guru

Help and Support

eSIM

Help with your eSIM 

Not sure what an eSIM is or how they work? Want to know if your phone supports eSIM? What about how to download an eSIM profile onto your eSIM compatible phone? We’re here to help.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM is a sim card which is embedded in your phone. The eSIM stores data that’s downloaded and is needed for your phone to connect to the O2 network, similar to traditional plastic sim cards, without needing to put the sim into your phone.

What’s Dual Sim with eSIM?

Some phones have an eSIM as well as a plastic sim card slot. These are called Dual Sim with eSIM phones.

Why have an eSIM on your Dual Sim Phone?

Dual Sim with eSIM phones open up lots of opportunities that aren’t available with just a plastic sim. For example:

  • Having two mobile numbers each with their own tariff, tied to a single phone.
  • Having a data tariff with a foreign 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. We’re working on this and it won’t be long before we can offer eSIMs to all our customers with compatible phones. 

Can I get an O2 eSIM as an Enterprise customer? 

Our Enterprise customers can’t get an eSIM on their phones just yet. We’re working on this and it won’t be long before we can offer eSIMs to all our customers with compatible phones. 

Do O2 eSIMs support 5G? 

No, not just yet. We're working on this, but at the moment our eSIMs only support 2G, 3G and 4G. 

Which O2 phones support eSIM?

The iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL have both a plastic sim card slot and an eSIM. More phones will be added in 2019.

How can I get an O2 eSIM pack?

O2 eSIM packs are available for our Pay Monthly and Business customers. There are two ways of getting them:

  1. Pop into your local O2 store and ask for an O2 eSIM pack; or
  2. Call Customer Service and ask for an O2 eSIM pack to be sent to you. If you’re a Pay Monthly customer, call us on 202. If you’re a Business customer, call us on 8002.
What do I get in an eSIM pack?

The eSIM pack includes a QR code which you'll need to scan using your phone’s camera. This will download an eSIM profile to your phone. 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 if you want to move your existing mobile number across to your new eSIM profile.

What is the eSIM QR code?

QR codes are a type of barcode used to provide easy access to information through a smartphone. The codes are unique and need 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 pack 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 if you want to move your existing mobile number across to your new eSIM profile.

Using my eSim

eSIM for iPhone (iOS 13)

What about iOS 12?

iOS 13 should be out by the time you read this.  We expect customers will upgrade to iOS 13 very soon after it becomes available.  If you are still running on iOS 12 you can setup and use your eSIM profile from O2 exactly as shown below.  You may see some minor differences and you will get an ‘Uncertified Data Plan’ message from Apple when your eSIM profile is activated.  This message has been removed from iOS 13 and is nothing to worry about.

How do I download an eSIM onto my iPhone?

To download your eSIM profile onto your phone using the QR code: 

  • Make sure your phone is connected to wifi.
  • Find your 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. Then confirm by pressing ‘Add Data Plan’.
  • As part of the setup you'll be able to assign a name to each mobile number and 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 phone is connected to wifi.
  • Find your 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, there are two fields to fill in:
    • 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 have split it up into blocks of 4 characters. Enter the code without any spaces making sure to use the same case for letters.
    • Confirmation Code: This is not needed for O2 and should be left blank.
What about eSIM on my iPad?

If you have a connected iPad that supports eSIM and you are currently using it with an O2 plastic sim, you can request an eSIM pack and swap your O2 plastic sim to an O2 eSIM.  You will need to call us or pop in store to do the SIM swap – you can’t send or receive SMS messages on your iPad to use the SMS or online SIM swap processes.   Apple publishes a list of iPads that support eSIM on their website. Click here for details.

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

Yes, if you have both sims active it means that you have two different mobile numbers.

Can I make and receive calls and texts from both mobile numbers?

Yes, you can make and receive calls and messages from both of your mobile numbers.

How do I know which mobile number I’m using on my iPhone?

