eSIM in Ukraine

Does anybody have experience with using an eSIM in Ukraine? The FP4 is not officially sold in Ukraine and thus not listed for any providers. At the same time the providers claim to support eSIM only with phones on their list of supported phones.

Is this requirement really mandatory or might it be possible to just order an eSIM and attempt to set it up?


Welcome to the community :wave:

Maybe @alexanderre is able to answer that :thinking:


It is to be expected that providers only list phones as compatible that they have (personally) tested.
Both eSIMs I have used so far were not listed by the respective operator but still worked perfectly fine. So while there are no guarantees, it is very likely to work - eSIM is a standard after all. Much like you would expect a “normal” SIM to work in (almost) any phone with a SIM slot.


Are you interested in using an eSim of a local operator or in roaming with an eSim from a European operator?

If the latter, I do not have the answer. I would imagine that it should work - because when roaming, the local operator has to “contact” your operator in order to verify you are their client and roaming conditions apply. However, I am not a specialist and there may be problems I do not foresee.

If the former, I expect to know the answer on the scale of a couple of months. I will be sending an FP4 to my brother in Ukraine and will ask him to try using an eSim with a local operator.


As @mde, my eSIM (from Italian provider) works also if FP4 is not on the list of its tested devices.

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This concerns a local, Ukrainian, operator. Currently there is a Vodafone UA SIM card in the FP4, but it does not support 4G. Apparently the SIM card needs to be replaced to support 4G so now we are considering either a new physical SIM or an eSIM.

Vodafone seems very hesitant to provide/suggest an eSIM when asking their support about this, but I was thinking possibly we could just trigger the process and see what happens.

I guess your brother is intending to do the same? I didn’t see Kyivstar or Lifecell list the FP4 either.

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Oh, you have a very old SIM. :slight_smile: I remember exchanging mine for a 4G one some 5 years ago, I think.

Yep, the intention is just to risk it. Before you do it, check that if not successful with an eSim, you have a way to recover the number (PUK code or some other secret number - I remember there was some info on the Vodafone UA website, and Vodafone staff should know too). Then even if it does not work, you just order a new physical SIM - with the price of a SIM replacement being 50 UAH ( Стартові пакети, Рекомендація до застосування - Відновлення SIM-картки у випадку втрати чи виходу з ладу : купити в Україні — інтернет-магазин Vodafone), less than 2 EUR - it is worth trying, if you see added value in an eSIM.


So there’s actually a first hurdle. When you start the process with Vodafone to get an eSIM, you have to choose what phone you have from a list of phones. The FP4 is not listed there. What would be recommended in such situation?

Cant you just call them?

We have done this. Then the response is that it’s not possible and only phones on their list will work.
(And with the current situation, it is kind of hard to put any real blame towards the companies at this point. A lot of focus is on restoring services in liberated areas, supporting refugees with roaming, etc.)


Oh, I did not get that far. I thought it’s simpler - maybe choose iOS vs Android, but then just scan the QR code. So, one has to choose a model. Ok.

The FP4 support page on eSIM says this:
“Different networks work differently when it comes to eSIM compatibility. Currently there is no standardization across the industry. So some networks will work with any eSIM in any phone. Other networks have to first whitelist a SIM type, then test on a specific device and “whitelist” the LCA profile to enable to eSIM to download the correct settings to the device. So if the network needs to “whitelist” us and we are not a direct partner with them, then that work has not been done (yet) - and the eSIM will not work.”

From this, I would expect that either it will work not matter what you choose for a phone, or it will not work at all.

