FP4. Set up eSIM card (embedded SIM)

Your Fairphone 4 (FP4) supports one eSIM (embedded SIMcard. An eSIM is a form of programmable SIM that is part of the core module of the FP4. 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.

Like other Dual SIM devices on the market, Fairphone 4 uses standard Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) technology.
Both SIM cards are ready to be used at any time to receive or make phone calls. However, you can only use one of them at a time for cellular data, or one voice connection at a time. When the phone is idle, it can receive any call from both SIMs. For more information on how this option works, please go to the Set your dual SIM preferences section.

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. Or find it together with a scannable QR code in Settings > About phone > SIM status (sim slot 2) > EID.


Install the eSIM card

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

If your operator can offer this option, they should provide you with the necessary information about your eSIM so you can install it on your Fairphone 4.

When you start the Fairphone 4 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.".
    1. If you have already installed a physical SIM card, tap on the "+" icon at the Mobile network menu on the right side of the screen.
  3. Tap on the option "Download a SIM instead?" at the bottom.
  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 PHONE PIN code if requested (this is the code you use to unlock your phone).
  10. Tap on the button Done.

Congratulations! You have installed your eSIM on your Fairphone 4.


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 FP4 for eSIM compatibility.

Different networks work differently when it comes to eSIM compatibility. Currently there is no standardisation 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.


Country Networks that support eSIM on FP4
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 both a physical SIM and an eSIM card with your Fairphone 4, and you can adjust it 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 the default one, 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.


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 4 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 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 4. For example, it could happen that you won't get any notifications from your apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, etc.) unless you connect to Wi-Fi!

If you are an advanced user, this is how you can adjust some more settings:

  1. Advanced → Data Saver. You can set it On or Off. Here, you can manage Background data usage for any specific app — apps synchronizing data less often (or even stop!). You will not receive notifications until you open the app!
  2. In Settings > Network & internet > SIM cards, tap on a SIM card → Mobile data. You can set it On or Off for the specific SIM card.
  3. In Settings > Network & internet > SIM cards, tap on a SIM card → Roaming. You can set it On or Off for the specific SIM card.
  4. In Settings > Network & internet > SIM cards, tap on a SIM card → Advanced → Data warning & limit.
    In this menu, you can set preferences and limits (per cycle) for your cellular data. The phone will deactivate mobile data after reaching the threshold:
    1. Enable Set data warning.
    2. Set a Data warning.
    3. Enable Set data limit.
    4. Set a Data limit.
    5. Enable Preferred network type.
    6. Set Preferred network type.
    7. Set Wi-Fi Calling preferences.


If you need more help after reading this article, get in touch with our Customer Support.