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esim

Help and support

Help with your esim 

Not sure what an esim is or how they work? Want to know if your phone supports esim and how to set it up? We’re here to help.

What is an esim?

An esim is a virtual sim that’s digitally embedded in your phone and stores the data needed for your phone to connect to the O2 network. It’s similar to a traditional plastic sim, but removes the need to put a physical sim into your phone.

What’s dual sim with esim?

Some phones have an esim as well as a physical sim slot. These are called dual sim with esim phones.

Why have an esim on your dual sim phone?

Dual sim with esim phones offer benefits that aren’t available with a physical sim alone. For example:

  • Having two mobile numbers, each with their own tariff, on a single phone.
  • Having a data tariff with a local network carrier while traveling abroad, without swapping sims.
Can I have two mobile numbers on a dual sim with esim phone? 

Yes, you can combine two separate mobile numbers, including:

  • One business mobile number and one personal mobile number (esim isn’t available for our Enterprise customers at the moment). 
  • Two personal mobile numbers that are on the same account.
  • Two personal mobile numbers that are on separate accounts.
Can I get an O2 esim on Pay As You Go? 

We’re not currently offering esim to our Pay As You Go customers, but we’re working on being able to offer esims to anyone with a compatible phone as soon as possible.

Can I get an O2 esim as an Enterprise customer? 

If you’re an Enterprise customer, you can use an esim if you have a compatible phone.
You can request an esim pack using My O2 Business, or by calling your customer service helpdesk.

We’ll send you an esim voucher with a QR code, which you’ll need to scan using your phone’s camera. You’ll also need a wifi connection. To move your existing mobile number across to an esim, you’ll need the Sim Serial Number (SSN) of your esim profile, which you’ll also find in your esim pack.

Whenever you upgrade or replace your phone, you’ll need a new esim pack. Unlike a plastic sim, esims can’t be moved from one device to another, so you’ll need to request a sim swap from your old esim to your new one.

Not sure how esims work? Take a look through the other FAQs on this page for more information.

Do O2 esims support 5G? 

Yes, you can request a 4G or 5G esim pack. To use 5G, you’ll need to be using a 5G and esim capable device, and may need to change your tariff.

Most dual sim 5G phones will only allow you to use one 5G connection, with the other connection being limited to 4G, regardless of whether an esim or physical sim is being used.

Which O2 devices support esim?

The following devices have both a plastic sim slot and esim capability:

  • iPhone XS Max, XS, XR, 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max and SE 2020
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 4G, S20 5G, S20 5G Plus, S20 Ultra 5G and Z Flip
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 and Watch3
  • Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL
  • Microsoft Surface Pro X.

We’ll continue to add additional esim ready devices as manufacturers release them.

How can I get an O2 esim pack?

O2 4G or 5G esim packs are available for our Pay Monthly and Business customers. There are two ways of getting them:

  • Pop into your local O2 store and ask for an O2 esim pack; or
  • Contact us and ask for an O2 esim pack to be sent to you. 
What do I get in an esim pack?

The esim pack includes a voucher with a QR code which you'll need to scan using your phone’s camera. This will download an esim profile to your device. The esim pack gives you step by step instructions on how to do this.

The esim pack also contains the Sim Serial Number (SSN) of your esim profile, which you'll need in order to move your existing mobile number across to an esim.

What is the esim QR code?

QR codes are a type of barcode which provide easy access to information through a smartphone. Each QR code is unique and needs to be scanned with your phone's camera. There's a QR code reader built into your phone which will launch during esim setup, so there's no need to download a third-party app.

When you scan your esim QR code, the information will be sent back to O2, allowing us to add the esim profile onto your phone safely and securely.

Where can I find the Sim Serial Number for my esim?

The Sim Serial Number (SSN) for your new esim profile is printed on the back of your esim pack. You'll need this to move your existing mobile number across to an esim.

Upgrading your device with esim

Unlike a physical sim card, esim profiles can’t be moved from one device to another. This is to keep esim profiles secure and prevent them from being copied.

  • When you upgrade to a new esim device, you’ll also need to get a new 4G or 5G esim pack.
  • Next, using the instructions below, install the new esim in your new device. Keep your old device and esim where they are for now.
  • Finally, request a sim swap from from your old esim to your new one. You can request a sim swap here. If you’re a business customer, you can swap your sim using MyO2 Business.

During the upgrade process, we’ll need to send you some texts. If possible, you’ll need to keep your old device nearby until the sim swap is complete and your new device is active. Once it’s all complete and you’ve copied all your data to your new device, you can remove the esim profile from your old device.

