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How to Activate Airtel eSIM on Your Smartphone – Tutorial



Last year, Apple for the first time added the dual SIM support with the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max smartphones. While it still comes with a single SIM card slot, the company used the eSIM technology to offer dual SIM connectivity. The same eSIM technology is also available on the latest Google Pixel smartphones including Pixel 3, PIxel 3XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL. Even before the iPhones, the eSIM technology was first introduced in the Indan market with the Apple Watch.

Airtel, the world’s second-largest mobile network, is only one of two Indian networks which are supporting eSIM activations. Unlike the physical SIM card, the eSIM is actually embedded in the mobile device and has to be activated from the operator’s side. It comes in the form of an integrated SIM chip which will be compliant by all the supported mobile network operators. Even though the eSIM is first activated by other networks, it can be ported to Airtel without having to change anything physically.

During the iPhone XS launch in India, Airtel is the only Indian network operator to immediately support eSIM activations. It’s good to see an Indian company bringing innovative features on par with the western world. Below is the step by step guide for activating the eSIM though Airtel on your iPhone or Pixel smartphone. The eSIM activation process remains the same for all the above mentioned smartphones.

Step by Step Process for Activating Airtel eSIM on Your Smartphone (Physical SIM to eSIM Conversion):

  • Update your phone (iPhone / Pixel) to the latest software version.
  • Send an SMS to 121 by typing “eSIM <space> email id” (If no email id is registered with your mobile number, get in touch with customer care by calling 121).
  • To confirm the eSIM request, you have to immediately reply with 1 to the acknowledgment SMS sent by Airtel.
  • Once the eSIM request is successful, an email with a QR code will be sent to the registered email id.

  • For iPhone users — you need to go to Settings > Cellular > Add Cellular Plan and scan the QR code.
  • For Android users — you need to go to Settings > Network & internet > Mobile network > Advanced > Carrier > Add Carrier and scan the QR code.
  • NOTE: The QR code sent through email is only useful for a single scan.
  • If the eSIM activation process is failed or stopped midway, send an SIM to 121 by typing “NOSIM” to stop deactivating the physical SIM.
  • It takes around 2 hours post scanning the QR code to successfully activate the eSIM.
  • Once activated the eSIM will be your secondary SIM.
  • It can also be changed to your primary SIM through settings if you needed.

The Apple iPhones use Dual SIM Dual Standby instead of Dual SIM Dual Active technology. Hence, the other SIM will be busy when the voice calls are made through one SIM. Let us know if you any question regarding the eSIM activation on your smartphone. You can reach us by commenting down below or tweet us at @PhoneRadarBlog and we will be happy to help you.


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