out on top in the speed and coverage category.

Ubigi vs Airalo: User experience & customer support

Looking at user experience and customer support, there are some key differences, which make Airalo stand out!

User experience

To get a better idea of the user-friendliness of Ubigi and Airalo, we researched the following factors:

  • Websites. During our Airalo review, we discovered that its website is easier to navigate. It has a slick design with three convenient tabs so you can filter through local, regional, and global eSIMs. Ubigi also has clear setup instructions and you can filter by one-time, monthly, and annual plans. However, the way everything is listed makes it more difficult to find what you need.
  • Apps. The Airalo app is easy to use. It features three main sections – the store, my eSIMs, and your profile. Ubigi has similar features and sections for its app. However, its UI isn’t as clearly laid out, and the overall design of Airalo is nicer. That being said, both apps are of decent quality.
  • Notifications. Both Ubigi and Airalo notify users when their data is running low or has expired. This way, there aren’t any sudden interruptions in usage.

Customer service

Airalo’s customer support is much better for several reasons. We have listed some ways you can contact customer support and get troubleshooting advice for both.

  • Help center. Although both eSIM providers have help centers with answers to FAQs, Airalo’s is far more comprehensive with highly detailed guides. It even has troubleshooting articles for specific devices! On the other hand, Ubigi just covers the basics.
  • Contact methods. With either provider, you can get expert support through an email-based ticket system. But Airalo also has a live chat support system. So, with Airalo, you can get much quicker responses.
  • Blogs. Unlike Ubigi, Airlao has a blog. This blog covers more than just eSIM topics. It includes general travel information like the best time to visit certain countries and itineraries. A bonus for any frequent flyer!

Based on how user-friendly Airalo is and the options for prompt customer support, it is the clear winner in this comparison.

Ubigi vs Airalo: Additional features

Apart from the core eSIM features, Ubigi and Airlao have some extra perks, such as:

  • Top-up support. Unlike some eSIM providers, with Ubigi or Airalo you can top up your data through the app. Although, with Airalo, not every plan supports top-ups. Before purchasing an Airalo eSIM, you should check the additional information tab to figure out whether it supports top-ups.
  • Voice calls and SMS. Ubigi focuses exclusively on data plans. So, you can’t use an Ubigi eSIM for cellular calls or texts. But you can still make calls and send texts with apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger, and Skype. On the other hand, Airalo has plans that include call minutes and texts.
  • Data sharing. Airalo and Ubigi support mobile hotspots. So, you can use your eSIM data on any Wi-Fi-supporting device at no additional cost.
  • Offline mode. Airalo’s app also has an offline mode which allows you to open the app and read the setup instructions without an internet connection.

Both eSIMs have their own unique additional characteristics but also share some important features, so in this case, we have a draw.

Conclusion: Which eSim is better?

Based on our Ubigi vs Airalo comparison, we can conclude that Airalo is better than Ubigi. For some of the most sought-after countries, Airalo offers much better speeds and, unlike Ubigi, has SMS/call packages for an all-in-one service! Plus, it's got more comprehensive guides for easier installation and live chat support for much faster response times.

However, both Airalo and Ubigi support 200+ countries with special deals on regional and global packages. The two eSIM providers support 5G, 4G, 3G, and LTE networks. Plus, the pair are well-known in the industry and offer excellent value for money. So, it’s unlikely either will disappoint!

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