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Having just switched eSIM carriers on my iPhone, in this guide, I'll share my personal experience as well as help you find the best eSIM carriers for your iPhone and your needs.

If you're fed up with expensive cell phone bills and being stuck in lengthy contracts, keep reading to find out how to save money and get the ultimate flexibility with cheap eSIM plans.

1: Check your iPhone compatibility

The first step in your money-saving journey is to make sure your iPhone supports eSIM. Thankfully, most of the latest iPhone models do.

In fact, the new iPhone 14 series is embracing eSIM technology so much that they are eSIM-only.

You can easily check your current iPhone's eSIM-compatible by going to Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan. If you see this option, your iPhone is compatible. You'll also need to make sure your phone's unlocked from your previous carrier.


2: Research and compare eSIM carriers for iPhone

The next thing to do is think about what you need from your eSIM plan. Then, when you're comparing eSIM carriers, you can make sure they have a plan that fits your needs.

MVNOs offer a range of affordable plans, but not all currently support eSIM. So, it's important to research carriers that offer eSIM plans and compare prices, data limits, and coverage to find the perfect fit for your usage habits.

Remember that most people don't actually need the unlimited plans the major networks have convinced us are necessary. It's worth tracking your data usage to find out your average monthly data use so you can save money on a set data plan.


3: Activate your eSIM on your iPhone

Once you've chosen your new eSIM carrier and plan, rather than fumbling around to transfer a physical SIM card, Apple has made activating an eSIM on your iPhone easy.

If your carrier supports Quick Transfer, you can follow the below steps:

  1. Backup: First, back up your old iPhone to iCloud or your computer.
  2. Setup your new iPhone Turn on your new device and begin the setup process. During setup, look for an option saying "Transfer Cellular Plan."
  3. Transfer eSIM: Follow the on-screen instructions to transfer your eSIM.
  4. Check your connection: Once it's completed, try making a call to check connectivity. Once the transfer is complete, iOS normally deactivates the plan on your old iPhone. But it's always best to double-check.

If your carrier doesn't support Quick Transfer, you can follow these steps:

  1. eSIM details: You'll be given an eSIM activation card or QR code from your chosen carrier.
  2. Access settings: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Then tap on Cellular > Add Cellular Plan.
  3. Scan QR code: Use your iPhone's camera app to scan the QR code given by your eSIM carrier. You can also tap "Enter details manually" if you choose.
  4. Confirmation: Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the eSIM carrier activation and obtain a confirmation code.

4: Set your default line

After activating your eSIM, you can set your default line for calls, texts, and data.

This is the line that your iPhone will use by default, but you can always switch between your eSIM and physical SIM card if needed.


Which MVNOs support eSIMs?

MVNOs are an excellent option if you want a reliable service at half the cost of an eSIM plan from one of the big three.

These low-cost carriers operate on the same major networks but offer plans starting from around $10 a month. In fact, choosing an eSIM plan with an MVNO could not only save you up to $700 a year, but with no contracts, it's easy to switch your eSIM plan or eSIM carrier with just a few taps on your device.

Currently, these are the MVNOs that support eSIM:

  • Mint Mobile
  • Boost Mobile
  • Boost Infinite (postpaid)
  • US Mobile
  • Tello
  • Ultra Mobile
  • Red Pocket Mobile
  • Reach Mobile

Switching carriers on iPhone FAQs


Recap

Switching eSIM carriers on your iPhone is quick and easy. Thanks to the embedded SIM, you'll be up and running with your new low-cost carrier and plan within minutes.

By choosing an eSIM plan from an MVNO, you could save yourself hundreds of dollars a year on your cell phone bill, as well as having the convenience and flexibility to switch plans of carriers whenever it suits you.

iPhone eSIM FAQs

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