Does 5G work with Dual Sim?

When using two connections in Dual Sim mode, 5G data isn't supported on either connection, so they’ll both use 4G. If you’re using a single sim only (or have only one sim active) and it’s a 5G one, then you can access 5G wherever it’s available on the O2 network.

Using my esim

About esim for iPhone

Older versions of iOS

We always recommend that you keep your phone’s software up to date. If you’re using a version of iOS older than iOS 13, the process may be slightly different to the one below. You’ll also see an ‘Uncertified Data Plan’ message from Apple when your esim profile is activated, which won’t affect your ability to use an esim.

How do I download an esim onto my iPhone?

To download your esim profile to your iPhone using the QR code: 

  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to wifi.
  • Find the QR code in your esim pack.
  • Go to Settings > Mobile Data.
  • On the ‘Mobile Data’ screen select ‘Add Data Plan’.
  • Use your phone’s camera to scan the QR code and confirm by pressing ‘Add Data Plan’.
  • As part of the setup you'll be able to assign a name to each mobile number. You can also choose which mobile number to use by default for data, calls and texts.
  • You can change these settings whenever you like by going to Settings > Mobile Data > Default Voice Line / Mobile Data.
What if my esim QR code or iPhone camera is damaged?

iPhone users can manually download their esim profile if the QR code or phone camera is damaged.

To download your esim profile onto your iPhone manually: 

  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to wifi.
  • Find the QR code in your esim pack.
  • Go to Settings > Mobile Data.
  • On the ‘Mobile Data’ screen select ‘Add Data Plan’.
  • Then select ‘Enter Details Manually’.
  • On the ‘Enter Activation Code’ screen, carefully complete the two fields ad follows:
    • SM-DP+ Address: cel.prod.ondemandconnectivity.com
    • Activation code: This code is printed underneath the QR code in your esim pack. To make it easier to read, we've split it into blocks of 4 characters. Enter the code without any spaces, making sure to use the same case for letters.
    • Confirmation code: Leave this blank - it's not needed for O2 esims.
What about esim on my iPad?

If you have a connected iPad that supports esim and you’re currently using it with a physical sim, you can request an esim pack and swap your your iPad onto it. You’ll need to call us or visit an O2 store to swap the sim over – we need to send text messages as part of the sim swap process, which iPad doesn’t support.

You can find a list of iPads that support esim on the Apple website.

If I'm using both my physical sim and esim, does that mean I have two mobile numbers?

Yes – if both sims are active, they’ll each have their own number.

Can I call and text from both mobile numbers?

Yes – you can make and receive calls and texts from both numbers.

How do I know which mobile number I’m using?

Initially, all your contacts will be assigned to the mobile number you chose during setup. After setup, you can choose which number is the default for outgoing calls to any of your contacts.

When dialling a number using the on-screen keypad, you can choose which mobile number to call from by selecting it at the top of the screen.

For incoming calls, your iPhone will identify mobile number you're receiving the call on by displaying the first one or two letters of the name you gave to each number, for example ‘P’ for Personal or ‘B’ for business. If the name of your two numbers both have the same first letter, it’ll display (for example) Personal and Private they would be ‘Pe’ and ‘Pr’.

Can I use iMessage and FaceTime on both mobile numbers on my iPhone?

No, it's only possible to use iMessage and FaceTime with one mobile number - the one you selected during setup. You can change the default mobile number whenever you want, just go to Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.

Can I use data when I'm on a call on my iPhone?

Data will only work during a call using your default mobile number, unless you turn on Mobile Data Switching.

To do this, go to Settings > Mobile Data > Mobile Data Switching. This will automatically switch numbers for mobile data when you're on a call.

How can I find out more information about dual sim with esim on iPhone?

Visit Apple's support page for more information.

About esim for Google Pixel (Android)

How do I download an esim onto my Google Pixel?

To download your esim profile onto your Google Pixel using the QR code:

  • Make sure your Google Pixel is connected to wifi.
  • Find the QR code in your esim pack.

For Android Q:

  • Go to Settings > Network and Internet.
  • Click the + button for ‘Mobile network’.
  • Select ‘Don’t have a sim card? Download your sim instead’.
  • On the following screen click ‘Next’.
  • Choose ‘OK’ to use wifi to download the esim profile.

For Android P:

  • Go to Settings > Mobile Network > Operator.
  • Select ‘Add Operator’.

You'll be asked to use your phone’s camera to scan the QR Code and the esim profile will download. You'll be prompted to activate your new esim, then asked whether you want to use the esim or your physical sim (if you have one installed).

