Carrier T-Mobile (postpaid) eSIM

Discussion in 'iOS 12' started by nutmac, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #1
    T-Mobile might update their app to offer more painless process eventually, but I couldn't wait.

    I followed solodogg's awesome instructions to activate eSIM on T-Mobile. I had to make few minor adjustments, but the process is relatively easy.

    What you need:
    • iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max
    • Upgraded to iOS 12.1.1
    • SIM removal tool from your iPhone packaging or paperclip
    • Connected to Wi-Fi
    • T-Mobile app
    1. Launch the Settings app, then General, then About. Hold onto EID field (probably begins with 8904) for few seconds and select Copy.
    2. Launch the T-Mobile app, then click on the text chat support icon (upper right corner, next to the phone support icon).
    3. When representative welcomes you (wait time was about 10 minutes for me), type "I would like to initiate a SIM swap. My EID is " (hold on to the text chat field then select Paste to fill in the EID number).
    4. T-Mobile rep might ask few minor questions like phone model and phone number.
    5. T-Mobile rep will eventually initiate the SIM swap, then send a confirmation PIN SMS (takes a minute or two).
    6. Type in the confirmation PIN.
    7. After few minutes, you will get a confirmation SMS. Thank the rep.
    8. Remove the physical SIM card (you do not need to shutdown your phone).
    9. Launch the Settings app, then Cellular, Add Cellular Plan, then Enter Details Manually.
    10. Enter the SM-DP+ Address: cust-005-v4-prod-atl2.gdsb.net
    11. Click Next. If it fails, repeat steps 9 and 10.
    12. If asked for Confirmation Code, enter the last 4 digits of your social security number or phone number.
    13. You are done. Verify Cellular, P2 page, making sure all the settings are unchanged and Cellular Plans and Usage are same as before. Your eSIM maybe initially assigned with "Secondary" Cellular Plan Label. Change it to "Primary" or whatever you prefer.
    On the physical SIM slot, I am using a SIM card from the promotional voice line, which will be given to my younger kid eventually.
     
  2. DeanLubaki macrumors 6502

    DeanLubaki

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    May 29, 2014
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    Toronto | Montréal | Québec
  3. tekkierich macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    #3

    I just tried this. T-Mobile rep is expecting a SIM EID to start with 8901. When I gave them 8904 they asked me where I got the SIM from. The gig was up so I told him an eSIM inside a device.

    No dice :-(
     
  4. Banglazed, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018

    Banglazed macrumors 68020

    Banglazed

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    #4
    Yup! It works! Just tell the rep you’ll accept the risk if it doesn’t work and they will go ahead with it.

    Wait till they confirmed it was successful. Wait till your service is disconnected first to confirm it was successful. Then, you remove the physical SIM card and then you manually add the SM-DP + Address to activate the eSIM.
     
  5. Scotty_T macrumors newbie

    Scotty_T

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
    Montgomery, IL
    #5
    I went thru chat and made this same mistake.. when I told her it was eSIM she said they were not supported. I asked her to activate it anyway as a normal SIM card and I would handle the rest. She wouldn't do it so I asked if I could be connected to a different rep.

    The second rep told me the same thing, I said I understand it isn't officially out yet but that it will work and I just need her to please swap my SIM card. She went ahead and did it for me.

    For the Add Cellular plan part I had to leave the confirmation number blank to activate.

    So I'm golden.
     
  6. nutmac thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #6
    If the gig is up, I would say that you are traveling where T-Mobile doesn't have a roaming agreement (e.g., Nepal). So you need to free up the physical SIM slot but want to continue receiving calls and SMS on T-Mobile number.
     
  7. Starship67 macrumors 6502a

    Starship67

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Location:
    LA
    #7
    What exactly is the point or advantage of going through all of this to get the eSIM to work? Serious question.
     
  8. nutmac, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018

    nutmac thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #8
    The most obvious benefit is freeing up your physical SIM slot for whatever your needs are, such as:
    • Inexpensive prepaid international SIM card -- can be much cheaper than T-Mobile's International Pass or Global Plus plan.
    • Combine work and personal phone numbers.
    • AT&T or Verizon prepaid SIM card, or one of many MVNOs that uses their networks -- great for traveling to a place where T-Mobile doesn't have good coverage.
    Of course, it's possible to use eSIM for above 3 purposes. But you will have far more options when you migrate your primary carrier to eSIM. Also, mixing different carriers require iPhone to be unlocked.

