Set up cellular service on iPhone
The cellular connection on your iPhone requires a SIM from a carrier; contact your carrier to set up a cellular plan.
iPhone X and earlier models support one cellular plan using a nano-SIM.
iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR support Dual SIM using a nano-SIM and an eSIM (not available in all regions; iOS 12.1 or later).
Here are some of the many ways you can use Dual SIM:
Use one number for business and another number for personal calls.
Add a local data plan when you travel to another region.
Have separate voice and data plans.
Note: To use two different carriers, your iPhone must be unlocked.
Install the nano-SIM
Insert a paper clip or SIM eject tool into the small hole of the SIM tray, then push in toward iPhone to eject the tray.
Note: The shape and orientation of the SIM tray depend on the iPhone model and your region.
Remove the tray from iPhone.
Place the nano-SIM in the tray. The angled corner determines the correct orientation.
Insert the tray back into iPhone.
If you previously set up a PIN on the nano-SIM, carefully enter the PIN when prompted.
WARNING: Never try to guess a SIM PIN. An incorrect guess can permanently lock your SIM, and you won’t be able to make phone calls or use cellular data through your carrier until you get a new SIM. See the Apple Support article Use a SIM PIN for your iPhone or iPad.
Important: A nano-SIM may be required to use cellular services when connecting to GSM networks and some CDMA networks. An iPhone activated on a CDMA wireless network can also use a nano-SIM for connecting to a GSM network, primarily for international roaming. Your iPhone is subject to your wireless service provider’s policies, which may include restrictions on switching service providers and roaming, even after the conclusion of any required minimum service contract. Contact your wireless service provider for more details. The availability of cellular capabilities depends on the wireless network, your iPhone model, and your location.
Set up your cellular plan with eSIM
On models that support eSIM, the eSIM provided by your carrier is stored digitally in iPhone.
Go to Settings > Cellular, then tap Add Cellular Plan.
Position iPhone so that the QR code provided by your carrier appears in the frame, or enter the details manually. You may be asked to enter a confirmation code provided by your carrier.
Tap Add Cellular Plan.
If the new plan is your second line, follow the onscreen instructions to set how you want the plans to work together.
Alternatively, you can activate your cellular plan through your carrier’s app (if supported). Go to the App Store, download your carrier’s app, then use the app to purchase a cellular plan.
You can store more than one eSIM on your iPhone, but you can use only one eSIM at a time. To switch eSIMs, go to Settings > Cellular, tap the plan you want to use, then tap Turn On This Line.
If you have a nano-SIM, you can use it as your second line. See the Apple Support article Using Dual SIM with an eSIM.
Manage your cellular plans
On models with Dual SIM, you can choose how iPhone uses each line (iOS 12.1 or later).
Go to Settings > Cellular, then do the following:
Tap Cellular Data, then choose a line.
You can choose only one line for cellular data; iPhone uses the selected line for any activity that requires cellular data, when you’re not on Wi-Fi. You may incur roaming charges if Data Roaming is on and you’re outside the region covered by the carrier’s network.
Tap Default Voice Line, then choose a line.
Below Cellular Plans, tap a line, then change settings such as Cellular Plan Label, Wi-Fi Calling, Calls on Other Devices, or SIM PIN. The label appears in Phone, Messages, and Contacts.
To register a phone number for iMessage and FaceTime, go to Settings > Messages > iMessage & FaceTime Line.
You can register only one of your phone numbers for iMessage and FaceTime. Your other number can’t send or receive messages using iMessage, or make or receive FaceTime calls. Regardless of the phone number you register, iMessage and FaceTime transfer data on your cellular data line when you’re not on Wi-Fi; cellular charges may apply.
Note: When using Dual SIM, note the following:
When you’re on a phone call, any incoming calls on your other line (including calls from emergency services) go directly to voicemail (if available from your carrier); you won’t receive missed call notifications.
If you set up conditional call forwarding (if available from your carrier) from one line to another when a line is busy or not in service, the calls don’t go to voicemail; contact your carrier for setup information.
Call waiting works only for incoming calls on the same line.
If you make a phone call from another device by relaying it through your iPhone with Dual SIM, the call is made using your default voice line.
If you start an SMS/MMS Messages conversation using one line, you cannot switch the conversation to your other line; you need to delete the conversation and start a new conversation using the other line. Also, you may incur additional charges if you send SMS/MMS attachments on the line that’s not your cellular data line.
Instant HotSpot and Personal Hotspot use the line selected for cellular data.
Choose settings that minimize cellular charges, especially when you travel with iPhone.
For information about managing your cellular data usage, see View or change cellular settings on iPhone.
Some carriers let you unlock iPhone for use with another carrier (additional fees may apply). Contact your carrier for authorization and setup information. See the Apple Support article How to unlock your iPhone for use with a different carrier.