What if my esim QR code or Google Pixel phone camera is damaged?

Google Pixel users can manually download their esim profile if the QR code or phone camera is damaged.

To download your esim profile onto your Google Pixel manually:

  • Make sure your Google Pixel is connected to wifi.
  • Find your manual activation code in your esim pack.

On the ‘Scan QR code from network’ screen, select ‘Need help’. On the ‘Help adding a network’ screen, underneath ‘Having trouble scanning your QR code’, you can tap ‘Enter it manually’.

You'll be taken to the ‘Add network provider’ screen. This will involve some careful typing and you’ll need to enter everything exactly as shown below. Don’t press ‘Continue’ until the end:

  • Start by typing: 1$
  • Then type: cel.prod.ondemandconnectivity.com
  • Then type: $
  • Finally look for the activation code in your esim pack: This code is printed underneath the QR code in your esim pack. To make it easier to read, we’ve split it into blocks of 4 characters. Enter the code without any spaces, making sure to use the same case for letters.
  • Tap ‘Continue’

If everything is correct, your Google Pixel will ask, ‘Use O2 UK?’ Tap ‘Activate’ to finish setting up your esim profile.

If you see an error, you may have made a mistake typing the details above. Try it again and if you still can’t get it to work, get in touch with us.

If I have both a physical sim and an esim profile on my Google Pixel phone, does that mean I can use two mobile numbers?

The way this works varies from one Google Pixel phone model to another.  On the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL you must choose between the esim profile or the physical sim. Only one can be active.

Other models of Google Pixel operate differently; check with Google for further information.

How can I find out more information about esim on Google Pixel?

Visit Google Pixel support page for more information.

About esim for Samsung (Android)

How do I download an esim onto my Samsung phone?

To download your esim profile onto your Samsung phone using the QR code:

  • Make sure your phone is connected to wifi.
  • Find your QR code in your esim pack.
  • Go to Settings > Connections.
  • Select ‘SIM card manager’.
  • Click the + button for ‘Add mobile plan’ under esims.
  • Select ‘Add using QR code’.
  • Use your phone's camera to scan your QR code. The esim profile will download and you'll be asked to activate your new esim.
What if my esim QR code or Samsung phone camera is damaged?

Samsung users can manually download their esim profile if the QR code or phone camera is damaged.

To download your esim profile onto your Samsung phone manually:

• Make sure your phone is connected to wifi.

• Find your manual activation code in your esim pack.

On the ‘Add mobile plan’ screen, select ‘Add using activation code’. You'll be taken to a new screen where you can enter an activation code. This will involve some careful typing and you’ll need to enter everything exactly as shown below. Don’t press ‘Continue’ until the end:

Start by typing: LPA:1$

Then type: cel.prod.ondemandconnectivity.com

Then type: $

Finally look for the activation code in your esim pack: This code is printed underneath the QR code in your esim pack. To make it easier to read, we’ve split it into blocks of 4 characters. Enter the code without any spaces, making sure to use the same case for letters.

Tap ‘Continue’

If everything is correct, your phone will ask, ‘Use O2 UK?’ Tap ‘Activate’ to finish setting up your esim profile.

If you see an error, you may have made a mistake typing the details above. Try it again and if you still can’t get it to work, get in touch with us.

If I have both a physical sim and an esim profile on my Samsung phone, does that mean I can use two mobile numbers?

The way this works varies between Samsung models.

On the Samsung Galaxy S20 4G, you’ll need to choose between the esim profile or the physical sim. Only one can be active.

On the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G, S20 5G Plus or S20 Ultra 5G, you can use either two physical sims, or one physical sim and an esim. You can’t use all three together.

Where can I find more information about esim on Samsung phones?

Visit Samsung support for more information.

About esim for Microsoft Surface Pro X (Windows 10)

How do I swap from a physical sim to an esim on my Windows 10 device?

You’ll need to call us or visit an O2 store to do the sim swap – we need to send text messages as part of the sim swap process, which Windows 10 doesn’t support.

How do I download an esim onto my Microsoft Surface Pro X or other Windows 10 device?