It might be a good idea to choose Nokia G60 or Motorola Razr 5G as a phone model - they also have a Snapdragon processor: Compare Nokia G60 vs. Fairphone 4 vs. Motorola Razr 5G -

Apart from bluntly trying, I thought there may be a slightly better idea. You may have some people in your vicinity that already use an eSIM - regular people will not even know what it is, but more geeky people, like IT people, may actually have it and use it. The eSIM QR code works 5 times. So, if they trust you, they can let you try adding their eSIM, and transferring it back later. You will then know whether it works or not; and if not - they’ve hardly lost anything. I expect that if your adding an eSIM does not work, their eSIM will remain active - but check this before starting. If you are in a big city, like Kyiv or Lviv, some of the personnel at the local Vodafone customer center may actually be using an eSIM and may be willing to help with this sort of a test.

Good luck! And let me know about the result.

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Alternatively, you may simply want to switch your German SIM to an eSIM and use a physical SIM for the Ukrainian operator, enabling you to pass the SIM to anyone who may need to use the number after you.

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It seems I had misunderstood. When asking on the phone they ask for the phone type. We didn’t look at the site in detail.
There is no requirement for a second SIM at this point, but we simply thought this might be easier.

I guess we can either still try it with the site or visit a Vodafone service center. From the recommendations here, I understand it might be a good idea to try this with another phone number first before migrating an important number. Maybe we’ll indeed get a new physical SIM

Thanks a lot for the responses!! @Kyrylo_Snizhko, in any case I’ll let it know how things go. Thus far connectivity with the FP4 didn’t seem that great at times, but I suspect this is mainly to blame on the old SIM card. (We learned about this problem recently when roaming abroad didn’t work at all due to a lack of 3G.)


Likely a good idea, but I would even go one step further and chose a phone from this list with the same model Snapdragon SM 7225:

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That would indeed be nice. Unfortunately, there is zero overlap between the list with Snapdragon SM7225 chipset and the list of eSim phones supported by the operator.

Here is the latter list, taken from this page:

iPhone 11/12/13/14/XR/XS
iPhone 11 Pro/12 Pro/13 Pro/14 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max/12 Pro Max/13 Pro Max/14 Pro Max
iPhone 14 Plus
iPhone XS Max
iPhone 12 mini/13 mini
iPhone SE 2/SE 3 (2022)
iPad mini - 5, 6 generation
iPad - 7, 8, 9 generation
iPad Air - 3, 4 generation
iPad Pro 11” - 1, 2, 3 generation
iPad Pro 12.9” - 3, 4, 5 generation
Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL
Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a
Pixel 5
Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro
Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro
Google Pixel 6a
Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus, Galaxy S22 Ultra
Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21 Ultra
Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20 Ultra
Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Z Fold2 Galaxy Z Flip
Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra
Razr 5G
P40, P40 Pro
Mate 40, Mate 40 Pro
Mate Xs
Microsoft Surface Duo
Xiaomi 12T Pro
Xiaomi 13 Lite
Xiaomi 13
Xiaomi 13 Pro (Global Versions)
Nokia G60

@jschwart, I have the results of testing:

  • Vodafone’s eSIM works with FP4 perfectly. Just buy an eSIM QR code on their website and follow the instructions.
  • Kyivstar’s eSIM does not work with FP4 - the operator switches the physical SIM for eSIM, but it fails to install into the phone. After this, you have to recover the physical SIM according to the standard procedures. However, both replacement SIM->eSIM and the recovery with getting a new physical SIM in their support centres are free.

It appears that the distinction is by the phone’s chipset: Kyivstar does not support eSIM for any phone with a Qualcomm chipset.*
Based on this, I would expect that Lifecell should also work with Fairphone, as their eSIM support list includes all the phones supported by Vodafone. However, this has not been tested.

*Kyivstar does support Motorola Razr (of some year), which has a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. But not Razr 5G or any other Snapdragon-based phones. Probably, there is a chipset generation difference…

I have added this information to the Wiki post on FP4 eSIM support by various operators around the world: List of compatible and incompatible eSIM operators/networks for FP4 - Help / Guides - Fairphone Community Forum


Thank you so much!! It’s indeed working now with Vodafone!! I think this should resolve the 4G/5G connectivity issues of the old physical SIM.


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