Mobile Phone in Mauritius

In an earlier post, I mentioned that we purchased the my.t tourist package. In this article, I will explain how to configure the iPhone when using the Dual SIM feature.

Fig. 1: All Configurations are in Cellular

In Canada I have the Koodo mobile service, and when I arrived in Mauritius I purchased the my.t tourist package. This package can be provisioned with an eSim. An eSim is an electronic SIM card. This is a digital, virtual SIM card residing in the secure memory of the phone instead of a physical SIM card. Any iPhone above an iPhone Xs has the ability to add one or more eSIM card. My Koodo service has an existing physical SIM card already within my iPhone. Both the eSIM card and the existing physical Koodo SIM card can coexist on the iPhone. In other words, the iPhone can access both networks at the same time. This is essentially the Dual SIM feature.

Fig. 2: Adding an eSIM

To add the eSIM, simply goto Cellular Settings and select Add eSIM. You will need to scan the QR code which is provided by the my.t provider. This is important. Remember that you must have WiFi service before you scan the QR code. We did this at the airport using the telecom kiosk WiFi. You can have eight or more eSIM installed but only two phone numbers active at the same time, so this is quite a handy feature if you frequently travel to many destinations.

Once the eSIM is activated, you should have my.t service in Mauritius. By default the iPhone labeled my existing Koodo service as Primary and my my.t service as Personal. I renamed the Personal to Travel as depicted in Fig. 2. I also make sure that Cellular Data and Default Voice Line is using the Travel (my.t) service.

Fig. 3: Ensure Data Roaming is OFF

The other thing that I did was to ensure that Data Roaming is off. See Fig. 3. You can do this by tapping into the details of the SIM service. In my case, I tapped on “Travel”.

I also went online to Koodo self-service and activated Easy Roam® International. At this point, you are probably wondering why are you roaming with Koodo when you already have a local Mauritian eSIM? The answer is that I am simply enabling Koodo roaming services but will actually not be using it. The Koodo roaming needs to be enabled so that my existing Koodo phone number is “reachable” by voice and SMS from Canada and elsewhere.

Fig. 4: My Primary Service Configuration

To ensure that I do not roam on the Koodo network, I then have to make sure that Data Roaming for my Primary service is also turned off, as depicted in Fig. 4. Notice that the “Network Selection” is EMTEL-MRU instead of Koodo, because Koodo is roaming under EMTEL.

So now while I’m in Mauritius when I use data and voice, by default it will use the my.t local Mauritian service. However, I am also reachable from Canada with my existing Koodo number. Koodo roaming is only activated if I accept an inbound call from Canada or other international countries other than Mauritius. Not to worry, receiving international SMS messages is free. This is especially handy for two factor authentications, like logging into a bank. You can even customize which service each contact should use, but I won’t go into that here.

Any apps that uses your primary number, like WhatsApp and WeChat will still be okay, because that number is still active, but those apps will use the local data service. You do not need to change your number that is associated with WhatsApp and WeChat.

If all goes well, your iPhone should report dual services.

Fig. 5: This is what your iPhone

Finally I turned on automatic Data Switching, so when I go back home to Canada, Koodo data will be used again.

Fig. 6: Turn on data switching

Hopefully you will find this useful.

To Mauritius!

September 19 6:55pm (Toronto):

Today we are heading off to Mauritius, taking an Air France flight this evening. I’m going to try to live blog our travel experience here. It has been several years since our last flight, so it will be interesting to see how much have changed and what remains the same.

We arrived at the airport about 4 hours prior to our flight. The check-in counter for Air France / KLM in Terminal 3 opened about 3.5 hours before the flight. This was perfect timing. We had our bags checked and passed security in about 45 minutes since arriving at the airport.

The terminal is super busy. Glad that masks are mandatory here. We situated ourselves in front of Smoke’s Burritorie to kill about 2 hours or so.

September 20 3:33am (In Air):

Just finished breakfast and we are close to Paris now. Ended up paying for Wifi on the flight costing about $45 for the entire flight. Caught up on the House of Dragons and did some surfing.

Flight Information

September 20 11:31am (CDG Paris):

Even though we are connecting and going through the same terminal (2E), we still had to go through security. The security at CDG airport is more strict. Anything that is electronics had to be taken out. This is quite different than in Toronto. A couple of us were caught and had to get our bags separately inspected. Now we are going to the gate for our connecting flight to Mauritius.

