Travel to Poland with eSIM and Orange Flex
After five years interspersed with the pandemic and market instability, I flew to Poland to visit my loved ones.
A lot has changed since my last visit. My children need to be connected to the world to a much greater extent than in the past. Personally, I have also become accustomed to having the Internet at hand, always where I need it.
While in England most people with Wi-Fi at home have it at quite reasonable speeds, in Poland it varies depending on where you go.
Streaming services prevail, and here, with impatient, not so little “kids”, buffering while driving around Poland can really heat up the atmosphere in the car.
Even before I went to Poland, I was looking through pre-paid internet offers to find something that would help me satisfy even the most demanding user.
The 5 GB package in the European Union offered by GiffGaff is really nothing. In my case, unlimited internet at full speed is something I would really need.
Since I recently tested LycaMobile in the UK, I decided to check if I can buy an eSIM card on the Polish side and choose a convenient package there.
Unfortunately, although in the UK I could set up an account with an eSIM card option, on the Polish website I was stuck with the need to already have an number (or at least their SIM with a number). From this I concluded that the eSIM card is not available. I could be wrong, but it’s their loss.
I decided to look further and came across the Orange Flex offer, which, being already in Poland, I cannot praise enough.
Orange Flex offers a flexible package in the so-called subscription (not on a prepaid basis, not on a contract basis, but on a subscription). You buy for as long as you want and end when you need it.
Orange Flex supports eSIM cards and full-speed 5G internet, which in my tests was around 100 Mbps (in several places in Poland where I stayed), which was absolutely amazing.
The service offers various tariff plans. Switching the price to the number of available gigabytes, I decided to start with the highest package of 150 GB per month.
This package cost me 80 PLN, which in pounds was just over £15.
When I created the account, I didn’t expect that I would actually receive much more from Orange than I expected. Partly due to the simple fact that I did not read the offer, did not fully understand it, or believed it. I was more skeptical about it, which turned out to be unnecessary, but more on that in a moment.
When creating an account, I had to confirm my identity. Here I thought the stairs would start for me, but no.
As my Polish documents have expired and I haven’t renewed them yet, I used my British passport.
With the UK no longer being a member of the European Union, I expected some problems, but no. Identity verification went without any problems and I was ready for the next step.
After selecting my plan (150 GB for 80 PLN), I proceeded to payment, where I entered my British card (for this purpose I recommend Wise, Monzo bank or any card connected to Curve to get the best currency exchange rate) and paid for the service.
In no time at all, my virtual eSIM was ready to be added to my phone.
As I was still in the UK at the time of purchase, I also expected stairs here. Despite this, my eSIM card was added to my phone and activated, connecting to EE network transmitters without any problem.
This way, I already had two cards in my phone, one from GiffGaff, which I use in the UK, and another one, which I will start actively using when I land in Poland.
For this purpose, in the iPhone settings when I landed, I left GiffGaff as the default calling network, and I set the Orange Flex one as the main data card.
Everything worked as planned and the holiday could begin.
But that’s not all.
I thought that 150 GB might not be enough, so I checked in the application how much it would cost me to buy additional gigabytes. There, next to additional data packages, I saw the option of turning on an unlimited package (UNLMTD).
After clicking on it, I saw (which I hadn’t read before) that as part of the highest package I bought, I could join it for ZERO PLN.
Without hesitation, I turned it on.
Without it enabled, connections to social networking sites (Social Media) are not included in the Internet package by default (theoretically), and calls, SMS and MMS within the country and within the European Union are unlimited.
Now I was really ready to enjoy my holiday without having to control how I use my devices.
Initially, I thought about purchasing an eSIM card for myself and sharing the Internet via a mobile access point (Personal Hotspot) for my family members.
However, here again there was a positive disappointment caused by my failure to read (yet again) what else Orange Flex offers at no additional cost.
Well, as part of the highest package for 80 PLN, I already received a working service with unlimited Internet.
As part of it, I could add 3 additional eSIM cards to the same package.
I decided to generate a QR code and add a card for my wife’s phone as well as my daughter’s phone, and surprisingly, everything went without any problems.
If I had an Apple Watch or iPad with cellular support, I could also equip this device with an Internet package.
The activation of additional cards, which I performed while still in the UK, officially failed (but only in theory).
By going to the SIM cads tab in the Orange Flex application and clicking on the Your number option in the Main number section, a menu for adding additional SIM cards will be available. Not to be confused with adding new numbers to your account.
After more than 10 minutes, while in the activation stage, the phone added the card, but returned information that the activation had failed.
When I tested LycaMobile in the UK some time ago, I also had the same problem. Switching to airplane mode and back previously solved the problem, but not with the Orange Flex.
Cards added on additional devices were displayed as activated, but they did not have a signal (they did not connect to the network in the UK).
I quickly jumped into the chat with Orange Flex technical support in the application and received information that the additional cards in the package only work in Poland, which is why they cannot be connected when roaming abroad.
This wasn’t a problem for me as I wasn’t planning to use them in the UK anyway, but I wanted to be sure that they would have coverage after landing and would work without any problems.
And so it happened. Each card received the signal without any problems immediately after landing and turning off the airplane mode, and each user could use the Internet independently.
Additionally, each card received its own telephone number, which could be used to call and receive calls within the country.
In my case, however, when I added additional cards, I chose the option that I would use them only for data transmission, because after landing, GiffGaff sent me information that I could call in Poland, to Polish (and English) numbers, just as I would in UK. All calls will be deducted from the available minutes (unlimited in my case), and not from the available balance. This made communication in the country much easier because I didn’t have to give anyone my Orange number and cause confusion.
Any devices that did not have cellular communication used a mobile access point (Personal Hotspot), which was a significant convenience.
A little note here. Some services offering Internet abroad, such as Holafly, although they offer the ability to use any network, do not allow the use of the purchased Internet package beyond the basic device (no tethering, no personal hotspot).
Here, my next failure to read cost me an additional 79 PLN, because I could have had the first month’s package for only 1 PLN using the FLEX discount code.
However, there is nothing to complain about, as my holiday in Poland lasted only a week, so the package would not be renewed for the next period anyway.
The holiday flew by, the whole family used the Internet as much as they wanted (just like at home) and we didn’t worry about any restrictions.
We used a lot of data throughout the period and speeds remained high.
Even from our final destination, when traveling to the airport, we used it while in transit and didn’t hear any complaints.
Here I was surprised that even when entering the forest, the phone showed 5G network coverage, which I cannot experience in some locations in the UK, although in Poland I encountered black holes.
The holiday has passed and it’s time to turn off Orange Flex and not pay for another month unnecessarily.
To do this, I went to My profile and then to My Plan and then selected the Cancel your Plan option.
Interestingly, since I purchased my plan a few days before departure and my vacation lasted less than a week, when I wanted to cancel it, I was informed that I could get a refund for the plan. All because I made it within 14 days of purchase.
I didn’t really care about the refund, because the plan fulfilled its purpose during the trip, but if they insist, why not.
Therefore, I confirmed the resignation and loss of the number.
On the home screen, I received confirmation that my request was being processed. After a while, the plan was canceled and my eSIM card lost coverage. I could then remove it from my phone and any additional ones from the other devices I added them to.
My app account remains active and I can choose a future plan whenever I need to.
This way, I have a proven solution for unlimited internet for the whole family and all devices at a very reasonable price, even for free (which will probably change in the future, because I don’t see how it can be profitable for them).