T-Mobile officially launches eSIM support for postpaid customers

 

tmobile-esim-iphone

Looks like the rumor was correct. T-Mobile today confirmed that it now officially supports eSIM for postpaid customers.

Starting today, August 28, T-Mobile customers with an eligible eSIM-capable phone can visit a T-Mo store to get their eSIM set up. T-Mobile says that the the current phones that are compatible with its eSIM offering include the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. I’ve asked about support for other devices like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a and will update this post if I hear back.

eSIM is handy because it allows you to have two phone numbers on a single device, even if it’s just got a single physical card slot. This can make life easier for anyone who carries separate phones for their personal and work lives. It’s also useful for traveling overseas, letting you switch to eSIM and then use a physical SIM from an international carrier.

T-Mobile originally launched eSIM support back in December 2018, but at that time, it was only officially available for prepaid lines. It’s good to see T-Mo extend eSIM to postpaid lines now, though it’d be nice if other devices that support eSIM like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a were also officially supported. Hopefully we’ll see more devices added soon.

Now that it’s official, are you going to sign up for eSIM on a postpaid line?

Sources: T-Mobile (1), (2)

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  • Edward Palomares Jr

    iPhone only, could of said that in the headline

    • Mike Smith

      Do Android phones have esim?

      • dcmanryan

        Pixel 3/3XL I’m positive do.

      • MrJohnDoe

        Pixel 2 has esims too.

  • RealLifeJasonBourne

    Prepaid Pixel 3a XL here. They won’t even try to activate the eSIM for me over the phone.

    Would be nice to see any Android support at all…ffs.

    • Albert Orange

      Did you tell them it was a Pixel? Are Pixel ESIMs distinguishable from iPhone ESIMS? I wonder what would happen if you just didn’t tell them it is a Pixel…

      • RealLifeJasonBourne

        I did. If I have to lie to get the support, it’s not worth it. If it gets to a point where I need it, I’ll just switch to a carrier that actually supports it.

        • Also, If I understand it correctly, Pixel doesn’t have Dual Active Dual Standby (software limitation that people had found a way to enable by rooting and doing some modifications), meaning you have to select which line is used (esim or standard) and the other will become inactive until you switch. iPhone has DADS so both lines work at the same time, you just have to select which line will be used for Data as default.

        • RealLifeJasonBourne

          DADS support is included as I understand it, with Android 10.

  • JG

    How do you transfer an eSIM “card” from one phone to another?

    Apple is supposed to release the new iPhone next month in September, and then Google will release the new Pixel the following month in October. I’d imagine many of us will be upgrading to the latest flagship of our respected overlords…

    If they have to do it in store, it might be easier to just wait and have them transfer the eSIM into the new iPhone/Pixel rather than stopping in basically two weeks in a row for the same thing. But if I can do it at home, just pressing a few buttons in the T-Mobile app to pull up a QR code…

  • matt

    And this has to be done in store and no way to avoid the fee ?

    • matt

      They will do it for you in chat for free

  • wbknudsen

    What a let down. Should have known it would only be for iPhones.

  • Mintz

    I’ve had eSIM on my iPhone XS Max – since December last year…
    There were some hacky steps to get it done… T-Mobile store couldn’t help…

    But I asked Support to add my EID to their database – and it worked…

  • dcmanryan

    So someone please explain why everyone is so excited about esim? Personally I’d rather buy a sim and switch phones when and where I want by popping in my sim. We are getting one step closer to getting stuck on a phone until it’s paid off and also paying a fee to switch to a new phone. This is not good news people.

    • Nikos

      Why people keep getting confuse over this?
      It is exactly the same situation as of now. Carriers can lock your eSIM device exactly the same way they do now with your physical SIM device. They cannot do anything on your eSIM-free/Unlocked device, the same way they cannot do anything on your regular SIM unlocked device.

      eSIM has plenty of benefits
      -It can be used as a dual SIM alternative for the phones that have both an eSIM and regular SIM trays (Pixel 2 & 3 devices)
      -You can instantly switch carriers without visiting a Store
      -You can instantly activate a international service when travelling again without visiting a store
      -You do not have to look/maintain for pins to access the SIM tray
      -Maintain multiple numbers and just login as needed

      Also the T-Mobile eSIM is also available for Android Phones, the comments here are incorrect. Call support and do some research. You can setup your phone manually by scanning the barcode listed on T-Mobiles website.