    In theory, eSIM can offer improved security.
    • When you setup your phone as new, eSIM survives and your phone will connect to cellular.
    • It's also far more difficult to compromise an eSIM.
    • eSIM cannot be stolen or easily cloned, preventing two factor authentication (2FA) codes sent over SMS from being compromised.
    But I say in theory because iOS has a couple of design flaws that lets thieves bypass Find My iPhone:
    1. When iPhone is restored or setup as new, eSIM survives. That is, eSIM will let iPhone auto connect to cellular. But iPhone does not auto activate when it is setup as new, which prevents Find My iPhone service from running in the background.
    2. Unless you disable Siri and Control Center from the Lock screen, thieves can engage the Airport mode or turn off Wi-Fi or Cellular. iOS should require unlock for turning off Wi-Fi and Cellular.
    When carrier offers app-based eSIM, it's pretty easy to activate eSIM. All you need to do is connect your new phone to Wi-Fi, install carrier's app, login and go through eSIM activation, and done. And since iPhone will let you store many eSIMs, you don't have to worry about losing them (only 1 can be active at once, however).
     
  9. E3BK macrumors 68030

    E3BK

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    I get trying to find work arounds when the eSIMs were still in a beta version of iOS but it's a public release now and both Verizon & AT&T officially support it. It's really unacceptable that you have to get sneaky with TMobile to get this to work. I gave up on them and moved to Verizon for the time being. Once TMO gets their act together, I'll likely come back but it's not worth the hoops people are jumping through. That's IMO anyway.

    But hey - John Legere was right!. eSIMs DO make switching carriers so easy! I did it all through the Verizon app.
     
  10. Wide opeN macrumors 6502a

    Wide opeN

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    Aug 27, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    #10
    I can only assume greed is behind T-Mobile dragging their feet.
     
  11. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    #11
    What they said in one of the support forums is that they encountered a few situations where when the physical SIM went dead, the eSIM would not come on, and this involved laborious troubleshooting that they didn't want to go through with impatient consumers.

    I think they're on the verge of releasing either a specific application for moving to eSIM, or an enhancement to the T-Mobile App that will let you move to eSIM.

    But I think that too many of them don't "get it" why why people want to do it.

    They act in conversations like the usefulness of an eSIM is in its easy availability for people who want a quick roaming number or a data number for use overseas.

    I think they've got that wrong.

    In my case, I'm using two T-Mobile numbers. One of them is private for when I want to disappear for a while, and it's nice to be able to just push a couple of buttons instead of having to look for the SIM tool, and then look for where you've left the other SIM. :)
     
  12. crawfish963 macrumors 6502

    crawfish963

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    Just set up my T-Mobile eSIM today. I had to go through a few reps to get them to do it. Both my lines are T-Mobile lines. Works great. FWIW, I was told the official support for postpaid won’t come until “early 2019 at the earliest”.
     
  13. Mayanja macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    #13
    Still bizarre that TMO can't get its act together, and also is unable to just communicate transparently about it. The uncarrier unworthy.
     
  14. George Knighton macrumors 65816

    George Knighton

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    #14
    Are you finding that you have a unified visual voice mail interface, and it's working predictably and well?

    Does visual voice mail work with both lines even if one line is turned off?

    (The reason I don't know the answer to this is that I am using Youmail for one line.)
     
  15. Starship67 macrumors 6502a

    Starship67

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    Oct 28, 2017
    Location:
    LA
    #15
    LOL now that’s got go down as one of the most ridiculous posts of the year.
     
  16. michael31986 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #16
    Y'all need to be patient. I mean it will happen but ****. Give them a minute. The update came.out two weeks ago.
     
  17. nutmac thread starter macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #17
    I am using dual SIMs and both lines are getting calls, directing visual voicemails just fine.
     
  18. crawfish963 macrumors 6502

    crawfish963

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    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #18

    Same here. The interface for selecting which line you are wanting to use is very easy to work.
     
  19. powaking macrumors 6502

    powaking

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #19
    One advantage that I can think of where eSim is ideal is being able to retrieve your phone when stolen. Since you can’t physically remove an eSim you should be able to find it via Find My Phone easier instead of having the thief just pop out the sim.
     
  20. crawfish963 macrumors 6502

    crawfish963

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #20
    Assuming the thief doesn't turn the phone off, which they usually do. But good point.
     
  21. jarman92 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    #21
    And in that time both Verizon and AT&T have rolled out support. T-Mobile also already supports eSIM on the iPad and Watch, so there’s no good excuse for them not being ready for this at launch.
     
  22. Shadow Jolteon, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    Shadow Jolteon macrumors regular

    Shadow Jolteon

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Location:
    United States
    #22
    I just got on T-Mobile's support chat, and they're now asking if the transfer request is for an eSIM, so I told them it was to see what'd happen. After checking for a few minutes to see if it's supported, they informed me that it is not.

    Judging by how they were checking to see if it's available yet and the information they provided, it sounds as though it might be coming pretty soon. Also, the representative was also really quick to reply and very friendly.
     
  23. crawfish963 macrumors 6502

    crawfish963

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #23
    Yeah just be patient and get another rep. Tell them you don't even know what eSIM is. That is how I got mine switched over.
     
  24. michael31986 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #24
    Verizon is only for pre paid as well on the app too
     
  25. jarman92 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    #25
    That’s not correct...Verizon allows eSIM for post-paid plans only; prepaid lines are not supported.
     

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