To start with all your contacts will be assigned to the mobile number you chose during setup. To change this, go to a contact and choose the default mobile number to be used for that person.

If you're just entering a phone number straight into the dialler, you'll be able to choose which mobile number to call from by selecting that mobile number at the top of the screen.

For incoming calls, there's an indicator to show which mobile number you're receiving the call on - this will be the first one or two letters of the name you assigned to each mobile number. So if your labels are called Personal and Business, the call indicator would be ‘P’ or ‘B’ (if they were 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 Messages.

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

Data will only work if you’re on a call using you 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 mobile 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.

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 phone is connected to wifi.
  • Find your 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 then be asked to 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 and choose whether you want to use the eSIM or your plastic sim, if you have one in the phone.

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 phone is connected to wifi.
  • Find your manual activation code in your eSIM pack.

When the ‘Scan QR code from network’ screen is open, select ‘Need help’. Then 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. The next part is a bit tricky and will involve some careful typing on your part:

You’ll need to enter everything exactly as shown below. Don’t press ‘Continue’ until we say:

  • 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 have split it up into blocks of 4 characters. Enter the code without any spaces making sure to use the same case for letters.
  • Tap on ‘Continue’

If everything is correct, you’ll be taken to a screen showing ‘Use O2 UK?’ with an ‘Activate’ button. Tap on it to activate your eSIM profile.

If you get an error, you may have made a mistake typing the details above. Have another go and if you still can’t get it to work give us a call.

If I have both a plastic 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.  For the Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL you must choose between the eSIM profile or the plastic SIM.  Only one can be active.

Other models of Google Pixel behave differently and you should check with Google for further information.

How can I find out more information about Dual SIM with eSIM on Google Pixel?

Visit Google Pixel support page for more information.

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 you put your eSIM pack somewhere safe in case you need to re-use your QR code to download your eSIM profile again to the same phone.

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

If you’ve accidently deleted the eSIM profile from your phone, don’t panic. 

If you still have your eSIM pack, you can download the eSIM profile again onto the same phone.

If you don’t have your eSIM pack anymore, you'll need a new one. You can get this by calling Customer Service or popping in to your local O2 store.

Can I reuse my QR code?

If you need to, you can use your QR code two more times with the same phone, after the initial download.

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 mobile number over from your old eSIM profile.

What happens to numbers and text messages stored on my eSIM if I move devices?

You can’t store any of your own data on the eSIM itself. 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.

There are two ways to move your mobile number across:

  • Go to o2.co.uk/swapmysim and follow the instructions.
  • Text SWAP to 20220 from your O2 phone and follow the instructions.

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

Returns and repairs

Returning or repairing your iPhone if you use an eSIM

If you’re using an eSIM and need to return your iPhone to O2, first you'll need to do the following:

  • 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’

Your phone will remove all your content and will be ready to return to O2.  If you’re returning your phone for repair, you'll also need to request a replacement plastic sim or replacement eSIM pack, so you can continue to use your mobile number with a temporary phone.

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

If you’re using an eSIM and need to return your Google Pixel to O2, first you need to perform a factory reset on your phone:

  • 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 SIMs’ is ticked and then 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.

If you’re returning your phone for repair, you'll also need to request a replacement plastic sim or replacement eSIM pack so you can continue to use your mobile number with a temporary phone.

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 plastic sim in your device, you will need to set one of these as your default data line in your device settings. You will only be able to receive one call at a time and missed calls will be diverted to voicemail on the relevant plastic sim or eSIM.   

If you purchased your device from O2 which is using an O2 eSIM and your device needs to be returned for repair or replacement you can: 

  • request a temporary plastic sim to use in another device until your initial dual sim device is returned (you will need photo ID to obtain a replacement plastic SIM); or
  • request another temporary eSIM pack to use in another dual sim device until your initial dual sim device is returned (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 using o2.co.uk/swapmysim

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

Was this information helpful? Yes | No

Thank you for sending your feedback.

Topics from O2 Community