      • dcmanryan

        I’ve never heard of a carrier locking a simcard to a phone. Dual SIM is one advantage of having the virtual sim but with Google Voice it’s hardly a big deal for most and dual SIM is not widely supported in the USA yet. I can easily switch carriers with never stepping foot in a store and have done so many times.

        I’ll give you an example. I buy an iPhone and buy it on payments. TMobile can lock my virtual sim to that number if they choose until it’s paid off. With a simcard I can pop it in any locked TMobile phone or any unlocked TMobile phone and it will work.

        • Nikos

          The carrier cannot lock a Sim-card to a phone, similarly they cannot lock an eSIM to a phone either, what you are afraid of it is technically not possible. They can only lock your device to only accept its own network SIM cards and this is applicable for both SIMs and eSIMs. eSIM is a virtual SIM profile that downloads to your phone and saves the file locally. Exactly the same way you setup for example GMAIL on your phone. You can delete the profile manually and of course, once you factory reset your device that profile gets deleted.

          The current method of setting up eSIMs is pre-mature and is causing a lot of confusion. The best way to understand this, is to see how Google Fi is working on a Google Pixel device. You just log in with your credentials and your SIM profile downloads to the device. Sprint is also supported on the Google SIM/Carrier manager right now. Meaning if you are on Sprint you just login in your Pixel settings and your eSIM profile gets download over the air. Give T-Mobile some time, Google /Apple will support them natively shortly and activating your number on your new device will be as simple as logging in with your T-Mobile My Account credentials.

          Do some research on the eSIM benefits, all the theoretical disadvantages most of the people are worried about in regards to the SIM locking, are literally the same of what we have now with regular-physical SIMs.

          Also, even if you can switch carriers by registering online and not have to go to the store, you still have to get a physical SIM card mailed to you. eSIM make even that scenario better and more convenient for you as you do not have to deal finding or registering the physical SIM at all.

        • dcmanryan

          You missed my point. Say you’re still buying a phone through payments, you want to switch to another phone. I’m the past it was as easy as pulling out a sim. Now you’ll have to call T-Mobile and get them to OK your virtual sim being switched to another virtual sim or sim card. That’s a pain and you’ll have to explain why you’re doing so. Until dual SIM is the norm and WORKS, there’s no advantage of having a virtual sim that I can see. Switching carriers and picking which one to use is not an advantage as we can already do that by switching a sim card.

        • Nikos

          But you don’t have to to that, or even worry about that.
          It works the same way, the difference is instead of swapping physical cards, you just login in settings. I just explained to you that once this is fully roll-out you just login in your phone settings or phone startup screen. It is confusing for now, but everyone will get it once it is fully available. This is completely different than what CDMA networks (like Sprint and Verizon) used to use before adopting LTE and SIMs. Plus Dual Sim (Physical + eSIM) works normally now on both iOS and Android 10.

        • dcmanryan

          Good to know. I was messing with an iPhone and did not see that anywhere. If they’re going to do as you say that will be great. But, until there’s true dual SIM support I still don’t see the point myself as there’s nothing to gain. I promise I can pop a sim card in and out quicker than logging into my account. One good thing is I guess it will eliminate the overpriced sim card fees.

  • matt

    If you change your SIM card to an esim or any other SIM card, make sure you log out of iCloud on your iPhone and log back in

    Full WiFi calling is not available if you don’t sign out of iCloud first

    This means, calls on other devices using WiFi calling will only work when the iPhone is nearby

    If you use WiFi calling and calls on other devices and you want to make and receive calls on all Apple devices using iCloud, regardless if the iPhone is near by and regardless of its even turned on. you have to log out of iCloud and log back in on the iPhone

    • ASolzhenitsyn

      good to know.

  • AnthonyRyan89

    I went to a Tmo store asked about the eSim since I needed to swap out my sim card and they were all like what is eSim

  • JStatt

    Why are they still making us go into the store? So they can charge us the “new” fee for using a human assistant? Just use the same app they already designed for prepaid!

    • AnthonyRyan89

      I did it over the phone all you need is wifi and another device to scan the QR code and you are done.