Set up eSIM card (Embedded SIM)

Currently only the Fairphone 4 supports one eSIM (embedded SIMcard.

An eSIM is a form of programmable SIM that is part of the core module. Using an eSIM does not require a physical SIM card; it's activated on your device.

The use of an eSIM might avoid unexpected issues with your phone, as long as it's compatible with the phone.

To request an eSIM with your provider, you sometimes need the EID number of your device. You can find it printed on the sticker of the original box of your phone. You can also find it, alongside a scannable QR code, in SettingsAbout phoneSIM status (sim slot 2) → EID.


Install the eSIM card

First, check with your network operator if you need to buy a new eSIM or you can convert your current one SIM.

If your operator can offer you an eSIM, they will provide you with the necessary information about it, so you can install it on your Fairphone.

When you start the Fairphone for the first time, the Set-up Wizard will guide you through the process.

If you skipped that part, follow the instructions below to activate your eSIM:

  1. Go to Settings Network and Internet.
  2. Tap on the option "Mobile network Add a network.".
    • If you already use a physical SIM card, tap on the "+" icon at the Mobile network menu on the right side of the screen.
  3. Tap on the blue icon of a SIM card at the bottom-left - mceclip1.png
  4. Tap on the button Next.
  5. Scan the QR-Code of your eSIM (provided by your network operator).
  6. Tap on the button Activate.
  7. Enter the Operator confirmation code of your eSIM (provided by your network operator). Wait until the activation process ends.
  8. Enter your SIM PIN code if requested (your network operator should provide this).
  9. Enter your Screen lock if requested (the PIN, Pattern or Password you use to unlock your phone).
  10. Tap on the button Done.

Congratulations! You have installed your eSIM on your Fairphone.


Remove eSIM

You might want to remove your eSIM because you're changing operators, not using this eSIM anymore, troubleshooting, or when selling your phone. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings -> Network & Internet.
  2. Tap on the relevant SIM.
  3. Select Erase SIM.

And you're done! Now you can reinstall the eSIM or install another one instead.


eSIM compatibility

In the table below you'll find the network operators with whom we've tested the Fairphones for eSIM compatibility.

Different networks work differently when it comes to eSIM compatibility. Currently there is no standardization across the industry. So some networks will work with any eSIM in any phone. Other networks have to first whitelist a SIM type, then test on a specific device and "whitelist" the LCA profile to enable to eSIM to download the correct settings to the device. So if the network needs to "whitelist" us and we are not a direct partner with them, then that work has not been done (yet) - and the eSIM will not work.

Select your phone below to see the relevant compatibility table.

Country Networks that support eSIM
Germany T-Mobile, Telefonica (O2), Vodafone
Austria A1, T-Mobile
Switzerland Sunrise, Swisscom
Netherlands KPN, T-Mobile, Vodafone
France Orange, Bouygues, SFR
UK EE, Virgin, Sky, Your Co-Op, Vodafone
Belgium Proximus, Orange
Denmark Hi3G
Finland Elisa
Sweden Tele2, Telenor

For countries where no network is listed - this doesn't mean that no network will work. It just means we have not performed testing in that country to verify compatibility (as it takes time and resources to do so).


Set your dual SIM preferences

It is possible to use 2 SIM cards at the same time in your Fairphone. You can set this further in your preferences:

  1. Go to Settings Network and Internet → tap on one of the 2 SIM cards.
  2. Here you can select:
    1. Data preference - here, you must choose. SIM card 1 is there by default, but you can change it in these settings.
    2. Calls preference - Select a specific SIM card or decide to be asked every time you want to make a phone call.
    3. SMS preference - You can select a specific SIM card or decide to be asked every time you want to send an SMS.

Like almost every Dual SIM device on the market, the Fairphones use the standard Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) technology. You can read more about that here.


General recommendations

A data connection is at the core of all the functions of a modern smartphone. To avoid over-using your mobile data, always connect to a Wi-Fi network when possible.

To avoid unexpected charges, contact the customer service of your network provider. Ask them to help you analyze your mobile data consumption and make sure to choose the best plan for your needs.

Your Fairphone battery has plenty of power to serve you for a full day of regular usage.

If you are running low on battery, you can disable the mobile data to extend your battery life. If you have a weak mobile signal or are on the go and navigating, your phone will consume more energy to stay connected.
To quickly enable or disable mobile data on your device:

  1. Swipe down from the top of your screen.
  2. Locate the Mobile data or Internet icon (swipe right or add it via the Edit pencil icon if not there).
  3. Tap on the Mobile data icon to turn mobile data On or Off.


Advanced data settings

The default settings will usually be suitable for the majority of users. We recommend you only adjust these settings if they are relevant to your needs and situation.

Keep in mind that adjusting these settings can interfere with the way applications work on your Fairphone. For example, it can happen that you will not get any notifications from your apps (Ie. WhatsApp, Instagram, Gmail, etc.) unless you connect to Wi-Fi!


If you are an advanced user, here are some of the additional network settings:

Global settings:

Go to Settings → Network & internet.

  • Tap on Advanced (only on Android 10 and 11) → Data Saver. You can set it On or Off. Tap on Unrestricted data to manage the usage of Background data for any specific app. Some apps might stop synchronizing any data. In this case, you will not receive notifications until you open the app!


Settings specific to a certain SIM card:

Go to SettingsNetwork & internet Mobile network → SIM card you want to set up.

  • Mobile data. You can set it On or Off for the specific SIM card.
  • Roaming. You can set it On or Off for the specific SIM card.
  • Here you can also change the VoLTE & VoWi-Fi settings, if they are visible for your network provider.
  • Data warning & limit. In this menu, you can set preferences and limits (per billing cycle) for your cellular data. The phone will deactivate mobile data once it reaches the threshold. Here are the options:
    • Mobile data usage cycle - the day of the month on which your provider resets your limit. For example, the 1st of every month.
    • Set data warning - enables you to set a data warning threshold (see next point).
    • Data warning - choose a number of MB/GB of mobile data that you want to use. After using up this amount, you will receive a warning notification.
    • Set data limit - enables you to set a data usage limit (see next point).
    • Data limit - choose a number of MB/GB of mobile data that you want to use. After using up this amount, your mobile data will be disabled automatically.


Issues with the SIM

If you experience issues with your SIM card, there are many things you can do to fix the issues yourself. You can find our guide troubleshooting your Mobile data here.


If you need more help after reading this article, contact our Customer Support.