Our layover is approximately 5 hours long. We spent the time snacking and napping. I was partially amazed that our Apple Pay continues to work flawlessly with my Apple Watch at the airport. However, not all electrical outlets had power. This is a bit of a mystery. My theory is that power consumption that is impacting the entire EU, and perhaps this is an energy conservation policy that is being enacted. Just 30 minutes before our boarding, we finally discovered an active outlet. We quickly charged our Apple Watches that were all on their last legs.

September 20 3:30pm (CDG Paris – Gate M45 – Boarding):

During the boarding process, half of us had no issues with our electronic boarding passes and their corresponding QR codes worked flawlessly. The other half were sidelined to get our passport rechecked. I am not sure if this is a random selection process, or something went wrong with the QR code validation.

September 21 5:50am (Mauritius Airport):

There was no issues with immigration, since we had our health information form all previously filled out. We got to baggage claim quite quickly.

Mobile shop at airport

I previously signed up for the my.t tourist package. My expectation was that once we landed we can just scan the eSim with the QR codes provisioned after my registration. Unfortunately, this did not go as plan. Our cell activations with the provided QR code continuously fail to activate. While other waited for our checked baggages at the baggage claim area, I went out first to the telecom kiosk to see if we can resolve the activation issue.

I was told by the representative, that a face-to-face check-in is required at the kiosk so that a passport authentication can be performed prior to the activation of the eSim. All of this makes sense, I just wished they told us this when they provided the QR code!

The good news is that everything got sorted out and we all had our dual eSim ready to go online and make calls.

September 21 7:15am (Mauritius Airport – Parking Lot):

Our vacation home

We found our driver and started our journey to our vacation home. This took much longer than I thought. The traffic in Mauritius was horrendous! Someone needs to tell urban planning that roundabouts and motorways do not mix. The concept of on and off ramps are the way to go.

September 21 9:00am (Mauritius – Trou aux Biches):

Finally reached our home away from home. The host was very gracious and nice, and the hand over was without a hitch.

Another Car Reservation

Last year on July 27, 2021, I placed a reservation for a RAV4 Prime with a Toyota dealer. It is now over one year, and the latest news from the dealer is that I am in position number three. However, they are currently only getting one or two cars a year!

Our initial take on the RAV4 Prime is that it is a hybrid, so it eliminates any range anxiety while still satisfies any day-to-day trips with a 60km all battery range. We have good experience with our Prius Prime which offers us a similar hybrid experience but with only a 35-40 km battery range.

Toyota RAV 4 Prime

While we continue the wait, it looks like many more electric vehicles (other than Tesla’s) are coming on the scene. There are recent additions from BYD, Polestar, Ford, Hyundai, and KIA. What caught my eye from a recent YouTube-surfing-session is the Hyundai Ioniq 5. This vehicle was introduced last December and is now “available for sale” in Canada. It has comparable range (~400km) and charge speed (350 kW DC) with the Tesla Model Y, sans the hefty price tag.


The styling and look of the Ioniq 5 was not appealing to my taste. I then learned that the KIA EV6 is essentially the same vehicle but has a more traditional and sporty styling. Also a quick online build & price investigation showed that the Ioniq is a couple of thousand more expensive if we want to match the AWD long range trims.

So after much YouTube and online research, today I placed another car reservation for the KIA EV6. I opted for the trim named, AWD Long Range with GT-Line Package 1. I skipped the sunroof and the more fancied seats.

The bad news is that the sales guy is projecting a “three years” wait! He says that much of this will depend on supply chain issues. There is a good chance that it will be much sooner than the current projection.

On a side note, here is something else I discovered relating to KIA quality.

JD Power: Click for orignal source

I did not realize KIA ranked so high. The Buick and Dodge brand frankly surprised me as well. I wonder the accuracy on the above report, so take it for what it’s worth.

Nevertheless, I am keeping the RAV 4 reservation to see what options I have in 2023. Today, I also discovered that the Model Y may get a price cut and start sporting the new LFP batteries from CATL.

We will see! Who knew that buying an EV in 2022 is so difficult! This does not bold well for the planet.