eSIM for iPhone: What you need to know

This article provides information on using an eSIM in eligible iPhone models.

eSIM is available to existing, new or recontracting Postpaid Mobile customers with an iPhone XSXS Max and XR, running iOS 12.2 or later.

Click here for information on Number Share.


What is eSIM?

An eSIM is an embedded SIM card that removes the need for a physical SIM.

eSIM in the iPhone allows you to use two phone numbers on the same phone at the same time; one using the physical SIM slot and one using the eSIM. This means you can make and receive calls from two different mobile numbers without the need to switch between SIMs / phones. 

eSIM is a form of dual SIM. You can read more about dual SIM here.


How to order / change to an eSIM

If you have a compatible iPhone, you will need an eSIM QR codeto activate your eSIM.

QR stands for ‘Quick Response Code’. A QR code is a square barcode used for storing URLs or other information. It can be read using the camera on your smartphone. To scan a QR code, simply open your smartphone’s camera app and point it at the code.





For Optus customers, eSIM QR codes are only available in-store.

The codes will be available in all stores from April 12, 2019.

For Optus business customers, eSIM QR codes are only available to order on My Business Portal in the same way as a physical SIM card.


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How to activate an eSIM

You will be provided with a QR code that is used to activate the eSIM.

Once you have the QR code, follow the below steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Tap either Cellular or Mobile Data
  3. Tap Add Mobile Plan or Add Cellular Plan
  4. Use your iPhone to scan the QR code

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How to use two phone numbers

The eSIM capability in the iPhone allows you to use two phone numbers on the same phone at the same time, provided you have:

  • Consumer: two active Postpaid Mobile plans
  • Business: two active mobile plans

Once the eSIM has been activated, you can set either the eSIM or the physical SIM as your primary number. The primary number is the default number used for outbound calls. You can manually override the primary number to use the secondary number at any time.

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There is no charge for the eSIM QR code and initial eSIM setup. The eSIM simply functions as an alternative to the existing physical SIM card.

The QR code can be scanned at any time after completing the initial eSIM setup. Each QR code can only be scanned once. 

You can request another QR code if the previous code is lost before it is scanned.

Using the physical SIM and the eSIM will allow you to use two phone numbers from one compatible phone provided you have two active mobile plans (postpaid plans only for consumers); one number will become the primary number, the other the secondary number.

Currently eSIM is not available for consumer customers using prepaid mobile. It is only available on postpaid for consumer customers.

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