To download your esim profile onto your Surface Pro X or other Windows 10 esim device using the QR code:

  • Make sure your device is connected to wifi.
  • Find the QR code in your esim pack.
  • Go to Settings > Network & Internet.
  • Choose ‘Cellular’ from the list of connection types.
  • Select esim from the ‘Use this sim for cellular data’ drop down menu; the screen will now display esim settings.
  • Select ‘Manage esim profiles’ followed by ‘Add a new profile’.
  • Choose ‘Let me enter an activation code that I have from my mobile operator’ and click ‘Next’.
  • You’ll now be able to scan your QR Code.
  • Click ‘Yes’ to download and install the ‘O2 – UK’ profile.
  • When you see the ‘New profile is ready’ screen, click ‘Close’ and your esim profile is ready.
  • Windows will now set up your O2 mobile broadband connection.
What if my esim QR code is damaged or I don’t have a working camera?

Windows 10 users can manually download their esim profile if the QR code is damaged or they don’t have a working camera.

To download your esim profile onto your Windows 10 device manually:

  • Make sure your device is connected to wifi.
  • Find your manual activation code in your esim pack.

When the ‘Scan QR code’ screen is open there is a text box labelled ‘Activation code’ where you can enter your activation code manually.

The will involve some careful typing on your part and you’ll need to enter everything exactly as shown below. Don’t press ‘Next’ until the end:

  • Start by typing: LPA:1$
  • Then type: cel.prod.ondemandconnectivity.com
  • Then type: $
  • Finally look for the activation code in your esim pack: This code is printed underneath the QR code in your esim pack. To make it easier to read, we’ve split it into blocks of 4 characters. Enter the code without any spaces, making sure to use the same case for letters.
  • Tap ‘Next’.
  • Click ‘Yes’ to download and install the 'O2 - UK' profile.
  • When you see ‘New profile is ready’ screen click ‘Close’ and your esim profile is ready.
  • Windows will now setup your O2 mobile broadband connection.

If you see an error, you may have made a mistake typing the details above. Try it again and if you still can’t get it to work, get in touch with us.

How can I find out more information about esim on Windows 10?

Visit Microsoft WIndows 10 eSIM support for more information.

About esim for Samsung Connected Watches

How do I download my esim onto my Samsung Connected Watch?

If you buy your Samsung Connected Watch from O2, we’ll set up your Airtime Plan for you and provide you with an esim pack. You can then activate the esim when you set up your watch.

If you don’t already have it, download the Galaxy Wearable app from the Play Store on your Smartphone.

Once downloaded, open the app.

With your watch turned on and placed next to your phone, follow the on-screen instructions on both your phone and watch to set up.

During the setup process, you’ll reach a step called ‘Mobile service for your watch’. This will allow you to scan the QR Code on your esim voucher using the camera of the phone.

Once scanned, the esim will be set up on your watch.

Once set up, there’s one more setting to check: On your phone, go to Settings > Advanced Features and enable ‘Call & text on other devices’.

You can also tap on ‘Call & text on other devices’ to manage those settings further, such as enabling ‘Use mobile data for calls and texts’.

Can I get an esim for a Samsung Connected Watch that I already own?

Yes - we offer a Pay Monthly esim plan for Samsung Connected Watches, only in O2 stores. You’ll need Galaxy Watch Active2 4G or Galaxy Watch3 4G, plus a compatible Samsung phone connected to O2.

How do I reactivate my esim after restoring all content and settings on my Samsung Connected Watch?

If you reset your watch, you’ll need to go through the pairing process again. As part of the process, the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone will recognise that there’s already an active esim in the watch and will connect it automatically.

If you reset your watch’s network settings, the esim connection will be removed and you’ll need to scan the QR code from your esim voucher again when pairing your watch.

The QR code on your esim voucher can be used three times in total. After this, you’ll need to visit an O2 store or contact us for a new esim voucher.

Other important information

What should I do with my esim pack when I'm finished?

Once your esim profile is successfully downloaded to your phone, we suggest keeping your esim pack somewhere safe in case you need to re-use the QR code.

I’ve accidently deleted my esim from my phone, what do I do?

Don’t worry - if you still have your esim pack, you can download the esim profile again onto the same phone.

If you don’t still have your esim pack, you'll need visit an O2 store or contact us to get a new one.

Can I reuse my QR code?

If you need to, you can use your QR code up to three times in total on the same phone.

Can I use my QR code with another phone?

No, once you've used your QR code with a phone, the esim profile is locked to that phone.  If you're moving to a new phone, you'll need to get a new esim pack and swap your number over from your old esim profile.

What do I need to do when I upgrade or change my phone?

If you’re upgrading or changing your phone, you’ll need a new esim or, if your new phone isn’t esim compatible, a physical sim. If you’re using an esim, follow the instructions on this page to download and install it. If you’re using a physical sim, insert it as usual. Finally, head to our sim swap page for help moving your number across to your new sim and phone.

