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Thread: Can I do eSIM on AT&T prepaid?

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    Can I do eSIM on AT&T prepaid?

    Hi I have bought an iPhone 11 recently, not we are planning to switch to ATT annual plan from Verizon prepaid. The plan doesn’t give option for eSIM.

    I tried calling customer service but despite several attempts was unable to talk to a human.

    Can anybody confirm. I would like to keep a SIM card slot for international travels

    Thanks

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    Can I do eSIM on AT&T prepaid?

    Activate using a regular physical SIM, then go to an AT&T Corporate store and just ask for an eSIM. They gave me one free no questions asked. Some reports are they’ll activate it for you right then and there, but I just took mine home and activated it online through the website.


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    The eSIM is embedded in the device, and you don't ask for one.
    Don't make me turn this car around.....

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    Yes, my wife uses ATT Prepaid as primary service on her iPhone XR using an eSIM. Mint Mobile as secondary using a physical SIM.

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    Can I do eSIM on AT&T prepaid?

    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    The eSIM is embedded in the device, and you don't ask for one.
    You need the eSIM card to scan the QR code to activate the service on the embedded module.

    And you DO ask for one. At an AT&T corporate store.

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    The "e" in eSIM stands for electronic which is embedded in the device. It doesn't change nor is it physically inserted. It is scanned from the device box.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using HoFo mobile app

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    Want to know how I can tell you’ve never activated an eSIM on an iPhone on AT&T?

    Because you absolutely have to scan a card you obtain from a corporate store to activate the embedded eSIM.

    Where did anyone say an eSIM had to be inserted into the device? You’re putting words in people’s mouths. Here’s what the card you get from AT&T looks like:

    Name:  IMG_0022.jpg
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    And here’s a thread where an AT&T care admin outlines the process of obtaining and scanning the eSIM card to activate the iPhone eSIM: https://forums.att.com/t5/Apple/Tran...m/td-p/5792187

    Please don’t double down on giving people bad information?


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    I have activated a eSIM directly from the box for iPhones with Verizon. There is one bar code on the box for IMEI, another for the physical SIM pre-installed in the phone (which some users remove and insert their original SIM card), and a separate bar code for the eSim.

    In post #2, you stated that

    go to an AT&T Corporate store and just ask for an eSIM. They gave me one free no questions asked. Some reports are they’ll activate it for you right then and there, but I just took mine home and activated it online through the website.
    My point is you don't need to go anywhere and ask for a free eSIM when the code is printed directly on the box that the phone came in. The eSim doesn't ever change as it isn't removed or replaced. I corrected your confusing statement.

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    Can I do eSIM on AT&T prepaid?

    So how do you activate the eSIM on AT&T without the card you get from AT&T?


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    Quote Originally Posted by clonehappy View Post
    So how do you activate the eSIM on AT&T without the card you get from AT&T?


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    You activate the eSIM by scanning the bar code printed on the box which is auto populated into the billing system. Why are you trying to be difficult ? Have you ever worked in a cellular retail store ?

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    Can I do eSIM on AT&T prepaid?

    Actually I have. But that isn’t the topic here.

    I’m confused about why my experience and AT&T’s own employees instructions differs from this.

    I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m trying to learn. So the OP should take their iPhone box to AT&T to have them activate it by scanning the box that way? What is the purpose of the card they gave me to activate online then scan through the iPhone cellular settings to activate the eSIM?

    I have no experience with how Verizon does it, but seeing that this is the AT&T prepaid forum I was only speaking to my firsthand experience of what steps I was instructed to take by AT&T prepaid customer service and how I and many other on this forum have activated our eSIM successfully.

    You’re right that I shouldn’t speak about things I’ve done first hand without checking with the experts on here first. My apologies to all.


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    It's all good, no feelings were hurt.

    I was offering my personal experience and knowledge working with Verizon. We never let the customer leave the store unless the phone is fully functional/activated. Things might work differently at At&t. I am not trying to judge you or be difficult myself. Different carrier, different processes perhaps.

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    Every carrier seems to have a different process for activating eSim. T-Mobile prepaid and some other carriers can do it all through an app. I haven’t heard of any other method besides the QR code with AT&T.


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    Can I do eSIM on AT&T prepaid?

    Quote Originally Posted by gurase View Post
    Every carrier seems to have a different process for activating eSim. T-Mobile prepaid and some other carriers can do it all through an app. I haven’t heard of any other method besides the QR code with AT&T.
    AT&T shoehorned eSIM support into their existing SIM infrastructure - rather than plastic SIM cards, you get a cardboard card for eSIM activation, with a unique one-time-use QR code. They're free at Apple Stores and either free or $5 (annoying, but it's basically treated like a traditional SIM) at AT&T stores.

    Either way, it's checked out on their end (Apple "sells" it for $0 to remove it from their inventory), AT&T can do that, too. I think it has to do with the whole chain-of-custody to prevent stolen SIMs and SIM swapping. If you want them to do the swap, they can, but it's easy and you can do it yourself once you have the QR card.

    Scan it in Settings > Cellular to get it added to your phone and then go to My Device > Update Device on the AT&T Prepaid account management site and enter the ICCID from the QR card. Once that happens, your old SIM will go to No Service and the eSIM will light up. I did it about a month ago and don't think I even needed to restart. I've heard you need Wi-Fi connectivity when scanning the QR code if you change your ICCID first (makes sense since you'd be killing the old SIM without having the new one ready to go).

    Unlike T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T's eSIM support is sort of lousy, the QR code is unique for each use and basically emulates the existing physical SIMs as far as their system is concerned (each QR card has a unique ICCID). I guess some business accounts can get email copies of the cards, but consumer/prepaid can't.

    I suspect the Verizon scan-the-box method does some provisioning on the account based on either the EID (first barcode), but I bet you'd get funny looks if you asked at an AT&T store.

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    Comparing to physical SIM - is eSIM any more or less safe against SIM-swapping fraud? I am thinking there is probably no difference.

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