What happens to numbers and text messages stored on my esim if I change devices?

The esim itself doesn’t store any of your saved data - all of your phonebook entries and texts will be stored on your phone and never on the esim. That way you won’t lose any data when you move from one esim device to another.

Sim Swap

How do I move my current mobile number onto my new esim?

You can move your mobile number across once you’ve completed the esim download and setup.

You’ll need the Sim Serial Number (SSN) for your new esim profile, which is printed on the back of your esim pack. You'll also need your current sim so we can send you a security text.

Once you’ve submitted your sim swap request, it can take up to 24 hours to complete. You may find that your texts, voice calls and data start working at different times while the swap takes place.

If you don’t have access to your current sim then you’ll need to call us or pop into your local O2 store.

Returns and repairs

Returning or repairing your iPhone if you use an esim

If you’re returning your iPhone for repair or replacement and you’re using an esim, you'll need to request a replacement physical sim or esim pack, so you can continue to use your existing mobile number with a temporary phone. Once you’ve moved your existing mobile number across to your replacement physical sim or esim, you’ll need to follow the steps below::

  • Back up all your data to iCloud and iTunes
  • Go to Settings > Account > iCloud and turn off ‘Find My iPhone’
  • Go to Settings > General > Reset and select ‘Erase All Content and Settings’.
  • Select ‘Erase iPhone’
  • Following the ‘Erase iPhone’ prompt, select ‘Erase All’

The iPhone will now remove all your content, ready for return.

Returning or repairing your Google Pixel 3 or Google Pixel 3 XL if you use an esim

If you’re returning your Pixel for repair or replacement and you’re using an esim, you'll need to request a replacement physical sim or esim pack, so you can continue to use your existing mobile number with a temporary phone. Once you’ve moved your existing mobile number across to your replacement physical sim or esim, you’ll need to follow the steps below:

  • Make sure you know the Google account details of the phone.
  • Backup the phone’s data to your Google account.
  • Connect your phone and keep it plugged in during the factory reset.
  • Open your phone's Settings app.
  • Tap ‘System’, then ‘Advanced’, then ‘Reset options’.
  • Tap ‘Erase all data (factory reset)’. Check that the box to ‘Erase Downloaded simss’ is ticked and tap ‘Erase all data’. If needed, enter your pin, pattern or password.
  • To erase all data from your phone's internal storage, tap ‘Erase everything’.
  • When your phone has finished erasing, pick the option to Restart.
Returning or repairing your Samsung device if you use an esim

If you’re returning your Samsung for repair or replacement and you’re using an esim, you'll need to request a replacement physical sim or esim pack, so you can continue to use your existing mobile number with a temporary phone. Once you’ve moved your existing mobile number across to your replacement physical sim or esim, you’ll need to follow the steps below:

  • Make sure you know the Google account details of the phone.
  • Backup the phone’s data to your Google account.
  • Connect your phone and keep it plugged in during the factory reset.
  • Open your phone's Settings app
  • Tap ‘General Management’, then ‘Reset’.
  • Tap ‘Factory data reset’. Read all the information that is displayed about what will be deleted and make sure you have everything backed up. At the bottom of the screen there is an option to include esims. Tap the button to enable ‘All esims on your phone will be erased…’ and then tap ‘Reset. If needed, enter your pin, pattern or password.
  • You must confirm the reset by tapping ‘Delete all’.
  • When your phone has finished erasing, you will be taken to the initial setup screen.

Terms and Conditions

O2 esims are subject to our Pay Monthly Mobile Agreement terms which can be found here.

If you have both an esim and a physical sim in your device, you will need to set one of them as your default data line in your device settings. You will only be able to receive one call at a time; during a call, any incoming calls to the other number will be diverted to voicemail.

If you are using an O2 esim in a device from O2 and your device needs to be returned for repair or replacement, you can:

  • Request a temporary physical sim to use in another device until your device is returned or replaced (you will need photo ID to obtain a replacement sim); or
  • Request a temporary esim pack to use in another compatible device until your device is returned or replaced (you will need photo ID to obtain a replacement esim).
  • In either scenario listed above, before returning your device, you will need to transfer your existing mobile number across to your temporary sim by texting SWAP to 20220 from your O2 phone or visiting http://o2.co.uk/swapmysim

If either your physical sim or esim is terminated or suspended by us for a breach of Your Pay Monthly Mobile Agreement, the other sim may be terminated or suspended too. This may also result in your device being blacklisted.

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